Website Strategy

Your website is one of your most important marketing tools. Done right, it can reduce phone calls or questions and make tasks easier for your audiences. Building a website takes time, critical thinking and creativity. We’re here to assist and will work with you on a strategy that will help you:

  • Ensure that everything on your website has a purpose and supports your messages and goals
  • Delete unnecessary pages or elements
  • Effectively communicate information through site structure, text, photos and graphics
  • Format your pages and the content that lives on them in a way that easy to consume

There is no right way to document your strategy. Use a format that works best for your office and can easily be updated. To get started, follow our key steps to define an effective strategy. If you work on a web project with our team, we will help you through this process.



illustration of a clipboard with a check mark



Determine Your Goals

Your website is part of your conversation with audiences, but you have to decide what you want to use it to accomplish before doing anything else. You may want to:

  • Persuade prospective students to apply or contact you
  • Encourage audiences to register for events or complete a task by a deadline
  • Show audiences how and why to utilize the services you offer
  • Promote an initiative or research efforts
  • Build trust or establish a relationship

You may have various goals that are not all related, but clearly defining them will help you create useful content for your website.


illustration of people



Know Your Audience

Audiences visit your website for specific reasons. You need to know who they are and what they need so you can provide a good user experience by helping them accomplish tasks and answer questions. Be specific when defining your audiences and prioritize. This will help you better understand them and what they’re looking for. For example, current students may be your primary audience, but what else do you know about them? Some additional details may include:

  • Type of student (undergraduate, graduate, international)
  • Particular issues of interest (financial, academic, emotional, etc.)
  • Field of study


magnifying glass on computer screen



Do Your Research

Your strategy should be supported by data and research as much as possible. You can use Google Analytics or SiteImprove to see what your users are doing on your site and what led them to you. If you can talk to your primary audiences directly, ask them about their experiences with your website to better understand what they need. You can also look at other university websites in GW’s market basket or sites that share similar goals to gather ideas about how to present or organize content.


tools on a computer screen



Maintain Your Site

Your strategy should define your plan for maintaining and updating your website so it is always accurate and timely. Outline the maintenance tasks and who is responsible for completing them. Some examples include:

  • Consistently reviewing pages for accuracy
  • Presenting relevant information before, during and after an event
  • Keeping dates and deadlines current
  • Adding new content or features
  • Removing staff members who no longer work at GW or services that are no longer offered
  • Thinking about the timely tasks that audiences need to complete and updating your promotion strategy

You can also create an editorial calendar to manage your update tasks. Our team can help you come up with this strategy and format a template.


Computer Screen with gears



Grow Your Strategy

Your strategy is constantly evolving and never set in stone. It should be updated to represent changes, such as:

  • New goals
  • New audiences
  • A shift in your audience’s needs
  • New or revised services or focus areas

Ensure that your strategy always helps you make thoughtful decisions about your content so you can meet the needs of your audiences.