I can tell you for a fact that most businesses cannot articulate the top three objectives of their web presence on a moment’s notice. I also know of at least two large organizations who (informally) rate “increase visits to the website” as the number one priority of their web department. And yet, if and when the question is posed, “Why?” no one at the executive level has a clue. And if you were to ask, “What kind of visitor?” the deer in the headlights look would be even more pronounced …. after which tensions can be reduced with the light-hearted follow up question, “Humans?”
Like any other worthwhile endeavor, the development of a web presence should have a strategy, clear goals and objectives, and a way to reach them.
As a business or organization sets out to define objectives, being completely honest may reveal things like:
1) Because we want to look cool
2) Because everyone else has one
3) Because it’s just something you have to do in this day and age
… and similar types of reasoning. To admit that these are your goals, if they are, is a great first step in evaluating how to improve them, and make them a bit more meaningful. To set meaningful goals and objectives requires some self-reflection, corroboration, buy-in and support in many cases, but it’s a relevant excercise, because a good web developer can turn goals and objectives into actionable items like:
1) make the phones ring
2) have them forward policy issues to House and Senate
3) sell a lot of our stuff
4) attract and retain quality staff
5) get that contract business that’s been out of reach
6) change the mindset on that issue
7) attract a buyer (or seller)
8) gather up fresh, new ideas
9) increase our exposure in that area
10) reach a larger audience
11) articulate our value proposition to a global market
12) change the world 🙂
All of these goals and objectives, whether reachable or not, and to what degree, are within the scope of a well developed web strategy.
Come to think of it, I’ve implemented web strategies over the years that have successfully accomplished nearly all of the above.
I’m still waiting for that customer to challenge me to do number 12. Even if only a little bit at a time….