Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Is Your Business Web site Useless?



"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."
Albert Einstein


Ogosh man; that question is so insensitive.

Ok, I’m sorry I asked it like that but I just wanted to get straight to the point, not to beat around the bush. In reality beating around the bushes is safer because what’s in the bush is unknown.

The tactful, indirect approach is more likeable because it appears more sensitive, unassuming and compassionate. All enduring qualities I’m sure but in the end its fluff and no substance. To get to the truth you need hard questions.

This blog will carry a series of posts focusing on business web sites in Trinidad and Tobago. We want to drill down into what it takes to build, market and maintain a professional web presence that is actually a business profit center. We want to discuss your experience, not mine, therefore your participation is required. You will get out of it what you are willing to put into it; nothing more or less.

The question is sincere and honest because your web site could be useless.

The fact is that very few business people give their web site a second thought once it’s launched. The reason is simple, they believe that because there are millions of people on the web, when a website is launched anyone can visit. True. In fact they imagine that their customers will be the first to find them. Not true, sadly a web site is not something that you build and they come. Marketing your site MUST BEGIN BEFORE it’s built, NOT AFTER.

Now, do you see the point of my question?

Answer 3 more questions about your business web site.

Be honest with yourself, if you have a site and you were instrumental in building it. Share the answers to the questions only if it’s not embarrassing. Get help if you need it because web sites, unlike wine, do not get better with age. Without marketing, it can only get worse. The questions are:

1.What is or was the purpose for your site when you built it?
Don’t say just to make money that is the universal purpose of every business web site. Here’s a hint; if you do not have a shopping cart or pay pal button on your site then you are attempting to make money indirectly. But do you have any marketing tools on your site? Share or think about the purpose of your site.

2.Directly related to your site’s purpose is its business model. Do you use a business model on your site?
If your site is made up of a series of pages about you, your product and directions to your store that is not considered a business model. By the way, having a contact page rarely generates inquiries. The internet is not the yellow pages and have you noticed that you don't need the yellow pages anymore, even here in Trinidad.

3.Do you, or is someone under your responsibility, tracking your site metrics?
One of the best features of the internet is that everything can be tracked and linked back to someone or some site. If you do not know where your visitors are coming from how will you get more or know if people are even visiting your site?

Ok the answers to you might be a bit troubling. If you do not like the answers you come up with to any of those questions, its ok, you know how misery likes company. The internet is full of sites like yours because many other sites owners are doing exactly as you are.


Web designer do not talk much about what happens AFTER your site is launched because if they did you would probably have opted to leave the internet alone.

I’m here to help. If you are stuck on any of the questions just make a comment.

Again, I’m here to help you, at least to point you in a direction where you might get answers. This is a two way street, if the questions I asked are not what you are concerned about, then ask your own questions.

Tell me what you will like to see me write about. Even if you are in the thinking stage; ask.

I will respond to any and all questions that relate to your web site marketability or establishing your web presence.

This is an invitation to a conversation. Monologues are boring.

If you own a website but not satisfied with its performance, contact me.

If you are thinking of establishing a web presence and need some direction, contact me.

Or, just make a comment, private mail me. I will respond to each and every question in the same format in which it was asked.

If you wish, I will do a quick evaluation of your site and provide you feed back on any areas that, in my opinion, can be improved.

Please, do not take this offer if you believe that your site is perfect and cannot be improved.

The floor is all yours now.