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10 Things to Consider about your website.

A lot has changed in the websphere. Web 2.0 became a household word. We now have the ability to reach people by calling them, writing them, emailing them, texting them and even skyping them, just to name a few. Amazon now sells shoes and spark plugs and Google became a verb.

But what does this mean to your business? We want to take a moment to reflect on the impact all this innovation has on your online presence.Below are 10 questions to ask yourself when analyzing your website, to see if it’s really working hard enough for you. Some thoughts mentioned below are new—and some are old--a reminder that even in this fast-paced era, some things never change.

1. Business Goals - Are business goals being tied to your website?

Sometimes organizations want to implement the newest thing on the scene without matching website changes to business goals.Every major change should have a business reason and a goal attached to it. Perhaps it’s to improve the online ordering process and as a result to see a lift of 200% in online orders. Whatever the reason, it is important to have business goals in mind and then to be ability to prioritize changes based on these goals. Without tying decisions to business goals and return expectations all money is wasted and all ideas can seem “brilliant”.

2. Competition – What is your industry doing?

By knowing what your competition is doing online, you are able to develop your own strategic game plan. If the top companies in your space are offering site search capabilities, you may need offer it too. (HINT: You should have site search on your site, see item 6) Other questions to ask include making note of their Search Engine rankings? How often are they making update to the site? What new content areas or features are they implementing? What type of traffic are they getting to their site? You should watch the industry and your competitors quarterly. Your prospects and customers are paying attention and so should you!

3. User Expectations - Are your users getting what they expected?

If your users know your offline brand to be very customer service oriented, they will be frustrated, for instance, to see that there are limited ways to access the customer service dept. through your site. See a great article on this here. If your users fit into the demographics of heavy social media users, they may expect the same functionality on your site. Knowing your users is key to maximizing your sites performance, so that you can exceed their expectations.

4. Integration – Are your offline campaigns tied in with your website? And vice versa.

Some of the most successful Super Bowl commercials this year drove people to the related sites. It’s important to note, not just to the home page, but to special micro sites / landing pages that were extensions of the commercials. These promotional enhancements give you a manner in which to engage your audience across multiple mediums with the same message, plus it makes campaign analysis a whole lot easier. Always think of ways to creatively tie in your site with offline promotions in a way that is not just referring them to the home page, but to pages that are relevant to that user and the campaign.Your offline advertising may not contain calls to action, but your on-line vehicles almost certainly should.

5. Content – Do you have enough and is it relevant?

Most organizations want to make their sites seem robust and often this means a very content rich site. While having a lot of content is important, it is even more important to make sure that your content is relevant.And it’s not as simple as it sounds. Relevancy often means “still relevant” and this means making sure that your content is constantly fresh and up-to-date. Maybe a campaign you had been running is still online, but ended months ago.Maybe the Company bought a new division and it’s not reflected on the site.Or maybe there is a new logo or a new color schema that did not get changed on some of those more hidden pages. In the end, changes in your business, even tiny ones, often mean changes to your content as well.


 

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