Have you ever asked if your small business website was a waste of money?
We continue to hear about how important it is to have a website and web presence. However, most small businesses do not generate any revenue from their website. So what gives?
Well, I am going to blame the marketing industry here. We continue to tell businesses how important it is to have a website and how your website must be mobile ready. So you the business owner, run out and find a “website developer” and pay them a bunch of money. Fast forward 6 months and $10,000 later, you are still waiting for that return on investment.
This is why only 59% of small business owners say their website is important to the growth of their business. The problem is that 100% of business owners should say their website is important. This low percentage is due to the fact that most “website developers” are not building your website for marketing, lead generation, or organic search. They are charging you $10,000 to build an online brochure. Yes, this online brochure looks amazing on all devices, but if nobody sees your website, does it matter?
I want to make sure that we are on the same page here. Your website should be your most valuable marketing asset and you should receive leads and increased revenue from your website. Your small business website should be an asset, not a waste of money.
6 Things Your Website Needs To Be Marketing Ready
We have a saying around here, “give your website a purpose”. We say that because if your website does not have a purpose, what’s the point of having it. We may as well shoot out 1,000 postcards to random people every week. Why did you invest all that money into something that nobody is going to see?
Don’t get me wrong, your website is one of your most valuable marketing assets when used correctly. In fact, we get 80% of all our leads from our website. Your small business website should be doing the same. If you build it they will not come. You have to work your butt off in order to drive traffic and leads to your website.
So, let’s look at 6 items your website needs to be marketing ready. This can also be used as a checklist when you get ready to hire your next website developer.
The other day I was at my daughter’s gymnastics practice and I looked around the room. 90% of the parents were head down on their phone. Yes, that tiny computer in your pocket has changed the way we consume and search for content, companies, and valuable information. Your smartphone has changed the way we do business.
If you do not have a mobile strategy, it is time to put one in place. Start with your website. If your website is still not mobile optimized, do it now. You know who I am talking to.
One further example of the importance of a mobile-optimized website, this might hit a little closer to home. You are at home watching your favorite show, Walking Dead. You did not record the show and for some reason, you are watching the show live. Your remote falls on the ground. A commercial comes on. Remember those? You can’t find the remote that fell under your bed. What do you do? Well, if you are a human, you pick up your phone and start browsing the web, social media, or playing a game.
Point is, your mobile strategy is more important than you think. Please ensure your website is mobile ready.
We believe that blogging for business is a must for any business. Your blog is a way to tell the world about your brand through your digital marketing. Your blog is a great place to show you are the authority in your industry and gives you a way to get indexed in Google. Companies that blog 16 times per month receive 3.5 times the traffic than companies that blog 0-4 times per month. That’s a huge deal dude.
You can see that your blog is valuable to your business and if you are not blogging, you need to start. When we talk about giving your website a purpose, your blog is what gives your website a purpose.
Note: blogging is not that hard. You do not need to be part of an experienced marketing team or an A+ writer. Heck, I am not the best writer out there, but I continue to write because it is important to my business. You should be the same. Start small and grow as you learn what works.
Search Engine Optimization
As we continue to grow and we start to onboard clients, one of the biggest aspect missing in their website is search engine optimization basics. This is why many of the $10,000 websites look great but fail to meet the marketing needs of your business. Driving revenue.
The problem is that most “website developers” are not marketers or search engine optimization experts. They are creatives that produce visually stunning websites. This is why so many marketing agencies have brought website development in-house, to make sure it is done the right way. For marketing sake, you have a website to be found, right?
Call To Action
Okay, this is marketing 101 stuff here. You must have a call to action on your small business website. A call to action is an instruction to the audience to provoke an immediate response. This is what you want your visitor to do. Call for a free consultation, download a free eBook, fill out a form, schedule an appointment. You get the idea.
If you want to take your CTA’s to the next level, e sure to map your content and CTA to the stage of the buyer’s journey. The better you map these three aspects, the better the change you are going to convert.
