Business Objectives
If there was one thing that your website had to do for your business what would it be?

Here are some questions to help you determine where you need to focus your website...

  • How would you rate your visibility in your marketplace?
  • Are you getting enough leads?
  • Do you feel that your conversion rate is high enough?
  • Are you seen as a credible alternative?
  • Do you communicate well with your customers?
  • Do you educate your customers?
  • Do you want to sell online?
  • Is your customer service good enough?
  • Do you have organisational tools to improve information management?

1) Know your purpose:

It is essential that you decide what the main purpose of your website should be. If you don’t have a clear reason for having a website, then what do you expect your prospects to think? Worse, how can you possibly measure its success?

Most businesses use their website as a lead generation tool or to help improve their conversion rate by providing supporting information for their sales process.

For ecommerce websites, the purpose is clearly sales which can be monitored through website statistics and sales reports.

You may have other reasons for having a website such as education, communication and information management. In these cases, its success can be measured by internal questionnaires.

2) Increase visibility:

Visibility means getting your website seen in the right places in order to increase the number of visitors to your website. Without visitors, your website isn’t going to do much. How many visitors do you get each day? This very much depends on your industry or sector, but the following is a good indication:

daily visitors repeat visitorsrating
0-30 0-6 poor
31-60 3-12 average
61-100 6-20 good
101-500 10-100very good
501-1000 20-200excellent
1001+ 200+ serious business

You can use search engine optimisation techniques and pay-per-click advertising to attract visitors to your website from the search engines. There are in fact many other ways of increasing your visibility such as directories (Yell, Thomson, city-visitor, kellysearch, etc), newsfeeds, online articles, froogle, affiliate schemes, auction sites such as ebay, newsletters and PR to name but a few.

3) Work on your lead generation mechanisms:

The term lead generation means obtaining contact details of businesses that have shown an interest in your products and services. The more information you obtain from the prospect, the more you are able to assist with their requirements.

How do you receive enquiries from your website? Do you ask relevant questions? Do you obtain additional information that might open up cross-sell opportunities? What do you offer in return for this information?

By being interactive, and encouraging feedback, you will gain loyalty and build up your lead generation data to be used in specific high-value marketing campaigns. When you do obtain information about your prospects, make sure you have a relevant privacy statement on you website.

4) Know your conversion rate:

The term conversion rate means satisfying the prospect by providing an irresistible offer together with overwhelming proof and credibility that you are able to solve their problem to the point that they are ready to do business. The website must have credible answers to the two most important questions “What’s in it for me?” and “Will it really work for me?”.

How do you present your offers? Are they easily found by the right visitors?

How do you demonstrate credibility? Do you present relevant case studies? Do you have testimonials from real customers?

Do you have a solid persuasive architecture or buy-in process that covers all bases? By this I mean is all the information available for visitors to make a buying decision? How conclusively do you answer the questions: “What’s in it for me?” and “Will it really work for me?”.

5) Measure for Success:

Your website is naturally measured for success as every page requested from your website is logged. These log files can be used to generate website statistics reports using various online tools. If you don’t have access to these tools, or don’t use them then you will have no way of knowing the popularity of your website.

Do you use landing pages? These are pages specially written for a specific offer or target market. You can setup these landing pages to be separate from the rest of your website and count the number of page views. Using this technique, when you advertise these landing pages you’ll know exactly how successful your advert was by looking at the number of page views.

6) Write with posture and outline your differentiation:

Your posture is represented by how you reflect the value and results you deliver in your products and services. It is also represented by how you treat your customers in terms of delivering value and results.

Creating offers just because you think they will make money will fail. Your offers must sincerely provide real value and results to your customers.

There may be hundreds of businesses that offer similar products and services to you. Are you just another one of those businesses? Do you survive mainly on existing business? Do you get enquiries because you are local? Do you often compete on price?

You must inform your customers why you are different (your passion) and how you differentiate yourself (value and results). Once you highlight this differentiation, you can then posture your business in the market as a clear leader. By posturing your business around your passion and creating the right environment that reflects the differentiation you have identified, your marketing material should also reflect this differentiation.

7) Identify your culture:

Do you have the resilience to react to challenges? Do you take customer service seriously or just pay it lip-service?

A company with a strong corporate culture will show clear signs of the ethics of the business. Your company should be customer obsessed (ie. totally focused on making the customer happy) and this needs to be reflected on your website.

You must be very clear in how you describe your business culture, as this will reveal the health of your business. Whatever you promise on your website must be achievable in a timely and proficient manner.

If your business cannot meet up to its own guidelines, or is over-managed with too many layers of management, or full of fits-and-starts of good ideas that never get pulled together in a coherent way, then cracks will appear and undermine your marketing efforts.

To give your website the best possible chance of success, ensure that the essential design aspects have been reviewed and dealt with. If you feel your website requires attention in any area of its design, please contact your account manager for advice.

If you are in any doubt, complete the support request form and your account manager will review your enquiry the following day.