Many businesses often ponder the question of website performance, and wonder why they aren’t getting any tangible results from their online presence.
Possibly they feel like they don’t have enough traffic (hence low results) or sometimes they get traffic, but no leads. Some businesses believe that their website is nothing more than window dressing for their company, and they are simply ‘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. Answers like:
“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”
The truth is, many small and medium businesses struggle with integrating their website into the marketing flow of their business, and rely on it as on overpriced electronic brochure to support their outside sales efforts.
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 lay down some defined expectations of what success means for their role. This is usually in the form of a job description or contract, and periodically you’ll review this employee to measure their performance, help them improve and contribute more to your company, ultimately with an eye towards improving profitability and quality. This is how many successful companies are built, 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 should have clear expectations of what you want it to do for your business. And since it’s working for you 24/7/365, it could potentially be your hardest working employee!
Write a job description for your website!
Write a job description that details all of the key areas your website will address, and the performance outcomes you expect to get. 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 awareness for our brand.
Easy right? In fact, it’s downright exciting to frame your website in a light that makes it seem like it could perform vital functions for your business. 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, and putting some marketing muscle behind it to give it a chance to perform.
Measure it often.
Finally, 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 period of time, examine how you might tweak or modify the activities you set out to use 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. Be detailed and 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 on a regular basis so you can modify and improve your activities.