As business people in this economic climate, we do not have time to waste performing tasks that we do not need to do, or worse performing tasks incorrectly. Without realizing it, we do ask ourselves “Why?” about certain things.
Why should I hire this person? ~ She’s qualified, highly recommended, communicates well, etc. or I shouldn’t; she doesn’t have enough experience to handle the job.
Unfortunately, in many other aspects of our businesses, we do not ask the question. Usually this is the case with areas of business that are not our expertise, such as marketing. Businesses of all types and sizes are struggling to make sales projections and profits in a difficult economy. Some are just trying to survive. Business owners and managers realize that marketing is an important aspect of driving sales, but many are not sure how to effectively promote their businesses, so they dabble in this and that, without purpose.
When I first meet with business owners regarding a marketing strategy for their businesses, I ask many questions. I am no longer shocked by answers, but still shake my head in awe at how much time and money is wasted because no one asked WHY? Hopefully, we can help others avoid the same mistakes. Here is one example in a three part series:
Do you have a website?
Yes. We recently built a website because we knew we needed it. It’s not very good.
There is little purpose to building a website, just to build a website. Any money you spend, money on something “not very good,” is like throwing your money in a fireplace. What’s worse is putting up a bad website online often ruins your reputation as a credible company.
Would you show up to a corporate business meeting in cut off shorts and a ripped t-shirt? Probably not. Your website is often the first impression to a consumer online. Why would you not present yourself in the best possible way?
Chances are if you built a website without knowing why you built the site, you also are not presenting it to your audience by marketing through SEO (search engine optimization), listing with search engines or social media promotion. If you are not marketing the site, no one will find it anyway. That may be good news if the site is poor, but why did you spend the money? Before you spend any money, you should understand YOUR WHY. What do you want to accomplish?
If you would like to have a site to direct your current clients to in order to showcase your products and services, that is a good reason, but make sure you make a good impression and illustrate your expertise. Ask yourself:
- Is the site easy to navigate?
- Does each page open in a new window, or is the consumer forced to search for a back button?
- Is your product photography professional?
- Have you properly described the features and benefits on products or services?
- Is the content text short, concise, and easy to understand?
If you have built a site so that if someone searches for your brand specifically by name they can find out more about you, you need to ensure all of the above is true, and ask yourself:
- Is your contact information easy to locate on the home page?
- Are your hours easily identifiable?
- If you are a restaurant or product driven business, are there high quality appealing photographs on the site?
- Is your menu or product list, up to date and accurate?
- Are you maintaining the site for accuracy?
If you built a site to attract new customers and expand your business, ask yourself all of the above and:
- How do people find your site?
- Have you listed the site with search engines?
- Is your site social media ready?
- Do you have an online marketing strategy?
- Are you utilizing social media?
- Have you linked your social media networks to your website?
- Does your site provide a clear identity to a new consumer who is not familiar with your brand?
Moral of the story, understand YOUR WHY before you do anything, spend anything, or make any business decisions. Remember, you are better off making no impression on your target audience than a bad one.