How hard is your website working for you?
11th February 2011
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When it comes to small business websites, many of you focus on attracting visitors.   You are quick to get a website up and running because you want to “get online” and then you focus on questions such as 

“How do I get to the top of Google?”

“How do I get traffic to my site?”

Using the magical powers of Search Engine Optimisation and Google Adwords seem to be marketing activities that you are either prepared to spend hundreds – if not thousands – of pounds on to get to work, or you justify hours and hours of your own time trying to do it yourself.

Traffic is important.  Absolutely! There’s no point building a beautiful website if no one is going to find it!

But the long term success of your website will be held back because you haven’t taken the time to plan out your website’s engagement and conversion process.

Even if the people who do find your website love what you do, if there is nothing that excites them enough to take action – the money and time you have spent working on the site will all go to waste.

So what do you need to do to make sure your website engages AND converts your website visitors in to potential clients and customers?

Because I’ve got so much to share on this topic, I am running a whole one hour webinar at this month’s Web Tech Club.  So if you are fed with your website floating around doing nothing for your business, then click here to check out this month’s Web Tech Training Session on Websites That Work.

But here are some of the big mistakes that small business owners make with their websites and what you can do to avoid them:

1. No clear target audience:  If you are trying to hedge your bets by trying to be everything to everyone – just in case you don’t miss out on any business!! – all your website becomes is Blah Blah.  And Blah Blah just doesn’t work! 

Coaches – you are the worst profession at this! Because coaching can work for anyone, this doesn’t mean that your website should be trying to reach out to everyone.  Even if your website appears high up on the Google searches of the key word phrases you’ve focused on, you will end up converting no one because you aren’t trying to speak to someone. 

And yes, this does mean that some of you may end up with more than one website!  

2. Online brochures:  When companies first started using websites to promote their businesses in the 1990’s they often just handed their company brochure over to their HTML programmer and got them to reproduce this online.  It didn’t work then – and it doesn’t work now.  And yet this is exactly what many of you do when coming up with a website specification.

3. Focus on selling just what you do:  I know, I know – a website is there to bring you business.  If you aren’t selling what you do then why bother having a website? 

The problem is most of your clients and customers will find it too big a leap to be spending money with you from their first visit to your website.  And yes, that even applies to people who come recommended by others.  If all you offer them on your website is an opportunity to spend money with you right here and now, you are going to risk losing a lot of clients who want to get to know you better first.

For most of you, your website focus should be about building a mailing list.  Offer a free report, a free online course, a free mug – whatever floats your clients’ boats.  But give someone the opportunity to part with their email address and you have permission to build on this relationship over time.  Anyone who says email marketing is dead, is just plain wrong!

4. Sell rather than allow your clients to buy:  We all hate being sold to, yet we love to spend our money.  Adopting the hard-sell that a lot of affiliate online marketers use (you know what I mean – lots of yellow highlighting pen, countdown to how many minutes your special offer is available for, endless lists of testimonials scrolling down and down the page) may work for some of you but don’t get sucked in to the hype and believe it works for all businesses selling online.  

Give your site visitors some value.  Whether you share tips and advice from your blog posts or have a show reel of videos for people to watch –this all depends on what you enjoy creating and what your target clients want to engage with.  Let your potential clients enjoy the buying process with you by giving first and they are more likely to come back for more as they learn to trust in what you offer.

5. Business ego:  I know you are proud of your business.  I know that you want to look good and come across as professional and legit.  But get carried away with colours and images and the prettiness of your website, and you will lose sight of what your website is there to do.  Attract, engage and convert.

Design is important but let the professionals such as Fiona Humberstone steer you in the right direction.  Your website is for your clients and customers and you should focus on what your clients and customers want – not what you “think” looks “nice”.

In conclusion:

OK – this article has turned out to be more of a rant than I expected!  But as you can see, this is a topic that I do get worked up about.  When you are spending anything from £300 to £2,000 – and even more for ecommerce sites – your website should be working hard for you.

If all you are doing is creating a website because you feel you ought to – then just don’t bother.  Create a website because you want it to attract the right people, engage with the right people and convert those people to become the right clients and customers for you.

That planning stage of deciding what to offer and giving your website a real marketing purpose will stop your website from just becoming a pretty thing floating around hyperspace gathering nothing more than pixel dust!

Remember, if you want to find out exactly how your website could work better then join the Web Tech Club.  For the price of a one month membership, you could be making changes to your website that result in a significant increase in client and customers over the coming months and years!

"Karen Skidmore works with small business owners to show them how to build the business model, create the marketing systems and use the right web tech marketing tools to attract more of the right clients to their business. To subscribe to her free email newsletter and get access to practical advice that will move your business forward, visit"  


About the Author

Karen S

Member since: 2nd February 2012

Help small business owners attract the right clients by using the using the right marketing tools. Training & mentoring on how to get email newsletters working with your blogs, working with your social...

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