Are You Using Your Web Site To Its Fullest

By Mike Maddaloni on Thursday, October 08, 2009 at 07:46 AM with 0 comments

Over the years I have built the first Web sites for many individuals and businesses of all sizes, and have taken over the on-going development of others. Where I am proud of the work my firm Dunkirk Systems, LLC has done, in some cases I am disappointed, and that comes from the fact that a lot of the features and functionalities of these Web sites are not being used to their fullest.

Trust me, I am not on an ego trip here. I state this in general as I want my clients to fully exploit all of the tools they have in their Internet toolbox! I also fully understand, as a business owner myself that the continuous changing of hats and roles in a business causes for priorities to change and something inevitably falls on the list.

Know What You Own

There’s no time like a slowing economy to revisit what you have to see how it can help you. Here’s a list of some suggestions I have made to my own clients recently, most of which apply to anyone who owns a Web site.

  • Review your Web Analytics – Whether it’s Google Analytics or the reporting from your Web host, gain an understanding of the traffic to your Web site. Where are Web visitors coming from, what are they going to, how long are they there, and what are they doing while they are there? This will tell you how effective your Web site is itself, its search ranking and will identify potential “opportunities” to improve your Web site.

    If you are not aware of how to do this or don’t have Google Analytics on your site, this is a worthy, yet affordable, enhancement for your Web site.

  • Review the Web Site Itself – When is the last time you actually looked at your Web site? Sure, you may be familiar with the home page. But when is the last time you fully walked through every page of the site, reading it in detail? You may be surprised to see what you are reading! Not only is this important to know what is out there from a branding and accuracy standpoint, but it is good to know what your customers are reading.

    Identify any important content changes, and make those changes yourself if you have a content management system (CMS) on your Web site. If you don’t have one, having your Web developer execute on even the smallest changes may make a big difference.

  • Buy Something From Your Web Site – If you have an eCommerce Web site, buy something. This will allow you to re-visit the user experience of shopping on your Web site, both to see what others see and compare it to other shopping carts you have used on other Web sites.

    Many eCommerce platforms have a robust set of tools, most of which may not always be utilized. These include volume discounts, coupon codes and affiliate marketing management. It may be as straightforward as activating one of these features and setting up coupon codes to send to customers to drive sales. If you can, why not do?

  • Ask Your Customers About Your Web Site – No matter the economy, I always ask my clients to query their customers at some point in the sales process. Simple questions such as, “have you been to our Web site?” or “did our Web site help you in doing business with us?” can give you real insight and feedback on the effectiveness of using your Web site.

    But don’t just ask, write it down! Logging and reviewing this feedback can provide areas of improvement, not to mention a reinforcement of how awesome your Web site may be.

  • Build Your House List – If you don’t have one already, start compiling the address – both postal and email – of your customers. You don’t even have to be currently sending any mailings to your customers, but it is important to have an accurate “house list” of your customers and strong prospects to market to. If and when you decide to start a newsletter or other correspondences, you can then focus on the campaign itself and not on the mundane of compiling information.

Share Your Wish List

As you have read, going thru what you own may identify areas of change for your Web site. Write them down and review them. You may decide to wait on these until sales and revenue increase, or you may deem them vital now to increase sales and revenue. In either case, share them with your Web developer so you will both be on the same page of the importance of your Web site.

Are you doing any of these? Is there something else you’re doing that could make the list? If so, please post a comment to join in the conversation.

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