Website specification functions as an important stage of planning the company’s marketing strategy.

Ideally, website specification will be a derivative of an end-to-end, holistic solution, and it will serve as a compass for the company’s growth efforts.

It is important to create an effective website that will support different services or product promotions and will fit with the digital marketing strategy and activities.

What you should do before you start with website specification

Website specification starts in research to be acquainted with the company’s activity and market environment.

This will enable a better understanding of the goals and needs of the digital activity in general and the website in particular.

So before you move ahead with the website specification, I think its truly worth making these 2 steps: 

Internal analysis of the company

  1. A general and concise description of the company – mission and vision.
  2. Understanding the goals of the company’s activity.
  3. Defining the area of activity.
  4. Current state analysis – the current market strategy; the marketing mix, product mix, defining the target audiences as well as defining market segments and the marketing problem.

External analysis – the business\market environment

  1. Identifying the business “Playing field” – competitors, players, and trends.
  2. The competitors – competition analysis, product mix, website references.
  3. The consumers – characterizing the Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), current customers, defining needs, segments, target audiences, and target markets.
  4. Competitor’s marketing and distribution channels – offline vs online.
  5. KSF – key success factors in the business environment.
  6. SWOT – presenting the company’s strengths and weaknesses (internal factors), and the threats or opportunities that the environment poses to the company (external factors).

Consequently, the goals and needs of the digital marketing activity should be derived and defined, as well as the role of the website as a central element in the ongoing digital marketing activity.

Following the market research, and after defining the digital activity and the role of the website in it; a website specification document should be written.

The goals and needs of the digital marketing activity should be defined, as well as the role of the website as a central element in the ongoing digital marketing activity.

 

Website Specification Document Sections

Website Goals

The website’s goals and objectives, setting measures for success.

Website Structure

The website’s structure – website navigation menu, the hierarchy level of the website, and internal pages (taking SEO necessities into account).

Customer Journeys and Use Cases

Use Cases – setting the central click paths of the website and defining the specific contents that each path requires in order to have the optimal CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).

Marketing Messages

Marketing messages that will reflect the unique value proposition of the company, with respect to the relevant target audiences.

Search Engine Optimization

Keyword research – choosing the keywords intended to be promoted in the search engines, whilst examining keyword search engine volumes.

The phrases should also serve as guidelines for the construction of the different marketing campaigns.

The content writers should be directed to integrate these keywords and key phrases in accordance with the website’s structure.

Technical Specification and Third-Party Integrations

Technical specification document – a detailed specification of the functions and modules that are required in the website: specifying the domain that will be used, recommended web storage and hosting/infrastructure, migration process from old to the new website (if that is the case); security, different devices compatibility, upload times, recommendations for web accessibility, tracking codes and guidelines for integration of third-party applications such as Google Analytics, CRM, GTM, Search Console etc.

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    The Marketing Mix

    How are you going to promote your website? the digital marketing mix for the website.

    Laying out a list of digital marketing activities and promotion channels such as Google, social media like Facebook, other marketing channels such as affiliation marketing, SEO, content marketing, display, affiliations, and more.

    In conclusion, a website specification is a thorough and comprehensive process that takes time and energy but pays off in the long term.

    It provides an understanding and an alignment of the goals with the different digital marketing activities and should be derived from key questions:

    • what role does the website play as a central part in the marketing efforts?
    • Who are the target audiences and Where are they located on the web?
    • What is the unique value proposition of the company?
    • How is the website going to be promoted?

    and so on.

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