Your website is an employee. Put it to work!
This may have come up a long time ago, but it might be time to revisit a concept that has shown its head here lately. Why does your website exist?
It seems trivial enough, but we are running into folks lately who are lighting up new sites without having worked through the elements of what their website is supposed to do for them. It’s true for other digital assets too. People say, “you need a Facebook page.” “You need to be on Twitter.” “You better blog.” “Run ads on Google.”
Ok, but why?
When you budget your online marketing out of cash flow, you spend whatever is left over. That usually means very little. So, you tend to be tactical and just do what you can with whatever money is laying around. Aging websites are built on WordPress themes because you can buy a theme for $65 (there are nice themes out there for sure). Google sends you a card that gives you $100 in Adwords when you spend $25. Great, but you need $5,000 to make the needle move. Minimalization is the mindset. Then, when you get the thing up and running, it goes into your pile of “tried that, but it didnt work for me” stories.
The asset is blamed, when it had nothing to do with your results.
If this sounds like you, we would like to offer another thought. Look at your website (or other online assets) as if it were a living, breathing employee that needs nurturing and investment to make it work well. We would like to say that your website is an employee with a job to do. And, in order to do its job well, it needs to be equipped.
You wouldn’t see a pro football player running on the field without pads. He needs gear to do his job well. So does a website and everything else online.
How do I remedy this? We heard you ask.
For starters, think strategic. All of your online assets have to support the business strategy and goals. And, they need to provide a return to you. And, they need real money. If you are doing $5,000,000 in revenue and spend $2,500 on a new website, there is a problem. If you think that it will grow your sales to any degree, you will be unpleasantly surprised. To lay a good foundation that grows sales, you should spend 8 – 10 times that amount, easy. You need strategy. You need website copy. You need a site design. You need development. You need SEO. And, you need engagement. We are not saying that you can’t build a site for less. We are saying that there is a false expectation on what your site will do for the tiny budget frequently given to it. And, it won’t do what it should.
In terms of ongoing efforts, think smaller projects. It is better to focus on a line of business and really blow it out of the water than to focus on all aspects and spread the peanut butter really thin. You can always apply the gas to other areas of your business once you get one successfully running.
We do this with our Content Writing, as an example. When just getting started with ghost blogging for a client, we analyze keywords, what the market is interested in, what motivates your audience and where they live. It might be a single phrase that we are targeting, and we write on that topic until it starts to perform. Once it gets where it should, we add the next phrase or topic. And, we use analytics until we are worn out from looking at what that thing is doing. Now, if budget were unlimited, we could focus on a mess of words at the same time. But, we always focus. This produces results.
So, we are back to the question. What should your website do?
Most folks, when starting out, just put up a face online so that when you meet them, there is place that they can go and check you out. We call that the “Validator to the Business Card”. It is the baby step in websites. And, it is critical. You want to communicate your brand well. A bad starter website can move people away from you. So, YES to these first steps! Tell a great story. But, know that you generate the leads and sales. It just educates.
Therefore, you should grow up as fast as you can. Websites can produce leads, and they never get tired or sick, like our other employees. Develop a focused approach to how your content is published, who you target, what you want them to do, etc. And, do this before you start building. Create your message first. Know your audience. Write down what you want them to do when they come to your site.
And, then invest with intention and like it requires to give you the results you want – not just out of your pocket change. Make it work for you.
Certainly, there is a crawl, walk, run approach. We know that not every business is loaded with cash. But, you can see results and set proper expectations.
If you need help figuring this out, give us a call.