So you paid for the brand new, shiny website with all the bells and
whistles – maybe because you thought everyone should have one and you
didn't; maybe because your recognised yours was hideously old or
embarrassing; but whatever the reason, one thing's for sure – you spent
your money, and you need a return on that investment.
I often explain how you make that money back to clients with a simple analogy – that a website is actually really just like a real-world shop. There are three things you need to make your money on it:
- Customers can find you.
- Your shop looks worth entering.
- The goods/services are in demand and reasonably priced.
Customers can find you. It's not a case of "build it and they will
come" - putting a website on the Internet might make you available to a
worldwide audience – but then technically, a shop hidden down a back
alley is "available" to anyone in the local area – it's just not likely
to get visited! A programme of search engine optimisation and active
marketing will ensure that people will see your shop in the places they
visit most frequently – search engines such as Google, and then further
afield on other popular sites, on social networks (Facebook, Twitter ,
LinkedIn etc). This is the equivalent of putting your shop on the high
street and getting that vital footfall.
Your shop looks worth entering. A run-down, ramshackle building is unlikely to draw customers; equally buildings that are badly decorated or haven't been decorated in years, or have to be accessed via lots of stairs or are inaccessible to disabled customers might be easy to find but they're certainly not going to draw the right clientele.
Too many sites we see use designs that are years out of date; that are hard for disabled users to navigate; that only work when viewed from certain computers. Recent research suggests that your customers will decide within 1/16th of a second whether aesthetically they approve of the site, and thus whether they'll wander through or else move along to the next "shop" listed on Google. Good web design is imperative here.
The goods and services are in demand and reasonably priced. No point preaching to the choir here – this is the bit that you as the business manager know best! But unless the first two obstacles are overcome – it won't matter how good the products are or how well priced. And at the end of the day – you didn't put up a website up for the benefit of your health; you put it up to get access to a whole new stream of business to help you keep doing what you do best. What we do best is make websites that do just that – so if you've got a site and need it to earn its crust, why not give us a shout?