Carpenters have been building and crafting homes for thousands of years. Sure, technology has played a strong role in making homes bigger, stronger and more structurally sound, but, in the end, a house is four walls and a roof. The carpenter uses his tool box to build that home; hammer, saw, nails, etc. yet, what his imagination and effort allow him to create with those tools is entirely up the him.
You see, your website, your business card, your logo, your perfect location, your great customer service, these are all just tools you have in your tool box which help you build the perfect business you desire. You’re the carpenter and although it’s very easy to lose site of your tools, you need to stand back, take inventory and understand the potential you have in your possession to truly make an impact and create the business you want today. After all, you’re in business for one reason, to make money. If this weren’t the case, then you should close shop or just give your services away for free.
Is Your Website Good Enough
Now, I’d like to concentrate on that one thing you can’t seem to wrap your head around: your website. Although there are a lot of business owners claiming to already have a “good” website, my question would be, have you taken a look at it lately? Probably not, because if you had, you would have noticed that the copyright information is grossly out of date, the front page is broken, the site is talking about products that don’t even exist any longer and you have moved from the location listed, etc. Ok, maybe your site isn’t that bad, but do you know if you have analytics installed on your site? Do you know how many users are visiting your site, per month, per day, per hour? Do you have your Social Media accounts linked to your website? Is there a way for you to convert your visitors into potential customers? If you can’t answer these questions, then you may have a problem. Let’s just test the health of your website with a quick little Q & A.
Q: Is your site optimized for Search Engines?
A. Your site should have a strong defined title, description and set of keywords embedded in the pages. This will help the search engines “find” your content. The descriptions need to be relevant to the content on the page so that you can rank properly. Also, your site must be coded cleanly. Often developers can “hack” a site together, leaving garbled code and poorly optimized, un-tagged images which can hurt the site’s performance and download time. Bottom line, if the mechanics of your site are bad, the search engine performance and visibility will dramatically suffer.
Q: Do you know what people are looking at/for when they come to your website?
A. If your developer/designer did a good job, they should have installed some type of Analytics on your site. I personally install Google Analytics on each of my sites. It’s easy, contains a massive amount of user/visitor information and best of all, it’s free. By having the analytics on my sites, I can see how many visitors are viewing them, where they are coming from, what other sites are linking to my website, how long the viewer was on my page, what areas they clicked, etc. The list goes on and on, but the reason these analytics exist is because they help developers and site owners understand how their site and content is being used, or not.
Q: Do you have social media accounts and are they integrated with your site?
A. Social Media Marketing should be your key strategy in order to run a budget-friendly marketing campaign. Simply put, there is no easier way to market, promote and effectively win over the the hearts of hundreds, if not thousands, of loyal fans. These are customers who “like” or “follow” you out of sheer desire. They either “heard” of your business or are loyal patrons, no matter, they want know more about your business. Working to engage with your audience on the large social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc., it becomes very simple to drive traffic back to your site and, ultimately, your business.
How Well Is Your Website Working to Make You Money
The main issue is not really about how great your site looks, it’s more about how well is your website built and how is it working to make you money? I have a long list of brands and companies I admire and I will often go and check out their website or Facebook Page. If finding that website is too cumbersome, or the navigation is really clumsy, I lose attention immediately. Look at your site and determine why you are sending users there, what’s the call to action, how can you continue to keep users coming back, how will you engage with your customers and build a larger, stronger following? These are the questions that matter. The answers to these questions will allow you to make better business decisions with your website, allot appropriate budgets and market more effectively.
You must remember that you have tool box full of resources, use them to help build your business and watch it grow. If you’re not entirely sure how to use these tools, then hire a marketing partner or consultant who does, but doesn’t come with an agency price tag. This will be well worth your investment because most times, working with consultants, you will learn from a “hands-on” approach and can eventually take over yourself. In the end, all businesses succeeding is far better than none at all.