Social Media Marketing
We all want our digital presence to go viral, right? Sure. Well, this is never going to happen if you do not have a way for your web visitors to share your content. If your small business website is built on WordPress, like 25% of the web, then there are thousands of options for you to use.
In order to get more shares on social media, create content that app[eals to your users. Aligning your content to your users is the best way to get them to hit that share button.
Make sure that you are using your social media channels to share your content. The more you share your content, the better the chance someone will see it. Don’t be afraid of sharing your content more than once per social media platform. Personally, I will tweet content 20 times over a month in order to promote our blog. Just don’t overdo it.
At A Minimum, A Decent User Experience
If your site is difficult to navigate and has broken links all over the place, your visitor will not stay around too long. The faster they leave, the less likely you are going to convert that web traffic into a lead. Work on your user experience and give your visitor what they want. A solid user experience will turn your business into a lead generation machine.
So, Was Your Website A Waste Of Money?
Unfortunately, there are a ton of small business websites that were a waste of money. Sorry if this is you. There is no other way to put it. Your website should be your digital marketing home base. Your website should have a purpose and that purpose is to generate leads and revenue for your company. So, if your website is like most, it is time for a refresh. It is time to give your website a purpose.
How To Generate More Revenue to Your Small Business Website
Okay, you now know what to look for in your next website. You are going to create a small business website that generates leads and converts visitors to leads. The problem is, you may not know what to do next. Generating traffic and revenue is not something that just happens. Here is how we have always increase website traffic and helped small business owners create a digital presence that produces ROI. Here is our B2B demand generation plan to generate more revenue.
The Inbound Marketing Methodology
The inbound marketing methodology is the process of attracting a new customer to your website through compelling, value-driven content. This content earns your customer’s attention because it is highly valuable to the end user. This content not only helps find new traffic, but it helps build repeat traffic that is more likely to convert to a lead.
Inbound marketing is important because it gives your small business a structure and methodology to drive more traffic to your website. Setting up an inbound marketing plan before you redesign your website is a good idea. You will be in a better position to place the content in the right place.
Blog, Blog, and Blog Some More
We already discussed the importance of blogging. We also know that blogging 16 times per month is going to take an army. So, we suggest that you start with a blog every other week. 2 times per month. This should be doable for even the busiest small business owner. Starting with a bi-weekly blog is going to get you and your team, that’s right your team, in the practice of creating content.
I know what you are thinking. “What should we blog about?” Glad you asked. If you are just getting started blogging, start by answering your FAQ is more detail. As you run out of FAQ’s start asking your sales staff, or yourself, what your potential customers are asking during the sales process.
You should never run out of information to blog about. Your customers are asking questions. Start answering them in blog form. This will help your customers find you because odds are they are asking Google the same questions they are asking your sales team, or you.
Drive Traffic with Target Advertising
I am going to bring it up because it is important to all your digital marketing activities. Use paid advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google. Find out where your customers are hanging out and place some ads. Your budget does not have to be huge. We have used as little as $250 per month on paid advertising to generate revenue.
The better you identify your ideal customer, the better your ads are going to perform. Test your ads until your get the optimal conversion rate. As your ad performance increase, you can scale your ad budget up or down as needed.
Note: When I was running my digital marketing agency, we would not take a client that did not have a budget set aside for digital advertising. This was because it is the fastest way to start seeing results. Blogging and organic search are going to take time to pay off, so you need to throw some gas on the fire. This is where digital advertising comes in handy.
Small Business Website Conclusion
Your small business website should be the backbone of your marketing efforts and generate more revenue than any other channel. Anytime that you decide to place effort into your website, it is a great marketing idea. Ensure that your small business website is ready for users to convert and set up for marketing. Before you set up your next website, ensure that it is set up for marketing.
If your small business is having a hard time generating leads for your business, maybe you need a marketing wingman that can help. Let us help you find the right marketing partner to help you get better results.