- September 1, 2016
- Posted by: Jesse
- Category: Website Marketing
I’ve seen it a hundred times. Joe, the small business owner, spends upwards of $1,000 on a professional looking website for his business. He thinks it looks great – it’s simple, easy to navigate, and has his logo, address and phone number. What more do you need, right?
Weeks pass, and Joe’s wondering why he hasn’t noticed an increase in phone calls. “These things take time” he’s heard, so he waits patiently.
A couple months have gone by, and he can’t remember the last time a customer told him they found his business online. One or two phone calls isn’t bad though, so he remains optimistic.
Years later, without his website ever having noticeably increased his business, he has an epiphany: “It’s just outdated. Websites need to look fresh. I know… I’ll get it re-designed!” And the cycle starts all over.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Like many other business owners, Joe fell into the trap of thinking that how his website looks directly affects how many leads and sales it will bring in.
Myth: All You Need is a Nice Looking 5-Page Website
Let’s be frank. Your website needs to look great. With an average online consumer attention span of just 6 seconds, you have to grab their attention immediately lest they move on to the next site (ie. your competition’s). Virtually every web designer worth their salt should be able to provide a professional looking website at a reasonable price. But that’s not all it takes…
Much more importantly, your website needs to educate your visitors. That doesn’t mean just listing every service under the sun that you offer. That means:
- Helping visitors solve common small problems in your market
- Reviewing and recommending products that you believe in
- Answering common questions your customers have
- Explaining (in detail) each service that you offer
- Providing pricing information on major services
- Announcing new promotions, sales, or contests
- And anything else that could benefit your target market
The more pages you have on your website, the more you educate your visitors on making a buying decision and the more chances you have to attract visitors from major search engines. And guess what? From a web design standpoint, additional pages are extremely cheap and easy to produce… no matter what your previous web designer told you.
In every other form of media you have a limited amount of space. In radio advertising you have 15 seconds. Your local magazine, a quarter page. You get a single coupon in your local coupon book.
Your website allows you to provide as much useful information to your target market as you can, and actually encourages you to do so. With all of this potential, does it really make sense to settle for a simple 5 page online business card?
Week #1: How to Make Your Website Profitable
A common misconception business owners have is that it takes a long time before your website becomes profitable. While it’s true that nothing happens overnight, your website can become profitable in as little as a week with the right promotional campaign. This doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, nor does it take a marketing genius to put into action.
If you have a great, informative website, your market will want to see it. But they won’t just show up on their own. Here are a few non-technical things you can do right now to increase the amount of people coming to your website:
- Print your website address on all stationary. Business cards, invoices, the side of your truck, etc… This goes without saying but the easiest way to increase traffic is to increase the visibility of your website in your day to day operations. A few quick changes and customers can be seeing your web address every day of the week.
- Notify current customers of your new website. The easiest and most cost effective way to do this is through email. Pop your list of customers’ emails into a simple autoresponder like MailChimp and send out a broadcast to each email on the list. If you don’t have email addresses you can do the same via direct mail. Just be sure to include some type of special offer or discount to help recoup the cost of mailing.
- State your website on company voice mail. Your website is the hub of information for your business. If you can’t be there to answer your customers’ questions personally, your website can pick up the slack 24/7.
- Advertise on Facebook. Sharing the link once won’t do the trick, but neither will advertising the site every other hour. Find the sweet spot of sharing your website a couple time a week. This is especially effective when you have a new informative blog post to promote.
These are quick and easy things you can do right now that will pay dividends for years to come. While you may not receive a flood of new traffic from these techniques alone, you will notice a gradual and significant increase in the amount of people coming to your website.
Increased Exposure = Increase in Leads, Phone Calls, and Sales
The more places your website is found online, the more visitors you will get. It’s that simple.
For most businesses, once their website is up and running – that’s it. No more work, no more promotion. They simply sit and wait for visitors to show up.
Smart business owners know better. Just like you market your business, you need to market your website.
The first thing you should do is make sure your site can be found on all of the major search engines; namely Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Each one of these search engines offers free premium listings for local businesses. They will each display your business name, logo, website, phone number, address, hours of operation, any pictures or videos you may have, your list of services, and so much more.
- Submit your business to Google My Business.
- Submit your business to Yahoo Local.
- Submit your business to Bing Local.
Each of these platforms will offer you to ‘upgrade’ your listing for additional exposure. In my experience this is rarely worth the cost. However, simply having your business details listed on these search engines increases your visitor count exponentially.
But don’t stop there. There are hundreds of other free online local business directories you can submit your business to. You may recognize some of these names: YellowBook, SuperPages, AngiesList, etc…
These listings are all free and include the same amount of detail as the three search engines above.
By submitting your business to as many of these directories as possible, you increase your exposure to local consumers online. What’s more, you even increase your website’s chance of showing up higher on Google for searches related to your business. Your only cost is your time. Granted, it may take a while to submit your business to hundreds of these local business directories, but there are very reputable companies out there (hint, hint) that can take care of the heavy lifting for you.
Track Everything to Ensure Success
Many business owners don’t know exactly how profitable their website is month in and out, so they truly don’t know if they should continue to invest in it. While free tools like Google Analytics can show you how many visitors you’ve been receiving (as well as where they’re coming from, how many pages they’re viewing, how long they stay on the website, etc…), it’s hard to know exactly how many of those visitors turn into real leads.
One way to calculate the effectiveness of your site is to track phone calls. This can be done by placing a tracking phone number on your website. This number is placed only on your site and forwards all calls to the main business line. Anytime you receive a call from that number, you know that it’s because a visitor saw your website and decided to call.
Another way is to place a free quote form on your contact page. Visitors fill out this form describing the nature of the problem they’re having and details are sent right to your email inbox.
Websites like This are More Cost Effective than You Might Think
There are hundreds of website providers out there. Some cost anywhere from $200-$500 per month. Some have flat fees of $1,000-$10,000. You’ll often get a fancy design (hopefully), domain name, and a few pages of content. Rarely will you find a provider that can give you everything you’ve read in this blog post.
LocalSight.net offers small businesses websites starting as low as $1,499. These websites include everything you’ve read above, and so much more. To find out more about this incredible offer, request a free no-pressure consultation.