by James Shaw, Creative Director / Owner, Twin Creek Media
There is no shortage of terrible websites clogging up the filter of the world wide web these days. I really don’t mind bad websites if they have no real serious intentions – say, someone’s collection of out of focus photos, or a personal blog about insects. But a company’s website is serious business. And it’s a crime to waste a great opportunity to gain more customers and earn more revenue on poor execution and poor follow through.
Let’s address the TOP 12 reasons why your company’s or association’s website is useless:
- Not listed or not on page 1 in Google (or other search engines or web directories). 80+% of EVERYTHING begins as a search, and not many people bother clicking past the first page of Google. SEO/SEM is critical.
- Out of date information (last updated in 2003?)
- Hard to use navigation (people are dazed and confused)
- Primitive & ugly design (inconsistent colours, fonts, styles)
- No engaging content (if your site is nothing more than a copy/pasted brochure, you’re in trouble!)
- No calls to action (what specifically do you want your visitors to do? If you don’t tell them, don’t expect any action. Eg. getting tons of hits but no conversion? Hmm…)
- Your internet marketing is not INTEGRATED with your overall marketing of your business/association. (Hint: your web “guy” and your print “girl” are probably working in a vacuum. Twin Creek Media is one of the only truly integrated marketing firms in the Okanagan.)
- There is no regular promotion of the website. Eg. email marketing campaign connecting with your target audience and driving web traffic back to your website, or direct mail piece with a web offer.
- The copy writing is boring, too long or too short, duplicated, irrelevant and not optimized for Search Engines.
- You don’t view your website as a powerful member of your Sales and Marketing Team. (websites don’t get sick or take vacation days and can generate a steady stream of qualified leads or even sell your products for your business or assocation… in other words your website is a worker, not just another marketing channel)
- Your site is not utilizing the latest technology: blogs, online PR, social networking, viral video, etc. (you don’t need to know all the latest technology, just get to know someone that does, and ask him/her if one of the latest online fads is a good fit for you.)
- Nobody is visiting! Nothing matters more than traffic, and even a $100,000 site is going to crash and burn without a launch strategy and ongoing promotion.
Okay, so useless may be a strong word. But your site definitely won’t be as effective as it could be if you’re not paying attention to the points above. We’ve witnessed sites go from ZERO to HERO in a matter of months by focusing on the missing ingredients – we’re talking web traffic gains of 400%.
Who would you hire to redesign your company’s site?
a) an artist
b) a programmer
c) a strategic marketer
Trick question actually. If you thought, “all”, you got it right.
The reason is the proper web development is both an art and science, and surprisingly a lot of each.