People approach me all the time about starting a web site. One of the most common questions is "What exactly should I do?" They're usually disappointed by my answer. Businesses need to understand there is no cookie cutter web strategy for every web site. Yes you can concentrate on some macro fundamentals like design, marketing, and usability. These are things any web site should possess. But in many cases it's the small things that count. More important is a business giving their web strategy time to work. Here is the best part; there is no set time frame. You need to use your own judgment. Two important factors any company needs to take into consideration are time and strategy.
You need to look at your time frame with patience. I've stated this previously, many businesses want immediate results with their web site. The one thing you will learn on the web, much like investing, is that wealth and prosperity are built over time. The "I want it yesterday" mentality dooms more web projects than you can imagine. I've seen Fortune 500 companies sacrifice very smart strategies because they became impatient. Yes you have to set limits on time frame. But make sure that limit isn't too short.
When it comes to strategy I look to other good examples within the business world. A brick and mortar company that is an ideal success analogy is Wegmans Food Markets. Wegmans' core model is based around being a grocery store. They have a very simple yet systematic approach to ancillary services. Most stores have your staple grocery store service bakery, meat department, and pharmacy. In many cases individual store demographics dictate which additional services are provided. If a service (Sushi bar, Kids Fun Center, Photo Processing, Dry Cleaning, etc.) doesn't work out it is pulled and replaced with another. If no ancillary service works out the individual store reverts to their core model. This is a continuous store by store process until the right combination is found.
You can apply the Wegmans' methodology to your web strategy. Concentrate on creating a long term strategy supported by ancillary services. Your core strategy can be rooted in design, marketing, and usability. These core services can be supported by additional technologies or services including: Organic SEO, PPC Campaigns, Copywriting, Public Relations, E-newsletter, Surveys, etc. In many cases additional services can be added at comparatively low cost. Mix and match what works best. You need to determine the proper time frame to test each service or combination of services. Once again, there is no perfect combination and you can't rush success. Organic SEO can take several months to take root. Time is the largest mitigating factor.
You need to realize that there is no magic bullet or perfect web strategy. When I recently asked a friend how he attains 40-60K visitors a day, he didn't have a concrete answer. As he put it, "I just kind of did it." Successful web sites are built upon a systematic strategy that is continuously modified. You need to make a decision on what you want to do and set forth in your strategy. Regardless of your strategy make sure you give it time to work.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- Paying and Learning to Be Successful Online
- Are You Listening To Your Users?
- Ego: How to Destroy Your Business Web Site
- The Classic Marketeers
- The Event Promotion System
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