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Is Your Website Effectively Marketing Your Business?

By  Beth Silver,  Doubet Consulting


Every fall, I evaluate Doubet Consulting’s website,, to ensure that we are still providing

information about our services in the most efficient manner.

Businesses have their own websites for many reasons. For

Doubet, we created our website to establish a greater

presence on the Internet, service our clients and potential

prospects more effectively, answer questions about our firm,

as well as heighten public interest. All of our goals were

to make Doubet Consulting a dominant practice. 


The criteria I have for evaluating our website is the same

each year, but the results are often different. As the firm

has grown, so has our need to educate those who visit

online. Because we now serve clients throughout the country

(and we hope, soon, the world), it is important to highlight

different aspects of our business. 


The 7 criteria I use to ensure that Doubet is putting its

best foot forward on the Web are as follows: 


1. SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis refers to analyzing the strengths, weaknesses,

opportunities and threats for your website.

Does the website communicate the key features of

your business? Does it do so in the in the most effective

manner? Have services/mission changed to reveal new

opportunities for your business that you can promote on your

site? Has the market changed or, perhaps, your business

grown? What feedback have you encountered? What other

websites have you visited over the past year that you feel

have strengths your site does not have? 


By conducting a thorough SWOT analysis of your website, you

will see what areas need additional focus. When looking for

outside resources to assist as you improve your site, a SWOT

will save you time and money. You will already have an idea

of the best methods to achieve your goals. 


2. Content

Content refers to everything available on your

website, including what you read, see and hear. Be a target

advocate for your firm. Review your site as if you were a

first-time visitor looking for information. Evaluate your

tone, grammar, writing style and all messaging criteria.

Your website may be a person’s first impression of your



Do you answer the questions a first-time visitor would have?

Is your tone appropriate for your brand? Also, evaluate how

often you need to update content. For example, if your

company makes a presentation referring to additional content

on the website but does not make the content available

there, clients may become frustrated when visiting the

website. Even worse, visitors may think this sort of

inconsistency is how your firm follows through on promises

and deadlines. Make sure that impression as professional and

engaging as possible. 


Search engines are always looking for new content. Be sure

to schedule when new content will appear on your site. This

will help your site rank higher. 


3. Design

What does your site look like? Do you like it? Is

it built in a format that is search engine friendly? Some

formats are not. Does it showcase the brand image you want

for your company and the potential clients you are aiming to



If you are not happy with the design of your website, you do

not necessarily need a complete redesign. By evaluating

colors, images, font and text size, you may find that small

tweaks make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to speak to a

qualified web design firm for additional tips. 


4. Navigation

For some, site design is not the problem;

it’s the navigation within the site. 


If moving from one place to another is difficult on your

website, potential clients may get discouraged and leave. Do

you easily identify what the purpose of your site is? Is

moving around the site therefore intuitive and effortless,

or do visitors have to think where they need to go and look

for the back button? Watch a first-time user meander through

your site and see what he or she encounters. 


5. Performance

How well does your website perform on other

systems? Of course you know how it performs in your own home

or office, but do you know how it rates in others’? For

example, what is the download speed on different website

browsers and computer platforms? How fast do pages load on a

dial-up, cable modem or T1 setup? Consider, too, the

download speed of web pages with both small and large

graphics or of any documents available on the site. Your web

logs may provide information such as this to help you assess

a visitor’s overall experience. 


6. Interactivity

The complexity of your site will determine

how interactive the user’s experience can be. For example,

can the website do simple searches? If the website has

discussion boards, are they easy to access? If your career

area allows a potential candidate to apply for a job, is the

process easy and interactive? 


7. Statistics

Statistics may not be the first thing you are

concerned about when looking at your website, but the

information they provide is invaluable. When I first

launched our website, I’ll admit, I never looked at our

website statistics. Today, I look at them all the time. I

like to know where people are going on the site, what pages

are most popular, and where new visitors are coming from. I

now know what key words visitors use to find us, which has

helped distinguish my market. 


At the end of this fall’s website evaluation, we determined

our newsroom had grown throughout the year and so needed to

refocus our attention in that area. While a few years ago

our newsroom may not have been the focus, today more and

more visitors are first learning about us via the news

stories and presentations we give, as well as the articles

we write. For us, the goal is to make this part of the site

as user friendly as the other areas.


This Web Marketing article was written by Beth Silver on 11/20/2005

Beth Silver is Managing Director of Doubet Consulting, a marketing and management firm that works with entrepreneurs and business owners around the country. For more information, please visit