I’d like to talk about a topic that most people avoid. It’s a taboo topic because most business owners are typically positive, upbeat individuals who tend to avoid the negative. Heaven forbid that any pessimism ever shadow the company! But… is it pessimism to admit one’s weaknesses? Absolutely not! So long as once the weaknesses are identified, the beholder of said information approaches these weaknesses with positivity and puts into place a plan to eliminate them.
So then, when talking about websites, how do we find our weaknesses and more importantly what do we do to fix them?
Over the past several months my company has been inundated with a higher than average amount of request for proposals. While we’re used to being solicited for several proposals every day, the last few months we’ve witnessed more than triple!
Every week we take the time to determine which ones we will bid on by using our typical approach. At the beginning of each day we sit down and prioritize, consider the types of projects along with the quality and detail within each. Finally, we assess the feasibility of any budgets identified.
I’ve noticed a trend that is evidently growing. A whole lot of request for proposals start out with wording that reveals an issue with the contract awarding processes of many companies. While the wording slightly varies, it typically starts with “We previously hired a development team that could not deliver….”
I can’t even count how many times I’ve been asked the simple question “Why does my small business need a website?” Ironically, it’s a simple question to answer and it’s one of those types of questions that is most effectively answered with another question: “How do you choose which companies you do business with?”
After an individual answers this question, I encourage them to perform an exercise. This exercise can be performed any time, any place but best done where they typically make decisions of this type. I ask them to setup a camcorder and record the entire exercise so that we can review it together.
Which pages on your website get the most traffic? How about the least? Which page has the highest drop off rates? How much of your traffic is coming from mobile devices? If you don’t know the answers to any of these questions, you’re not alone…
The reality is that more than 99% of businesses that have an Internet presence haven’t the slightest clue what’s working and what isn’t in terms of attracting and converting leads into customers, nor do they even know if it’s being viewed by a device that can navigate it properly! How to say this nicely… sorry I can’t find a way… this is simply ludicrous!
I’ve been having a lot of discussions about what an Internet presence encompasses. Only a few years ago this conversation would have been brief, discussing primarily website presence, but today an Internet presence has dramatically evolved into much more! Today Internet presences aren’t centralized around just a website. While a website is an absolutely essential aspect, other presences have also become vital in ensuring an edge amongst competitors. Chances are if you’re not there, your competitors are and they’re gaining business from potential customers that don’t even know you exist. This is almost like if you were a farmer trying to sell your fruit and vegetables on a side street when there’s a huge farmer’s market around the corner. Quite simply… by not using common sense you are missing out and helping your competitors to get rich while you accept the status quo!
After years of discussions with thousands of business owners, I’ve come to the realization that there’s no single location to find clear, concise and non-technical descriptions of keywords related to our industry. For this reason, I’ve decided to create a list of acronyms and abbreviations used when describing projects related to Internet presences on all mediums – web, mobile and social media.
Because technology evolves so quickly I will be adding to this on an ongoing basis so that hopefully it can remain a helpful and useful resource for our leads, clients and any website visitors that may come across this. If there are acronyms or abbreviations that you feel are too technical and require a more simplified description, or if you feel I’ve missed one that should be added to the list, please leave a comment.
Please feel free to bookmark this resource and refer to it on an as-needed basis.
Welcome to the last of the 4-part series that focuses on the dimensions of a successful website. Congratulations, you’ve made it through all four parts and can pat yourself on the back because clearly you’re dedicated to ensuring the success of your website! Last in this series, but not least, I’ll be addressing functionality.
Welcome to the third of a 4-part series that will focus on the dimensions of a successful website. Today I’ll be addressing the topic of organization. I’ve had tremendous positive response to this series already receiving dozens of emails, comments and inbound links from all over the Internet so clearly I’m hitting on a valuable topic that many business owners understand the importance of leveraging the Internet as an important ingredient in gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage in what many would refer to as the new economy, one that is significantly more volatile than historically.
Before I get into the topic I’d like to re-iterate what I consider to be a successful website.
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.