How to Write a Marketing Plan for Your Website

Are you looking for ways to drive more traffic to your website? Aren’t we all… Have you ever considered putting a Marketing Plan together for your website? When it comes to achieving your goals, I’m a big believer in planning. Putting a Marketing Plan together can drastically increase your ability to achieve your website goals.

I know that most Website Designers are probably cringing while reading this. I know that you’re Website Designers and not Marketers, but I think I can break down the development of a Marketing Plan in such a way that will allow you to create a Marketing Plan for your website without too much stress. I promise that those of you who do take the time to write a Marketing Plan for your website will be extremely happy that you did. In this article we define our Marketing Plan, explain each of the main components that make up a solid Marketing Plan, and discuss the benefits of drafting a Marketing Plan for your website.

Why Do I Need a Marketing Plan for My Website?

Just like any other big task, having a plan for accomplishing your goals is critical to success. If you want to be successful with marketing your website, you will need to execute a number of different marketing strategies and marketing tactics. There are too many variables and moving parts to keep everything in your head. A Marketing Plan allows you to get all of your thoughts down on paper. It also allows you to think through your marketing strategies and tactics in advance of executing them. Regardless of whether you have a Marketing Plan or not, there will be things that arise throughout your marketing campaign(s) that you cannot plan for. That said, these unforeseen events can be reduced DRAMATICALY if you take time to think through each of your marketing strategies and tactics in advance. A Marketing Plan for your website is your blueprint to a running a successful marketing campaign.

Three Core Components of a Solid Website Marketing Plan

instantShift - Core Components of a Solid Website Marketing Plan

Over the years of developing Marketing Plans for my companies and for my client’s companies, I have been able to optimize the Marketing Plan. I have broken my Marketing Plans down to 3 Core Components:

  1. Company Goals – The first step in developing a Marketing Plan is to set goals. This will drive the other two components of your Marketing Plan.
  2. Marketing Strategies – Once you set your company goals, you can begin developing Marketing Strategies that you think will allow you to achieve your company goals.
  3. Marketing Tactics – The third component of your Marketing Plan is to establish Marketing Tactics which align with your Marketing Strategies. Your Marketing Tactics are going to be the campaigns that you will execute in order to achieve your company goals.

When writing your Marketing Plan for your website it is imperative that you include these three components. By including these three components you’re essentially saying, these are my goals and here’s how I plan on achieving those goals.

Setting Goals for Your Website

The first component of a solid Marketing Plan for your Website is setting company goals. If you don’t take time to think through what you want to achieve, how will you ever know if you’ve been successful? If you don’t take time to set company goals you won’t have anything to measure your results against. For example, say you increase your website traffic by 10% month over month. Should you consider that a success? Well, it’s better than losing 10% of your traffic month over month, but is it enough to increase your sales? You don’t really know because you never took the time to figure out how much traffic you need in order to increase sales and you never turned that number into a goal to work towards. Since you never set it as a goal to work towards, you never designed any official strategies to help you achieve that goal. You’re basically freestyling.

Setting company goals allows you to make sure that everyone within the company is on the same page and all working towards the same ends. I usually try to set 4 -6 specific goals every year. Goals need to be tied to specific outcomes. Below is an example of a non-measurable goal, as well as, an example of a goal that is measurable.

instantShift - Goals for Your Website

Non-Measurable Goal

  • Increase website traffic

Measurable Goal

  • Within 3 months of launching XYZ marketing campaign, increase website traffic by 10% month-over-month, with 75% of that traffic being new visitors and 25% of that traffic being returning visitors

Having measurable goals will allow you to come back to your Marketing Plan 3 months, 6 months, 1 year after you launch your marketing campaigns and determine if your marketing tactics are working or not. Once you’ve set your company goals you can now move on to generating your marketing strategies for your website.

Marketing Strategies for Achieving Your Website Goals

Marketing Strategies for your website should align with your goals. The important thing to keep in mind when developing Marketing Strategies as part of your Marketing Plan is that Marketing Strategies are the approach that you will take, they are not Marketing Tactics, which are the actual campaigns that you’ll execute. When I create a Marketing Plan I like to make sure that I have at least one marketing strategy for every company goal that I’ve set. That said, some marketing strategies might cover multiple company goals or vice versa. For example, if we use the Measurable Goal from above, one marketing strategy might be to use Content Marketing to increase website traffic. Another marketing strategy might be to use Social Media to increase website traffic. That’s two separate marketing strategies that cover the same company goal.

