Recently I have worked with several clients to redo their websites and I have found there seems to be some recurring issues with small business owners & their relationship (or lack thereof) to their own website. There are some lessons that we can all benefit from to make the most of your site itself & your relationship with your writer, desiger, & hosting company.
1. Not owning your own URL – this is a TERRIBLE mistake. While it may seem convenient for your web designer to do it for you if you are busy, it takes less than 10 minutes to register it yourself. NEVER let anyone hold your URL hostage (especially if it is the name – or a derivation thereof – of your company). All domain registration companies allow for you to set up an administrator (the web designer) which allows them access to create it, but YOU own it. Once the site is finished, you can change the passwords so no one else but you has access to your site.
2. Not looking at your stats – this is another TERRIBLE mistake. Be sure you have access to the statistics of your own site. Don’t depend on others to get them for you (they’re always too busy once you’ve paid them). Ideally, you should check them once a week. Even if at first you don’t understand what they mean, call your hosting company & they can explain it to you. Over time you should see pattern & be able to adjust the content of your site accordingly. The basics that you want to look for are # visitors per day (you can look for patterns in your daily visits), most popular viewed pages (see where you may be falling short on content), referrals (where the hits are coming from such as another site where you might have a reciprocal link, google, etc.), main entry & exit pages.
3. Not testing your contact form – if a period of time goes by & you have not received any requests for information, be sure to go in & test it yourself by filling it out & sending it. Sometimes hosting companies have issues, or sometimes it is the form itself. By demanding too many required fields (& having the form bounce back blank for leaving these blank) you may be unintentionally turning people away from the form, & therefore from your business.
Lastly, remember that simply having a website does NOT mean that people will visit it. A website is really just an electronic brochure that has interactivity. You still have to market it – don’t spend money on a site, sit back & think that’s all you have to do. You will find this is a big mistake & you will be wasting valuable time & resources. Be sure to back it up with a solid marketing plan to drive visitors to your site.
visit www.myaffordablemarketing.com for more information & solutions to your small business marketing issues.