There’s an old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”.
In my experience, many business websites don’t know where they’re going.
They’ve been built without any clearly defined goals. So they end up just sitting there doing nothing, adding no value to the business. Or worse, slowly eroding hard-earned brand equity.
Business websites are often created on the reasoning, “We’ve gotta have a website because everyone else has one.” Or worse, many business owners regard a website as a kind of marketing silver bullet. They think that by simply putting a site on the web they’ll be deluged with sales enquiries. Unfortunately it ain’t so.
The first and most important step for every website is to establish what you want to achieve i.e. set your goals. Realistic and achievable goals for a website fall into the following categories:
Generate customer enquiries and sales leads – This is the holy grail for most small-to-medium businesses. They hope to get prospective customers to call or email them, or sign up for a newsletter, ebook, etc.
E-commerce – Making sales directly from your website.
Customer service – You can often serve your customers better by providing customer service online. This can range from FAQs on common customer queries to a 24/7 online help desk.
Building brand equity – People now expect every reputable business to have a website. And they expect the same respect, responsiveness and customer service on the web as they receive from other touch points. A website can have a powerful effect on customers’ brand perception.
Process automation – You can cut costs by automating processes online e.g. online billing, data gathering, delivering information and human resources procedures.
One, or a combination, of these goals should be the primary focus of your website. Once you’ve selected your goals you can develop strategies to achieve them.
Things to do
- Commit to setting a measurable goal for your website.
- Map out your entire sales and after-sales process. Consider how your website may be able to add value at each step.
This post is part 2 of the series Your Website Sucks!