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Your Website is For Your Most Important Customers

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Most websites suffer from over-ambition. They try to do too much with few resources. They think they can answer every question.

What is it about the Web that makes us lose sight of reality? Perhaps it’s because web teams tend to have lots of idealistic people. These people are imaginative and like to push boundaries.

They were attracted to the Web as a career because it wasn’t like normal business. It was new. It was different, and it offered the opportunity to make a difference.

You can still make a difference on the Web, because a well managed website can make an important contribution to an organization. However, well-managed websites tend to be those that are narrow in their focus. They do a few things really well rather than attempt to do lots and lots of things.

I tend to deal with large organizations. I can’t remember the last time I met a large organization that I felt had too few webpages. In fact, I can’t even remember coming across an organization that had just enough webpages.

How do I judge if an organization has too many webpages? If it doesn’t have the staff to professionally manage them. How do I judge that? By asking a simple question: When was the last time you reviewed all the webpages on your website?

Invariably, I see a look of horror and disbelief. It’s as if I’ve asked a crazy question, a nonsensical question. There’s too much content to review, I’m told. Which, of course, is exactly the problem.

How did it get to a point of too much content? Because the web team was trying to answer too many questions. Because they kept putting up content with the vague idea that it might be useful to someone. Because they were always coming up with exceptions and trying to deal with them.

Have you noticed that the professional, successful web applications are simple and ask you to go through very few steps? When you come across an amateur web application, it invariably has a busy design and asks you to go through lots of steps.

It takes a professional to strip away, to get to the essence of what an application or piece of content really needs to do. The amateur and the inexperienced will complicate. In management, it’s simple to add, but more difficult to subtract.

Stop thinking about the exception. Stop thinking about the audience you’d like to reach. Focus your thinking on the rule. Focus your thinking on the audience you must reach.

Stop thinking about the customer who comes to your website not quite sure what they want. Instead, relentlessly focus on the customer who comes to your website knowing exactly what they want. The customers who want to buy from you. How well are you serving these customers?

Here’s a simple test. Find a group of customers who are in the market for one of your key products/services. How easy does your website make it for them to buy?

What are the top three things your most important customers want to do on your website? Are you absolutely focused on ensuring that they can do these things as quickly and easily as possible?

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For your web content management solution, contact Gerry McGovern http://www.gerrymcgovern.com

Subscribe to his New Thinking Newsletter: subscribe@gerrymcgovern.mailer1.net

Your Website is For Your Most Important Customers
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