Competitive Edge first started employing web designers in 1998, providing web design and development as a value added service for their clients.
At that time we had no idea about the revolution that the Web and online marketing was about to create.
We guessed there would be a fusion between traditional marketing and the use of websites as an additional online corporate identity, corporate communication, and product and service profile online, but that was as far as we could stretch our imagination at that time.
Google had not started up, and the search engine market was fairly wide open. There was not much available in terms of applications, tracking or monitoring for websites, or even guidelines as to what constituted a good website.
We are now about to enter 2012, and what we have seen is an explosion in the e-World. Words now dot our landscape like e-Marketing, e-Communication, e-Systems, e-Commerce, e-Consumers, etc. The e-Word is out there, and so is the application of online marketing and online communication – it is utilised by our oldest pensions down to our 2-3 year-olds who can tap a keyboard.
Some SMEs, however, are still stuck in the old void of a static or slightly integrated website. They initially built a website using html, and they often used friends, relatives etc. to build the website and to create a presence online. They then upgraded, and this has given them the ability to reference the website, but in terms of creating customers and clients being able to find the website, they are still locked back on Page 13 or 14.
In addition, their website has remained fairly static, with the Introduction page, the Product and Service page, a few visuals and pictures about clients and applications of products and services, and a Contact page.
In saying this, I am not trying to be inflammatory or to cast judgement on businesses that have entered the e-Age like I did, as most people, with a very low cost and exploratory site.
The point is, however, that it is now time to look beyond the website, as the website itself is no longer the cornerstone of successful e-Marketing.
To get e-Success online today, you need to be building a communication platform that is well beyond just having a presence on the Web, whether it be under key words, under your corporate name or under your products and services.
What you have to aspire to do is to build a communication platform that can achieve some of the following:
- A communication platform with the ability to interact with social media, and to create blogs, articles, white papers, or information about your products and services that can be used by your consumers, both existing and potential. To expand their knowledge about your business and about the services you provide, and how they can interact and assist their businesses to grow.
- A communication platform that allows you to constantly update your visuals about your products and services, your business success etc., so you are always providing an online publicity and information service that allows your clients to assist your growth and success, and to want to be part of this.
- A communication platform that allows you to profile your staff, your team achievements, and the capabilities and competencies within your organisation that can assist your existing and potential clients.
- A communication platform that outlines how your products work in tandem, and how you value add services to the benefit of your customers. Also the diversity of your organisation, and the ability to introduce products and services about which they may have no current knowledge or exposure.
- A communication package that is always updated and therefore attractive to the search engines. As such, it helps you to maintain your ranking with Google, and keep you as a preferred site with excellent key words and key categories that are important to your success and future.
- A communication platform that assists you to be recognised as a major contributor to your industry, whether it be in a small region, a state, Australia-wide, or even globally.
- A communication platform that allows you to give as much information to your clients as possible, so that you reduce the inbound phone calls and contacts that seek information and take time in administration, and create a very expensive cost centre, which is unnecessary given the communication power of the Web and online systems.
- A communication system that allows you to publish newsletters, give information directly to your clients and reference clients to part of your website. A powerful marketing tool and “push” factor.
- A communication platform that profiles your organisation and gives it a corporate identity and personality. Customers want the comfort and security associated with dealing with organisations that seem secure, and are secure, and are well entrenched in modern day marketing.
The initial idea of products and services being featured on a website, with a contact page and an introduction about the company’s background, are outdated today.
Modern communication platforms are also a great source of management statistics and information. Today, you can find out when people visit your site, what time they visit your site, how they visit your site (via linkages, directly or search), what key words they use (which can empower you to use these key words and use their own language back to them), what products and services they are searching for, what pages they like and dislike, how long they spend on each page, how many times they visit each page, and whether they bounce off your page in 20-30 seconds, thus giving you an indication of like/ dislike, or attractive/ unattractive in evaluating your website and communication platform generally.
The communication platform is also an example of how you work in the market place, and how beneficial you will be to potential clients.
They do judge the book by the cover, and view your communication platform as sophisticated, interesting, integrated, knowledgeable, competent, etc. If they assesses it to be incompetent, unattractive, not knowledgeable, uninteresting, uninformative and “run of the mill”, they will form a view that you may not be able to service them, and that your services are at the commodity end of the business rather than at the specialty and “sharp” end of the business.
As such, it is an important indicator of what your business is, how it works, what it does, and how successful it is.
We at Comedge are very keen to work with you to keep your sites updated and at the leading edge of technology.
If you have any questions about how you can improve your communication platform, and how you can interface with Facebook, Twitter, develop a Facebook profile (see article in this newsletter), we are only too willing to help you. Your business success is important to us as it is our philosophy that we maintain, retain and gain clients, and they, in turn are able to do the same with their clients.