A successful website is largely dependent on you and your website partner working together in tandem. Broadly speaking, you should be responsible for your business strategy, updating the website on a day to day basis and measuring the website success.
- Business strategy
You should know who your customers are, what they want and how you target them. You should understand where you sit in the marketplace (positioning) and who your competitors are. You should know what makes you unique and why your customers buy from you.
Your web partner needs to know this sort of information in order to develop an appropriate website for your business. Having said that, your web partner should be able to ask the appropriate questions so they can obtain the relevant information.
- Updating your website
You should be able to update your website content yourself (words and images) through an easy to use CMS (Content Management System). The essential features of a CMS are that it is exceptionally easy to use so you are encouraged to update the content of the site, without tampering with the design (e.g. font size, layout, colour and typeface) which confuses users and lessens the impact of your brand image.
- Measure website success
What you don´t measure you cannot control. Simply measuring something usually increases it by 10% without actually doing anything because it receives your focus!
Measure something relevant to you and your website. If your website exists to generate enquiries for your sales team, then measure the number of enquiries per month and the number of web generated enquiries that turned into business.
- Technical issues and the design
These should be dealt with by your web partner, who should explain things in non-technical terms to develop solutions that meet your needs. Solutions are technical and aesthetic working hand in hand, that are appropriate for your partner and geared towards meeting your needs.
Aesthetics should be dealt with by experienced graphic designers; technical issues should be dealt with by experienced internet programmers.
Your web partner should be a specialist in their field (not Jack of all trades, master of none). Solutions should be driven by your needs, not what they prefer to supply; so fully custom solutions are better and more likely to be successful as they are developed to meet your identified needs.
Objectives and regular reviews have been covered in more detail in previous ‘i-knowhow´ emailers, but briefly, know your destination before you set out. Your web partner should then be able to provide you with a map as an experienced and specialist partner that has travelled the route before, and will be able to explain to you what is involved.
If you currently generate 10 sales enquiries per month and your sales team converts 50% to business, then a realistic objective for your website would be to double the number of business enquiries and maintain the 50% conversion rate.
I hope you´ve taken time to scan through this article, and more importantly you´re able to work more effectively with your web partner.