Failure of business website projects is common. The World is littered with nice looking, expertly designed websites that produced little, if any business or sales results. And it can occur with $50,000 sites as often as $5,000 ones. It’s said that over 75% of business websites today fail to meet the owners sales or business expectations.
What We’re Doing Wrong – Too focused upon the visuals and ourselves
Website design today:
- Has a strong focus upon the right branding and visual appearance
- Adds in content about the company, product and/or services
This is fine and necessary, but is still little more than an online version of a printed brochure done in the 80s. It’s a marketing strategy doomed to provide mediocre results. A website needs to go beyond a simple branding exercise.
Fortunately there is a formula that works, with sites providing a steady stream of online leads and sales. It also goes beyond an SEO optimised site, as discussed in other articles (since if Google hates your site you’ll get little search traffic). But assuming the technology platform and SEO is okay, and the site looks reasonably professional, building a strategy around the site is the real key to success.
Ban the old Brochure WebSite – Build an interactive Sales Funnel
We need to step back and ask ourselves why we need a website. What the objectives are… We need to:
- Learn how to make the site part of your business
- Learn how to use it to get new customers
- Learn how to use it to build a sales funnel
- Learn how to use it to build a client list
- Learn how to use it to sell products and services.
This shortlist came from Justin Razmus, a quietly successful online business owner who gave away his success tips at a conference last year. His list isn’t groundbreaking and is common sense. Most business owners assume their new website will somehow magically do all this stuff. Sadly no. That ‘website designer’ was employed to make nice brochures, not build a sales channel or a business process.
Justin’s talk discussed the missing elements and best practices for building a successful business website – How to promote the site, how to use it to generate leads (and sales) for both online and offline businesses
Set Website Goals and Objectives – Have a Website Sales Process in place
This is the key takeaway from this talk. Part of the website design plan should involve a discussion around business outcomes. There also needs to be a budget allocated to this side too. Too often 80% of the website budget goes into the visual appearance, leaving very little for traffic building, website promotion, lead generation and related systems work outlined above.