Why Your Website is More than Just a Website
I talk to a lot of business owners every single day and I have to say that very few of them actually “get it.” What do I mean? I mean most of them just don’t have a clue why they should even have a website much less what they should do with it. They think that they need a website because “it’s just time” or because they “just need one.”
This is a problem – a big one.
Why is it a problem? Because most websites are underutilized resources that most businesses neglect and then tell all of the friends that they “tried” the Internet and it “just didn’t work.”
NOTE – I keep putting these things in quotes not only because I’m being a little sarcastic, but because I’ve actually heard these things.
Your Website Has ONE Goal – Generate Leads
In the most fundamental thinking, your website has one goal – only one. It’s to generate leads. It’s that simple really. Get traffic to your site, convert them, and get them to come back.
I come across clients that just don’t understand this principle and think their site should have XX feature or YY feature and they end up focusing on the wrong things – things that don’t generate leads.
I’ve personally designed well over 300 websites in the past 16 years of doing this “Internet Gig” and I’ve just about seen it all. I’ve had people come to me with the greatest idea in the world, but a horrible marketing strategy and seen them flop. I’ve seen horrible ideas with a great marketing strategy that were hugely successful.
What I want to discuss today is why your website is more than “just a website.” Your website is the first thing that people should see. It’s not only your storefront, it’s your entire building with a huge billboard on top of it – metaphorically.
You wouldn’t leave your businesses building with a huge cracked window would you? Or would you let the grass grow up to a person’s height? Of course you wouldn’t. You would either cut it or hire somebody to do it and fix that window.
Your Website IS Your Storefront
Your website is in a way your storefront – whether you are selling product or generating leads. It’s the first thing that people search for (and hopefully find) when they hear good things about your company. So why would you work so hard to get people to refer business to you and then let your website just sit there? For instance, I come across websites that look outdated. And when I say outdated, I mean, really outdated – like 1998. Yikes.
Or I see sites with news items from 2007. Wow. (Note – it’s 2010).
Just like a normal brick and mortar store, make sure your website looks up to date (not 10 years old), doesn’t have old news or blog posts on it and looks like you actually care about it. It’s the first thing people see, so make it count.
Your Website is Your Best (or Worst) Sales Person
Your website is not only your storefront – it’s also your best (or worst) sales person. You wouldn’t believe the websites that I run across that say “Welcome to our company” on the front page. Wow. You just told your visitor that they found you. Great.
I suggest to my clients that they instead put something that talks to their clients – like “Better Houses Built by XX Company” or “Ridding the World of XX”. These headlines will talk directly to your visitors and tell them what you do.
That brings me to another pet peeve. Tell me what you actually do. You have three seconds from the time that a person comes to your site to when they leave if you haven’t captured their attention. If the visitor has to hunt to figure out what you do, then you will most likely lose them. So put somewhere that can be found what you do whether it’s pest control or web design.
The point is, that your website should be selling your company and not putting up generic stuff that everybody else has. It’s basic Marketing – distinguish yourself from the pack. Your website is the first and best place to do this.
Speaking of Internet Marketing…
Your website should be your biggest referral source. We get one to two leads per day through each of our websites at Web Unlimited — and yes, we have more than one. This happens because we of course put the energy into getting traffic and then converting it.
First we work on getting traffic to the site through search engines, social media, and newsletters. Then we constantly work on our sites to optimize them and get the most referrals we can. We push the sites as far as we can take them and then turn around and work on generating traffic again.
Websites are a lot of work, but they can be your best (and cheapest) employee working 24/7 on getting new leads. Your website should include a sound marketing strategy and sales funnel that leads people from the front page to a lead generation page.
We suggest you spend your marketing budget on your website before anything else as that person with an iPhone is searching for you – they just have to be able to find you. Then once you’re found – make sure you make the visit count and convert them into a lead.
If you need help at all or have any questions about developing an online marketing strategy for your business website and want to turn your website into a referral engine, feel free to call Web Unlimited toll free at 1-888-516-0172 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.