Why Web Sites Fail
Now that your firm has an online presence, you may think it’s time to sit back and watch the prospects roll in. Think again. Your marketing efforts are more important than ever.
According to the Ecom Advisors, the biggest problem with web sites is unrealistic expectations. They say that businesses think if they spend $100, they will earn $150 the next quarter. They caution owners that it doesn’t work that way; you may not see results for 12 to 24 months.
The reason sites fail is equally as simple. The Ecom Advisors assert that most web sites fall into the hands of the IT guy at the office. A web site is a marketing tool and belongs with people who understand marketing. At the very least, marketing should be directing the web site if the IT person is responsible for web site maintenance.
Once you’ve built your web site, don’t fall into analysis paralysis. A web site is a long-term project that requires a commitment of time and people who can effectively manage the site. Feedback allows you to know if you are “on track” with your goals (make sure you set goals for your site). Use a program like WebTrends to reveal site activity, broken links, and security issues.
You also need marketing to point people back to your site. A web site isn’t a “Field of Dreams.” However, you have to invest the time and money needed to do the job. Advertising can help. Direct mail campaigns and newsletter announcements also will let your target know you are online.
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.