Have you ever found yourself wondering what your next step should be in business? You’re doing okay, but could be doing better. Your website is on the web, but it hardly brings anything in, so it feels like a waste of effort and money, and you constantly wonder where the next big thing is going to come from.
Luckily for you, I’ve come up with a short guide of proven steps you can take to make your website start working for you. Follow these steps and your current website, or new website, will stand a much better chance against the competition.
Participate in the process
A common misconception is that when you sign up with a company for a website project, you can simply hand it off to them with the expectation a nice package will show up one day with a bow on it.
While it’s true that a quality web development company will do a lot of the heavy lifting, there needs to be a partnership. If you aren’t engaged with the website while it’s being created, it’s unlikely you’ll be engaged after it goes live. Remember, nobody is going to care about your business more than you.
On that same note, it’s important to stay engaged in your business online. That doesn’t mean that you have to have all the information on everything all the time, but you also shouldn’t be shoving off the whole thing for another company to manage. If you don’t even know how your website works or what’s on it, how are you going to sell anything to visitors that have questions?
Have a vision
It’s important to understand what you want your business to do. This can take some time, and often requires going deeper beyond the surface. Everybody wants their website to make them money. So how are you going to do that? By getting more customers, right? Well, how are you going to do that? What’s the draw that makes people want to stay on your website instead of your competitor.
By narrowing down your focus to what you want, and how you want to do it For example, I want people to recognize their need for quality service in chiropractic care, so I’ll give them information that can help them right away (in exchange for their contact information), which does two things. It makes me an authority in their area of concern, and it gives me a way to follow up with them continually over time, dramatically increasing my potential for ROI (return on investment).
Don’t beat around the bush
Have you ever tried to submit an inquiry to a company who is reluctant to share their information with you? Case in point, some time back I was really interested in learning how to box. The problem was that the place I wanted to box at wouldn’t give me any information. They wanted me to come in and have a sit down talk, which of course was to push the sale, and I wasn’t ready for that yet.
I’m sure you’ve experienced similar things. At the end of the day I bought a punching bag and gloves for my house, because I was so fed up with the company simply dodging the questions I had about what it was exactly that they offered and what I could expect.
Don’t be those guys, you’ll lose potential clients every time.
I’m not saying that you need to put everything out on display, but remember, it’s not about you. Potential customers are already visiting your business because they found something interesting about you (or your business), so in return make it about them. Once they understand how their problem is going to be solved by something you offer, you’re in the playing fields.
Take care of your website
Actually, I think a lot of people sort of let this one go. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had potential clients start off a conversation with, “Well, we built this thing around 6 or 8 years ago…”.
Mercy! No wonder things aren’t working for you. The standards of websites have changed so much even within the last year, imagine the “web-lifetimes” that have passed in eight!
Luckily, it’s pretty easy to bring an older website a little more up to speed, even if a redesign isn’t in the cards. By going through the website and making sure SEO is up to date, replacing any images that outdated or not optimized, and updating old text, you can at least give your website a little bit of a breath of fresh air. It’s not going to be a long term solution, but it might be just the kick it needs for right now.
Check all your information
Another thing think about is how your website reflects your business. Businesses grow and change over time. Maybe you changed to a bigger building. Maybe you added some phone lines and employees. These are great things!
But did you tell your website? If you have addresses and emails on your website that are out of date, you will lose potential clients. You have to make sure that your website reflects the current business, otherwise you won’t be taken seriously.
For example, I did some work for a dentist a couple of years ago, and he was getting very tired of people always asking for procedures he didn’t do. So I went on and checked the website.
Main problem numero uno.
When his website was built, he had a bunch of technical dental services added, but many of them were things he didn’t even offer. But he never personally checked the website, so he never understood what the issue was, or why people were always calling to find out what it cost for the procedures.
Key takeaways on how to make your website work for you:
- Be a part of the process, and not just the beginning
- Know what you want to accomplish with your website
- Don’t hide the important stuff, potential customers will know
- Take care of your website, both in looks and operation
- Make sure your website is up to date with relevant information
So, what now?
If the idea of going through this alone makes you want to stop before you start, I’d love to talk with you and see how we can help. You can reach us directly at 310.294.9962 or through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creative thinking and development are just a part of what makes James tick. When he's not working on a project for a client, he's usually working on a project for himself. When he's not doing that he can be found snowboarding, hiking, or enjoying a broadway show with his wife.