Why Websites Fail
Do you ever question your website performance or the results your business sees from it?
You aren’t alone.
Maybe you feel you don’t have enough traffic (hence the low results) or maybe you get traffic, but no leads. Some businesses believe that their website is nothing more than window dressing for their company, and they’re ‘supposed’ to have one. Company websites often represent a significant investment from the marketing budget, so isn’t it fair to ask for more?
Often, the problem boils down to expectations. When we ask our clients the question of what their website needs to do for their business, we get mixed answers.
“Our website just needs to inform customers of our product features and capabilities.”
“It would be nice if we could get some leads from the website, but we don’t expect much.”
“We only use our website for recruitment, that’s our biggest challenge.”
Many small and medium businesses struggle with integrating their website into their marketing flow. They rely on it as an overpriced electronic brochure to support their outside sales efforts and nothing more.
What Function Should Your Website Serve?
Imagine for a moment if you were hiring a new employee to fill a critical job function in your organization. You’re likely going to pay them a decent salary, offer benefits, and outline defined expectations for their role — this is usually in the form of a job description or contract. Periodically you’ll review this employee to measure their performance, help them improve and contribute more to your company, with the goal of improving profitability and quality. This is how many successful companies function, and your website is no different.
Consider this: treat your website like a trusted employee. It’s an investment you’ve made (or are about to make), and you need to have clear expectations of what you want it to do for your business. Besides, it’s working for you 24/7/365, it might be your hardest-working employee!
Write a Job Description for Your Website
Write a job description that details all the key areas your website will address and the KPI’s (key performance indicators) you will measure. For example:
- Lead generation: generate 2-3 new leads per month
- Recruitment: attract 5-10 qualified candidates per month
- Reach: reach 1500 new visitors per month to build brand awareness
Easy, right? In fact, it’s downright exciting to have clear and tangible goals for your website. But this is just the beginning.
Form a Strategy.
Once you have your expectations and goals laid out, you need to form a strategy that will help move your site closer to accomplishing its goals. Often this starts with speaking to an expert on inbound marketing, conducting independent research and building a plan that works for your company to achieve these goals. It means investing in the site the way you would invest in an employee’s professional development. It also means putting some marketing muscle behind it to give it a chance to perform.
Measure It Often.
It’s critical that you regularly measure your site’s performance against your initial goals and expectations. Define the metrics that matter (leads, traffic, interaction, resumes, etc) and implement tools to measure these key outcomes. If it is failing to meet your expectations after a set timeline, examine how you might tweak or modify the activities you’re using to meet your goals. It requires consistent and regular attention, but if you spend the time, it will help you realize your goals faster.
- Write a job description for your website. One that is detailed, exact, and goal-oriented.
- Develop a strategy to meet each of these goals. There are many avenues and options to help you get there. If you’re unsure, speak with an inbound marketing expert.
- Measure regularly. Develop basic benchmarks that will help you track and assess your performance regularly so you can change and improve your activities.