SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. These are the four factors used by organizations to evaluate their business and viability as an enterprise. In a similar way, these factors can be used to evaluate the current and future growth of a website.
Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors which are under the control of an organization. Opportunities and threats are the external factors which are beyond the control of an organization. After the SWOT analysis, you can find the strengths and weaknesses of your website as well as the opportunities and threats to your website.
The SWOT analysis starts with setting specific goals and objectives for your website. These objectives or goals should be measurable and realistic, i.e. increasing profit by 10% in the coming year, increasing click-through rate by 15%, decreasing shopping cart dropping rate by 5%, etc. After you identify your objectives and goals you can start with the following steps of SWOT analysis.
It refers to the advantages that are not present in the sites of your competitors. These are competitive advantages that help your website gain a competitive edge over other similar sites, e.g. relevant and unique content, user-friendly design and quick sign up and check out process, etc. can be the strengths of your website.
It refers to the features of your website that slow down your progress or prevent you from achieving your objectives and goals. To identify your website weaknesses you can compare a feature of your website with the same feature of competitor website. If your competitor executes this feature better than you then consider this feature as your weakness which should be improved.
It refers to the external elements which can help you improve your website performance and popularity. These elements are beyond your control and if exploited wisely can help you achieve your objectives and goals. Some of the common opportunities for the websites are new technology to improve visitor experience, web 2.0 trend focused on social networking, internet on mobile phones, online transactions, innovative marketing strategies, etc.