Your Company Website… Don’t Screw it Up!
Your website is the all-important, central hub of your digital footprint, so why do so many business owners screw it up?
Every day an increasing number of your next clients and customers are forming their initial opinion of you and your professional services by first visiting your website. Those visitors will make a remarkable number of snap judgments about you based solely on the pixels displayed on a tiny screen. Assuming you want to win the dollars in the pockets of these visitors, you need to get your website right.
As a business owner, there are three concepts you must be willing to embrace.
First, YOU must head the development of your website. At its most basic level, a good website is about understanding your business. And no one understands your business better than you. This is not to say that you must become technically competent in web development, but you must be mentally engaged in the process. Do not delegate management of the task to someone in your office that you think “knows about computers.” This is a job for you.
Second, understand the general phases of development and who performs them.
“Strategy” determines the goals of the website. Strategic goals should be developed by you and anyone else that is involved in the overall management of your operation. This task should be performed first and should drive the remainder of the process.
“Design” is the process by which a graphic artist takes your goals and makes them visually appealing and easy to navigate.
“Development” is the process by which a programmer turns the strategic and design blueprints into a working website.
Typically graphic artists and programmers are two different people with two very different skill sets. And NEVER are these individuals the ones that should be expected to develop your strategic goals.
Once the designers and programmers have built your site, proof it with the same skeptical eye and care as you would the guy arriving to pick up your sixteen year old daughter for her first date. Don’t assume everything was done the way it was promised – confirm it. This is also a great time to allow employees, family members, and friends to look at the site, catch basic typos and mistakes, and offer opinions.
Finally, embrace the idea that your website is never really complete. As your strategic goals, and the needs of your clients evolve, so must your website. In addition, you must continually give your customers reason to come back to your website, which is where the development of original content come into play. So even if you only make structural or design changes to your site every year or two, the addition of new videos, articles, podcasts, and e-books should be happening on a monthly or even weekly basis.
Are you currently actively engaged in the strategic management of your website? Or have you ceded that authority to someone far less invested in the success of your business than you?