Not long ago I wrote about the 10 Reasons You Don’t Need a New Website. That list was formed from conversations, perhaps I should say excuses – I have had over the years. As we approach the end of the year, the time of reflecting on the year gone by and planning for the year ahead, I’d like to share with you the secret to staying ahead of the competition with your Internet presence:
The secret to staying a step ahead is one that, if you take the time to look, is obvious. Review your competitors. Who is growing? Who is staying busier than the rest of the crowd? Who is reaping the rewards of clients / sales / leads through their web site?
The secret is simple. It is, in a nutshell, applying enough of the right resources to succeed. When it comes to your website, the resources you have at your disposal are time, money, and expertise.
Spending the time to understand what your website needs is essential. There are ads out there, we’ve all seen them, touting a fantastic web presence for only $100 / month. Sound too good to be true? Yeah, it is. As simple as it sounds, the best use of your time is to spend it figuring out how your web site fits into your business flow. Set website goals based on getting more business. Then you’re ready to determine next steps.
Speaking with a non-profit client last week, I explained that if the goal of their site redesign is to raise an additional $100,000 / year then they should be prepared to spend up to $25,000 the first year. But that wouldn’t be a bad return on investment and the second and third years would be even better. Set your budget based on the value you’ll get from the site. If you see it as an expense, your website will fail. But if you see your website as an investment, understanding that a good web site can generate leads or conduct more ecommerce, you will be on the right track.
Tied very closely to the first two, website expertise can be in house expertise or it could be turning to an outside web development agency. They key is that you understand the expertise required based on the time you spent setting your goals. Then you can make an informed decision. If you have staff that understands conversion optimization (getting more from your web site) then that is the way to go. If not, then you can find expertise in an outside agency.
For most business owners it means taking the time to make sure they are spending their money on the right expertise. If you determine an outside agency is the best route for your organization, contact us for help.