How to unlock the potential of your website
How to unlock the potential of your website in three simple steps
The rise of social media and mobile devices has built an ‘always-on’ society. Information hungry, and not restrained by business hours, the modern customer will now likely interact with a brand digitally before any human communication takes place. So the pressure is on to ensure that every digital experience counts.
As such the role of the website has evolved. Slow, clunky and difficult to navigate sites are now major liabilities. Businesses need to refresh their approach of using the website as their shop front, and fully consider it as an extension of the business – and in many cases it is the entire business. How? The answer lies in creating, developing and maintaining a site with the digital customer front of mind. But, in today’s connected world where requirements can change rapidly, the platform must be simple to use, flexible, reliable and offer individuality.
Any business owner should question whether they have the capabilities to accommodate this, and seek to follow these three steps to success, to ensure they can get the greatest return from a website.
Ensure the website is scalable and reliable
Diminishing tolerance levels towards a web experience mean that the modern customer has little patience for downtime and page errors. Irrespective of audience, a website must be 100% reliable. At the same time it should provide all information needed in a simple and easy to use manner, regardless of the channel used. Fail to achieve this and brands will find their traffic is heading straight to the competitor’s website.
In any business there are always periods of fluctuating traffic – whether from seasonal peaks and dips, media attention or due to a product or customer campaigns. Regardless of any planned or unexpected surges in traffic, the brand must be able to provide a stable web experience that can cater to heightened levels of visitors.
To avoid a situation whereby surprise traffic can be detrimental to your business’s success, the key is to have a platform in place that can be scaled up and down at the click of a button. This can ensure that no matter the increase in traffic, businesses have the capabilities to adapt quickly and meet the demand, without risking potential downtime.
Plugin your brand personality
Regardless of sector, the website is the public face of your brand, so it’s critical that it accurately represents your business. It’s the first and lasting impression, so it should be customized to fully depict the brand image whilst remaining secure.
In the quest to ensure the website reflects a brand personality, the priority should be on identifying where the most plugins are available, that allow for heightened levels of customization and security development. As a benchmark, WordPress has over 43,000 plugin options to choose thanks to the vast developer communities that exist. These tools can help businesses support security, SEO, maps, live chat, and countless other features on their website.
One common myth is that businesses running the same platform will have the same website structures, and therefore are limited to expressing brand identity and individuality. Such an array of plugins means that businesses can create unique-looking websites that are open to change as and when the business, customers and the wider landscape calls for new functionalities. In turn the website is your oyster to help a brand grow and develop.
Become a publisher
The website is an important extension of the business – and in some cases represents the entire business. So a crucial aspect is for the organisation to ensure that it is constantly evaluating the content and information that it promotes and showcases on the website.
It should not be about broadcasting content for the sake of it, but instead checking that each piece is engaging to key audiences and where appropriate the copy is personalised to the individual. In the age of the customer, brands are increasingly taking publishing into their own hands and out of the IT department. This is often because timing is critical and necessary to form stronger relationships with key audiences.
The availability of straightforward and flexible platforms that don’t require a level of technical know-how is spurring the drive to a publisher revolution. WordPress for example has its origins in blogging so is ideally built to host the greater diversity of content being shared online. In turn this allows firms to focus on applying customer insights to continually build better content.
In a fast moving industry, many businesses still lack clarity in how to make their website a true extension of the brand. Quite simply, the answer is to build an online platform that is secure, engaging and reliable. Applying these three short steps will help your most valuable access point be the gateway to developing brand loyalty and improve sales in an increasingly digital era.
Fabio Torlini is MD at WP Engine
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Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.