Marketing Kuel Category Expert: Lori Lyons
It’s very trite but true – you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. This is true, not only when you meet someone for the first time, but also the first time someone “meets” your business.
Many times, this happens online either via a Google search, social media or a link from another website. What does a visitor see when they see your website for the first time?
“Websites are the hardest working team members in your business”
Websites are the hardest working team members in your business and often one of the most overlooked and underutilized. Picture the lonely, sad team member, in a small wooden desk in the far, poorly lit corner, toiling away – every day of the week, every hour of the day being paid pennies on the dime. For many small businesses, this is exactly what happens to their websites – if they even have one!
Social media is free and you can be online in a few minutes with most social media platforms… engaging away with your ideal client… taking fun photos and posting reflective quotes. In theory, making money hand over fist with all the leads you can get – for free – right? So why do you even need a website nowadays?
Ah contraire mon cheri…websites today are more important than ever! There are many reasons for a website so let’s review.
3 Top Reasons To Have A Website:
1 – Websites are the foundation of your marketing.
In a study conducted by ECommerce Foundation, 88% of consumers research products online before they buy. Over 30% of consumers will not do business with a company that does not have a website. These two statistics alone show the importance of a website to a small businesses bottom line.
Websites are the foundation of your marketing – all marketing – not just digital. Websites used to be considered no more than informational brochures. They told who we were, what our business did and what qualified us to do this business, credential after credential… ho hum!
Today websites talk directly to your ideal client in your messaging, your images and your brand. They are all about your ideal client and the problems your business solves for them. They are no longer about you. Bluntly, no one cares how many certifications you have or where you went to school. Instead, ideal clients care how you can solve their problem. A website is the place to highlight just how you help them and in a language your ideal clients understand. It gives the full story of your services and your business.
2 – All roads should lead back to your website.
Social media is the soundbite. Your website is the entire story. Social media is great and is “in the moment.” It can give a potential client a an overall snapshot of your company and what your company stands for. “A day in the life” or photos of your company dog or cat or beautiful product images is great but they don’t give your prospect a clear picture of your company. (And… we haven’t even gone the route of “you don’t own It – you are at their mercy”… another article for another day!)
Imagine for a moment, that you want to purchase supplies for painting a picture. You love art and it’s been a long time since you painted. New supplies are in order. You visit one store for the tubes of paint. Another store for the canvas. Yet another for brushes. It took time and patience to visit each store and gather all the supplies needed. How much easier would it have been to go to just one arts store to purchase everything? This is how social media works. You have to visit many different posts or platforms to get a feel for a company. How much easier is to just visit a website that is current and represents your company?
3 – Evergreen websites are imperative.
“The more visitors to your website, the better Google likes it”
Websites need to be cared for just like our cars. We put gas in our cars and service them regularly. For our websites, they need to be updated with new content in the form of blogs or frequently asked questions. Not only does it keep clients coming back to your website for great content, but Google loves new content! There is no better way to help your Search Engine Optimization than adding new content to your website.
Blogs are a given but adding a Frequently Asked Question page to your website is a very easy way to add new content. Are you finding you are answering the same questions over and over again? Add a FAQ page with these questions and include the answers to the questions. You can then refer them to your website. The more visitors to your website, the better Google likes it. Google is basically a popularity contest – the more people to your website – the better. The higher you rank, the more people that see your website and your company. It’s a never ending circle of goodness!
Take some time to really look at your website for ways to improve it. Are you speaking your language? Is it all about you? Do you still have big hair and shoulder pads in your headshot? If you’ve answered yes to any one of these questions, run – don’t walk – to your nearest website designer!
About the Author:
Lori is America’s Midlife Marketing Maven helping GenXBoomers take the frustration and mystery out of marketing their businesses. She owns a digital marketing agency, Igniting Your Business and specializes in website design, branding and marketing strategy. She loves teaching Encore Entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses so they can concentrate on following THEIR passions and THEIR clients. Lori thinks there is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” and then they take it and make money, easily and simply and without the stress they had before.
Lori will be launching her podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur Podcast this summer where she will be interviewing entrepreneurs and talking about how they market their businesses and the tools and techniques they use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband of almost 30 years and helps her 22 year old entrepreneur son with his marketing. She is a sports fanatic and loves her Atlanta Braves baseball!