When was the last time you really looked at your website? I mean really critically looked at your website?
I know many small business owners who honestly believe that getting a website ‘done’ is all that they need to do in relation to ‘web stuff’ let alone thinking more strategically about what a website needs to be doing to contribute to their bottom line.
Would you put yourself in this camp?
Your website really is the workhorse of your online business - it is not the only thing though that you need to do - but it is a key foundational element that you need.
So are you really getting the return you need for this investment that you have made? Or do you see it as simply just another cost of doing business?
The reason that you might be seeing your website simply as a cost centre and not a profit driver is likely to be because you are missing some key components that when applied correctly, turn this thinking on its head.
There are several elements within what I like to call the WEB FACET of what will be your unique Digital Ecosystem. (Check out my post from last week where I speak about the Digital Ecosystem and yes this is a key plank of how my sister company Big Blue Digital works.)
So what are some of these key items that you need to consider for your business?
Note, not all of these elements may be relevant for you, but there are some items that I firmly believe are essentially for ANY business (and I will tell you what they are)
Web Elements that will turn your website from a cost centre to a profit driver
1. Responsive Website - THIS IS A GIVEN
You must convert your site to be responsive as soon as financially possible. If you hadn’t planned on this - you need to stop all other marketing spending and make this happen. Truly, it is that important. It may seem crazy to you that businesses haven’t made the leap, but in 2015 Google started penalising businesses that were not mobile friendly (so when people search on phones, you are not visible at ALL, and on a desktop you are penalised and push down the organic search.)
If this scares you - it should. You need to allocate money in your budget for this change.
2. Landing Pages - MUST HAVE AT LEAST ONE
These are the pages that you send people to as part of a campaign or via a targeted SEO strategy. It could be an email newsletter, or social media, or ads - whatever it might be a landing page is a page that catches attention with the purpose of bringing people into a sales funnel and take some kind of action - even at this early stage.
Many small business pages don’t have any designated landing pages - they might have lots of pages, but not simple pages that focus on 1 key outcome. Often this is to get on your list - see point 4.
Does your site have any?
3. A Blog - MUST HAVE ELEMENT
By far the most successful web element you can have to bring people into your sphere of influence is to have a blog at your site. This is where you get to simply and clearly educate your customers about your products and services. Think of it as the opportunity you get when someone rings up, someone pops into your bricks & mortar business or you meet someone at a networking event and they ask you “What do you do”
4. Email newsletter signup - SEE LANDING PAGES
Are you actively building your list? You might have heard the phrase - the money is in your list. It is true - this is a great ACTIVE way of letting your customers and potential customers know when you have something to offer that will benefit them. So do you have an EASY to get to sign up form?
Not just an online store - but any time you make it easy for clients to pay you money is ecommerce. So have you thought about how you might make it easier for your customers to pay you what they might owe you? It has never been easier to hook up 3rd party providers to your site to make life easier and more streamlined for your customers
6. Analytics - Do you know how you can access this?
I am a huge believer in metrics. In tracking and recording what is actually happening at your website and tracking the growth or otherwise of your efforts. If we want our website to be a profit driver and not a cost centre, we have to have cold hard facts at our fingertips.
Explore Google Analytics with me by signing up to my online course now!
7. Intranets/Bespoke Solution/Cloud Based Solutions/Apps
You may find that your need to extend your website into other areas to really maximise your footprint and drive sales/cement relationships or boost efficiency. So often, particularly with larger businesses or with business that has a solution for customers that is best delivered completely online then your web facet may include an intranet, a custom cloud based solution or even an app that is sold via the app store.
Understanding who your customers are and where they are as well as being clear on your business goals is likely to mean that your brain will have already started to tick over how these 4 items need to be brought into the fold as part of WEB.
So you can see that a website can and should be so much more than thinking about just getting something mobile friendly.
Thinking beyond that first must have step, means that you are on the path to converting your website from a cost centre to a profit generator.
Let me know in in the comments if you hadn’t considered landing pages for your site? What about if you had not thought in this simple way about what a blog actually is?
I would love to hear from you.