Originally titled “Why Build a Website for Ten People?”, I’m hoping this post attracts the attention of small business owners who feel their company website was a complete waste of time and money.
How many small business owners have pathetically low visitor counts to their websites? Most. How many business owners are completely over having a website because their website does next to nothing besides having a small online presence? Most. A message to those business owners: The internet is not the local yellow pages, so don’t expect to website to work like a large yellow page ad.
Internet Users Don’t Show Up, Cut, or Call
Well, maybe internet users call sometimes, but online shoppers certainly don’t cut out ads they see online. Obviously, they can’t unless they print it out first, but what I am trying to get at here is knowing that different methods create different actions.
When you advertise your business in the local yellow pages, people call or sometimes they show up at your door. When you post an ad in print like a newspaper, they either call, go to your store, or go to your website. When you advertise online, they go to your website, and the buck pretty much stops there. Online advertising or having an online presence creates a different action.
Being Online is Rarely Enough
So you got a great deal on your website being built huh? Are you marketing it in any way? Taking on a website can often be like taking on another store, and if time is precious to you, your website may require more money for marketing. A website is never done.
If you spent $2,000 on a large ad in a local newspaper would you be mad if it generated zero sales? I would. Now imagine spending $2,000 on a website, and making zero sales. I’ve seen it happen, and many of you seem very happy with this. Are you crazy? You don’t have time? OK, I get the I don’t have time part. Just because your website is failing now, doesn’t mean it has to keep on failing though. I’m betting it’s as simple as turning it on.
Two Ways to Turn On Your Site
Your site is already live you say. Maybe it is, but have you turned it on yet? There are two really easy ways to turn on your site, you just need to know what action you would like your visitors to take.
Make it Do Something
Here is a simple example based on a real life experience. A site owner tells me his site is basically pointless. It’s a basic static (not changing very often) website that has all his store hours and business details. He mentions his website on all his printed material including paid ads, but only a few people visit the site. Sales from the website are too low to even be tracked.
What is the expected action for an online visitor to this website? Nothing? There was good information on the site, but it had no action. It had not been turned on yet! Because the owners time was limited to work with the site, I had to find a quick fix. After a few questions, I found he advertises his company by means of flyer inserted into the Sunday paper. To place that ad, his agency provides him with a PDF of the flyer to proof.
That same day I had a form made just for him, so he could easily upload the flyer to his site. The link to the flyer is now prominently displayed on home page, and every other page of the site. The owner updates it weekly, and the end result? He now has customers walking into his store with printouts of the flyer that they got online. He has people telling him, in his store, that they check back every week. His website is now indirectly making sales, and the site has now officially been turned on. That example happened about two years ago, and the owner is still making the time to post the weekly flyer. He now even makes a special online flyer that includes a coupon.
He turned his site on by making it do something more than show his business hours. He now GIVES his prospects something new to look at every week, and they like it.
Make it Visible
Using another example you can see a second method to turn on your site, and this is really more directly connected to the title of this post. Let’s assume you built your website to sell. You have a great landing page (the page where you expect visitors to land on your website first), you have a strong call to action on that page, and even trying it out a few test subjects proves your site to be a winner.
If this is the case, but you are still not getting any traffic, I’m betting you may be under the impression that the internet is the medium where all visitors go as if it were the yellow pages. If this is you, sorry, this is not the case. People go to websites, they do not go to the internet, and somehow end up on your site. To turn your site on in this case will require marketing.
To become visible, and gain that web traffic needed for online sales, marketing will have to be implemented for your website. Can’t search engines provide the traffic? Yes they can, but guess what. They most likely won’t until your site has been optimized for them, and more importantly, become a visible online entity. That simply means advertising your website on other websites. I won’t go into detail about marketing online here (there is about million other site that do that well), but that is your next step. In the mean time, consider your site OFF.
The two main concepts of this post? Make your website do something for your visitors, and don’t think your done spending money on your website just because you paid the webmaster. It’s time to start marketing!