In today's market, current and prospective customers want to see an online presence in order to consider product and service providers. For that reason, most agree that having a website is critical for credibility sake. The question really becomes: is the website an asset or an expense?
When considering the aforementioned question, there are also a few underlying questions to ask yourself which may just lead to the answer:
- Do you proactively look for ways to improve your online presence or do you regularly postpone updates and/or make them at all?
- Do you know how much business is generated by the site?
- Do you know how many visitors come to the website and what they do when they're on the site?
- Do you encourage people to visit the site with a specific goal in mind?
If the answer is “no” to most of these questions, there is a high probability that the website is in fact an expense to doing business and should thus be minimized. If the answer to most of the questions is “yes”, the site is likely an asset and should be maximized. The reality is that a given website is most likely defined as an asset or as an expense based on the amount of focus and measurement placed on the site over the previous six months to a year.
So, here is the biggest question of all. As a business owner, director, decision maker or whatever your role, would you rather spend time building assets or reducing expenses? Well, our vote is on building assets so we're providing the following suggestions as to how to make that happen.
- Do something proactive - On a relatively regular basis, do something, anything, even if it is small, so long as it improves the chances that your website keeps current prospects, attracts new ones, looks more professional, is better positioned against competition, and automates business processes.
- Review web analytics - Regularly review web analytics in order to understand what is going on. There isn't a more cost effective way to define and measure strategic objective than to review what is taking place on your website. It really is amazing.
- Competitive analysis - Every six months or so, evaluate what your competition is doing online. The internet provides the opportunity to easily learn what companies offer as their unique value proposition. Stepping back and reviewing best practices can be invaluable in terms of defining where you need to be and where you want to go.
- Get strategic - Most websites act solely as digital brochures while providing prospective customers with information about all available products and services. Most sites are typically flexible and generally focused in order to provide easy access to anything a client might need. While that is an extremely important component of a successfulsite, a website can also be an effective driver of user behavior. A website is truly an asset when it, not only acts as a brochure, but when it is strategically structured to drive business plans, user behavior, and ultimately growth.
- SEO, SEO, SEO - Jump on the SEO train ASAP! You may have seen this information before, but as a reminder, search engine optimization provides the greatest ROI over any other marketing initiative. While there are a lot of ways to improve an organization, there isn't a better way to blow through the glass ceiling than a well optimized site. If done correctly, things can change quickly.