5 Key Principles to Results Driven Web Marketing
After visiting a number of eCommerce websites, you will notice there are many businesses that spend a lot of money creating beautiful websites that offer poor user experiences. The biggest problem with these websites is that a lot of attention was paid to aesthetics during design at the expense of the most important aspect of any business website, functionality. Like any other aspect of the business, unless the performance of the website can be measured, it is hard to justify the resources spent on creating and maintaining it.
However, it is possible to create a good, results-oriented websites by following certain guidelines. Below are a few tips to help you.
What do you intend to use the website for? How do you rate the design of the site your business is currently using? When coming up with any business, its role in achieving organisational objectives should always be on your mind. Some of the common answers to these questions are:
- Generate leads
- Increase sales
- Increase the credibility of the company
- Foster increased customer loyalty
- Reduce support costs
Since your website will end being just one more among the many that already exist on the Internet in your niche, you should ask yourself additional questions such as, “Which opportunities are we not taking full advantage of because our website is poorly designed?” The answer to this particular question will make it clear what the real cost of having a poorly designed website is.
Ask the following questions:
- Why do people visit the site?
- What do they expect to find on the website?
- How can the site be made more user-friendly?
Organisations that ask these questions invariably end up with impressive results on the eCommerce front. The focus should be to look at things from the perspective of the users and this isn’t easy.
Create a strategy for the website
A website should be treated like an investment. To optimise the website investment, every organisation should create a sound strategy. The strategy should lay out a game plan for the site in much the same way your business plan does. Not having a site strategy is one of the most critical omissions made by webmasters. To put it plainly, if you do not know where you are headed, then any road will take you there. The website strategy should include the following elements:
- The main organisational objectives of the website
- Strategies (how the objectives will be achieved)
- An audience profile (the characteristics of your site’s audience)
- Audience questions
- Traffic source (a marketing plan for the website)
- Competitive assessment (a list of the major competitors with similar sites)
- Metrics (details of how the site’s success will be measured)
Measure the Important Metrics
What is the website’s measurable contribution to the objectives of the organisation? Like most important tasks, the measurement of a website’s success is a science and art unique to each business. The most important parameters that can be used to track the website’s success rate are:
- Time spent by visitors on the site
- Pages most visited on the website
- Conversion rate
- Amount of traffic
Generally, the real contribution of the website to the business is measured by a combination of the site metrics listed above, user metrics (user satisfaction, testing, and focus group), and business metrics (profit, transactions, revenues, gross margins).
A webmaster can never be done with a website. Except for a few rare exceptions, a business website should be treated like a long-term strategic endeavour. This is because technology and the competitive environment are always changing and more importantly, user expectations are always evolving.
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The good news is that there are numerous tools available for tracking success and performance. Some website need memberships, lead generation and conversion to sales. Others simply need their service audience to expand and facilitate easier access to their information. While it takes a lot of discipline to adopt such an approach to developing a good results driven website, the potential benefit are tremendous.