Many small business owners that have a poor website don’t realize they have a poor website. This is often the case when:
A) they’ve put a lot of time and effort into building their website themselves, or… B) a friend or family member claiming to be a web expert has built the site for them, or… C) they spent a lot of money on a ‘professional’ web developer.
Due to the investment of time and money and emotional attachment they’re unable to look objectively at their website and see its flaws. When asked about the success of their website they usually answer that they’re quite pleased with it.
Sometimes I get the uncomfortable task of explaining to one of them that no, really, your site could do with some improvement. I usually try to drill down to the core of the issue by asking them what the purpose of their website is. What is the goal? What is your website supposed to be doing for you?
A typical conversation on this topic goes something like this:
“So, what is the goal of your website? What do you want to accomplish with it?” “Well, I want my information to be out there, to show my products online.” “Okay, so why do you want people to look at your products?” “To make them aware of what I can do for them.” “I see. So when they see your products on your website, what do you want them to do with that information?” “Well, I’d like them to pick up the phone or send me an email or whatever. Get in touch.” “So your website is meant to generate leads, is it?” “Yeah, basically, that’s it.” “And how many leads are you getting from your website every week?” “… I don’t know. One or two I think, I’m not sure.” “Okay, let’s assume it’s two leads a week. How many people visit your website every week?” “Well, eh, I’d have to look that up.” “I see here on your web statistics package that you get about six hundred visitors a week.” “Oh, well, that’s good. That sounds like a lot.” “Only two of them are getting in touch with you. Two out of six hundred, that’s not a very high percentage, is it?” “… Eh, I suppose not, no.”
That’s the beginning of a slow, painful path from ignorance to denial, anger, frustration, and awareness. Ideally this ends in acceptance of the inconvenient truth that a good website requires constant attention. If you want to make the most of your online presence, you need to commit a certain amount of time and money to it.
The good news is that it doesn’t require countless hours and infinitely deep pockets to maintain a solid website. A lot of things can be done easily and cheaply and can yield tremendous results.
So ask yourself, are you happy with your website? Should you be?