I’ve got a website, I can relax now…

Marketing for any business these days almost certainly includes having a website that sets out your stall. But I am going to just throw it out there and say that businesses can have huge (and sometimes unrealistic) expectations when having a website.

Sometimes organisations think that having a website is just a box ticked in the marketing box and that, once done, the person responsible should get a pat on the back from colleagues and then the phone will ring off the hook and their inboxes will fill up with enquiries within minutes of launch.
Similarly, sometimes organisations go through the process of designing and building a website, make a bit of a fuss when it’s launched and then leave it unattended for months or even years at a time or unmaintained so none of the working elements are updated and yet they still feel like it should be the gift that keeps on giving with an indefinite ROI.

I want to ask you all one simple question……what is having a great website that works on smart devises, is great in Google, is fast to load, is always working and gives your organisation a global platform worth to you? What would it actually be worth in money, in stress and in time.
Like millions of others, I pay to insure my house, insure my car, insure my company, insure my health……I also invest in training, have an accountant, research new technology, stay fit, have quality time outside work, attend seminars……but how much do you invest in your website?  How much per calendar month do you invest in making sure it stays live, optimised, up to date and secure?

To me the answer is simple. A website should be everything to your business and justifies investment and constant maintenance as a minimum.

Without a website, how do people realistically find you? How do people get in touch with you? Where would people go for due diligence?

So…..if you do not value your website, no one else will.

Although a hugely vital “shop window” for a company, many may have the money to invest in a website, but simply don’t like spending it and will often engage a cheap company or one man band to knock up something for them or, Heaven forbid, go to a DIY website company and do it themselves. Once done, they then leave it alone until it eventually crashes or is so out of date they don’t even refer to it.

In 2019 we’ve seen a real trend in organisations wanting advice as to what to do with their websites. People are now seeking advice about how they get them to “work” harder or what they need to do to boost their positions in Google or even, how to maintain them. Yes, websites can be done yourself and can be done cheaply and left unattended, but, please don’t!!

 

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Internet Marketing – 3 eras.

Do you have a website?
Of course you do; you couldn’t resist it eh?!!!
After all everybody has a website these days so you had to have one too. How did you go about finding someone to help you? Yellow Pages? Google? Find a friend? Either way, one of the main problems with a lot of websites is that they fall into the “About Us” category……they all look the same and say the same thing.

To make your website stand out, you must do something different. Remember the rule – “be helpful” – and that means offering interest and/or value. For example, a website that offers advice, tips, free data, training, instruction or even has a game of some sort is more likely to illicit some sort of response which ideally takes the form of someone identifying themselves and/or giving up their details.

We feel that Internet Marketing could be grouped into 3 “eras:”

Yesterday – the first era of Internet Marketing
This was the online brochure era. If you “were on the web” you were cool! Just being able to show your company there lead to an immediate increase in status! Then came the hip design side of the web usually created in “Flash” with lots of whizzy bits, colours and design bits. This then lead to all sites looking the same – the About Us syndrome.

Today – the second era of Internet Marketing
People have started to include something of value to their site visitors. About YOU vs About Us! These sites build traffic and relationships by giving the visitor access to information. The hoped-for payoff is that they then navigate around the site clocking up page views and possibly enquiring.

Tomorrow – the third era of Internet Marketing
The purpose of the website has shifted full scale in this era. The purpose is now to crystalise the company’s personality – to provide a rich and interactive experience; to make the company seem like an old friend before you’ve met the people behind it. The stylistic effects used are not for self indulgence, but for the identity of the company.

Need any help? Email Bath Marketing Consultancy

Websites & Internet marketing

The Internet. Let’s be honest, we cannot resist the lure of the Internet. Everyone is using it for marketing. It is impossible to resist!
However, with the sheer volume of people and businesses using the Internet, my suggestion is to try and be different in the way that you use it. Be helpful and that means offering interest and/or value. A web site that offers data or offers training/instruction or even a game is one that will stand out. In return that site may gain the one and only thing you are really looking for – visitors.

Although results are still a little unclear, I see the Internet as a platform that has evolved incredibly quickly and this brings fresh challenges to its users. To help, I have put together what I see are the 3 ways it has changed:

Yesterday – the first era of Internet Marketing.
This was the web brochure era. If you were on the web you were cool! Just showing your brand or company on the web was deemed state-of-the-art. Most websites were full of hip graphics – and that was about it. The price of a website was huge and very few actually worked as they all suffered from the same syndrome – the “about us” syndrome. They all looked the same and did nothing to add value to the browser.

Today – the second era of Internet Marketing
Here is where people started catching on that “about us” needed to become “about you.” These sites then started to build traffic and relationships by giving access to information. The “whizz, bang” design element started to tone down and sites became easier to use; quicker and more user friendly. They also became cheaper.

Tomorrow – the third era of Internet Marketing
I see the main purposes of a website is to crystallise a brand and get a business’s personality across. The best sites in my opinion, provide a rich, interactive experience making their companies appear like an old friend. The very best ones, look good, work well, capture data and drive enquiries.

To sum up my last 4 posts on advertising and now the Internet; my advice is that these are both initiatives that I would advocate using for marketing, but only if you can do them well and can justify using them. There are literally thousands of businesses that can help you, but I would always suggest working with a business that is independent i.e not just offering the one initiative that you are reviewing.

After all, if you approach a graphic designer or a website designer, this is what you will get – graphic design or a website. Dont be afraid to talk to a consultant or someone who can look at the bigger picture of how these initiatives can be used together.