This post is for you to read when you catch yourself saying to someone: 'I don't need a new website, as I already have one.'
I have a business card; but my business cards only work if I take them out of the box and put them into people's hands. Simply having a business card is not enough - just like having a website is not enough.
You need to know what to do with a website in order for it to work.
People tell me:
I built my own website.
Great! I reply.
What do you do with it? I ask, neither expecting nor getting a reply.
It's fair to say that the vast majority of businesses have a website that's the digital equivalent of a business card that's sat in a box, tucked away in the drawer of a desk or the glove compartment of a car. If you're afraid to use your business cards pro-actively then they'll magically turn into no business cards. The same goes for your website, if you're not making it do anything and are afraid of 'putting it out there' then it'll do nothing for you.
The truth is that having a website that's the equivalent of a DIY business card is not what we truly want. What we truly want from a website is to be able to say to people:
...and for more information about that (and more), go visit our website! Yet we can't, because our website doesn't have that kind of information written into it and, truth be told, we're a little apologetic about what the website looks like. But it may be something that you built yourself, you're rightly proud of it and it cost you next to nothing so, hey, you've lost nothing. Right?
There's a consultancy project we're working on right now - have been for years. Our client *really* wants to write their own content but this DIY approach is getting them nowhere. The size of the website they want to have is huge but their ability to write the website content is the exact opposite. Whilst their brand new, cognitive, responsive, designer website from Sub@omic patiently sits in the wings poised to go live, their old website is still live and doing absolutely nothing for them.
This morning I looked-back over the past 5 years-worth of Google Analytics data and emailed a simple report, an extract of which follows below:
The main headline is the noticeable drop-off in visitor numbers in 2017, your old website's currently generating less visits now than it did back in 2014. Bounce rate shows a gradual (but marginal) increase and the number of pages viewed per visit shows a gradual (but marginal) decrease.
Over the past 5 years your website has welcomed a little under a third of a million new visitors, yet it's doing nothing with these potential customers.
Right now our best performing website is generating a whopping 6% conversion rate year-on-year. If this were to be applied to your website, your website would have generated nearly 20,000 sales enquiries over these past 5 years. 6% is an incredibly strong performance but even if your website was achieving a more modest 0.5% conversion rate, that would still have given you 1,650 enquiries - that's 6 new business enquiries each and every week.
Many website owners wrongly assume that web design is a cost to business. It isn't. As you change the way you think about your website and, rather than telling people that you have one, as you begin to confidently put your website into people's hands then it'll begin to work for you and obliterate its cost as soon as the website is allowed to demonstrate its value.
The website in question is stagnant. It's doing nothing for the business that owns it but isn't operating it. The website owner has been paralysed into doing nothing by the thought of the cost of having someone outside the business write the website copy. Good website content lasts the lifetime of the website and gets your business website seen on Google for free; every other form of advertising comes with a unit cost. Good website content connects with searchers and turns visitors into Customers.
The cost of doing nothing is nothing. The price of doing nothing is staggering. The value of doing something, right now, really isn't that hard to work out at all.