For many business owners this may seem counter intuitive, but I’ve been talking about this since I got into WordPress Development back in 2009. I would say 9 out of 10 times my business web design clients ask the following question: “How can advertising online hurt my business?” But this is a fundamental misunderstanding about the way we interact with companies in the modern world.
It is hard to imagine a flyer or a 30 second radio spot actually hurting your business as long as you are not paying more than it’s worth, but your business website is not an advertisement.
This is because your website doesn’t go to your customer like an ad does. Your customers come to your website, the same way they come to your business. There are a lot of custom web design and development companies out there, but not very many understand this important dynamic. Most are focused on appearance or robust code, but not many are driven by marketing and conversions and understand the psychological dynamics involved in creating a successful website for business.
For example, we don’t expect an ad to treat us like a human being. An ad needs to be flashy and get our attention because of all the other noise out there and we kind of accept that. But when a customer comes to your website, you already have their attention, and they are trying to find out about your business. A much better analogy would be to say that your website is a public relations representative and a salesperson rolled into one.
Now, you may think a cheesy ad isn’t really going to hurt anything, but what about a public relations person? Can you imagine the impact of a PR rep standing out in front of your business telling every customer that walks up to the door, “Welcome to our generic company that is a little out of date and doesn’t care much about appearances. . .” Or maybe it would be even better to imagine a PR rep standing in front of your business in sweatpants and a tee shirt explaining to all of your customers how your company cares about professionalism. . .
Do you think it might hurt your business if your salesperson was dishonest, disorganized, confrontational or just plain ineffective?
In cases like those it is easy to see that the person representing your business needs to be fired because they are dragging your business down. But for some reason when it comes to a business website, the bum gets to keep the job. Well I’m here to tell you that it might be time to fire your website, and here are a couple of quick tips to determine how your site is affecting your business.
- Website Shame:
When someone asks you if you have a website, you should immediately say, “Yes, of course! You really should check it out too, we have a lot of great information for our clients that you might find really helpful.”
If instead, your answer is something like, “Well yeah, but it’s probably not the best way to get ahold of me, here’s my card, just shoot me an email or give me a call. . .” you probably have website shame. If you didn’t want people to see or talk to your sales rep because you were ashamed of how they represented your business, you would fire them. Time to fire your website.
- Black Hole of Leads:
You know people are visiting your website from time to time because you are paying good money to help drive traffic, but like a black hole sucks up light, potential leads may come into your website, but they never come out. If every potential client who went to your sales rep because they were interested in your product decided not to contact you after the meeting what would you do?
If the only emails you get from your contact forms are written in very broken english and include links to generic viagra and cheap fashion accessories. . . Time to fire your website.
- Lack of Faith:
Your website generates leads from time to time, but you know that the website isn’t going to sell the product or service on it’s own. Chances are good this is most business owners, and in many industries it is true that there is a point where one-on-one contact with a sales rep is going to be your best option.
However, you should be comfortable letting clients move back and forth between the website and the sales team. Your website should act as a valuable member of the sales team that you can trust to effectively nurture your leads and consistently get them back into the purchase zone, whether that is a “buy now” button or a member of your sales team.
If you think of your website as an exit strategy for your reluctant customers. . . Time to fire your website.
If you are serious about turning your website into a valuable business asset, contact me today and we can schedule a free, conversion based web design consultation.