Did you Make your Website of Straw, Sticks or Bricks?
Most business owners are well aware that they need a Website. Most business owners are also aware that it can be an expensive undertaking and may or may not work to market their business online and that a potential customer’s only exposure to them might be from their Website, which is why it’s critical to make a positive first impression.
With the overwhelming amount of articles, posts and white papers in the cyber-universe detailing the “right” way to do a Website, many business owners are more than willing to believe the word of any Website design company that offers to build their Website. Oftentimes, it’s just easier to accept a Website design company’s recommendation than reading through everything themselves. Like the three pigs being stalked by the Big Bad Wolf, companies needing a new or redesigned Website are vulnerable to having their online investment, “Huff’d, Puff’d and Blown all the Way Down.”
Prepare your company to face any potential Web design solution provider by considering the plan behind your Website before you meet with potential vendors.
Think of the pig who built his house of straw. This is a guy that just wanted to “get a house (or Website in our case). No thought, just an inherent need based on a missing piece.
Then there’s the pig who built with sticks. There was a little more thought here, akin to a Website that is built on a functional platform.
We know how things turned out for the first two pigs, but what about their brother pig that built his house of bricks? Careful planning, a solid foundation and a detailed blueprint created a house that even the Wolf couldn’t breach. The same theory goes for a business Website.
What are Website Goals and How to Decide Which Apply to your Business?
- The Website needs to be built with identifiable goals that are measurable.
- Goals are used to verify the Website marketing plan, since a plan is a method of achieving established goal, so one is born from the other and share a symbiotic relationship.
- Goals should be SMARTS = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Attainable, R = Realistic, T = Timely
- Goals are used for directional purposes at the start of the project, and as success metrics at end of Website project.
- The minimum goal of any Website is to generate revenue to cover expenses so that Website is an investment (get return on investment), opposed to a cost (don’t receive any return on investment).
- If the goal was to increase traffic to (RFQ) Request for Quotes page, the site should be optimized to achieve this goal, and a metrics measured planned at end. Success can be measured by the RFQ traffic increases.
- Avoid setting nebulous goals that can’t be quantified and will be hard to track if the Website analytics package used doesn’t capture behavior on the variable. , i.e. “A Website will make us look professional”. There is no way to know if it does “look professional” or what value that adds to your business. By identifying the variables a Website analytics track, you could ensure that the goals would be measurable.
- To know if a goal is realistic or timely, it is important to compare current metrics to an initial baseline from past performance of an existing Website, or existing industry standards. If neither is available, it would be a matter of change over time (i.e. growth each quarter is about 5%).
- It’s possible that you may be disappointed in results, but that could be because the initial goals set were not realistic or attainable from the start. This happens when goals are chosen out of thin air.
Examples of viable Website goal and Website marketing plan pairing might include:
- Goal:Increase number of RFQs from 100 to 125 visits in one year.
- It’s Specific by identifying the action you are trying to elicit;
- It’s Measurable, since you could track the number of times the RFQ page is visited;
- It appears Attainable and Realistic and
- It’s Timely, with a defined duration to achieve the goals.
Be the brick house in your industry and build your Website with a well-designed blue print. Organizations that invest the appropriate time, resources and funding towards a well thought out Website marketing plan will capitalize on the effectiveness, efficiency and exposure available online.