I did my civic duty and watched the State of the Union address last night. I was raised to believe it is my duty as an American citizen to listen to this yearly speech by our President, and I think I’ve watched nearly everyone since starting sometime in high school.
And I believe it may be the first time the President even said the word web site.
President Obama mentioned using web site technology to track earmark spending. He said:
“I’m calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single website before there’s a vote so that the American people can see how their money is being spent.”
I found it fascinating that the President of the United States was talking about some of the same issues that small business owners face with using and maintaining their own web sites.
- You need to have a web site. Obama mentioned briefly that some politicians had already started posting earmarks, but that not everyone was following this protocol. So I was a bit confused if there is one central web site already. If so, anyone know the URL?
For your small business, you absolutely need to have a web presence, and then make your web site known to potential clients and search engines. You need to see it as a business tool, marketing tool, sales funnel, etc.
- You need to have a way to easily update and maintain content. Obama is asking lawmakers to update this web site, which makes me wonder what type of Content Management System (CMS) is in place.
Make it easy on yourself to make updates. Invest in a CMS that allows you to quickly and easily make updates. You (or whoever will be doing the udpates) should be well-trained on how to do regular content updates. If you’ve forgotten, get retrained by your web developer and document the process.
- You need a system for making these updates. My question to Congress is, who will actually be the one to write, edit, and post these details? Whose job is it? The senator, an aide, a web master, or who?
Once you have a CMS or a blog in place, do you have some systems in place to keep you on track? Is there someone who has accountability for making posts and updates? Do you have an editorial calendar and/or a schedule for doing maintenance to double check and update content?
- Is your content relevant? I’m interested to see the actual web site in question because I wonder how useful it will be to the average American. Will it be searchable? Will it be written in a style that is readable?
As you write text or add other material to your web site you need to be asking yourself a similar question. Will this engage my reader and get them to take the next step that I want them to take? That action may be to call you, or to read more, or to buy something. If your viewers cannot find the information they seek, or they do not find your site compelling, they’ll likely just surf on over to the next site.
I was quite surprised to hear, even in passing, the president mentioning how a web site can help with productivity. But that really is the reason behind so many web sites: they should work to help you achieve your goals, or your business’ goals.
Now who has the web site address that Obama is talking about?