Author: Yogi Schulz
What’s keeping businesses from moving forward on the web? We’re inundated with advertisements from e-commerce vendors enticing businesses to move their web sites forward to second or third generation web sites. Yet it’s not happening much.
A few spectacular successes are receiving plenty of media attention. These include Amazon, ebay and Schwab. However, there are thousands, perhaps millions, of web sites that are not moving forward beyond the initial development.
What’s getting in the way? Often it’s disappointing experiences with first generation web sites, a perception of low business value and technical problems that keep businesses from moving forward. Sometimes, we have only ourselves to blame. For example, did you give the initial web site development much attention or did you leave it to the co-op student?
Some web site owners conjured up dreams of gold that led to sky high expectations. They thought they’d be able to establish a new sales channel or even entire brand by throwing a few thousand dollars at the boss’ brash son-in-law to build a web site over the summer.
Many owners are disappointed by the lack of traffic around their web site. The world won’t beat a path to your web site. The world won’t know it’s wonderful unless you tell them. Use many different techniques like making sure your URL is printed on all yourbusiness stationery and investing some money in banner ads to get your message out.
Here are some ideas for building and operating a second generation web site that offers something to download such as product brochures, user guides, tourist information and sample software.
Make sure that the content you’re providing is particularly useful to the recipient. It can’t just be marketing fluff or yesterday’s news. Great content builds a great audience.
You’ll be asking surfers to leave information about themselves at your web site. Make sure you’ve implemented security to build confidence about confidentiality. The little padlock on the bottom left-hand corner of the web browser must be in the locked position, indicating the use of SSL security.
Here are some ideas for building and operating a third generation web site that allows the surfer to order a book or make a reservation.
Orders for products or services require that your web application be highly available and able to access data in some corporate database. If the I. S. department can’t achieve high availability, outsource the application to a qualified vendor.
Almost every surfer is new to doing business on the web. Build surfer confidence by displaying a confirmation page, of the data involved, after the transaction has been successfully completed. This provides much-needed psychological re-assurance that everything worked as advertised.
Keeping these ideas in mind will lead to successful second and third generation web sites. When businesses move forward on the web, they’ll achieve measurable business value.