If you’re a local business owner in Australia and you’re reading this, the latest stats tell us that in 2019, 50% of you have a website and 50% don’t.
If you’re part of the 50% that don’t what you should know ist that 48% of prospects won’t consider your business if you don’t have a website*
By the way, that number is only 12% if you don’t have a facebook page – so a local business website is still your best way to win more customers.
If you have your local business website launched already and you’ve done nothing else to notify your customers that you now have a website, chances are your website is doing nothing to help you win more customers.
This is because of 3 core, but incorrect, beliefs some local business owners have about websites.
Changing the way you think about these 3 core beliefs should be enough to spurn you into action and transform your website into an effective marketing tool that creates leads and revenues.
Website Mindset #1: Build it and They Will Come
“I’ll get my website created, publish it and site back and wait for the traffic”…
There are an estimated 1.5 To 2 BILLION! Websites published on the internet and more coming everyday and according to this article “Less than 1 million, or 0.1%, account for over 50% of web traffic.”
The act of publishing your website is just the beginning, not a final destination. To be sure its a necessary step, but believing this action alone will achieve anything is delusional.
This is partly because not all website are created equal. What I mean by that is more related to the development of the website.
A lot of the website redesigns we are engaged to do as a Sydney web design company are a result of the initial website producing no results, not being found by customers and not having an impact on the business.
When we take a look ‘under the hood’, invariably the previous website developers have created a website that might look OK, but have done nothing to help their client’s website get indexed and found by customers.
You know, have the website do what it actually is intended to do – create leads and opportunities, inform customers of your products and services and communicate what your brand stands for.
The list of missing essential website components typically includes:
- No on page SEO – (Search Engine Optimisations)
- Stock image filenames are unchanged from the service they downloaded them from
- Images are NOT optimised
- Website is NOT designed as a mobile first website – According to this report Google has indicated that now more that 52% of all website traffic is from mobile devices
- No GMB page ( Google My Business Page)
- No Local Business Directory Listings
If you’re reading this list and thinking it might as well be an alien language, what this means is that when you engaged your chosen web developer to build you a website they only told you half the story.
They took your money KNOWING that for your website to do anything for your business it would need all of these items professionally created, managed and executed too.
Not just a website created and published.
Now, if they provided you a proposal to do all of these items, and you said NO – “No I just want a website” – then you only have yourself to blame for your web nightmares.
In my experience however, this has not been this case on single instance. That is, customers are not provided a complete proposal in fear of ‘sticker-shock’ and instead web designers choose the easier route – I’ll develop a good website and get paid, and if they want the website to actually do anything for their business, they’ll have to pay us more.
The web developers have acted as a short-term services provider instead of a long-term trusted business partner.
As a Sydney Website design company all of our website customers receive all of those items for a single web development price.
So if your web developers want to charge you more, extra, or protest ‘that’s not part of the contract’ – then find another developer who will.
It’s that simple and it will save you the heartache of a website with nothing but crickets chirping.
If you believe “If I build it they will come” and no-one does, it’s not entirely your fault, your website developer can definitely have an impact on how many will come and how fast.
Website Mindset #2: Websites are Set and Forget
OK so you’ve got your website published, you chose a professional web developer that provided you with a comprehensive marketing tool with all of the essential components of a useful website project launch, as detailed above, and you’re done right?
- Wrong. They used to be waaaaaay back, but have not been for at least a decade or more.
- Websites are not set and forget. Websites need a consistent content and update strategy to be effective.
- Websites are not set and forget. If that’s your belief, then believe no-one will visit your website.
Your website content strategy can include a number of very simple actions that when taken consistently over time will have a measured and positive impact on the amount of traffic, leads and conversions you can achieve.
A few simple ideas:
- Offers, sales and promotions – Whatever these are and whenever they change, ensure your website is up to date. If you’re posting on Insta, FB or Snapchat about a promotion, then your website should be updated too.
- New starters/ staff – have a new staff member start? That’s an opportunity to provide a deeper insight into your business via your website
- Write a Blog – The majority of our web design customers receive the majority of their organic traffic from their company blogs. Content marketing works and its works best when the quality of the content is high and the subject matter goes deep. You don’t need to post everyday, try once a month, and when you get into it try once a week. You’ll need a comprehensive keyword and pillar content strategy and plan and its worth the investment up front to get this planned and then deliver on the publishing deadlines
- Videos – Made some new videos? Upload them to youtube and get them on your website too. Making vide, uploading it to youtube and integrating it with your website is simple. Learn how to do this yourself.
Website Mindset #3: Only Followers Matter
Certainly the number of people who visit and read your content is vital for your business to communicate your culture, build your brand and sell your goods and services.
If you’re a local business and you have your mindset in reality for the 1st two items in the list…
- Search Engine Optimised + local optimised
- with a consistent content strategy being executed, then you can start to consider followers.
…then followers are the next mindset to shatter.
Followers for a website are not the same thing as followers for your Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat accounts.
Followers for a website would traditionally be measured by metrics such as how many newsletter subscribers you have and, when you email that list, what is your open rate?
Website followers could also be determined from analytics platforms which demonstrate the number of returning visitors over a time period.
More recently, services which help customers subscribe to your blog like One Signal and Subscribers.com, lower the barriers and friction and make it easier than ever before to notify your website followers when a new blog post is published.
For example, a service like ‘subscribers.com’ alerts visitors to your website that they can receive notifications when new content is published. All they have to do is accept a browser notice and when you publish new content, they will get a notification when next they are online.
This is almost frictionless and its a great way for them to receive the content they want as soon as you publish it and for you to gather insight about how many people are wanting to receive it and how many actually visit when notified.
With all this talk about followers it must be said that it doesn’t really matter how many people follow you.
This is not a measure of your success or even your reach as a business.
The only things that matters is the number of people that engage with your business and ultimately take the desired action you seek – that is to make a donation, purchase a product or a service, sign a petition etc.
Followers can be important on social media channels if you are a social media influencer, or aspire to be one.
However, for local business and considering the advertising platforms on Facebook and Instagram being so advanced and targeted, if your business goal was to build a brand and sell products and services I would recommend learning how to use those systems to maximise how your capital is leveraged rather than worrying about how many followers you had on each social media account or website.
Yes! Undertake paid media advertising for a positive ROI and focus on that whilst your competitors are taking selfies.
When you are able to update your thinking around these 3 core website beliefs and with this change, your expectations, it will become clear to smart local business owners that whilst a website is a critical foundational component of their business, getting it done right, over time
If you need some help with your website design, website redesign or your digital social media marketing contact us to see how we can help.
I created Shire Media Services to help local Shire business owners take the worry out of the web. To make their website and eCommerce stores produce the outcomes they need cost-effectively. And to do this over time, not just one time.
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Shire Media Services are your Local Digital & WordPress Web Design specialists for Sutherland Shire Small Businesses.
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