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Which Underdog Broke Your Bracket?

I am still amazed by the teams that are under-rated some times, but yet, pull out all the stops to defy expectations.

March Madness 2010 – “OH NO! WHAT? NO WAY!…..”, the fans scream at their TVs, as the number one seeded Kansas University, Jayhawks were taken out of the tournament by Northern Iowa. 

I think it’s safe to say, Americans love the underdogs, the “Cinderella Story”.  But for many fans out there in March Madness world, myself included, our brackets suffered after the Jayhawks lost a few weeks ago.  But it goes to show you; bigger, in this tournament, hasn't always been better.  The same holds true for the business world.

So what does the underdog do better to win clients, while taking down the number one seed Company that we all have in our brackets? 

The underdogs are working smarter and harder.  Because they must do more with less, they are creative and strategic.  You can no longer dip your bucket in the river and fill it full of sales.  Today you have to go to the puddles and work harder to fill your bucket.  As the true saying goes “Business is not business as usual”.

Take the Internet for example; it puts businesses on the same level playing field, and suddenly the whole world can be your territory.  You don’t need lots of money to compete with the big websites, but you do need the know-how. Anyone can build a website, but those who know how to build a better website will stand out to their end users.  They will come out of nowhere helping you clobber your big competitors.

Do you think Butler’s coach, Brad Stevens, led his Bulldogs to the Final NCAA game with no plan of action?  Of course not!  However, when they arrived to play Duke in the final match up, they were on the same level playing field because Coach Stevens had a plan.   So let us help you get the most from your website by creating a plan of action to stand up to the “big” guys and keep your visitors coming back.

Is your website easy to navigate? Does it clearly convey your business’s services and/or products?  If not, visitors will abandon your site because they have lost interest… there goes your potential clients. 

Have you clearly defined to visitors what Business you are in?

Your website is your chance to make a first impression …and you only have a few seconds to make it a good one.  When visitors land on your home page, the value of your service and/or product must be clear.  Yeah, you can make your homepage flashy, have pretty pictures, etc… but if your message is not clear, then why would you expect visitors to go any further on your site?  Do not get caught up in the design alone. Sure a nice professional-looking site is important, but your time and effort should be spent on the content.

Have you made your website easy to navigate and use?

You want your visitors to experience a pleasant and efficient website.  We all know that there are many cluttered websites out there.  Just the simplicity of making your website the most usable will help you attract more visitors to your site and keep them there.  You need to focus on an easy to use navigation as well as pages that have quick download times.  I have left many sites because of poor navigation and who wants to wait for something to download; really…I’m off to the competitors’ website if this happens.

Will your site be found by Search Engines?

Your site could look great, but if it’s not search-engine optimized, then you have cut off almost all possibilities of organic traffic. If your budget does not allow for you to get an SEO company to audit your site, then be sure that at minimum you have: a site map, title tags, heading titles, and meta description.
Technology is becoming more advanced, so remember the Mobile Web Users.

More and more people are on the go, which means more traffic to your website is coming via mobile phones.  I believe this will only increase over the years, as carriers are continually enhancing the capabilities of cellular wireless standards. 

Your website is done and now you play the waiting game, right? NO, you need to Track it.

How do you know you are competing with a number one seed Company if you are not tracking your websites’ success?  You need to review your websites’ stats, make sure you review weekly reports and take a critical look at how people are using your site.  Not collecting information about who is visiting your site could be the difference between experiencing huge growth and failing.

In closing, Duke may have ended the Fairy Tale Run for Butler, but if you are a March Madness follower, you know this game will be remembered and talked about for years to come, as well as this tournament being the most memorable in history, filled with close games, upsets and underdogs. 

So remember, bigger is not always better….make your website memorable.

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