Sunday, 9 December 2012
“We just launched our new website, it looks really cool, but we aren’t getting results.” – Real comments from too many marketing managers
Whether you spend $2,000 or $200,000, if you aren’t seeing results, why bother having a website. That isn’t a misprint; you just read that the Managing Director of one of Auckland’s leading web design companies telling you to shut down your ineffective website. Would you keep throwing money at any other form of marketing or sales if it wasn’t producing results? Would you keep a sales person on that wasn’t bringing in sales? You know the answers to those questions, so why would your website decision be any different. If you don’t think you can get results from your website, stop reading now and go turn off your website. If you want to fix it and start getting results, I’ll share with you some insights from my 20 years in the business and designing and building websites that work.
Your business is facing hyper competition in a cluttered marketplace. To put the ‘clutter’ in an online perspective, there was a rise in the number of websites last year of 28%, equating to over 620 million websites worldwide. That’s an overwhelming statistic and that pace of growth isn’t about to slow down either.
The environment you compete in is evolving with customer behavior changing at a record pace. Right now, your business website should be responsive for smartphones, and tablets. If it isn’t, you need to invest to catch up with your competition who is taking your customers away from you, probably without you even knowing it. Given you probably are reading this article on your tablet or using the NZ Herald iPhone app, do I need to say any more about the importance of supporting the latest advancements? Technology is going to keep changing, there is already investment in the successors to smartphones – check out the competition Google is facing to be the first to market with Smart Glasses in 2013 - so you need to keep up to date with what is happening, or your business will be left behind.
Here are four vital ingredients you need for web success:
1. A great website, that targets your business objectives and provides the foundation with which to launch your online strategy
2. Commitment from you, with proactive ongoing management and marketing
3. Commitment from your web design company, with personalised strategic guidance, marketing advice and support
- Technically; a robust website platform (generally a Website Content Management System), which remains constant with features continually added to support the ever-changing web environment.
- Visually; design should be revised regularly, keeping your website fresh and up to date with online trends.
If you have all four of these ingredients in place, your online strategy will be an evolving journey and will support your online business goals for many years to come. Don’t fall into a vicious cycle of developing a new website or planning a major redevelopment every two to three years. Apart from it being an expensive option it’s an approach that’s disruptive to achieving great results.
When you choose a web design company, ensure they are in it with you for the long haul. Make sure it is clear what their ongoing commitment will be, and what it will cost. Don’t accept an overly optimistic proposal that sounds too good to be true and watch out for web design companies who believe their job is done once the website is live. Ask tough questions, your website is important to your marketing mix, and you need to plan for its success.
The real value of using a web design company should be the ongoing expert advice and guidance they can offer your business, like a good business advisor. They should plan the journey with you, be committed and accountable for helping you achieve your business goals. If you have a winning website partnership, then you will achieve online success.
Why would you even consider shutting down your website if it is achieving outstanding results, keeping you ahead of your competition?
Vaughan Reed’s career spans 20+ years, with 12 years focused on strategic website development projects. He is the Managing Director of Labyrinth Solutions (link - http://www.website.co.nz) – Website Design and Online Strategy, and founder of Contegro - Website Content Management System, listed by US based CMS Report as one of the Top 30 CMS products worldwide. Extensive knowledge of the IT industry has given Vaughan the foundation to effectively understand and translate his clients’ business requirements into successful online business solutions. His passion of empowering and educating clients is fuelled by becoming their strategic partner to help them achieve their full business potential – online.