Many hours are spent on building the best website for the money. We think about site structure, content, look and feel and other elements to the design and delivery of the site. As much work as it may be to get this new beauty out the door, it’s just the start.
There was one client I worked with a while ago who wanted a new website. We discussed where there business was coming from, how they wanted it to grow, and the types of clients they wanted to attract. Once we had an idea of what the site should say, I tried to engage this client in a discussion about how they were going to get people to see it. If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it… Well, you get the picture.
Let’s make something clear – their monthly unique visitor count is in the low hundreds. Very low hundreds. Most of the inquiries they get from their site are related to a service that they have listed but they don’t perform anymore. The website was actually worse than nothing – it was costing them time and effort to respond to these unwanted inquiries.
When I tried to steer the conversation towards marketing, the client looked at me like I was from Mars. The site was their marketing, right? At least that’s what they thought. Even in B2B, many people get to a vendor or service provider site through search. Or ads, or PR, or some form of marketing activity.
They were willing to spend $ on redoing their site, but nothing on marketing it so people would visit.
Folks, it’s simple. The website is a tool – it’s not the marketing plan. The really hard part is driving traffic to the tool to start them down the sales funnel. And programs that work for one company may not apply to yours. So, you need to have a comprehensive plan to test different marketing vehicles — and this can be done without spending a lot on the programs.
Would paid search yield results?
What about SEO? Is the content relevant, current, and do you have people linking to you?
Do you post your own blog?
Do you have lots of great referenceable clients and can you post their stories on your site and alert a bunch of bloggers who may care about them? Not just in your industry, but in theirs?
Can you showcase your talents by making something interesting for people – like a microsite on something with interest in your target audience?
You don’t need to have a huge budget these days to generate traffic. Note – for this client, a few hundred more visits by people who are interested in their offerings could result in a big jump in business for them.