27 Aug Avoid adding your next website to an online house of horrors by considering these 5 things
Your business is up and running, you have customers and life is pretty sweet but you have a niggling feeling that your website is holding you back, or you may just be outright ashamed of it.
If you’re feeling ashamed of your website – stop right there!
You are where you are. If you lived in an ideal world, you would have no doubt set up your business with a multi-coloured striped backdrop, a pot of gold by your side and a cheeky leprechaun whispering upbeat mantras into your ear every time you were having self-doubts.
If you weren’t sitting next to a rainbow, then it is likely you did what you felt was right at the time, and if it didn’t ‘feel’ right then no doubt the budget meant that it had to be right.
A word of caution before you read on.
When you are thinking about a website, while you don’t have to be a web expert it pays to have some idea of what you should expect. This way you will not become one of the unfortunate horror stories that you have heard about when talking to fellow businesses that are now firmly in a website house of horrors.
You are the expert of your industry, your passion runs through your blood and, with these tips in mind, your chosen website designer will be able to steer you in the right direction to ensure you capture your business in the right light. Or, and just as importantly, you will be able to weed out the web designers who just don’t get you – trust your gut.
What needs to be on a second or third website?
In short, the majority of what you had on the first and so much more.
With websites less is not more. Readers need to be guided into the mindset that you are the right fit for them, and that you will deliver the service and product they need. With this in mind, do not choose a provider that limits you to a set number of pages as you will most definitely make compromises if you try to work this way.
Make a list of all of your services, but then think about the problems that your business solves.
Just like you shouldn’t have to know the full spec when choosing a website, your customers should not have to know the right solution for them. That is what your service pages offer.
By thinking about customers’ pain points and what issues you solve as a business, you will open the net to the people who need your advice.
A great example of this is a financial advisor we recently worked with. If they had just put the services down, how would a 30-year-old business owner know what they needed as they probably wouldn’t think they had any wealth to manage?
How could a new website improve your current customers’ experience?
Don’t be fooled into thinking that websites are for sales only, it is quite the opposite if you think a little bit harder. After all, like it stated in a recent hub spot article, existing customers are easier to sell to – by a long shot. You’re 60-70% more likely to sell to an existing customer, compared to the 5-20% likelihood of selling to a new prospect.
So, if you can improve your offering and make it easier for your current customers to like you, trust you and spend more money with you through your website, then you are on to a winner.
Plus, what is great in this is the better your website is for current customers, the better it becomes for potential customers who are looking for your services on search engines.
How can a website support your current sales and marketing strategy?
If you are a few years in and your business is now looking for its next website, then chances are you are already doing some form of marketing and sales – even if it is not the pure dictionary definition.
A great example of this is referral marketing and networking. As a key part of networking meetings you deliver a minute message or 60-second pitch, but there is every chance that this doesn’t give you the opportunity to cover things in as much detail as you could really do with.
This is where your website comes in. Take that topic and turn it into a blog or a new page. That allows you to then send on a resource to recap business associate’s minds and for them to be able to back up a potential referral within a referral marketing group.
Again, by backing up your current marketing with some extra information on your website you will in turn be increasing your search value.
Is a new website the right next investment for your business?
As business owners we are spinning many plates and there are certain times that a new website may be a good move, but actually, from a marketing perspective, there are other things that are better placed to solve current problems, like public relations, social media, Google Ads, a photography photoshoot.
If you have a pain that needs resolving right now then it is unlikely a website is the right solution, with lead times of a few months and then the need to allow time to climb search engine rankings. A website is solving pains of the future and there may be better ways to solve your pains in the next few weeks.
Do you really need a new website?
Now I know you are reading this blog for a reason – probably because you think you do need a new website. Although, a new website is not always what is required. Websites are built in such a great way now that sometimes all that is required is a website refresh. This is great when you:
- Hate your current website and it is holding you back from marketing your business
- Like all of the content on the site but not the way it looks
- Are fairly happy with your site but just need your website to better reflect your business
Many Staffordshire businesses have benefited from a website refresh and then being able to spend the money they have saved on other elements of essential marketing.
Of course, there are many more things to think about and consider but hopefully you will now have food for thought about your next website. If you do have any questions, please get in touch.