How to Set Your Website Goals Realistically : The Need of the Hour
The Website as Today’s New Inevitability
For those of us who’ve spent any real time on the Internet, it’s hard to envisage a business without an online presence today. Almost everywhere we look, we find a business URL coated somewhere on a coffee mug, novelty pen, or refrigerator magnet, and there are several worthy reasons why.
New Times Require New Methodologies
In a virtual place called “cyberspace,” geographic constraints are removed, while global access to billions of consumers literally changes the way and pace in which traditional business is performed. Sales opportunities surge while transaction costs decrease. And computer automation enables the selling processes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while products are delivered within minutes (and sometimes even instantaneously) at a fraction of conventional delivery expenses.
These are some pretty enthralling reasons for any business to set up an online camp; however, the most compelling reason of all is that today’s consumers demand it! Never before has there been a more information-hungry market than what we have in this generation of net-connected consumers, and never before has there been such a demand to fulfill consumer queries than now.
Lacking to provide a 24-hour automated shopping and delivery service that accommodates the interests of a worldwide market contributes to the success of your competitor. But the benefits of owning a slice of cyberspace aren’t exclusive to the consumer market. Owning and operating a website is beneficial to the businesses that run them as well.
Business Websites Benefit Both Consumers And Companies At Once
Business websites also improve the internal processes of the companies that manage them. Customer-to-business communication improves, inventories update in an instant, and even advertisement ROI’s manifest quicker — in real time — for significant results.
The explosion of the Internet has undoubtedly surpassed skeptics’ expectations and it has become a forceful constituent in the way we do business as both producer and consumer. The only next parameter to deal with is molding and shaping its economic potential into an experience that is profitable for the business owner because the potential is seemingly inexhaustible.
But we cannot expect to succeed online by using yesteryear’s approaches. As a society, we must, however, change our business into one that is flexible, and embraces non-traditional resources. The most effective way to do that is with a website.
TIP: Can you name more than three well-known businesses that don’t have a website? Consider this a challenge and try to name a few of the most popular companies without an Internet presence of some sort. Chances are, you won’t be able to!
Not Just Any Website Will Do – People Still Judge A Book by Its Cover
When we talk about websites, we’re not talking about simple web pages that look like the works of the local nerd or enthusiastic script-kiddy. Nor are we talking about the retro websites of the early nineties either. Serious businesses require serious websites.
We’ve come a long way in technology but some habits are hard to break. One of those habits is judging a book by its cover. Time has proven over and over that online consumers are more apt to shop from a website that “looks” professional. But the problem with taking advantage of this inclination is that we can have a hard time defining what exactly “professional” is and what it “looks” like. For what’s deemed professional in the eyes of some is labeled tacky or over-the-top by others and vice versa.
Who Gets to Define “Professional”
The graphics design industry has always grappled with defining the “professional look” because while its clients want to look professional, they also want to maintain individuality and creativity: two dynamics that contribute to the quandary at hand.
Is there a feasible way to incorporate individuality and creativity in an environment that depends on a professional ambiance? If we asked this question thirty years ago or more, we would have been told, “no.” However, we are again, confronting a new generation of consumer demands. Today’s consumers demand fresh, innovative approaches, yet they will not accept anything that’s less than professional. As online merchants who want to satisfy current consumer demand, we are left to define “professional” as whatever it means to the buying market – The K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Principle.
Fortunately, through extensive surveys, user feedback, and behavioral analysis, we’ve come to understand what consumers regard as “professional.” Surprisingly, none of it sacrifices creativity or innovative solutions the way that it could have a couple of generations ago. This is because in the minds of billions of online shoppers, “professional websites” are built according to the most important principle of web design, and that principle is simplicity.
Over time, consumers have consistently demonstrated a strong propensity toward websites that are simple to read, to navigate, and of course, to use. And since the definitive goal behind business websites is to process sales, the successful ones are crafted in such a way that they completely eradicate anything that could interfere with that goal.
Nothing on a simple website distracts visitors, while everything in its entire design leads visitors along the path of making a purchase. And whatever options are made available, you can bet that each one of them empowers visitors to accomplish some sort of sales-oriented task.
There are abundant reasons why complex websites don’t contribute to the success of the online entrepreneur, but for the most part, it’s because they overwhelm potential consumers and dissuade sales. In fact, the more complicated a website appears, the more likely it is that a visitor will leave it. Websites that deviate from simplicity slow down the impulsive nature of the online consumer, and, in the worst-case scenario, could completely alienate themselves from the very markets that they’re attempting to serve.
TIP: We’ve got another challenge for you! If you’ve already got a website up and running, take a look at it’s homepage, and see if you find anything that could potentially distract a visitor from completing a sale. If you didn’t build the website according to the K.I.S.S. principle, you just might find more than expected.