Is your website working for you? You’ve invested time and money building it, and you’re probably footing the bill for ongoing maintenance and keeping the content fresh, too. So you ought to be getting something in return.
But if your results are short of what you’d hoped for, you’re not alone. Or if you’re not even sure what your website’s for, you’ve got plenty of company.
One of the most common complaints we hear from businesses we meet is that their websites just aren’t delivering. We hear the same from companies with old websites, brand new websites, simple websites, complex multi-faceted websites, great-looking websites and gaudy websites.
So let’s unpick that. If you’re not getting the best results, why not?
All too often, websites are bought and sold on the promise of having all the latest bells and whistles. They may even be designed to look like all the current fashionable websites, too. But successful websites aren’t merely a collection of all the latest technical advancements brought together in one place.
Your website should be a tool that helps you reach your objectives, and its construction should be more nuanced than ‘use all the trendy things’.
Think about shopping for a car: some customers want to go really fast, others want loads of room for their kids (and their school bags) and others just want something that gets good miles per gallon.
Nobody really needs a 200mph speedster with eight seats and a huge boot – just need what suits your needs. In the same way, your website doesn’t need every widget on the market today, and you certainly shouldn’t be paying for them.
So if a website isn’t a collection of all the latest pieces of technology thrown together, what should it be?
Your website should be an extension of your business. It should be a tool that you can employ to help you move closer to your objectives.
It’s useful for your website to have its own KPIs. Views, clicks, bounce rates are all useful metrics – but none of them are why you’re in business. You can’t pay your bills with them. Your website needs to contribute to something larger: turnover, enquiries, conversion rates. Real numbers that make a real difference.
Ultimately, we’re all in business to improve sales and profitability.
But each organisation has its own path. Yours will be defined by aspects such as the size and age of your business, the demographics of your target market, your geographical reach, your marketing mix as a whole.
You also have to consider the brand that you have in place, and the quality of user experience that your customers have come to expect from you.
And if your web developer doesn’t know this about you, and hasn’t asked what your business objectives are and how you’re working to achieve them, then that glaring lack of insight – above all else – is why your website isn’t contributing to your success.
To get real ROI from your website, you need to define your organisation’s objectives (think smart: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) and then create similar objectives for your website, ensuring that the two are closely linked.
Back at the beginning of this article, I mentioned that we hear from a lot of businesses who are unhappy with the results from their website.
And when we start asking questions, we almost always find the reason to be that it was built without taking the organisation’s overarching objectives into account.
If the team building your website doesn’t even know what your business is trying to achieve, then how can that website be expected to help?
At eBusiness UK, we always get under the skin of our customer’s businesses before we even begin to talk solutions. It seems like common sense to us. If it seems like common sense to you too, call us on 01254 279998 for a no obligation chat.