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are no longer being successfully accomplished, it’s time for a refresh; your website has either aged too much and is no longer current or competitive with other companies in your industry.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!
You’ve decided to take the leap, the daring yet completely sensible move to launch a website for your business. You know that an online presence is vital to the success of your business. After all, in practically all cases, online presences have become the primary method with which potential customers are introduced to businesses. In the last week you’ve even used the Internet to research day cares, televisions and organic food suppliers in the area and made purchases as a result of that research.
You’ve hired the right team and ensured that your online presence is better in every way to that of your competitors, because you cleverly realize how vital it is to stand out. Thinking about how you shop online, you realize each time you perform research, it feels like a speed dating session whereby you, like the majority of others, quickly browse 5-10 websites and within mere minutes have narrowed down your potential supplier to one or two options. A combination of first impressions and your own personal priorities have been the criteria in which you’ve narrowed your choice.
So you’ve got the most visually appealing website that’s the easiest to use in your industry and your products and services are among the highest quality. Your prices are even amongst the lowest… everything is going for you! You’ve even ensured that your website has been optimized for indexing by search engines (if you don’t know what this is, please read this article next: What Most Search Engine Optimization “Experts” Won’t Tell You). But… there are no customers! Why?
Today I’ll write a brief article about social media tools that help to measure effectiveness and keep you accountable, ensuring that your social media efforts are making a positive impact on your organization. I’ve decided to write about this because it surprises me that the majority of companies that have started to leverage social media can’t even answer the simple question, “Is it making me money?”. My response every time is “Don’t you think it’s time you figure out how to validate and justify your investment?” When done right, it can easily become the single most powerful marketing tool for a company.
Let’s briefly consider what should be measured during our social media efforts:
Are we using social media right?
Which of our social media announcements are gaining engagement? Where should we focus?
When is the best time to send out our social media announcements?
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…
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: