Our team is asked quite a bit about how to build and maintain an effective website.  It’s a great question.  If you spend quite a bit of time and money on your website, you want a great value.

Let’s talk about creating great value with five simple qualities.

Meet the needs of your customers with your content.

Don’t make a “cool-looking” site when it has nothing to do about serving your customers.

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make on their websites is to build a website with no clear purpose within it.  The website may have contact information and services lists, and it may have products to sell, but it doesn’t meet the needs of those customers it intends to serve.  Before you even start to work on the structure, functionality or content of your site, be very clear on what needs you are solving for your customers.

When you figure out your customers’ needs, and then create a very focused commitment to solving them, you will easily see why your site needs to be created around them.  Even the graphics and the functions of the site should be determined by solving needs.  Don’t make a “cool-looking” site when it has nothing to do about serving your customers.

Give effective, powerful content – not just filler.

Say more with fewer words.  Don’t be in a hurry to build content.  Get to the point, quickly and effectively.  Tell your customers how you recognize their needs and how you intend to solve them.

Talk to your customers on a consistent, regular basis.

Have that conversation through the website.

Another big mistake organizations make is this one: building a website and then never adding any content to the site.  For many organizations, it’s difficult to have a perpetual conversation with them on a face-to-face basis.  The reality is that we have a lot of customers to serve.  We don’t have that option to talk to them daily.

The best alternative is to have that conversation through the website.  Make blog posts.  Share insights from other sources.  Invite customers to your events.  Invite them to trade events that will help them – which will, in turn, increase your authority and credibility.  Be active on your site so that your customers will continue to participate in the community you create – and the respect that you will want to grow.

Give your site room to grow.

Watch out for the technology you use.  If you limit yourself to a simple website framework or a basic website platform, you may have some problems in the future.  As your organization grows, you want for your website to grow.

Limit your hard work and your time spent by working with a platform that grows with you.  Especially with the current platforms on the market, there is no reason why you cannot make additional and improvements on an economical and affordable basis.

Commit to constant improvement.

Build and lead a great team that can create and grow your website.

As you commit to building your site and providing excellent content, commit to the cause of making your site better as time goes on.  You can accomplish this goal by adding new, great content and editing your old content to improve or update it.  Attend conferences that are focused on website content, social media marketing and SEO (search engine optimization).  Be willing to make the changes to your site that will allow it to be increasingly more effective and powerful.

Lastly, build and lead a great team that can create and grow your website.  With today’s technology and global community, you can experience great talent, strategy and execution without having to spend a huge amount of cash.  Get independent contractors and outside groups who are committed to excellent quality and can provide it on an affordable budget.

Realize your effective website.

Even though we’ve presented five key points for an effective website, it really goes back to the first point.  Be fully committed meeting the needs of your customer.  When you determine how to accomplish that goal in the best, most effective way, you will know what you will need and how you will need to present it.