What to do when your website’s failing

We all know the internet can be a veritable goldmine when it’s used effectively. Sometimes it’s a case of having the right idea at the right time (like Google), and other times it’s a case of having the right format and approach (like Facebook over MySpace).

These days most businesses understand the importance of having a web presence, and many are now realising how important it is to maintain that presence with regularly updated content and by engaging with their audiences more directly. There’s no doubt that the relationship between consumers and businesses has changed and is continuing to evolve at a rapid rate.

With so much change in the mix, it’s inevitable that sometimes things will go wrong. Here are some tips on what to do when your website is failing to live up to expectations:

  1. In the words of Douglas Adams, Don’t Panic – It’s easy to get caught up in trends and the latest technologies, all of which is a distraction from your real goal, which should be to build a site that engages your audience effectively.
  2. Measure what’s happening now – what are your goals for your website? How do you determine if that has been achieved? What’s preventing that goal from being achieved more often?
  3. Improve the path to your goals – Your site should really only have one or two goals, and the entire site should then be focused on facilitating those goals. Make it easy for the user to achieve your desired outcome, and structure the outcome in such a way that it’s desirable for the user to achieve it.
  4. Measure what’s changed – how have your changes worked? Are your goals being reached more frequently? Is your audience more engaged with your business? Can you improve things further?
  5. Review your goals – are they still relevant to your audience? Are they tied to key drivers for your business? Are you investing your time and energy efficiently online?
  6. Repeat steps 2 to 5 – As we noted above, the internet keeps changing and you’ll need to keep track of your site and your audience to keep up with the trends that matter to your business and your clients.