MobiusMBL SME Web Strategy

Why develop a web strategy for small business?

Potential customers searching for goods and services are increasingly turning to the internet to research them.

Research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), suggest that Australians are embracing the digital economy, with growth in the volume of data downloaded and online activities since June 2009.

As of June 2010, 77 per cent of the population 14 years and over were connected to the internet at home and 66 per cent had a broadband connection. The volume of information and content accessed by Australians via the internet is growing significantly, with 155,503 terabytes of data downloaded in Australia during the June quarter of 2010, compared to 99,249 terabytes during 2009, a year on year increase of almost 57 per cent.

And the usage is increasing.

Any business, small or large, without an internet strategy in todays environment will almost certainly lag.

Today, what would most people looking for a business turn to first? Probably the internet. Traditional media allowed you to advertise, to get your message out to customers. When customers wanted to make a purchase, they had to either call you up, or actually visit your business to see the goods, and t make a purchase. That has all changed now.

With a presence on the web, you can not only advertise, but also sell your goods/services and build relationships with your customers at the same time. Things are made easier for both you ANDyour customers. And the thing is..... this comes at a relatively small cost to your business. Almost certainly much less than the combined annual cost of the more traditional media.

So How Do We Go About Developing A Strategy?

Step 1: Determine your objectives clearly. What do you want to achieve.

Put yourself in your customers position. What would they want from your site?

Your customers needs should be the single most important factor driving your web site. Everything else is secondary to this. Don't lose sight of this single most important point.

Your site visitors needs are:

  • More important than your prices, or services.
  • More important than your beautiful and technically excellent web site,
  • More important than your skills and ability to supply
  • More important than anything else

Once you have this in mind, only then do you focus on your site.

  • Are you making the site easy to navigate.
  • Is it cluttered up with time wasting videos or pictures (though you do need some of these).
  • Is your site giving customers the information to let them make an informed choice?
  • Is the information on your site jargon free and easy to understand?
  • Can customers quickly find what they want?
  • Can they quickly and easily purchase goods and services on your site??
  • Is there a point of contact for enquiries?

Step 2: Make a list of things that you know are important to your customers

What will your site content include

This of course will vary widely, but as a rule-of-thumb, here are some general ideas:

  • Tell your customers who you are, and why they should use your business rather than another one
  • Provide information on your goods and services
  • Have the ability to sell goods or services online, ie give customers the ability to actually purchase your goods and services
  • Provide a variety of of contact alternatives, eg email, phone and physical address
  • Permit visitors to register on your site, allowing you to build up a potential customer data base, which you can use to market
  • Provide interesting articles for visitors to read
  • Provide something to encourage visitors to return to your site, maybe polls, newsflashes, community messages
  • Provide a facility for visitors to comment on your site or services
  • Interaction, interaction, interaction.....  you want visitors to return to your site, and you want them to interact with you in some way

Step 3: Gather all related content information for your site (text copy, images, related links etc)

  • Prototype a web site
  • Continue to tweak it until it is the best it can be 
  • Publish it and go live

Gather all your content and your ideas and maybe a rough pencil sketch of what you think your web site should look like. Contact your prefered web developer (hopefully that would be me!). Have a chat over a coffee, and then prototype something quickly.

Its only then when you can actually see something on the web, that you will really get the ideas flowing.

After that, it should all be too easy, quick and cost effective.

Once your site is up and running (and you need to think about the maintenance and administration aspects), you will then think about marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (this will also be considered by your web developer during design and build). You will want your site to rank highly on search engines. You will want customers to be able to find you among the millions of others out there on the internet.

This will take time, as search engines and crawlers are slow to gather all your information. The more visits you have, the more links and pages you have and the more presence you have will result in your site gaining more relevance to the internet spiders and crawlers which gather information to rank your site. This is all quite organic in operation, which is why it may take some time.

You can help by getting your site details out there in as many ways, and as often as you can.

Advertise it, put it on a variety of internet directories (your web developer will help here), perhaps have other sites link back to you, send newsletters out to email addresses (not spam!!!!). Contribute articles related to your industry or business, to relevant sites.

Do what you can to get your name and web address out as much as possible.

Probabily The Most Importand Point In THis Article

Yep... left the most important to last.

Review and update your site regularly!

Review and update your site regularly

Review and update your site regularly!

How many times did I say that?

Only 3?   ----  Thats not enough.

Review and update your site regularly!


One of the biggest things to kill the effectiveness of web sites is irrevelant or out of date information. 
Why would visitors keep coming back to read the same old stuff time and time again?
You need to be dynamic...   put interesting stuff on your site which will actually encourage visitors to keep returning.
Even if they dont actually buy anything, the trafic you get will increase your presence via Google and other serch engines.
This will mage it easier for customers who ARE interested in purchasing, to find your site before finding a competitors.

 Have a look here for the top 10 mistakes made by websites.