Will that brand new, company website, if built, result in more leads, sales – business?
This is a great question.
Having a business website is important in this day and age; but having visitors find your company online, and then, convert into sales or leads is equally important.
And, having a great website coupled with web marketing know-how behind it to attract new visitors and entice them into becoming customers is the 1-2 punch, the icing on the cake. Otherwise, your investment in the latest, greatest looking website with all the incredible features and gadgets will only be for current customers or some clients who know your site’s web address.
Allow me to persuade you a bit more toward my school of thought.
Replacing That Old Business Website for a Brand Spanking New Website
Let us suppose that you have an old website, but it is dated and needs some web development love. In this case, you definitely need a new website, in other words.
Don’t be lured by low price. After all, anyone can build a website for cheap. But this is for your business, and your business has value. You need to get this right. Although having a great looking website with super-cool features can be a good thing, not all those sparkles are gold when it comes to having an effective business website. There are a few important questions that should be considered, first, before rashly hiring a web development company to redo your website:
1. Where is my website traffic coming from?
Not knowing how website visitors are finding your company’s website can be a recipe for disaster, especially if you want a new business website and are willing to make hasty decisions based upon the wrong ideas. And, it’s easy to find out just where your web traffic is coming from, so never assume.
At TKG, we regularly provide a breakdown of 3 main traffic sources for our web marketing clients. Did you know that you can tell through Google Analytics if a visitor is referred to your business website from another site (potential customers), search engines (potential customers) or directly by typing in the web address (current customers or possible customers finding the website from traditional advertising)?
Knowing this breakdown will help you make an educated decision with your website build. If your website traffic is coming directly from people typing in the web address or from referrals off of other sites, then you have nothing to be concerned about. Build that new website, but think also think about how your business could really grow if your website were optimized to show up in search engine results.
2. What will the impact be on my business if I lose traffic to my website?
Let’s suppose that 75% of your visitors come from search engines. What will happen if that traffic is not retained when your new website is built?
That means your business will lose a tremendous amount of new potential customers who will not be able to find your company’s website; and you’ll likely be left with most of the traffic coming from current customers. This is a nightmare scenario that we see too often. Companies will sometimes come to us, unfortunately, after another web development company did not protect their current search engine and referral traffic.
We’ve seen strong website with thousands of visits reduced to half of that in one fell swoop (of the bad development company’s axe). And then, we have to be the deliverers of bad news and work on righting the ship over time. This may take a year or more to correct in some cases. We’ve found that some web development companies say they know what they are doing with regard to retention, SEO, conversion optimization, etc, but we have found that this is not the case more often than not. If they know of what they speak, they should be able to explain their plan to retain your traffic in detail. If there is no detailed plan, then there is no substance to back up their claims.
Many business owners and managers simply do not understand the depth of impact their website can make or is currently making on their business. This seems to be a disconnect, but I completely understand why.
Oftentimes, company leaders do not have time to devote to website management (which is why we’re glad to help, thank you). In today’s world, depending upon your type of business, it’s a safe bet that between 70-94% of your potential customers are researching products and services they are interested in on the Internet before making a decision on a vendor. This means that most of the traffic to your current website could be coming from search results. And, if that faucet is turned off, sales or leads could vanish overnight. So, if you are looking to improve your current website by changing or replacing it, select a web development company that truly knows how to protect your web business first. Then, worry about the cost or how dazzling that new feature or design will be.
3. When visitors come to my new website, what will happen to them?
You’d be surprised by the number of business owners who do not understand that getting people to your website is only half the battle. The coup de gras is getting them to turn into either leads or sales once you have them looking at your company’s website information. You want them to convert, meaning make contact with your business or purchase your product or service online. There are ways to improve user experience, funneling site visitors to the products or services you offer.
Then, once there, the website must offer them a call to action: either buy or make contact with your company by phone or e-mail. Is this critical piece of marketing planned into the design and programming of your new website development project?
If not, it’s time to find a web marketing/web development company who knows how to convert traffic into something meaningful for your business.
To sum it up, a new website or the addition of a trendy doodad will not necessarily equate to more visitors to your company’s web address; nor is it a guarantee to generate an increase in sales or leads. A web-optimized site that ranks well in search engines, that can convert visitors to sales or leads will be a better investment over the “shiny nickel, void of marketing know-how,” 9 times out of 10.