A couple of years ago, most websites were just a glorious technicolour brochure that happened to be available online. We just wanted to use it to impress our clients, and to have somewhere to send them if they wanted to check us out.
Because of the upsurge in Social Media, we are now realizing that a website can be and do SO MUCH MORE for our business! I am noticing this as I am probably having a conversation a week with various people wanting to explore on-line options, both for delivering content, staying in touch with clients and suppliers and perhaps even earning them money.
So what SHOULD your website be doing for your Business?
Take a look at the 7 things I feel are important & look critically at your website & see how many of these things apply to you.
- Your site should be attracting TARGETED traffic.
Just like “Turnover” – the number of visitors you get to your site is pure vanity. I would rather get 10 visitors that are truly interested in what I have to offer than 100 people that are just looking. This interest has to be generated by an intelligent and thought out marketing plan, together with great copy once they get to your site.
- You need to compel people to TAKE ACTION.
Once again you have to pay attention to what you are saying in your web copy. If you let a visitor leave without asking them to take some action i.e. sign up for your newsletter, download a special report, request a quote, comment, etc., then you have wasted your time. This is like handing someone a business card without having a phone number on it and expecting people to contact you. You have worked hard, and perhaps spent quite a lot of money to get them to find you – you need to capitalize on it.
- Convert Visitors to Followers, Fans & Paying Clients.
We tend to think of Visitors to our web site as potential clients, but that is not always true. Just as in face-to-face interactions you need to get to know people and develop that like-trust factor, the same applies to online interactions. This is why the new social media tools are just so great because they allow us to do this easily! You need to interest visitors enough that they want to ‘follow’ what it is that you are doing. Over time they will become your Fan and hopefully eventually a paying client. This is a process though and you need to have a system in place to help that happen.
- Increase your subscriber list.
The value of your business is in your subscriber list. Think of this as your ‘sales funnel’. Years ago this would have been your list of customers and potential customers that your sales rep’s chased and stayed in touch with. The same principle applies to the people that are on your on-line subscriber list. A percentage of those people will eventually do business with you. They are your future income and your goal should be to have a system that helps you build that list and keep building it month after month.
- It should increase you sales and income.
Because of the internet we can now do business with people not just locally, or throughout South Africa, but all over the continent and even all over the world if we want to. Your web site could be your gateway to earning money you didn’t even think was possible – if you just look at what is available and how you could make it work for you and your products or services.
- It should increase your Reputation and Reach.
This goes hand-in-hand with what I said above about reaching new markets and people you never even thought possible. It also makes it possible for very small companies to suddenly become really competitive with larger ones. Just as in your local market, but in fact even quicker, you can ruin your reputation if you don’t follow the rules of the internet. Being ethical and fair and offering some sort of guarantee becomes even more important over the net so you need to factor that in.
And last but not least we come to the last point. Something you probably haven’t even thought about but can certainly be true if you put some effort into creating your web site in the first place.
- Save up to 90% on your Marketing.
Yes, web sites can cost quite a bit to set up, but if you begin with the end in mind, they can be a hassle free source of income to you for years to come. Yes, you will have to keep it up to date, fresh and exciting but that will only take time and a little bit of effort. As you fine tune the marketing machine that is your website you will absolutely see how it is worth the time and effort when it starts impacting directly on your bottom line without any huge advertising or staffing costs associated with it. What could be better?
So, how does your web site stack up? Let me know how you feel about your site and what it has been doing for you – I would love to hear about it – good and bad.