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Web Maturity Model

It’s clear that different people have different understanding of how websites work (or specifically how their own website works) as they work on web content. Below is a modified version of Thomas Redman’s data maturity model, using five stages to describe how people in organizations understand what role a website has as a business tool.

neglectors-150Neglecters

Neglecters may have all kinds of web technology in place. However, they only have what they have because someone said they should have it. They don’t have any connection to the web as a valuable business tool, and as a result, they likely haven’t dedicated any staff to help with it. They just build stuff and ignore it. If they have any social media, blog or anything else that typically requires constant upkeep, it may likely be more of a risk with erratic updates and lack of process.

publishers-150Publishers

Publishers view the website and any other online channel as an electronic publishing tool for the benefit of getting content out on the web in and of itself. They likely have visions that all kinds of people are finding their site and reading their content just because it’s out there. They only marshal resources to put out new content and tend to still neglect whatever is already published. There may be some interest in website analytics, but it is only to check how many times people view pages. They may make some kind of effort to optimize content for search, but they don’t tend to understand how optimization truly works.

communicators-150Communicators

Communicators reach that point when they get the fact that a website is an interactive tool between themselves and their customers or audience. They understand the content they put out there must be managed more carefully. They look at website analytics to understand what people do on their website and try to learn more about how to be more effective as a communicator. They may have a more sophisticated method of blogging or using social media. They may take the time to optimize their content for search engines and dedicate some resources to ongoing web tasks.

experimenters-150Experimenters

Experimenters work toward making their site as fully supportive of their visitors as they can. They look for opportunities to make things better and try to find the best way to address business needs online. They use tools like user testing or a/b testing in addition to any other methods that help them with optimization. They likely have regular reporting for website analytics and visitor data.

Interactives

Interactives see their website as a fully functional business tool capable of more than mere communication and rather see the potential as a business asset. They tend to integrate more features to help with any relevant business processes that can function effectively online. They may even develop unique tools or features specific to their own business. They have dedicated staff to work with these tools and use them for business operations. They set the standard for an effective website in their particular market or industry.

The first step to maturing is understanding web content strategy.

Web Content Strategy – read more