Making the internet a sweet place for your business

So, you have a website – now what?

Is it about as effective as a billboard in a forest? In other words, do people find it, pay attention to it, take action? What do you even want it to do for you?

The raisin d’ĂȘtre of your website should have been decided on at the time of its design, but if not, further down the track you should have an idea of whether or not your website is working for you, or how effective it is and we can help you to strategise what to do from here.

Besides getting actual responses via your online presence (web page, social media stake in the ground etc), your web statistics could provide a lot of information about where people are spending their time on your site and what they are doing.

For example, not everyone responds immediately to a call to action on your site. They could be researching what you offer and intending to respond later. Just because they have not filled in a form does not mean that your site has not been helpful or even useful.

If your targeted client base is under 35, it is essential to be online. I heard of an organisation which offers grants to young people to travel and study who shut their site down because it “wasn’t working”, their printable form was not being downloaded and mailed in. However, how else did they expect their young people to find them while they are online researching grant information? If you’re not where your people will be looking, you are definitely out of the running.

Further action can be taken to up the ante, such as advertising your website address offline, and creating ways for your clients to get to you when they are online doing other things. To be able to do this, you need to have a clear idea of who your clients are and where they spend their time online. So, if actually, the organisation mentioned above had decided to shut down the website and have a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube presence, where maybe they can show interviews of previous grant recipients, for example, and celebrate new grant recipients, then that would have been a powerful move. Or they could have had all of the above, PLUS a website which they can direct people to for more information and to download a form, or even better, to fill in an application form online.

It takes thought and research to create an effective internet strategy, and it involves really knowing your clients well. One way to do this is to ask them about what they want and make sure you can provide that. It requires you to really listen and communicate well. Obviously listening is part of communicating, but I have mentioned it first because it is more important. That is because you can not force your clients to do anything online. They are a click away from leaving your online presence and there is no indication of why. If listening to your clients and understanding them can be mastered, you have the first key to the door to their world, which leads through another door to their wallet.

If you have no idea of where to start to create a sweet place online for yourself, please feel free to use the Your Ideas page to brainstorm and write down some starting points. We are also happy to help you take it from there.