WEBSITE OWNERSHIP STILL FALLS INTO A BLACK HOLE
||Posted by Kieran Kent, Client Services Director
Most businesses are now acutely aware of the importance of having a great website. It’s the first place that your prospective customers will go to determine whether you are a company that they want to do business with, and if your website doesn’t have the right look and feel then the chances are that you will lose business to your competitors. And it’s not just a problem with prospects. Potential employees, partners, even existing customers, will all be looking at your website on a regular basis and forming an impression of you based on your online presence.
There’s simply no point in having a website where the case studies are all years old; the blog posts are so infrequent that it defeats the purpose of having the blog in the first place; or the Press coverage section of the website was last updated over three months ago. Likewise, an events section which doesn’t actually have any current events, or a download area that is offering tired old collateral just sends out all the wrong messages to your target audience and doesn’t help to position you as a switched-on, forward-thinking, innovative organisation.
So why are so many companies still struggling to put in place the right management processes to ensure that their websites have compelling, insightful and up-to-date content? And just as critically, why are web pages still not search-optimised to make it easy for people to find your website when using Google or another Search Engine?
The fundamental problem is ownership. Over the years, as a company’s website has evolved, there have been a variety of stakeholders involved in the website development process, from Board Directors who have set the initial strategy and vision for the website, to marketers who have come up with the words, to web designers who have come up with the creative ideas, to IT staff who have been tasked with the overall maintenance of the website.
But a common scenario which then unfolds over time is that no one person or department ends up with overall control of the website. Roles and responsibilities start to become unclear and before too long, website ownership has simply fallen into a black hole. Yet there is a simple way to eradicate this problem – let the marketing team control your website. Give them ownership of all the tools that run on your website, from InBound Marketing and web analytics products, right through to the Content Management System that is used to update the site. Or if there are internal resource constraints, then outsource the management of your website to your PR agency. Either way, there will no longer be any grey areas over website ownership – so when you need to post up the latest press release or piece of coverage, or change the structure of a web page to get best SEO value, it can be done quickly and easily.
At the moment, too many websites are still failing to reflect the latest business strategy or message, attract the right audience or enable a quantifiable uplift in corporate value. But companies cannot afford to get this wrong any longer if they wish to stay ahead of their competitors.