Why having a website is not enough

The formula for building a successful digital presence has changed. No matter how much money is spent on a website, having a website is not enough. A failed marketer is one who builds a website to separate the company from the crowd rather than to unite it with the common market. By allocating too much time and too many resources on branding and usability, many website managers continue to fail in delivering new customers and in servicing existing ones because they’ve built little more than a static digital magazine peddling a service the website does little to support. When nobody bothers to visit, website managers can have a hard time explaining why.

  • Your website is good for only three things
    Unless there’s some business functionality built into your website, users are not visiting to read marketing copy and look at your graceful UI. Instead, there’s only three things they are doing:
    1.) troubleshooting
    2.) contacting someone
    3.) signing up for a service

The definition of a failed marketer

  • The sales funnel doesn’t start on your website
    For a sales funnel to work, potential customers need initial engagement. Unless your business exists solely on word of mouth and customer referrals, website managers need to ensure the company’s funnel begins throughout the Internet’s social service communities and your allied business partners. Don’t think online advertising works? There’s a reason Google makes billions – online advertising does work and you should be doing it.
  • They don’t want to listen to your company tooting its own horn
    Let’s face it, they’re tired of hearing you talk about yourself. What’s interesting for today’s savvy surfers is news about your organization written by others. Stop focusing on making your website better and start working to build allies and to broaden exposure in community forums where people search for references about your organization. Instead of publishing breaking news on your own website first, partner with allied organizations to publish the information, industry insights and gossip. News about your company on other websites can be in joint press releases or company profiles. Awards and other third-party credits to your company are more interesting to the market when someone else mentions it. Additionally, your company’s URL will be rewarded by Google for third party references back to your website.
  • Google Hates Self Aggrandizement
    Having a website is not enough because your website is full of self aggrandizement that will not only be ignored by Google, but may be penalized because of it. Thought Leadership should be first published outside your website separate from your company’s URL. Otherwise, the news will not be considered unbiased.
  • Your website is not that great
    Having a website is not enough because nobody cares about beautiful designs and coherent branding anymore. Gone are the days when a website could attract users because of a “kick-ass Flash movie intro”, for instance.
  • Customers want to know the bad about your company
    After all, isn’t it better to get gossip about someone instead of from someone it’s about? The Internet functions the same way. With the rise of customer review services, wikis and bloggers, customers would rather research a company by searching what others are saying, not going to the source. Managing an online presence requires managing what the others are saying, too.

Having a website is not enough, but marketers continue to overestimate the strength of their visual branding practices while they continue to underestimate the merits for a broad portfolio of digital media campaigns. Instead of focusing resources on sleek designs to illustrate a company’s core mission, today’s savvy website managers are reaching out to the wider community that is today’s Internet and forging media alliances, building back links with partners and community forums, and engaging the networks where users are captive members. Unless shopping for a price, utilizing a function or seeking an answer to a problem, the likelihood someone will type in your URL to discover something new about the company is unlikely. Without a lot of off page work, your website will be ignored by Google.

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