Your website is the core of your marketing strategy, or it should be. It can also be an essential part of your sales cycle, and form a part of your operational activities.
So just having a website isn’t enough to keep your business competitive. Coming in at #7, An Ineffective Website can set you on the road to ruin.
Whether you sell online or provide a service or product in-person only, your website needs to be considered and constructed as an integral part of your business model.
- Include your website in a flow chart of your business model: This is one of the best ways to focus the potential of your website with how you do business. Remember that “website” doesn’t just mean a story and sales pitch with a few photos. When you say website, think “internet enabled technologies.” Send internet users to your website for a purpose; give them the opportunity to begin the sales cycles, even if it’s just making an inquiry; and, provide decisive buyers with the ability to provide additional information needed to move to production.
- Consider how your employees, vendors, and others who are part of your business process, can use internet technologies to improve productivity. Is your inventory online? Can orders be place?
- Include basic information and keep it up to date: Be sure your public facing content answers the basic questions of who you are, what you offer, when you are open, where you are located, why they should do business with you, and how to contact you. If changes occur, update your website AND do a Google search for ALL other sources to make or request updating.
- Make sure your site is “mobile responsive:” This means that your website can be navigated and read on any type of device. Most searches are now done on a smartphone, so this is really important.
- Include all “decision-making criteria” for your products or services: Whether you’re selling sweaters or cleaning services, tell people what they want to know to be able to make a decision. If you’re not sure what those criteria are, ask a few colleagues or friends what they’d want to know before buying.