There is no argument that all companies, no matter how small, need a website today. It’s as important as being in the Yellow Pages in 1982.
Many businesses have never asked the all important question:
Why does our site exist?
There are currently 1,052,246,701 websites that exist online, and this number is growing, like the birth rate 9 months after a blackout. This number is almost impossible to process, though one simple rule remains:
There are only 5 types of websites
The good news is that your site will fit nicely into one of these categories. You may be wondering, how does that help me? Well for one, you’ll be part of a group, which is exciting in itself, but there’s more.
A famous quote that comes to mind:
Without knowing the purpose of your site, how do we know if it’s doing its job?
To see where your site fits into the big picture, let’s take a quick look at the different types of sites out there, and what they need to track to consider themselves successful:
Ah yes. The best way to make a million or two. eCommerce is thought of as a cash cow for traditional retailers and those that only sell their products or services online, and for a very good reason. Look at this chart:
There are big bucks to be made, and it’s also a nice and straight forward thing to track – Revenue from Sales – you can tell for instance, if you are doing well, or if you will need to eat baked beans for the next month.
Examples: The Iconic, Betts & Betts, Myer
Does your site not sell directly to the public, but displays all of your products? You might just have yourself a branding site. These are great for driving awareness, engaging with your customers and increasing loyalty to your brand.
We can track how successful these sites are based on traffic to the site, and what is shared through social media.
Examples: M&M’s, Coke
3. Lead Generation
Makes up a good portion of websites, as it’s the easiest way to “get your company out there”. These sites provide information on your product or service, but are also used as a way to generate new sales leads, which is exactly how we can track if the side is doing well.
Examples: BMW, LJ Hooker
4. Content Publishing
These sites are all about content generation. Think of any news sites or blog ever created. These sites need eyeballs and clicks. STAT!
Examples: News.com.au, Buzzfeed
5. Online Info/Support
If you are running an online forum of any kind, you would fit into this category. They are generally a little different than the others, as the site needs to define what a “win” is. It can be tickets or posts closed and “solved”, or a simple “Was this information helpful” button that you see all over the place.
Example: Technet, Apple Support
Ok. So now what?
Now that you’ve decided on the type of site you have, it’s time to talk about “defining success”. As Abe said many years ago, without proper goals in place it’s difficult to see how you are performing.
Set some goals
The next step is to make a list of what clicks, sales, leads, eyeballs etc should be the status quo, over the next month. Be kind to yourself, don’t make it something impossible, you can always increase the numbers next month, but most importantly, give it an actual number/percentage to aim for.
Ensure your analytics is connected and tracking precisely what it should (analytics is a fancy word for tracking software), you need to be able to track this stuff successfully. Right?.
Take two of these and call me next month
Follow this process. Forever:
Define Goals > Execute > Review > Define Goa… etc
This seems too hard, I’m going to lunch
So there you have it. A quick guide to define the purpose of your site, which will make it easier to track it’s success and ROI for your business.
Remember, you can always engage a website marketing company, such as Digital Den, to guide you through the whole process. They are kind, gentle and achieve great results.