Another thing to remember is that the third component of your Marketing Plan is Marketing Tactics, so you’ll want to create Marketing Strategies that not only align to your company goals, but also allow you to create marketing tactics that you can actually execute. Don’t put marketing strategies in place that you don’t have the ability to execute tactics against. Below are a few examples of marketing strategies that you might want to consider using to promote your website:

  • Optimize my website with highly searched keywords for my website topic
  • Use Content Marketing to educate website visitors about my topic and encourage them to come back to my website on a regular basis
  • Develop a presence on Social Networks which my target audience spend time on
  • Partner with other websites that compliment my website topic

These marketing strategies are simply examples. They may or may not make sense for your website. You’ll know which ones make sense for your website once you’ve taken time to set your company goals. Now that we have completed the first two components of your Marketing Plan, it’s time for the fun part, developing your marketing tactics.

Develop Creative Marketing Tactics Which Align with Your Marketing Strategies

The Marketing Tactics section of your Marketing Plan is really the meat of the plan. This is your opportunity to think through and totally flush out all of the marketing campaign ideas that you have floating around in your head. I like to think through the following areas of each marketing tactic:

  • Description – In this section you should describe the marketing tactic in detail. Provide all of the information that you think is relevant to creating and executing this marketing tactic.
  • Champion – Who will be in charge of executing this marketing tactic? Putting someone on point for executing each marketing tactic will ensure things actually get done.
  • Goals – What Company Goals does this marketing tactic align to? There is no sense in spending time and money implementing a marketing campaign that doesn’t align to at least one of your company goals.
  • Strategies – What Marketing Strategy does this tactic align to? Each marketing tactic needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy, so each tactic should fall under at least one marketing strategy.
  • Needs – What do you need in order to execute this marketing campaign? Do you need imagery created? Are there tools or software that you need to purchase? Define what you need in order to make this marketing tactic a success.
  • Budget – Once you have a list of needs you can come up with a budget. How much money will it take to execute this marketing tactic?
  • Time Spent – How much time do you think you’ll spend setting up this tactic? How much time each week/month do you think you’ll spend managing this marketing tactic once it’s up and running? I like to break time out by employee. Who’s responsible for executing each component of this marketing tactic and how much of his/her time will you need?
  • Performance Measures – This piece is critical. What do you expect to get in exchange for executing this marketing tactic? Setting performance measures will allow you to track your success? Do you think XYZ tactic will help you get 10% more Twitter followers after 2 months? Put that in here. Will this marketing tactic help you increase website traffic by 25% after the first year? Put that in there. Then when you regroup with your team to see if you’re achieving your goals you can look at each tactic by performance measure to see how you’re tracking. You can then make educated decisions on what you need to do in order to achieve your performance measures.

If you take the time to think through each of these elements of every marketing tactic that you create I guarantee that you will limit the amount of unforeseen events that arise, you will save time and money when executing your marketing campaigns, and you’ll be much more likely to achieve your company goals.

Benefits of Creating a Marketing Plan

instantShift - Benefits of Creating a Marketing Plan

There a so many benefits to creating a Marketing Plan for your website. Here are some of the big benefits to creating a Marketing Plan:

  • Provides a blueprint for your marketing activities
  • Allows you to measure your results
  • Ensures everyone working at your company is on the same page and working to achieve the same things
  • Allows you to think through your marketing strategies and tactics before spending the time executing on those strategies and tactics
  • Catch any big oversights before they actually happen
  • Saves you time and money in the long run

Again, these are just a few of the many benefits that you’ll receive if you take time to develop a Marketing Plan for your website.

Create a Marketing Plan for Your Website

Now that you know how important it is to create a Marketing Plan for your website and you see all of the benefits that you will receive if you take time to do so, will you create a Marketing Plan for your website? Do you think you have enough information to create a Marketing Plan on your own? What other information do you need? Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.

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  1. Planning itself (whether is a marketing plan, business plan, SEO plan etc) is very important to any kind of business as it will guide us in reaching our goal. Just an additional information for your marketing plan tips, I think it is also important to list down the target market/audience so that you’ll know more about them and their online behavior

  2. Online marketing is most effective when it operates in concert with offline marketing. Voice, look & feel,and message should be consistent across all media.

  3. Hi Ryan, I’m a Marketer :) – not a Website Designer – and I’m a huge fan of Marketing Plans!
    Great article, straight to point.
    I’m glad you highlighted goal setting by giving an example. Setting clever+measurable goals, knowing your target audience and your USP are 3 crucial components of every marketing plan – whether offline or online.

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