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Four Critical Success Factors for Greater Web Relevance (Part 1 of 2)

If you think your website should be more effective… the people you are trying to reach couldn’t agree more.

Technology is an integral part of everyone’s daily lives. Corporate America’s M.O. is to remove the stigma of technology by making solutions that are smarter than ever, yet easier for everyone to benefit from. It’s time we stop looking at technology and the Internet with fear and trepidation, and embrace it as essential to how we do life today. Because Internet technology is moving so fast, you cannot delay making changes to your web offering… everyone must become “faster and earlier adopters” of technology change.

We’ve seen many organizations in panic mode because of the state of their website. Unfortunately, panic can lead to overlooking or short-cutting critical steps in creating a relevant web experience. Through our research, surveying, and experience, we’ve found four critical success factors that must be accounted for. Implement these and you’ll have purpose and confidence… overlook them and you’ll have missed targets and poor returns.

1. Know Your Audience… Intimately. Too often we see organizations creating their website from the inside-out, versus from the outside-in. An inside-out approach will always create a disconnect with your audience because you are prioritizing your agenda rather than speaking to their needs. Imagine if corporate America ignored the voice and expectations from their target audience. It’s foolish to produce any resource in a vacuum… websites included.

Audience Questions:
+ What would make the visitor experience unforgettable and not regrettable?
+ What do members and loyal constituents expect to find and want to find at your site?
+ What are their digital preferences? Smartphone user? IPad/tablet user? Email? Facebook or Twitter (or both)? Audio/Video? Blog reader?
+ What is the vocabulary and messaging that is most comfortable for your audience and fits your culture most closely?
+ How can your brand be introduced with greater clarity, quality, and embrace?

2. Build A Web Strategy Around Audience Needs. You now know your audience expectations, now its time to build a strategy that accomplishes your objectives AND theirs. Too often, churches and ministries bypass the strategic aspect of web development and their end solution shows it. Church communications is more strategic to the successful engagement of more people than ever before, yet churches are simply not being strategic. We’ve found strategy creation helps remove the unknowns on so many levels. The digital landscape today is complex. Don’t make it more complex by not having a digital strategy.

Strategy Considerations:
+ How can you advance your mission and vision for greater impact? How can you reach more people?
+ How can you merge your organizational objectives with the expectations of the end user?
+ How can you prioritize your cultural and content assets to build your brand?
+ How can you provide content that is relevant and habit forming?
+ How can you be relevant and consistent on all devices? How can you be relevant and consistent in social media?
+ What are  industry leading technologies and third-party integrations that can be easily implemented into your site? What content management system fits your budget and the way you communicate? Vimeo or YouTube? Podcasts? Social media? Registration? Online giving and e-transactions?

NEXT POST: Part 2 of 2 on Four Critical Success Factors to Greater Web Relevance?
Content. Content. Content. and Implementing Smarter Web Tools

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One Response

  1. Great lists here; it’s great critical thinking!

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