How Do I Know Your Website Stinks?
No, I don’t have extraordinary seeing powers. All I have to do is ask you a few simple questions.
1. When was the last time you visited your website?
2. When was the last time you updated your website with anything of any value to visitors?
3. When was the last time anyone contacted you through your website?
4. Does your website have social media links so visitors can link with you on their preferred platform?
5. Can you easily change and update your site?
Your honest answers to these questions will confirm whether your website stinks just a little bit, stinks like last week’s garbage or smells like a rose.
Why bother updating your website?
Because, like it or not, as a small business your website is one of your primary marketing tools. It represents your online presence. Worrying about how your store looks inside or out or about the design of your business cards is a waste of time if your website isn’t delivering.
Nine out of ten people use the Internet as one of their first resources to find out about businesses selling your products and services. If potential shoppers don’t like what they see or can’t find the information they need to make a decision or are simply turned off by your website, they’ll never see the inside of your store or your business card. In fact,
…your website IS your online store front, your business card, your virtual office.
Your website needs to be a dynamic tool – one where you can add news, announce happenings, capturing email addresses of prospects and much more. If that’s not happening with your website then you need to take corrective action now.
I’ve heard the horror stories and just about every excuses one can imagine as to why websites sit on the Internet like online mummies saying and doing nothing.
~ I spent $5,000 for the site and I was never pleased with it.
~ I dislike working with the web developer and don’t know who else to use.
~ I don’t have time to update my website.
~ I don’t know how to update my website.
~ I can’t afford $150 every time I want to make one little change to my website.
~ My customers don’t visit my website…they already know about us.
~ My website never brought me any business…I don’t really believe online marketing works.
~ My small business doesn’t really need a website. I depend on pulling customers from my community.
There are no valid excuses for ignoring one of your most important online marketing tools. If you’ve used any of the above excuses then you need to get with the program. You need to take some constructive action.
Every small business owner deserves a website they are proud of – one that enhances its online presence and pulls in prospective customers. Here are some action steps you can take to breath some life into your website and online marketing efforts.
1. Admit that your online presence needs updating and identify how you want your website to work. If you need ideas, check out the sites of others and identify which sites you would like to emulate.
2. Have a heart-to-heart with your current web developer and explain that you need to be able to make updates and changes to your website yourself and you want him/her to move it to WordPress. This should not cost a lot of money unless your website is hundreds of pages and I doubt that this is the case. Your developer can use most of the web graphics and materials that have already been created. The job is really transferring a site from one platform to another…one where YOU can update and make changes.
3. If you don’t have a web developer or don’t want to work with him/her,do your due diligence and find one in your community with stellar references and one you trust. Look for someone who not only understands websites, but also marketing and is seriously concerned about your online visitors’ experience when they visit your site. Ignore fancy graphics and Flash. You want and need the basics along with the ability to make updates whenever you want or need to and a blog function.
4. Have a detailed list of exactly what will be included in the work before you sign any contracts. Don’t assume anything. Make certain the list includes creating links to your other social sites, an opt-in box, etc. You may want the web developer to provide you with a cheat sheet of how to make updates and changes. Include it in the contract as well or have them recommend resources for you or a trusted member of your staff.
5. Establish a deadline for your new website and make it happen.
Make your website have the sweet smell of success.