Our office works in the b-to-b space and frequently with little-known brands in vertical categories.
As part of our strategic planning process, we conduct an audit of a client’s collateral and digital properties. Often, we discover that a client’s website has several shortcomings, and that’s a concern since the website is usually the first place a prospect, client, or influencer goes to learn about a company.
We have also found that some websites are dated-looking, or the content is not current. Many times, this results from having a small, local Web developer author the site, who uses a Content Management System (CMS) that is proprietary or insufficient. If the technology is not up-to-date, it becomes apparent after the first year. The site does not keep up with any behavioral propensities of the target audience – which are fickle and change very fast.
So what do you do? First of all, small, local Web developers can be quite good. It’s their job to keep up with the latest technology in design, development, and software, in order to keep their clients’ sites current. Some do this – unfortunately, many do not.
If you are in a vertical industry, with highly specific products and services, look to your IT folks to ensure you’ve got the best-in-class website for your category. Be sure the site is developed in the right code so that search engines can find it. Search marketing is a key element to making sure your various targets can find you. It is not a one-time effort – it has to be constantly looked at, refined, retested, and optimized.
When bringing on a new firm to help with refreshing your site, take the time to set the strategy for what is expected of the site. Find the right developer by issuing RFPs. Make sure the CMS you use is also subject to the same discipline. There are so many out there, it’s dizzying. But the right CMS will help keep your site relevant.
Nowadays, your website is the most important gateway to your company – keeping it modern, current, and relevant is not optional – it’s mandatory.
President, Dalton Atlanta