We get this all the time - "I don't like the way my website looks, and I want to redesign it." First question: why? What's the problem? Granted, the way your website looks is not unimportant, but looks alone may only cause someone to stay for a few more microseconds. With the exception of website designers, no one is visiting your site for its design. Today's website is not a glossy brochure - it's an integral part of your business. Don't remodel your website, repurpose it.
Ask yourself this:
How does my website contribute to my bottom line?
Does your website...
Really? When was the last time you looked at your home page objectively, or better yet asked some strangers to evaluate your messaging. We look at a lot of websites, and they almost always fail to get this right.
No, they won't fill out your "Contact Us" form unless there's a compelling reason to do so. Why push it? Give them something valuable as a welcome present. Yes, it could be a download, but everybody has a download. Why not give them a chance to meet you without requiring a meeting or phone call? Try an informative webinar or at least a video featuring you, not an actor or surrogate. Afraid to be a little creative? Maybe this is a bigger problem than you think. Lighten up. You can be entertaining as well as professional.
This is done by thinking about your site as a mini New York Times. Put your creative hat on again and write a blog post every day if you can. Focus on what's new, what's hard to understand, what's helpful to your target audience. Once you get their attention with great content, make sure you make it easy for them to subscribe to your blog and follow you in social media. Yes, this means that your website is now a news stand, not a brochure. Don't have the staff or the writing chops to do this? There are thousands (if not millions) of freelance bloggers out there. Find a good one and feed him/her well.
How hard is this? No one will mind signing up for something if it's valuable to them and if they trust you as a valuable resource. Your website should be updated daily with interesting, relevant content. Write a micro-novel. Think about what your customers might want - "Insider Tips for Buying a Car" or "How to Build a Beverly Hills Bird House". Whatever your expertise is, leverage that. Hire a graphic designer to make it pop. Build it and they will come, and they will sign up on your landing page. Some might object, but so what? These folks aren't your future customers.
E-commerce is incredibly easy these days. Buying online is one of the top ways people find you and become repeat customers. You can even sell services this way. Don't assume that you can't compete with Amazon. If your products and services are worth buying, do all of the other stuff above and people will find you and buy from you.
So, how does your website contribute to your bottom line? Don't give it a facelift - give it a personality. Think about your website as a key part of your business and dedicate resources to construction, upkeep and daily communication. You will find that the more you do, the more popular and effective your site becomes.
Photo credit: SoWa Sundays
Thursday, February 17, 2011 @ 1PM EST, 10AM PST
Join our guest Jeremy Dearringer, Chief Research Officer for Slingshot SEO, and the Kuno Creative Inbound Marketing team to learn how to build leads using SEO during this free webinar. We will be presenting some of the tactical aspects of SEO that can positively impact your Inbound Marketing.