So, you have a website.
What does it do for you? What does it do for your customers?
At the core of it, at its best a business website is a communication tool and service portal. With the available automation and online tools for business websites, the determining factors in having a successful website is your clear definition of what exactly success means for you.
What goals would a successful website hit for you? Pulling in X number of visitors each month? Getting Y number of quality leads in the same time frame? Pull in X amount of dollars in sales over the quarter? What?
The answer changes with each site owner, but with online businesses, your site has to meet some baseline requirements to count as an asset to you, and most probably your accountant too.
Success in business is what you define it to be. Without a clear definition in place though, how would you know when you hit that state or not? Does your website do what you need it to do for you? Your end goals define your means goals. It’s the difference between means goals and end goals that can help push your business further.
A business website is the means for you to reach your goals — when it does so, that proves it’s successful. How well the business does for you is an end goal. You got to define your goals, otherwise, you may just be running in place and not feel as if you’re getting close to where you want to be.
You could be running a website and it may not even be helping you any closer to where you want to go with it.
How is your ‘flight path’?
Hitting the targets set means your website is on-course. Having a definite ‘plotted course’ lets you check how closely your site ‘s performance matches that course, and that displays how well it aligns with and contributes to your business goal. This performance should demonstrate what the site does to keep the business going, and how it provides continuing returns on effort, not just investment.
All that effort must come to a point. All the money must show a profit — that’s why it’s called a business and not a hobby.
And now back to our primary questions: Your website — what does it do for you? What does it do for your customers?
At the very least it should present and promote your products to your market. It should clearly share what your business specializes in, what products and services it offers, and the pricing if applicable.
Plus, it should identify who the business focuses on serving, and who make up the people involved in providing that service, etc. Your website must communicate relevant information, remember?
For your customers?
At baseline it should be able to give them the information they need to decide whether you can help them solve a problem: maybe they need the right kind of information to decide whether you can help them, or are looking for answers to questions they have, or an idea of the price range for something they’re thinking of buying.
- Extending beyond that, a business conducted entirely online can sell digital products and process online payments seamlessly and securely.
- Support functions include a way to get customer service and provide contact information to help give people a way to get in touch with you.
- Healthy communication, online or offline, goes both ways, not just producer to consumer, or seller to visitor.
Behind the scenes, part of the whole customer experience comes from a well thought-out marketing plan (from a good marketing team), linked with a great sales strategy and fulfillment department.
When these also fall in line under a clear, coherent, and cohesive vision for the entire business —and not just the website — then you get a great thing going for you.
The internet is always on. Your website–barring scheduled downtime, hacking, and mistakes in backing-up and updating—is always on. It works while you sleep. All these things mentioned, working in unison?
You won’t just have a website. You have a web presence.
You know how some people just have that thing when that when they step into the room, you just know they’re there? That’s charisma. In a way, you need online charisma. And presence is something you can nurture and develop across many channels. For example, in business relationships: Establishing a partnership with fulfillment – e-tailers (from retailers) drop-shippers, delivery hubs , and even joint ventures.
Making money as an affiliate marketer.
For example, Amazon has been leveraging this for years, and their system is pretty great. The affiliate get to combine their interests and make an income stream off them, the company’s presence, reach and branding is constantly invigorated — it’s a win for both parties. Money for affiliates, just to promote the things they themselves use or have as hobbies, etc., and the constant reinforcement of Amazon as the premiere online market position, as well as billions in sales.
In the early days, a website was like more of an online brochure — this is what they have, you go to the store itself to buy the product. Now, a business website can and should be so much more that a presentation, or a showcase. Communication is still the foundation, but so are the following things:
- Call attention using the right platforms – Promotion
- Presenting products to the right audience -Marketing
- Providing good experience – Fulfillment
- Providing safe shopping – Security and secured financial processing
When we say platforms, this is not just a reference to social media platforms. In the most simple scenario, a platform is a structure that elevates. You stand on one, you make yourself visible. You speak from one, you make yourself known. Your website is a platform.
Just don’t be a billboard. Billboards –well, people get used to those. An unchanging presence on the sides of buildings or by the highway gets overlooked with time. An unchanging presence on the internet is just another dead site. Make that presence responsive and interactive, and you give your business a shot in the arm, rocket fuel, wings.
Don’t be a billboard. Be a presence. Don’t just have a website, have a business.