Whether you’re selling online or using the web to attract new customers, one thing is for certain: your online channel is key to your business. The way you treat this channel will be impacting your business one way or another - either positively or negatively.
Unfortunately, many businesses remain in the dark about:
a) What their online channel can do for their business
b) What they need to know to put a successful online strategy in place
c) What they need to do to harness the full potential of their online channel
How in the dark are you right now? Take 5 minutes out to answer these yes/no questions to assess your business' online capability:
Vision and Goals
- Our company has a very clear vision of what the business will look like in 5 - 10 years from now (e.g. company size, locations, revenue, markets).
- Our company has set specific, measurable goals for the next 12 months and the next 3 years.
- Our business leaders are able to articulate the key strategies that are going to help us achieve these goals.
- Our business has defined an outline strategy that supports the over-arching business strategy
- We have defined core business-related goals for our website to measure success by (e.g. number of online sales or number of registrations).
- Before defining the requirements of our website, we engaged with our current and future customers to understand their decision making process.
- We have personas that define the goals, attitudes, prejudices and motivations of each of our customer groups so we can confidently say that we understand their needs.
- We understand the common scenarios in which our customers may be seeking our products/services and understand what our customers need from our site in each case.
- As part of the web design process we elicited feedback from our current and future customers to determine if the web design and content met their expectations.
- We have tested our website with real prospects to elicit feedback about its usability and effectiveness.
- We have defined the key-performance-indicators (KPI's) for our website and have a good understanding at all times of how the website is contributing to our business.
- We have web analytics software tracking on our website and this is configured to measure the various user pathways that help us see how people are using our website.
- Our web analytics software has been configured to track the effectiveness of our various marketing initiatives (e.g. direct marketing, email, organic search, AdWords).
- Our web analytics software is configured to generate reports for us on the KPI's we need to track.
- Our web analytics data and KPI reports are regularly reviewed by the primary stakeholders in our business (at least monthly).
- We have a good understanding of the key phrases that our prospective clients would use to find our types of products/services in search engines.
- We have a good knowledge of what the potential search traffic is for each of our markets/customer segments.
- Our website is highly visible in organic search (normal search engine results) for each of the key phrases that our prospects use (at least in the top 10 results on page 1 of search engines)
- We are using Google AdWords to drive more prospective customers to our website and we know that we are achieving a good return on this investment.
- We regularly review and increase our Google AdWords budget, so long as our returns are higher compared to our costs.
- We have defined specific conversion goals for our website (e.g. number of enquiries per month, number of sales per month).
- We have a process in place for tracking and testing our conversion funnels.
- We use various tracking tools/software to analyze our conversion funnels.
- We regularly make changes to our conversion funnels in an attempt to increase conversion rates.
- Our business understands the value of conversion optimisation and has assigned budget to this activity.
Now count up all the 'yes' answers:
0-10 Poor - You are missing out on a large opportunity and your business is potentially at risk of letting the competition leapfrog ahead of you online.
11-15 Average - You're doing O.K., but it could be a whole lot better. Making some smart choices could mean the difference between growing or stagnating this year.
16-20 Good - Well done - you're doing well, but there’s still room for optimisation and growth.
21-25 Great - Brilliant! We could probably learn a trick or two from each other. Let's do lunch!