What’s a business asset? Most of you reading this can answer that question immediately. If you own or manage a business and are asked, you can likely list off quite a few things that are assets of your business.
… an item of value owned by a company. Business assets span many categories. They can be physical, tangible goods, such as vehicles, real estate, computers, office furniture, and other fixtures, or intangible items, such as intellectual property.
All of this is true, but how many consider a company’s website as a business asset? Unfortunately, not many do. Some will consider it a marketing channel, others just one of those “must-have” things that are more nuisance than anything else. It’s no wonder that so many websites are little more than “brochureware” that add little to no value to the business’s bottom line.
The truth is, a business’s website is a critical business asset. Like other, more tangible ones, it needs to have the proper investment and regular maintenance and updates. If you stop maintaining your building and the roof starts to leak, you can tell right away. A website that functions poorly may not be as visible as a wet floor, but it can be just as detrimental to your success.
The main reason this is important: Your website is the one place you own and control on the web.
It still surprises me to see how many brands put their stock into sites they don’t own:
- Local restaurants not adding their menu to their website and relying on 3rd party sites (if they have a website at all)
- Brands that invest more into social channels and don’t link back to their websites
- Businesses that rely on online centralized business directories for leads or referrals
If your business relies on sites you don’t own, you are missing out on some important advantages:
- You can beat your competition
If you invest in your website to make a great experience and with content that answers your customers’ information needs in a way that makes you easy to find in search, you can earn more attention and, thus, more business. It’s very likely your competitors are cheating themselves in this area, and a better site would you an advantage.
- You can measure what’s happening
Running your online presence through platforms you don’t own or control means that you don’t get data about your customers. That information is critical to help you understand their needs and how you can better connect with them. As digital marketing expert and author Lee Odden wrote, “If it can be measured, it can be optimized.” It’s much easier to optimize something you control than something you don’t.
- You have more control over your online visibility
When you rely on other platforms, you are often at their mercy for how visible you are. That is unless you’re willing to pay for ads.
- Speaking of ads
If your website is optimized so people can find the information they need to choose to do business with you, it will very likely end up saving you money on any pay-per-click ads you purchase. This is because the algorithms that control how much you pay per click reward sites that are well optimized for the keywords purchased.
In the end, treating your website as a business asset is critical to success with today’s digital-savvy customers. It requires time, money, and effort, but it will pay back huge dividends versus ignoring it and hoping for the best. If you don’t know how, you’re in luck. We at WrightIMC have the expertise to get your website going in the right direction.