Here’s an easy question to answer:
Do you have a website?
For a tiny minority of businesses the answer is no. If you’re one of those then good – you’re starting from a blank slate and have the chance to consider whether or not getting one is a good move for your organisation.
If however you’re part of the vast majority of businesses that does indeed have a website, then here’s another question for you – and it’s more challenging than the first one:
Is your website working for you?
If you’re clear on what the purpose of your website is then the question should be easy to answer – presuming that is that you’ve got quantifiable indicators defined to allow you to answer it!
However, it is actually a difficult question to answer for many people.
Well for some organisations the purpose of their website isn’t defined. Ask them what its purpose is and you get a blank look – perhaps followed by a tentative effort at defining a vague purpose. Correspondingly, it’s logically impossible for such organisations to know if their website is working for them.
So that brings us to a more fundamental question:
What is the purpose of your website?
And having a purpose defined doesn’t allow easy assessment of whether or not the website is working. Definitions can be vague and/or the indicators can be impossible to measure.
A more common answer is “to raise brand awareness”. Good luck with assessing that!
There’s a famous acronym – SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant & time-based. It’s typically applied to goal-setting – and why not adopt the same goal-orientated approach for what you want from your website!
Imagine that with a bit of thought you do come up with a purpose. For example, the purpose of your website is to:
- verify for those browsing that you are who you claim to be
- provide contact information
- Describe your products and/or services
That’s ok – but could it be more ambitious perhaps?
All businesses aim to make money. That doesn’t preclude them from having other purposes, but unless a business is making money it will fail. Could your website help make you money?
There are three different ways in which you can use a webpage to make you money.
- You can sell off the page – it’s difficult but it’s possible. That’s Amazon’s entire model. And they’ve made it scarily easy. How about the single click download of kindle books?!
- You can ask visitors to leave their details with you – perhaps in exchange for you providing something of value to them. That then allows you to follow up with them.
- You can ask them to contact you directly.
Might any/all of those fit your website? Or, more particularly, different pages on your website?
All of the above 3 can have easily measurable metrics associated with them – purchases per visitor, sign-up per visitor and contact per visitor.
And all 3 can be improved by a relentless focus on website design.
- Define a purpose for your website in terms that you can measure.
- Continuously measure whether or not your website is working for you.
- Change your website in targeted and specific ways and test whether the changes have a positive impact.
- Avoid making changes to your website that don’t attempt to improve its success.
Your website can be a powerful lever for you in growing your business – but not if you neglect it – and only if it has a clearly defined purpose. To get expert guidance in this area, call Business IT Solutions on 056-7786882 or email [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help where we can.