As a creative director, I’ve had my fair share of client meetings.
During the initial consultation I like to identify the objectives of the business and determine what role the website will play. Some clients have a clear vision, some are unsure but willing to learn, and then others say they are just looking for a ‘brochure-style’ listing.
Far too often, however, I hear this statement: “ My customers don’t come from my website”.
Being completely honest, this type of comment really gets under my skin! When I hear a client say this, it’s clear to me that they have already made a decision to not take their website seriously.
I’ve met too many small and medium sized business owners who think of their website only as a glorified Yellow Pages listing. The only reason they are willing to part with the money to pay for a website is because they believe: It’s just something businesses have to do.
Your website is what you make of it.
Every business owner knows that if you want to generate more business and be a leader in your industry you need to work at it.
Your website is one of the marketing tools that can work for you… and, in this day and age, it’s probably the most important one.
To most customers, your website reflects your credibility. It’s a simple equation: Look good online and people will be pre-disposed to think you know what you’re doing.
Think about how you feel when you visit a website that looks like it hasn’t been updated since 2008. I personally wouldn’t feel overly confident in what that company can deliver and I’m certainly not going to jump at the opportunity to give them my money.
So, you have to ask yourself: Is this how potential customers feel when they visit my business’ website for the first time?
Use it wisely… get the most marketing ‘bang for the buck’ out of your website.
If your current website does not appeal to your target audience (or anyone for that matter), it’s time to consider a redesign.
The other thing to consider is how easily your website can be updated. These days you should have the ability to add basic content to a website yourself (ie. without having to pay someone) using a content management system (CMS).
Regularly posting new content shows that your business is current, it’s active, and it’s keeping ahead of the needs of your customers.
The challenging part is being consistent.
To get started and to establish consistency, I recommend developing an update schedule.
If you have a blog or a news area on your site, this is the perfect place to add updates and information your clients and industry peers will find interesting.
Doing this regularly tells your audience you know your industry inside and out… AND that you are passionate about what you do.
As an added benefit, it also helps you rank higher on Google!
The more you add fresh content, the more potential clients will become aware of your business. You can even share your website updates on social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
Success won’t come overnight, but I promise if you stick to it, the days of saying “ My customers don’t come from my website” will be long gone!
– Larry Chartier, Creative Director