Managing Your Web Presence In The 21st Century
Since the 21st Century began we have seen an enormous acceleration in the use of the web by consumers and the tools available to business owners to promote their businesses online. If I was to write an article covering all the things that website owners need to do to have the “perfect” website, it would quickly turn into hundreds of pages. So rather than focusing on the micro detail, I want to give a more macro overview of what I believe are the 5 key things that you need to work on to maximise your web presence.
- Put Your Website At The Centre Of Your Business
More prospects and customers will view your website than any other promotional material you create and in many cases it will be the first and only element they see. Give it the respect it deserves and dedicate some time to managing it and promoting it at least monthly.
- Update Your Website – Preferably Weekly
Visitors like seeing plentiful and useful content, but more importantly Google loves it! This in turn improves the visibility of your site online and therefore brings more visitors and ultimately more business. Create special offers, write an article, update the news, add some testimonials, add a case study, update your portfolio and add content to your Facebook/Twitter/Blog – the choice is yours.
- Focus On Creating High Quality Content
Poor content is unacceptable to many people and if your spelling mistake is in a keyword, then Google will not reference it properly and you’ll also lose visits. Be sure to check spelling, punctuation and grammar and ALWAYS use original content.
- Get A Mobile Website
Good marketing is about making your customers’ experience as pleasurable as possible and without a mobile website visitors will have to overcome numerous issues when trying to browse your website and that’s just plain frustrating. So with the phenomenal growth in Smartphone and tablet usage it just makes plain sense to provide them with a mobile website to view.
- Do What You Can – Outsource What You Can’t
Most business owners suffer from a lack of time and funds. However, before you sacrifice your precious time to save some money think carefully about whether you would be better off outsourcing. You could create that Adwords campaign yourself, but do you truly understand what you are doing? If not you could waste more than you’ll ever save. Instead you could use your precious time to create more content.
Click the link to read the full On-line Marketing Article
Avoid Surprises - Insist on a Requirements Doc for Your New Website
I have just finished writing the fourth website requirements document for as many clients in just a few weeks and am amazed by how important these documents are to the success of the overall web development process for both the client and the developer. While some websites are quite straightforward and require little more than the ability to change the content, other sites can be quite complex. Whether you are a large company or SME, if the website you want falls into the complex category (i.e., e-commerce, customer back end access, multiple levels of content management), then you want to be sure that the web developer you hire creates a requirements document that you can review together before they start to build the site.
A requirements document is intended to ‘protect’ both you and the developer. The last thing you want is an invoice for work that you didn’t approve or a website that has features you didn’t request. A requirements document will help to avoid these ‘surprises’ by clearly articulating all of the elements you and the developer have agreed to for the website.
From the developer’s perspective, the document is intended to avoid what we call ‘mission creep’. Mission creep refers to additional requests made by clients after they have signed off on a project. The problem with mission creep is that it affects both the timeline to develop the site as well as the total development costs. At the end of the day, we want our clients to be satisfied on multiple levels: timeframe for a site to go live, cost and end result.
What should you look for in a requirements document?
Click on the link to read the complete marketing article.
Don’t Confuse A Website For A Web Strategy
(Or The Story Of Too Little Thought & Too Much Spend)
Too often when talking to potential clients I hear the sad story of a company that has spent a sum of money on a website that they were expecting would help to revitalise their business, only to find out that it achieved nothing more than create one more invoice to pay. It doesn’t matter whether they spent only a little or a lot (although on many occasions it was a lot), the real issue is the paralysing effect that it had on their business while they were waiting for something that wasn’t going to happen.
The problem was that what they thought they were buying was a web strategy, when what they were actually buying was nothing more than a web design. Don’t get me wrong, a simple brochure website has its place as long as you know what you’re buying into and you plan a web strategy around it. However, a web strategy has the website as a mere component of an overall plan.
Thinking that your website is your web strategy is like thinking that a business card is all you need to promote your business.
A real web strategy encompasses so much more: (the below is loosely in order of importance)
- What are your goals and expected outcome from your web strategy?
- How will visitors find the site? (SEO, PPC, Social Media)
- What functionality do you need to achieve your goals?
- What will the key message be when they arrive on the site?
- How will you convert visits to enquiries/sales?
- How will you interact with potential and existing clients online?
- How will you increase the “stickiness” of your site to attract repeat visits?
- How will you track the success of your web strategy?
- How are you going to link your offline and online activities together?
- How will you maintain the website to keep the content fresh?
- What is your budget for your web strategy? (Monetary & time-wise)
- Which activities fit within the available budget?
Click the link to read the full Web Strategy article. Or the next link to read about our Web Design services