The cost of developing your website should pale in comparison to the revenue it will drive when properly executed.
If you're reading this, it's quite probable that your website could use a little TLC. And when you look at what some of your competitors are doing, it's probably starting to feel a little dated, and possibly even... amateur.
It's a harsh revelation, and I totally get it, because it's likely that you spent $10,000 - $20,000 on it or even more, but if you're questioning whether it paid off, chances are, it did not... or at least it's not anymore. - not by today's standards, anyhow.
A lot has changed since your last iteration, including the website development pricing model and its potential functionality and contributions to your sales growth objectives. In a nutshell, we can do a lot more with a lot less, make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing, and even generate quantifiable bottom-line results from it.
Think big picture.
Many of the inquiries my agency receives for building websites is about updating it to look nicer and be mobile responsive. These are important qualities, but they are the bare minimum, and quite frankly, that's even being generous.
Your website marketing strategy is one of the most important assets you have in terms of generating new business, retaining existing business, and turning your customers into brand evangelists. When you neglect it, or get by with the bare essentials, like a home page, a contact us form, and a bio about your main players, you tell your visitors that "bare minimum" is the standard to which you abide.
It's not a good message, and it's not good for business.
Step 1: Leverage it as a marketing tool
As a marketing tool, it serves as a platform for delivering your branding, and fulfilling basic presence requirements. It should look like your brand. It should feel like your brand. And it should celebrate your brand at every turn.
This means your website design and color scheme, from calls-to-action to headers and footers, should be interwoven. The tone there should be consistent with that of your social media marketing strategy (need help with that too? click HERE).
Why? Because your visitors want and need that consistency, and when your salespeople interact with prospective customers, cohesiveness will help you close more deals.
From a marketing perspective, it should look nice, flow well from page to page, and clearly communicate exactly what you can do for your customers.
Step 2: Leverage it as a sales tool
This is where I think it gets really interesting. A website just sitting there looking nice is okay, but it doesn't pay the bills or generate clients on its own. And if that's all it's doing for you, you're missing out on quite possibly the most important sales asset you have.
It really ought to be attracting potential customers, and beyond that, qualifying and converting them into leads... and beyond that, it should help you nurture and close those leads into paying customers.
When I ask new client prospects how many customers their websites generate every month or year, I'm typically met with silence and/or a hesitant, "I don't know," because they clearly weren't leveraging it this way, and it's a little embarrasing for them to admit it.
Don't worry though. I'm not judging.
Step 3: Integrate an SEO strategy
This is an important step in attracting visitors naturally. Most folks DO understand the importance of SEO, although maybe not the specifics on how to set the best marketing objectives, or how to actually execute what Google and friends want to see in today's digital landscape.
To side-step this integrated process, many will fall back on pumping money into paid ads, which gets them that immediate surge that organic digital marketing strategy simply can't do. For the latter, there is a ramp-up period, but unlike PPC, when the engine is running, it's running... shutting it off won't kill your traffic. (Looking for help from professional SEO services?)
There are technical AND creative SEO requirements, and it's important that you think about both. Yes, having the right keywords in the right places and meta tags will help, but on their own, ,you won't get inbound links, and you won't get favorable bounce rates, which are measured and used against or for you.
Get the SEO playbook HERE
Step 4: Integrate a blogging strategy
Blogging is one of the best ways to attract and retain interest from your visitors. Google loves to promote educational content, and as long as your blog follows the basic rules (educate not advertise), and your content is compelling and centered around keywords, you'll earn higher marks for SEO, and you'll spread awareness about your business. Oh, and you'll also get more engaged visitors.
Step 5: Offer content
Speaking of lead conversion points, how are you generating new leads through your website? Is it just a "contact us" form? Perhaps that plus a blog subscription or newsletter signup?
What if I were to tell you that your visitors demand more than that? They're becoming too smart to hand over their email addresses without anything in return, so if you offer actual resources in your resource center, you might convert a few who aren't ready to buy yet and don't trust you enough to sign up for a newsletter.
It might make sense to hire a content marketing agency to help with this, because it should fit into your bigger picture marketing strategy AND understand your buyers well enough to know how to provide value in the form of digital downloads.
The point is, with a nice looking, easy-to-navigate site that is optimized for the search engines and promoted through blogging, you are still only halfway there, and content marketing will help you bridge the gap.
Step 6: Share it with pride
I'm sure at some point you were thinking, "where does social media marketing fit into the 'bigger picture?'"
It's in distribution.
With a quality site fielding your traffic, you can share your content with pride on the social channels, and know that not only will it help "increase awareness, but generate actual leads as well.
Prior to converting to an inbound marketing agency, Orange Pegs Media was about 90% focused on social media marketing, but the challenge I recognized was that without a good website in place to translate that traffic into leads, social media simply wasn't very effective.
It's the reason we made the change, actually.
Step 7: Keep an eye on its effectiveness
Now that your site is attracting visitors and generating actual leads for you to call and email every month, let's keep an eye on the quality of the leads being generated and make sure the numbers don't sink. In addition, keep an eye on which keywords are generating traffic that converts, and which don't seem to carry the kind of weight you thought they would.
Google Analytics is okay, but only shares a small sliver of the equation. We also want to know how effective your site and landing pages are (5-10% & 20-30%+ conversion rates, respectively), so we can make adjustments, emulate what works, and eliminate what doesn't.
It's much more complex than it used to be, but it's also much more valuable.
The good news, aside from the fact that if you execute your website with these ideas in mind, you'll generate your best leads 24/7/365, is that developing a website that fits these important features won't cost you nearly as much as what you have representing you right now.
There are so many beautiful templates to choose from, whether in WordPress or Hubspot, which allow extreme customization, so you can visualize your finished product before you even get started.
Wire it up in a way that turns these ideas into realities, and you'll see first-hand how valuable your website can actually be.
Interested in knowing how much your perfect website will cost? Click HERE to find out with our free website price calculator: