What’s Most Important for a Successful Website?

February 2010
By: Thomas Young, CEO Intuitive Websites, LLC

Three very different disciplines must work together to launch a successful Website. These relationships are critical to the site’s success, yet conflicts usually arise. Here are a few ideas on how to find the right solution and drive results from the three disciplines:

  • Marketing – The strategy and content for a Website.
  • Design – The colors, fonts, look and feel and Website graphics
  • Development – The technology platform for the Website.

It is difficult to find three professions more different in business today. Which of these three functions are most important and which should drive the Website’s results? The answer should not be a surprise to our readers. The majority of Websites are marketing tools and therefore marketing is most important. Many Websites lack clear and effective marketing direction and this leads to poor results.

Marketing Drives Design

It is very common during the early stages of the Website development process for design issues to drive the project. This is wasted energy and can easily lead to bad decisions and also provide the wrong direction. The process should be driven by strategic marketing planning. This planning will set the design direction, which is secondary to driving results and meeting user needs.

Marketing Drives Development

The same is true for development and technology issues. The first rule of thumb is Website usability. Usability is more important than any other technical issue. The biggest mistake made in development is selecting a restrictive development platform because it works for the developer.

Avoid Sample Size of One

It is very common for one key person on the Website project to make major decisions based on their personal experience and preferences. This is often based on judgements around design and development. These decisions should be based on solid branding and marketing fundamentals.

Website Users Drive Marketing

The Website user drives the entire process. How well the site meets user needs will determine the Website’s ROI and overall results. Smart marketers let customers and prospects drive results and provide strategic direction for the actual Website marketing.

Ultimately, Website marketing is a marketing function and both design and development teams should follow the lead of marketing professionals. Marketing teams should follow the lead of prospects, customers, clients and ultimately Website users. This leads to happy site users, excellent ROI and Website conversions.

Thomas Young is CEO and President of Intuitive Websites, a Colorado Springs based Internet marketing, Website design and usability firm. To learn more about Intuitive Websites contact Tom at 719-481-4040 or [email protected].