Welcome to the second of a 4-part series that will focus on the dimensions of a successful website. Today I’ll be addressing the topic of design, but, before I do, I’d like to thank all of my readers for their comments, emails and phone calls over the last few weeks. I never thought that only a month into creating my blog I would have more than 2,000 views and several dozen emails and calls. I am truly blessed to be able to help so many wonderful businesses take their success to the next level! It’s a privilege to make a difference one valuable customer at a time.
Before I get into the topic I’d like to re-iterate what I consider to be a successful website. To me, a successful site is one that accomplishes all of the following goals consistently on an ongoing basis.
Welcome to the first a 4-part series that will focus on the aspects of a successful website. Today I’ll be addressing the topic of content.
Before I get into the topic I’d like to address what I consider to be a successful website. To me, a successful site is one that accomplishes all of the following goals consistently on an ongoing basis.
Revenue generated by the website (directly or indirectly) exceeds the expenses of operating the website.
Positive cashflow (revenue minus expense) is growing year over year at least 15% (please note: this doesn’t sound like a lot but due to the power of compounding, your profits will triple over 9 years at this rate)
Your customer base is consistently growing and you have a way to communicate with and solicit repeat business
* Please note: I do realize that not all websites are in existence to earn additional revenues and some websites may be created solely for the purpose of reducing expenses (e.g. online technical support, online help, etc.). The criteria of this type of website is essentially the same, however, its goals are reached by reducing expenses as opposed to increasing revenues.
Once any of these goals are no longer being successfully accomplished, it’s time for a refresh; your website has either aged too much and is no longer current or competitive with other companies in your industry. Remember, just because your site is doing fantastic for you today, it can all change overnight when one of your competitors takes charge of their Internet presence and revamps it entirely!
The dawn of the Internet era. The “dot com bubble”. Everyone was entranced by the misconception that if they built it, success and riches would ensue. It was surreal, the entire world was filled with excitement, a reinvigorated sense of energy almost as if a whole new world was discovered, full of innumerable opportunities and dreams to be fulfilled. Was it all a fallacy? No! Then what went wrong? The same thing that goes wrong over and over again in so many technology projects. The failure to plan. While many people would argue that it was more complex than simply an omission of planning and the argument would quickly spiral into a complex in-depth discussion that covers topics ranging from business to finance to sustainability, in the end every time I’ve had this debate I’ve come out with the glorious prize of the opposing party slowly lowering their head and mumbling “You’re right”. This is not a reflection of my argumentative skills, but merely my ability to showcase the evidence and help them to understand where it all did in fact go wrong. The failure to plan happened at every stage – planning, investment, sustainability assessment, cashflow analysis, accountability profiles and the list goes on. It’s scary to realize how many individuals had their hands in the pot, but nobody spoke up… we were all simply spellbound. Continue reading →
The other day I was having a talk with a colleague that I had lost contact with over the past few years. It was a wonderful time to catch up, right before Christmas and to remember all of the fun and exciting projects we’ve done together over the past several years. He confided in me that in 2012 he would be leaving Sony to start his own online presence, an entrepreneurial dream that he’s held closely to his heart for several years and he asked me what recommendations I could provide him to help him ensure success, after all he was nervous, all the risk was standing on his shoulders. At the same time it was delightful to literally feel the passion in his voice and the anticipation of the rewards he could earn as a result of his hard work. Well after that discussion, I decided that it would be valuable to share with everyone my thoughts on what are the most important aspects of ensuring online success. I hope that you enjoy this read and it opens your eyes to something you hadn’t previously considered. If it helps you or your business to improve even marginally then I’ve accomplished my goals, after all successful businesses are built by one small accomplishment after another. Please note that my advice is assuming that you’ve already done your homework – business plan, competitive analysis, SWOT analysis, etc. and determined that your products and services are competitively viable in the industry. Now, assuming this, let’s get started…
Within the next 3 years, there will be a dramatic shift of perception as to what encompasses an Internet presence. While today more than 90% of websites aren’t optimized for viewing on the majority of mobile devices, almost 75% of residents in North America perform research and make decisions daily by viewing a website on their mobile device! That’s over 260 million individuals in North America making decisions each and every day! What’s that? Inflated numbers you say? Before you use the “ignore the truth so that I can procrastinate longer” card, just stop and think about it for a minute. How many family members, friends and colleagues do you see each and every day? Now, ask yourself this one very important and revealing question – where does their hand end and their phone begin? You can’t remember… can you? They’ve been holding their phone so long that there’s no longer a visual disparity between their phone and their hand anymore is there? In fact if they put their phone down for a few minutes, you’d likely feel awkward, almost as if they were walking around naked, wouldn’t you? Alternately, you can just check out the statistics reported by reputable companies, I’ve cited references below. All jokes aside… it’s about to get worse!
Over 70% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone, that’s over 5 billion mobile subscribers1, and in places like the US, it’s 9 in 10 people. With children now more likely to own a mobile phone than a book, with 85% of kids owning a phone as to 73% having books! Now that’s a pretty crazy statistic!
Having been in business for over a dozen years, I’ve witnessed a lot of different situations when it comes to website presences. With a little over 900 professional consultations under my belt, I’m over 90% of my way to having helped 1,000 companies to increase their profits, reduce their costs and grow their businesses beyond their wildest dreams! Sports stars would get an award for that, they get prominently featured in the Hall of Fame, all I’ll ask for is a hug from each one of my clients when I reach that goal, afterall, it’s knowing that I’m helping their businesses grow that makes it so rewarding.
Most times when I start a consultation, my client will ask me for the “quick fix”. Despite being taught over and over again, learning the lesson the difficult way that there are is such thing as quick fix, it’s amazing that people are still looking for that elusive gem, the one that’s going to change their business overnight… but it never happens!
Today I’d like to show you why fixing a website is never just as simple as a “quick fix”. In order to show you why this is the case, I’m going to walk you through a scenario. Now it’s important for you to visualize this so that you can truly understand what I’m talking about: