Your Website’s Not A Website
Ok. I know it sounds funny and very contradictory, but hear me out. Your website’s not a website. That’s the name we’ve decided should sum up all the wonderful functions these majestic online entities provide. Let me get you thinking a little: how do you use your website? What is its main purpose? Now let me ask you this: how much attention do you pay to it? How much money do you invest in it? Great, now that you’ve got the answers to those questions front of mind, let me give you three reasons why your website’s not a website:
- Your Website is an Employee.That’s right. While you’re working hard doing all your ‘worky’ stuff, your website is out there getting leads, making sales, organizing data, and doing all sorts of things that you would otherwise have to pay people to do! We are lucky to have so much technology at our fingertips these days, but we tend to take it for granted. Having a (good) website will bring you success that would otherwise cost you one or more salaries. However, like your employees, your website needs some financial investment and a little TLC every now and then. Keep your site up-to-date with your branding, your products & services, and the latest programming methods (think: training costs). If you had an employee who was a poor fit for your work environment or lacked the skills necessary to perform their job, wouldn’t you replace them? That salary would be a poor business investment if you didn’t. In the same way, your website needs to be properly built & nurtured to perform at a level that is worth the investment you had to make in the first place.
- Your website is a store.This one’s a little more obvious. If you’ve got an online store, consider the costs of having a physical store. Expensive, right? The benefits of having your products for sale online are many, but a big one is the savings. That being said, be sure you’re investing a fair amount of effort and money in the optimization of your online store. We all have short attention spans, so it’s important to employ online merchandising theories, user-friendly interfaces, and quick-performing platforms when building your store.
- Your website is a portfolio.What’s that? You don’t have any of your previous work listed on your website? WHY?? If you don’t have a good answer to that (“I’m legally bound to keeping all project information private.”), shame on you! If you have a service-based business, you should always, I repeat, always, have some examples of your previous work on your site. Pictures, summaries, & the like-get creative and keep it current. The reality is that your competitors aren’t just your tech-saavy industry peers, they are your very own tech-saavy clients as well (who can Google a ‘DIY’ video for anything). This means you have to get good at communicating the benefits of your service to people and you have to do it fast. A number of the potential clients that view your site are going to decide right then and there if you offer what they need. They aren’t going to call you for more information unless they’ve got an indication that your offering matches their requirements. People trust results, so get your results out there.
Phew! That sounds like a lot of work for one website! These are only three among many functions that your site performs. If you’ve got an existing website, consider it’s purpose and what upgrading, additions or changes it may require to perform those functions to the best of it’s ability. Then, invest in them. If you need a new website, or perhaps a re-construction of your current site, consider hiring a professional to do the job. And remember: your website’s not a website. It’s so much more.
Andrea Geeraert is the marketing director at Social Oak Media Inc. and has nurtured her passion for social marketing through her entrepreneurial ventures and volunteer projects. You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaGeeraert. You can follow Social Oak & stay tuned for further blog posts @SocialOak.