A few years ago, the fiery phrase heard around the business world was: “The Web changes everything!” It’s doubtful that many businesses would challenge that statement today. Many businesses, however, haven’t quite figured out how the Web is supposed to change everything for them.
A few years ago businesses were told that they wouldn’t survive without a website. With the current number of sites on the Internet well over 100,000,000 it’s obvious that a lot of businesses took that warning to heart. But how is having a website “changing everything”?
It starts with changing thinking. When companies first started putting up websites there wasn’t any kind of blueprint for success. This was all new stuff. Most companies simply took their corporate brochures or their sales flyers and turned them into digital brochures and flyers. Some added email@example.com to the mix so that customers could contact them. But in essence, they put out a digital brochure in a virtual waiting room, hoping that people would read it.
Today’s consumer, however, isn’t looking for a written lecture. They are not interested in hearing why your company is so wonderful, or why your widgets are so much better than anybody else’s because they’re made with 100% virgin stainless steel. Customers have their own agendas. They have specific questions. And if they can’t find the answers to their questions, or something that will help them advance their agenda, they’ll turn to your competitor—who is just a click away. Website optimization is key.
So what’s on your website? What do customers see when they hit your home page? Is it a lot of boilerplate copy about you? Or is it easy access to helpful information that will help them make a decision or solve a problem? Are you giving them a reason to engage with you? Are you providing them with information that will demonstrate that you understand their issues and positions you as someone they can trust when it’s time to make a purchase? Are you providing free white papers and special reports that can actually help them (and demonstrate that you’re an expert)?
The Web has changed everything. Has your website changed anything?