Most business have some presence on the internet.
There are numerous reasons for this and I’m sure you’ll agree that my list below covers the majority of these:
- E-commerce website selling products through a shopping cart
- An e-brochure which is meant to either supplement other marketing instruments or replace the more expensive paper-based brochure.
- A source of communication with up-to-date industry news
- To be seen. This may seem a strange comment, but some business owners wrongly believe that if you “throw up” any old website, it’ll do because they’re being seen.
- My competition have a website so we’d better have one too.
- A bit of a mixed bag. Combinations from the above with no thought whatsoever to the reader.
“Action, Without Strategic Intent, Is Usually A Waste”
The caveat to my quote is “unless it’s an accident.” In other words, you put up a website and it just worked. This does happen occasionally and is usually as a result of being first on the scene with a particular product or service that prospects and customers want.
Let me spill the beans here and perhaps have a mild rant at the same time.
Most websites are launched with very little thought to who really navigates through them to extract information from them – your PROSPECT or CUSTOMER. There is very little thought into marketing the website. Why? Sadly, many website designers are not marketers and therefore miss out the key buying triggers. Many of them will make your website look good but have no idea how search engines work and therefore do not build your website with search engine optimisation in mind.
As I said above, prospect and customers are the only people that matter. I don’t care what shareholders think – they are not buying your products or services. Being found and understood by the right people is what counts. As I have stated before, and always open my seminars with, “the purpose of a business is to create and retain a customer.”
Your website must therefore function as part of your overall marketing strategy, which, when dissected, should answer one or more of these objectives.
1) How do you attract a prospect and convert them into a customer?
2) How do you keep your customers attention so they continue to re-visit your business through your website and buy again and again.
3) How do you inform and educate both prospects and customers so they are able and willing to make a buying decision
4) How do you create the greatest value proposition with the highest level of support to your prospect or customer?
5) Positioning your business in the market/industry.
Here’s The Killer Question…
You’ve already had a lot to think about in this article about your web presence, especially your strategic objective for its existence.
BUT, here’s the ultimate challenge…
A prospect telephones you today and asks what you sell and how your product or service can help them. After all, that’s what they’re interested in.
Before your jump in with your answer, please open up your web browser and pull up your website. Have you done it? Seriously, do it and stay with me here. If not, do it as my next instruction is so important.
Go back to the question. Instead of you answering it, read from your website.
Now Answer This…
Does your website answer the prospects question? If it does, brilliant job!
If it doesn’t, what is the message you are conveying to your prospect?
Now you may wish to be judge, but I believe you’re too partisan. But hey, you’re here now so, hand on heart, will your existing message retain the prospects attention and convert them into a customer? Will it at least make them want to pick up the phone and know more? Or continue reading your website to find the information? If so, is the information there for them?
If your answer is NO and you are not fulfilling these needs, then what is the point of your website? Unless your Google and sales stats confirm it’s working very well for you, change your website and change it fast!
If your stats are saying your website is working, then it’s still worth testing whether you can improve response by changing your message.
If you don’t know how to change your message, or what it should say, then it’s clear you have a problem and need help. Pick up the phone and call me or email me.