"We Need a New Website" is a very common statement in today’s small business environment. You probably have an existing website that you put together 5-10 years ago because everyone has to have a website nowadays, it’s like a phone number & address, it’s a must have!
You really haven’t done a lot with your website in the past 5-10 years and your website hasn’t really done a lot for you, what do you do?
Working with small business clients all over the country, many of them believe that a new website is the magic pill they have been looking for to rejuvenate their business and drive millions in new business their way. Sadly, the magic pill doesn’t exist. It is also a misconception by owners that simply updating a website is going to have dramatic results. Unfortunately, many owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to simply make their current brochure websites prettier than the old ones. The website might look better, but what is the functionality and what is it designed to do? Many times, the questions that should be asked and answered upfront before a new website is created, aren’t asked until after the owner has spent many thousands of dollars, only to realize, the money was wasted and the new website doesn’t accomplish what it should be accomplishing.
Business owners have a wide variety of resources they are bombarded with in the market place, including web designers, SEO experts, marketing agencies & business development experts. Unfortunately, most of the time, these experts are all going different directions without a singular plan & strategy of what they are trying to accomplish for the owner. Owners will end up paying the price for this type of shotgun approach, as it relates to their website and marketing.
Let me give you an example, SEO for instance, is an important aspect for an owner to understand. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a component of an inbound marketing strategy, designed to generate more business through the internet. An inbound marketing strategy is a component of an overall marketing plan. An overall marketing plan will include a website component utilizing social media and marketing techniques, designed to maximize your website’s functionality and the results it produces. Having said that, you can understand that just focusing on SEO, which is a component of a component of a component, may not produce optimum results for you, the owner.
This observation is coming from dozens & dozens of clients, on a national basis that have made this very mistake. If you are thinking, or starting to think, you need a new website, you probably do, but make sure you are well informed and have gone through the necessary due diligence before you just move forward and allow a vendor or service provider to sell you something that will not produce the best results for you and your companies.
- There are many vendors that will build a website for a thousand dollars, but what are you really getting? You can go online and create free websites, but what are you really getting?
- Ask yourself what do you want your website to do?
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What functionality and control do you want to have?
- How does the website tie into the other resources you have, both financial and human resources?
Google has changed a number of times in just the past couple of years, in terms of how they search for information and what value that information is given in the rankings. If you are not talking about these changes and whether your current website or a potential new website is designed to accommodate and maximize these changes, you are limiting your ability to produce the best results.
Creating the website is fairly easy, once you have answered the questions and established all your parameters up front. Don’t wait until the website is done and taken live before you ask and answer these questions. A new website should be a part of a comprehensive strategy that has been developed with the owner’s goals and parameters being satisfied, ensuring the best results possible.
Want to ensure that you, as the business owner, receive the most value with your new website? Download the New Website Planning Checklist for Business Owners.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Terry McGill is a small business consultant and managing partner of Strategic Business Directs. Connect with him on LinkedIn.