How To Use Website For Your Business
Companies mostly realize the need of having an effective website, hence the urge to jump on the bandwagon. But having a clearer objective regarding their web presence (at least a general idea) is a must because:
- It detects and avoid any missing features you need. It can save you money in the long run
- It gives you idea about your competitors. It cuts the development time significantly
- It will blend better with your company current strategy
What constitutes a web presence?
Having a web presence is not merely by just having your own website. It involves third-party web applications, search engines, email and social networking websites. Combining and matching these different tools and channels can greatly amplify your web strategy’s effectiveness.
Web presence is also about the way you communicate with your customer. Is it just informing your phone number? Or having an email contact form? Maybe having a live chat section, or video-conferencing tools. There are levels that you can offer your customers based on what your objectives are.
Tiers of Your Web Strategy
What are the different levels in using the web for my company? Here are our suggestions on the tier in implementing your web presence:
1. Simple web presence
This entry-level strategy is the bare minimum that any company should have: a simple company background, an overview of company’s main business, and most important, contact details for the web visitors to reach the company. As the most popular activity of on-line users is to search information, having these basic information is a must.A simple corporate website like this is the minimum presence one company should undertake.
2. Informational web presence
This corporate website is more extensive in its content, containing on-line catalogues, expansive project portfolios or company profile, news & blog updates and downloadable contents like reports and forms.
3. Customer & vendor communication channel
The next tier involves more 2-way communication, whereby the company’s clients, vendors and suppliers can communicate with the company in an environment previously known as extranet. This log-in section only usually have information pertaining to the internal matters such as tender information and support.
4. Promotional & marketing tool
This is a tier where the company uses the internet as a tool to expand the company’s business, pertinently in marketing activities. This includes increasing exposures for the company’s brand, finding new customers, capturing leads for sales activities and educating awareness. The activities involves ranges from web advertising, Search Engine Optimization, social media activities, email marketing and some brand-building initiatives.
5. Consumer communication channel
Consumer-centric communication involves a more public-oriented approach, where the company extend its web presence into the consumer web spaces such as social network websites and multimedia portal like YouTube. This is popular for support-intensive businesses that require constant contact with the mass public.
6. Sales and distribution channel
Another popular purpose for web utilization is e-commerce: sell your product on-line! This can be superbly expensive or it can cost you nothing. It depends on your choice of payment method and how you plan the shopping experience.
7. Internal collaboration platform
A more extended usage of the web is to treat it as a collaboration platform, previously called ‘Intranet’ this purely web-based collaboration suites range from simple business activities like file sharing and on-line discussions to more complicated business process like Customer Relationship Management, Human Resource Information System, Serial Versioning & Bug Tracking and Project Management software.
8. Diversification & expansion tactic
Lastly, the web can be the ultimate new lifeline: it can redefine your business model. Offer purely web-based service for your business in-order to tap into the potential of the internet. Like how Yellow Pages have a separate division focusing on-line classifieds, banks that capitalize on on-line banking and Microsoft introduction of its popular Office suite on-line.
These are the tiers that you can identify and formulate your strategy: what are your needs now, and what are they 5 years from now. Identifying this can greatly shape your web strategy direction for the long run while keeping cost in-check.