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Your website is part of your growth engine

In working with many corporations and clients over time, I have found that there are some diverse perspectives on the importance of a company’s website.  On one end of the spectrum, a leader of the company expresses that they will get to their website later and that it is really not a priority.  On the other end of the spectrum, if I had a dollar for every time that a CEO said “I just need a new website.” Many times a deeper conversation reveals that we need to take two steps backwards in order to take a big step forward in our growth strategy.  To make this clearer, let’s peel apart the two perspectives and dig in.

Perspective #1:  My website is not critical to my overall growth

We live in a digital world today.  The buyer’s journey has evolved accordingly.  What used to be determined in an “offline” fashion is now determined using online sources.  I will give you an example that most of us can probably relate to:

You need a weed eater.  You go to your computer or mobile phone and Google (as in the action verb) “best rated weed eaters”.  A list of review websites come back from your search.  You take a look at a few of them and start to realize some of the variables that are important to consider like:

  • Do I need electric or battery-powered?
  • What features are important to me?
  • How are they priced relative to the value they provide?

Eventually, you arrive at a short list of brands that look good considering your preferences.  You search to find out where they are OR you order your weed eater online.  If you end up going to a brick and mortar store to buy it, chances are very small that you will even speak to a store attendant.  You will most likely go straight to that aisle and find your chosen brand.

Because of all of the extensive resources we have online, whether it is a consumer purchase in a B2C situation or a business purchase in a B2B situation, research is done online and filtering occurs before the sales personnel even know there is a prospect.  What does this mean to your business and your growth efforts?

Your website is the single most important digital asset that you have to tell your story and present your value to your chosen targets.

Now, let’s look at the other end of the spectrum:

Perspective #2:  I need a new website and I need it now!

Kudos to this leader who realizes that the website is critical to the success of the business in today’s digital world.  What usually ensues next is an extremely short expectation on deadline to build this website and deploy it.

This is why we need to take a couple of steps back and understand what it takes to build an effective website that will resonate with your targets and aid in lead generation.  Whether your company is B2C or B2B, selling tangible products or intangible services, there are a number of things that need to be done to build a website that enhances your digital presence and brand and does not detract.

Articulating your brand position and establishing your differentiation from your competitors is critical for an effective site.  In order to accomplish this, questions need to be answered clearly like:

  1. Why does my company exist?
  2. What do we do?
  3. Why is what we do relevant to our targets?
  4. How are we different from our competitors?

To arrive at answers to these questions, a serious effort at some “outside in” analysis needs to take place.  Understanding your market, who your targets are, your competition, and your offering are germane to an effective go to market strategy.  Until you have these nailed down, a new website will not help you grow.  So, consider taking a couple of steps back and building these important strategy components before you build your new website so that you will truly have an effective site that resonates with your targets and gets them to raise their hands and say “I want to know more”!

Read more on the topic of growth: Rev the engine of your company’s growth

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