Being a marketer, I’ve often used a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) Analysis to help me create a marketing plan or to launch a new product or feature.  The SWOT Analysis was created by Albert Humphrey in the 1960s and it is still a useful business tool today.  Since we are starting a new year, I took out a blank SWOT matrix

and begin the task of completing it.  I find it a good way to get my thoughts organized. It helps me create my strategy, discover my next steps and develop my action plan.
As I started my SWOT matrix, I realized that it can be a good tool for analyzing a website.  It can be used to evaluate the performance of your website overall, or you can focus on one or many of your Web pages.  It can also be used to help answer a question that you may have, such as “How do I drive traffic to my website?” or “How can I increase my website sales?”

Below is the meaning for the SWOT acronym followed by an example of a SWOT matrix solving the question: “How can I increase sales on my website?”

1. Strengths

Characteristics of your website that gives it an advantage over others in your industry and providing a good sales experience. Tip: Look at this from an industry level or your main competitors.

2. Weaknesses

Characteristics or gaps of your website at a disadvantage relative to how you developed your strengths (industry or main competitors). Tip: What’s missing on my site that could help increase sales?

3. Opportunities

What outside possibilities are you aware of that can help drive more visitors to my website? Tip: Do you need to grow online awareness or need new tools?

4. Threats

What outside risks are you aware of that could cause a decline in sales? Tip: Are you using marketing and social networking tools?

 

Once you start your SWOT analysis, you may you may find some opportunities that you hadn’t previously considered and hopefully will come up with a great long list of opportunities.

I would suggest that you try to implement those opportunities that are easy first.  Then, focus on a few that could bring you more sales but would take some time to do. I know that if I have several opportunities that take time to implement, I tackle one at a time so I feel like I’ve made progress. This approach also helps me see progress while executing the next opportunity.

Have you ever used a SWOT analysis for your business?  Will you try using a SWOT matrix for your website? We’d love to know how it works out!