People are often saying that they only need their website to just be an online brochure. Sounds great in theory and in fact is partly what a well designed website is all about. But to think of your website as just a brochure is really missing the opportunity. Even if you feel that you just want to keep it simple for budget reasons, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make sure you design the site right with your brand in mind, scale and support. There is a well known fact in internet marketing that its far better for the perception of your business to NOT have a website at all than to have a bad one. Our favorite objection from business owners is that all of their business is referrals so the website isn’t critical. We say, that only measures the people who called you. You do not know about the ones that found you online, even after a friend referred them, didn’t like what they saw and decided check out someone else. Why leave this up for chance.
At JLB, we like to think of the website as a tool to enable your business otherwise there are a hundred web designers out there that will slap a nice looking site together for a cheap budget but then what? Does it now help you compete in the world, does it lift you, is a branded well, is it intuitive in navigation and mobility, was it coded well to scale and easily manage and can you enable your business with it. NOT, yes people can send me an email if they like what they read. But, can the website and all of the functions and capabilities provided enable your business by meeting an absolute return on investment whether its measure by revenue, awareness for your cause or value to your customers. That’s what it should do!
So now that you have taken the right steps to have your website designed for your business, what now? You have a beautiful billboard that gets peoples attention and really captivates everyone and its lying in your back yard. What? That’s right, its only effective if someone knows to go look in your back yard. That is what happens if you do not take SEO (search engine optimization) seriously. There is a lot of research that shows that people will go online to the search engines first to find a business, investigate a referral or get some feedback about a company. Research also shows that these users will only look on page 1 or 2 of the search engines before they move on. If someone was told to look you up on google but they can’t find you, or worse, they are looking for help and you never showed up then you lost that opportunity. SEO matters. The good news is that it isn’t rocket science. There are a lot of firms out there, not mentioning names (y–dl- and others) that will gladly take a lot of your money and promise that they will have you on the first page. We have learned through the years that SEO isn’t about how much you spend or promises but its about experience, thoughtful time and consistency. Because of this approach it can be more affordable so that you can budget and get your billboard (aka Website) in front of the world and off the backyard. Remember, if you do not apply SEO strategies and stick with them for the long haul then do not expect to be found on the internet. You must do this and with the right tools and strategies it will pay off.
But then what about Social Media. There is a lot of hype around social platforms being critical to business. We have yet to see the number of likes on your facebook page generate more revenue and customer loyalty than a well designed website with good SEO. Social platforms are fun and great ways to connect with clients at a more personal level or communicate information to followers, but we cannot find any clients where this has lifted their brand. We are not saying social media is bad for business. On the contrary, we like it for businesses as long as the intention is to leverage the medium to drive your SEO. Use those platforms to share information about your business and make sure that content is guided towards an SEO strategy and it will create returns for you.
In summary, JLB suggests that you have a website designed that focuses on brand first, with manageability and support a close second. Then focus on how to enable this new business tool to drive a return that matters with a thoughtful SEO strategy that embraces social media. It all should work together and you will get great results.