Your website needs to inform and educate all of its visitors. It’s the hub of your company’s marketing activities and, ultimately, the catalyst for lead generation. To get the most from your site, you need to keep your web design strategy in line with business needs in an iterative, evolving manner. Creating a website roadmap helps you guide your long-term strategy and keep tasks aligned with business goals and budgets. Without one, sites tend to stagnate and fail to reach full ROI potential.
During the planning and execution phases of a new corporate website, companies usually compile a list of site features based on business objectives. These features can include:
- Content additions
- Navigation preferences
- Functionality (such as product selection tools)
While some features from this list make it to the final website, others are often put on the shelf and abandoned once the site goes live — usually due to budget or time constraints.
Many companies think of a new website as a one-and-done project. This mindset can be lethal to marketing success. You need to nurture and maintain a website so that it can continue to help you reach business objectives, support marketing strategies and provide long-term value. This challenge highlights the need for a comprehensive roadmap to guide a successful web development project.
What is a website roadmap?
A website roadmap is a working document that helps plan the addition of web features during the initial build of the site and after the official launch. The document is constantly evolving with items being added and removed as the website takes shape. To best meet business objectives and address real-world user feedback, you should continually refine your website roadmap.
Keep in mind that no one item on the list should hold up others. If a functionality request extends beyond its original timeline, other items should continue to progress and move forward. This can be a challenge, but the goal is to keep evolving the website and provide sales and marketing value.
Why should you invest in a website roadmap?
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Do I really need this? It sounds awfully expensive. Short answer – YES. Having a long-term web design strategy allows the team to build in the necessary “hooks” in the beginning of the project. This can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run. A website roadmap helps plan and manage development costs over an extended period of time. Think of it as a guide intended to keep everyone aligned and working towards the same goal.
The software world has been using this type of document to refine and improve their product for decades. They see it as a necessity, and as B2B digital marketers, we should too.
For more ways to improve your web design strategy, check out 5 Ways to Supercharge your B2B Website Conversion Rate or 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your B2B Website Today.