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Website Development Plan Impacts Profit, Audience

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Website development

A thoughtful website development plan matters to marketing, advertising and profit because of several important ways that users experience the site.

I’m often surprised at how many sites are built by competent developers who have great technical skills but limited marketing and advertising skills.

At the same time, marketing and advertising professionals often aren’t involved in the website development plan. They sometimes don’t have the technical skills to ask the right questions or provide insightful guidance.

The manager is the right person to bridge that gap. This assumes the manager is a generalist who has at least some basic skills in website content, marketing, advertising and technology. At least, these are the skills a good website manager should have.

But less skilled or experienced managers may not see the connection between technology on the one hand and marketing and advertising on the other.

The Marketing Perspective

Imagine a highly capable artist who designs a site with amazing graphics, beautiful photos and great color coordination.

Those amazing graphics take too long to load and display. Too long is more than 300 milliseconds, according to Google.

The beautiful photos are large,  not optimized and show up multiple times on every page. They add to the slow download time — even on broadband.

The text on the site is a medium gray. The gray looks great with the other color choices, but it’s hard to read.

Although you  may imagine such a site, in reality I have seen many sites the same way as I describe above.

Because the site is slow and hard to read, the user has several important reasons to come back less often, click on fewer pages or not come back at all.

The Advertising Perspective

AnalyticsThe visitor who comes to such a site is less likely to click on additional pages. That means fewer page views, less advertising inventory and less revenue.

That same visitor will probably come back less often or not at all, again impacting page views, ad inventory and ultimately the revenue.

The fact that the site is slow loading means the ads will probably take a while to load as well. Ads that take time to appear will get fewer clicks, again impacting revenue.

Advertisers who visit the site to see how their ads look will think twice about advertising on that site again.

The Profit Perspective

Website development strategy that doesn’t include marketing and advertising input will hurt the profit of the site in more ways than just the impact on audience and advertising. Development should be a team effort.

The site in the example above will require more server space and bandwidth. They add to the cost of the operation.

On quite a few occasions, I have seen too-large photos appearing a site. Visitors who go to a page with a photo that big will get frustrated with the download time.

Bad site development often gives a great first impression and bad second and third impressions as the user starts clicking around.

A great website development plan includes a great user experience from beginning to end. It ensures the visitor clicks on multiple pages and has multiple reasons to come back again.

It also means a few common sense tactics and a strategy that will make the site less costly and more profitable.

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