Estimated reading time: 2.5 minutes
Let me begin by saying that I do not intend to offend anyone?not my clients, not my prospects and certainly not my web designer friends. I don’t mean to insult you either. However, from time to time I meet with prospects who tell me they need a new website. When I hear that, I sigh. Graciously, I wade into the choppy waters of explaining why you just might be wrong, trying to find that delicate balance between educating, consulting and selling. Forgive me, but you may well be operating under some faulty assumptions. The first question I ask is: WHY do you feel like you need to build a website? Here are the usual responses:
- I’m bored with it.
- My website is out of date and isn’t functioning properly.
- My website isn’t getting the traffic and revenue I expected.
- No one visits my website.
- I can’t update my content and I’m tired of waiting for my web guy to do it. (Most popular answer)
- My web guy says it’s time.
Now, here’s a reality check. I do my homework before I meet with my clients and prospects so I know what your website looks like and how it functions before we meet. It’s part of our due diligence. While we don’t build websites at Next Stage Marketing, we do have a strong functional understanding of what a website should do for you from a marketing perspective. We update and market our own website on a regular basis. We know how to use SEO to help our own website get found on the internet.
Of all of the above reasons, only two suggest that you need to build a new website, or update your old one: the ability to add and manage your own content and loss of functionality. That’s it!
Boredom isn’t a reason. Unless you are Amazon, your prospects aren’t visiting your website near as often as you are. They aren’t bored. You shouldn’t be either.
If your web guy says it’s time, he must be looking to make a payment on his college loans. Enough said.
Lack of traffic and revenue has everything to do with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and online marketing. Without those, you don’t have a web presence. You only have a website, which isn’t enough. Having a website without search marketing is like winking in the dark. You know what you’re doing but no one else does!
Most of the time, the lack of performance is caused by not doing any online marketing to drive traffic to your website. No social media, no reviews, no SEO, no Email, no citations. Your site is a static place living on the web with millions of other websites. It’s like having your store on a busy street with dozens of other stores, but you don’t have a sign out front.
It’s called the World Wide Web for a reason. Your website is your destination on the web where all of your online activities come together to meet and greet those people searching for you or what you do. It takes time, effort and talent to create your network on the web. It doesn’t happen by itself.
You’re frustrated because of lack of Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a moving target. It used to be the exclusive domain of an SEO guy or your web-guy. But, SEO has changed, which means your expectations must change too.
Today there are professionals who will, for a fee, manage your SEO with proven online marketing strategies like social media, blogging and citation building. When these efforts are included as part of your overall marketing strategy, you are setting yourself up for success.
Find someone who stays on top of the ever-changing landscape of the internet and understands your business too. If you are a small business, you probably aren’t looking for a full-time person but a contractor who works as part of your team. Find someone you trust and can communicate with regularly. Decide how you will define success and monitor progress to reach those goals.
Even if you decide to spend money on a new website, make sure you are working with someone who understands marketing as much as HTML code. Whether or not you build a new website, you still need online marketing strategies to drive traffic to your site. Otherwise, you end up right where you started!