We all know the eternal question “if a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?” To be more straight-forward the question I am posing in this article is “if an opportunity or event happens on your website and you don’t know about it, does it matter?”
Surprisingly, employing some of these same techniques can make a website wildly successful if altered for our purposes. For example, forming the right team, instilling the right attitude, cultivating the right resources, ensuring proper planning, and maintaining the ability to adapt quickly are all critical to success.
In this article, I will advocate a new and radical way of designing successful websites by taking these same traits and applying them to a web design strategy. By treating your website as an independent business and forming its goals accordingly, we can cut through the confusion around the design of a business or enterprise website and achieve much higher levels of success for much less. Here are a few of the basic concepts.
Knowledge is Power: When it comes to marketing your business, I will strongly argue that greater knowledge is key to recognizing and taking advantage of targeted opportunities, particularly those that might slip by your competitors. We all know the importance of being online and in touch with our customers, but we forget that the entire Internet is not our market. To indeed be successful we must find out which customers want to buy from us and what they want to buy and do so very quickly if we are to be successful. Often after completing your website’s planning, construction, optimization, and launch, site owners believe that it is time to sit back and watch the opportunities roll in without any further changes to the site. Most of you who have tried this approach have seen that it is a ‘hit or miss’ process. To increase our chances of success, our efforts must be targeted to listen for opportunities and rapidly take advantage of them when they occur.
It Only Works if You Are Listening: If your webmaster has properly installed an analytics script on all the pages of your website this data can serve as a method of tracking the real success and failure of your organic search, SEO, social media, pay per click ads, and other methods used to bring traffic to your website. This only works however if you are listening correctly by interpreting the data that is relevant. With proper interpretation, advanced analytics can serve as research into the behaviors and habits of your customers. We turn your website into a market research application by ‘listening’ for opportunities to gain more attention and business from prospective clients. It is now possible to learn much more about our visitors and what they want from the site than ever before. We can often tell where they are from, their behavior on our web pages, the keywords that led them to the site, and much more. By analyzing which pages they visit, the order of the pages they visit, what type of browser they’re using, and a host of other relevant information we can benchmark your sites performance and analyze your visitors and their intentions so that you can pivot your strategy to reflect what people truly want to see from your business.
THE LONGER YOU LISTEN, THE BETTER YOU HEAR
Over time you will also collect enough long-term data to identify significant trends in your customer’s demographics and preferences so that you can adjust both your online and off-line marketing strategies to take further advantage of this new information. The data may show that you need to change or add to your ideal customers, refine or expand your market, offer new products or services that are trending, or feature one product more prominently. By emphasizing the products and services, your visitors want you can add a new dimension to your business strategy and planning that can help you be significantly more profitable. If you are considering a new website, SEO work, marketing campaign, or web redesign don’t waste time and money imagining what your customers want from your site. Use advanced analytics to listen for opportunities and interpret the data. Once you find a chance, take advantage of it to cut through the forest of competition and make a meaningful connection with your customers.