The final installment in this series, which in turn was inspired by an article from Louis Rosenfeld @ smashingmagazine.com, will walk you through the diagnosis process using the criteria outlined in Part 2 as well as review your options for turning the results into positive action.
The first step in the process is easy, all you need to do is answer a series of yes/no questions to help determine a frame of reference for your current web health.
Part 2 mentioned that although this is where most managers are used to interacting with their website, it shouldn’t be where they focus during the diagnosis process and here, you’ll get to experience firsthand why this is the case. In particular, compare the questions here to those in the subsequent section on Backend Control; which ones get you thinking and set of more light bulbs?
Answer Yes or No to the following questions:
Content creation and site management is the most crucial aspect to an effective website and they will make or break your capability to implement the sort of ongoing small changes purported in Rosenfeld’s article. Simply put, if you don’t have the ability to quickly and easily perform the following tasks, you’re limiting how much you can implement improvements.
In short, the more “No” responses to each question the less likely you are to reap the benefits from the approach prescribed in Rosenfeld’s article and the more likely you’ll get caught up in the big and expensive redesign insanity trap.
What’s important to remember here is Rosenfeld’s advice on how to approach ongoing enhanced marketing performance.
And the best news? Small simple fixes can accomplish far more than expensive redesigns. The reason? People just care about some stuff more than they care about other stuff. A lot more.
A smarter alternative is to consider migrating all of your existing content to platforms that change as many “No” replies to “Yes” for the Backend questions (aim for at least 8/10). If you can garner some additional “Yes” replies for the Frontend and/or Integration Control questions in the same process, then that’s just gravy.
But in order to make this a viable option, you need to set firm budget parameters and perform a thorough cost benefit analysis.
Even if you migrate to a platform that will provide the “Yes” oriented access you need to implement Rosenberg’s ongoing “small fixes” approach, it’s all for naught if you don’t know how to use the system.
What we’re talking about here is support and training and it’s the element where most groups tend to underestimate minimum needs and they don’t ask enough questions when exploring options. In short, making small changes can become a big hassle if it takes several hours (or worse, days) to get a response to a typical how-to query.
Here’s what you should ask when doing your due diligence:
Ideally, you should find solutions that provide a substantial amount of hand holding support and unlimited training in their standard fee structure for as many of your team members as possible. Even if you have employees with a great deal of web experience, you’re going to need an ample support structure.
Once you have the pieces in place for “Yes” oriented platforms and support, you’re going to be on track for improved marketing performance. Moreover, you’ll finally break out of the insane redesign circle that does nothing more than replace one costly short term solution with another.
As Rosenfeld writes at the conclusion of his article, it’s all about migrating from project to process then payoff.
These fixes are typically and wonderfully small and concrete…rather than tackling the project of getting your website “right” — which is impossible — you can now focus on tweaking and tuning it from here on out.
I couldn’t agree more.
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