The OnlineXcellence program has been launched to help better educate business owners in making the decision to put a website in place to support their business.
A key problem for business owners right now is knowing what constitutes a good website. An MD can choose a 4 wheel vehicle for their business, based on brand, reliability, technical performance datasheets, etc, but how do they know what they are buying when trying to purchase a website?
Parts of the web development community can clearly demonstrate their ability not just to build websites, but actually grow the wealth of business owner they provide a website for.
But, still today, there is a large failure rate of websites, especially in the small medium enterprise sector. Why is this?
Most of the time it has come down to bad planning before engaging the website developer. The MD if properly educated by an impartial best practice body such as OnlineXcellence which behind the brand has business practitioner strategists assisting businesses to plan for and work towards acheiving online success.
The learning curve the MD is placed upon will through knowledge transfer give them the confidence to know what they are talking about and be in a better position to explain what they need, when engaging with and briefing website developers.
However, the OnlineXcellence program goes further. It is also looking towards providing help in upskilling individuals/employees of businesses who have responsibility for marketing their company's website but as yet do not have these skills, but which both the business and market place desperately needs.
Online sales represents a significant opportunity for companies to grow and reach markets (National and International) that would generally be very expensive to reach. Advertising is expensive, staff overheads are expensive but in most cases, there is no-one in house that really takes control of web based opportunities unless it is by chance or that is the company's role in life.
OnlineXcellence experience and research shows that the educational system cannot cope with not only teaching but keeping up to date in the dynamic world of Internet marketing, resulting in none of the relevant skills being taught at graduate level on Marketing, Business or Web development degree courses.
So, this is also about creating additional jobs. Jobs which unfortunately, senior management in most companies haven't even thought about yet because they don’t understand the type of person they are looking for. Recruitment agencies are the same. So many opportunities lost!
The website development community is not immune from this program either.
More than anything we don’t want developers to feel alienated by this, and think Business Owners are going to gang up on them to try and tell them their job.
So the development community can also engage in best practice onlinexcellence.
Consider the benefits.
There are website agencies that deliver websites that are fit for purpose, but there are others who are lost in their own creative design. Who, have not thought through what the client business owner wants to achieve strategically.
Therefore, there is cases where agencies will just build a ‘nice’ website and think job done. There are agencies where search marketing and optimisation does not interest the development team in that agency.
A good website agency demonstrating best practice onlinexcellence is obviously going to gain more business. But website agencies must also remember they cannot be all things to all men. The average agency may consist of 5-12 people providing the business owner with a website. Agencies really like building sites. But after building hundreds of sites, and telling the site owners they deliver marketing services too. Can they realistically do this?
It can take 3-4 people to manage 'properly' a 1500-2000 page website (and websites will or should grow). Can the average website design agency therefore account manage all their client website builds marketing tasks effectively?
A tip for being a successful website agency is to consider at least working in partnership with someone who has the necessary skills to ensure that the website when completed will be a ‘fit for purpose’ ‘findable’ search engine friendly website, that will actually capture the target market it wants to attract.
There is a skill to achievieng this, which can be knowledge transferred into individuals who become attractive 'Web Author' employees to the business owner.
OnlineXcellence can train the business staff to 'daily manage' the website, allowing the web design community to get on with doing what some do best.....building search engine friendly websites that convert visitors into sales and profitability.