How to turn your website into a business asset
It's 2019, and digital experiences have come a long way since the web became widely available. Though it can be hard to imagine, many of the sophisticated experiences we enjoy today have evolved from rudimentary HTML pages. The websites of 20 years ago have very little in common with our current builds, and looking back at them is a great reminder about how quickly things change online.
For organizations that want to remain competitive, keeping an eye on digital trends is key. In this post, we'll share insights to help you assess who in your company should share the responsibility of managing your organization's website, and provide some suggestions to ensure that your website and digital team are ready to evolve and innovate quickly to ensure your company's long-term success.
Problem #1: Is your site driving away your users?
With the exception of e-commerce websites, few companies place the same value on their digital assets as they apply to their physical corporate assets. This is a mistake. Digital properties are incredibly important, and can help your organization with the following tasks:
- Sales teams demanding better quality leads
- A marketing team rolling out a new brand
- Marketing requiring more robust reporting
- Call center needs to reduce the volume
- A recent acquisition requiring the integration of several websites under one domain
- Outdated CMS exposes security vulnerabilities
External forces play a factor too with technology being more accessible than ever. The business models of well-established businesses are forcibly being reinvented by new entrants, and organizations that aren't prepared to evolve digitally will be left in the dust.
Simply put, poorly designed interactions create user experience friction and are likely to drive visitors away from your site and your organization. The best digital platforms anticipate user needs before the users are aware of them. Even though your company may never need to provide 1-click-shipping functionality or real-time delivery updates, your audience has come to expect these conveniences in other parts of their life, and if you wish to remain competitive, you'll need to be proactive about giving your users what they need precisely when they need it.
No worthy problem is ever solved in the plane of its original conception.- Albert Einstein
Problem #2: Is your site being managed wrong?
In the past, organizations tended to assign management of their websites to a single team. This model no longer works, unfortunately. As digital experiences have increased in complexity, web platforms have evolved to touch more and more different parts of your organization. For example, the following departments would need to be involved in even the most basic website:
- GDPR compliance
- Corporate governance
- Lead generation
- Social media
- Deciphering analytics
- Responsive design
- Lead generation
- Traffic flows
- Hosting environment
Figuring out a way to get all of these teams working together on your platform can be daunting, especially if your CFO has grown weary of spends that have failed to provide adequate visibility. Fortunately, there's a way forward.
Creating an adaptable platform for collaboration and growth
Building pages is easy. Presenting the right page with the right content for the appropriate audience is hard. But the good news is this: As web experiences have evolved over the past 20+ years, so have web management tools. It's never been easier for teams to understand how customers or prospects move across your digital properties, and there's a variety of simple measurement solutions that can help you understand your users' behavior and anticipate their needs.
From the moment a visitor arrives at your site, that visitor is looking to solve a specific problem. Whether they are a first time prospect or a returning customer, anticipating their need in that moment, and providing clear pathways is how modern high-performing websites generate value. This can be done by implementing structured content, measuring behavior with A/B testing and heat-mapping tools, and making iterative improvements to your site design and page layouts.
We can help you
There's no need to struggle through implementing better measurement tools on your own. Through our discovery workshops, the FFW team can help you untangle a variety of information and data to really get to the heart of your digital business. Along the way we identify and reconcile high-value tasks that are of utmost importance to a visitor and the business unit.
We're here to help you get to know your users, create personas, and “pressure test” those personas against current business needs and future expectations. Our goal is to arrive at a truly simple and elegant design solution that works holistically for your business, meets your critical target and unique audience needs, and connects all of your different technologies and departments so your teams can better collaborate on your website.
To learn more about how we can help, or to take the next step optimizing your digital platform, contact us. Our digital consultants are here to help you turn your website into a platform for innovation and competition through 2020 and beyond.