Organizational Culture

Continuing on my trend of talking about business fundamentals, I’m going to talk about organizational culture. Every company has one. Organizational culture is the values shared by all associates of the organization. It is the set of implicit assumptions that the group has and these assumptions determine how the group perceives, thinks about, and reacts to its environment. Basically, it’s what it’s like to be a member of that organization. It gives employees a sense of identity, belonging, and commitment.

Having an organizational culture is unavoidable, because it just happens. That is why it is important to work to establish a culture that promotes productivity, teamwork and happiness for your employees (and yourself!). Some ways to influence, create or change an organization’s culture:

  • Formal statements, such as the company’s vision, mission, and values.
  • The design and layout of the physical space/work environment.
  • Slogans, acronyms, sayings, etc.
  • The criteria for rewards, recognition, advancement. For example, at Zappos, customer service reps are rewarded for spending MORE time on the phone with customers. They are promoting a culture of friendly, helpful, customer service.
  • Organizational structure, systems and processes.
  • Leading behavior, such as modeling, reactions during crisis, etc.

It is amazing how organizational culture can vary from company to company. If you’ve worked at more than one company, I’m sure you have experienced different organizational cultures. When a organization has a distinct culture, you will know if you are a “fit” for that company based on how you feel in that culture.

Mistakes Businesses Make when Designing a Website: #7 & #8

Mistake No. 7: A confusing check out process

When someone is ready to purchase, you need to have a flawless system in place to ensure you capture the sale. When someone adds your product or service to their shopping cart, you want to be certain they follow through on the process. The people that add the product or service but leave before completing the transaction are referred to as abandoners. Abandonment rates range from 3% to as high as 50%.

A few key points to ensure a low (or nonexistent) abandonment rate:

  • Zero mistakes on the checkout page: the price is correct, the product is well-defined
  • Branding is present: you want people to know they did not leave your website
  • Very few clicks to purchase: has this perfected
  • Make your customer feel at ease: testimonials, warranty, return policy information
  • Promote security: use a service like to show the page is secure

Mistake No. 8: Forgetting to provide value

I wanted to save my favorite for last. The biggest mistake we see companies making when developing a website is forgetting to provide solid value first. This may sound backwards to many, but it is guaranteed to pay off dividends in the long run. If you focus solely on making the sale, you are going to make fewer sales.

One of the most frequently debated topics we have with clients is their reluctance to “give away the farm.” In other words, they do not want to give free information to their prospects – they want to be paid for that information. Check out He posts more information on his blog than many of our clients combined! The result: his e-mail opt-ins, traffic and sales are much higher than our other clients. The more you give the better your relationships will be with your audience. This, in turn, will correlate to higher sales!

Some ways to give value:

  • Free resources
  • Helpful links
  • Articles of interest
  • A Web blog
  • Video clips

If my company Taz Solutions or myself can be of any service to you, please contact us at 1-800-659-3020, extension 4. We have designed thousands of websites in the last 10 years and would be honored to work with you!

Mistakes Businesses Make when Designing a Website: #5 & #6

Mistake No. 5: Having too much information

Yes, content on the Web is king, but too much content can be overkill and confusing. Each page should have its purpose on your site. Any other pages after that most likely will be viewed as confusing. Put the information you want people to read right up front where they can easily find it. The easier things are to find, the better off you and your visitors will be. Check out as an example. Everything you could possibly want is right up front!

Mistake No. 6: Not including the right kind of content

Some essential content your Website should include:

  • Product/Service information
  • About your company
  • FAQ’s
  • Return Policies
  • Testimonials
  • Contact Information

Short and sweet, you need your contact information to be in plain sight, above the fold on every page. If your intent is to drive people to email you or fill out a Web form, that form too should be in plain sight on every page. Do not make people search for more than five seconds to find this information or they will move on to a competitor!


Mistakes Businesses Make when Designing a Website: #4

Mistake No. 4: A site that is not search-engine friendly

As stated earlier, your site needs to be designed with several audiences in mind – one of which is for the search engines. In the Web-design industry, Web designers are a dime a dozen. From people who use Web-page creation software to create mediocre pages, to experts with degrees in design, it is easy to find a Web designer. What is not so easy is finding a designer who is right for your company and knows how to design a site that will appeal to visitors and attract search- engine spiders at the same time. There are several ways that a Web designer with no search-engine knowledge can damage your business.

  • Links – Linking is one of the most important internet marketing strategies used in search-engine optimization (SEO). In addition to making sure backlinks to your Web site are available, SEO experts know how to use anchor text and other techniques to boost your rankings. A designer without SEO knowledge will not know about these techniques and may not focus on building links when designing your site.

  • Meta Tags – While Meta tags are not the most important factor in getting ranked, they do have some impact on your rankings and how potential visitors see your pages. Meta tags are HTML tags that contain information about your site. The Meta keyword tag should include the main keywords for each page on your site. The Meta description tag should contain a short description about your site (this is what the search engines display when your site comes up in the rankings). Designers who do not have SEO knowledge may not use any Meta tags, or they may fill the Meta tags with generic keywords that do nothing to help rank your site.

  • Content – A good design firm will guide you as to what content to write along with several guidelines to get the best search-engine ranking.

  • General Site Structure – It is imperative that once the search engines actually crawl your website they are able to get around it and crawl the content you want. For this to be effective you want to make good use of text links, alt tags, sitemaps and your general linking structure. One of our favorite examples of a well designed site is This site is ranked extremely well, is search engine friendly and makes the owners a hefty amount of money!

Mistakes Businesses Make When Designing a Website: #2 & #3

Mistake No. 2: Too much flash

A few years ago, having any flash on your website was the search-engine ranking kiss of death. Google and Yahoo! have made a variety of adjustments to their code allowing for flash Web sites to be present in their search engines, but you need to find the proper balance.

Flash is simply the “flashy” or animated content on your website. Some businesses have flash intros on their Web sites that demonstrate their product or service in an animated form. Others have flash headers on their sites with scrolling testimonials or photos. If you’re interested in having some sizzle on your site, that is fine – but do not overdo it.

Flash intros have been proven to push visitors away from websites and are not recommended. Flash headers, however, have been proven to help increase conversion, as they show a variety of points in a short time span without having to navigate across different pages. When using flash, make sure you use a design company that also understands marketing.

Mistake No. 3: Forgetting that you have multiple audiences viewing your website

Most businesses have three to seven different audiences that view their website. Failure to recognize or remember these audiences may cost you business.

Here is a list of the primary people that will be viewing your website:

  • Creditors/Banks
  • Current customers
  • Family/Friends
  • Media/Press
  • Search engines
  • Prospects
  • Vendors

We encourage you to rank the importance of each group of people and make them your focus, but keep the others in the back of your mind.