Websites which aren’t utilised make me sad. I mean, you pay good money to put up a website and then you go and let it languish, fall into disrepair and become increasingly irrelevant to your customers. The poor thing only gets updated when someone in the office bothers to remember.
Would you treat a shop on the high street or your office with the same disregard? No, you wouldn’t, because they are important, forward-facing parts of the business.
So is your website.
I hear and understand the argument that begins, ‘Our contracts/products/services are too big/expensive to be sold online’. If this is the case, then it means that those who are thinking about buying from you will need considerable persuasion and will take time before making their purchase. Should you not be doing EVERYTHING possible to convince that person that your company is the one to buy from?
Who’s Your Receptionist?
It’s unlikely that traditional advertising, pamphlets, flyers, quarterly brochures and so on will instantly convince a potential client that your company is cutting edge, relevant and competent. I’m not saying that those media have no impact – they do – just that they now act more as brief introductions and reminders rather than tools to convert. They have a place in the marketing toolbox, but they tend to be ephemeral and are more likely to be dismissed. That’s why printed matter, radio commercials, etc, carry the web address. Your website is now a crucial reception area for your business. So why not give customers an impressive reception?
Ask Yourself Two Honest Questions
If you were the owner of a company where deals are done face to face, through meeting the right person, I’d like you to ask yourself, ‘Where is that person likely to look first to find out more about my company?’ and, ‘Where is the person who is doing the procuring going to point their boss?’.
I’ll be surprised if you opt for any of the traditional mediums I mentioned above.
What I Understand
If you don’t want to focus on ranking for keywords that’s fine. I understand why you wouldn’t want to waste resource on link development for key phrases which will only drive a few hundred visitors a month (and most of those keywords only loosely qualify anyway).
What I Do Not Understand
What I cannot understand is that you have a static website carrying very little information and which consists mainly of sales copy. I don’t like reading sales copy. It’s usually easy to spot: it’s self-congratulatory, self-indulgent and often peters out into a list. I like to know why your product/service is innovative and awesome in ways that can help me; and then I like to see examples of awesome in practice. Ideally, I’d like the content to entertain me, but hey, maybe I should get out more. Finally, I want to hear from the expert in the field. YOU.
It’s much more difficult and time consuming to put together a pamphlet or brochure than it is to write a post on a trending topic in your field. And that’s before we mention that these days print is frequently far less effective than online at generating buzz about your business.
Who Else Is Doing This?
Many companies use their websites to promote themselves. You don’t need to be an intergalactic conglomerate to do it effectively. To be honest, it’s probably harder to write about your subject if you are in a large multi-national because of the tangle of red tape, guidelines and protocol that you need to fight through to make it happen. Small to medium size companies are more nimble, though there are exceptions.
Example of companies who make their websites work hard:
- Salesfore – Huge global company.
- Kutz & Blum – Legal company in North Carolina, USA.
- Miratrix – Yes. This is how we promote ourselves above our competitors.
We Aren’t Back To ‘Build It And They Will Come’ Thinking Are We?
Once you’ve created your blog post (it doesn’t need to be a blog post, it could be a video, graphic, guide, glossary, anything at all) you need to let people know it’s there.
Have you got an email data base? Tell them! Got friends in the industry? Tell them!
If yours is a less technophobic company that likes twitter, facebook or LinkedIn, use those channels to start a conversation. Don’t just push it out saying, ‘Oy! Here’s a link read it!’
Communicate and Engage, Don’t Broadcast
Ask followers to give you feedback or to share it for you. You’d be surprised how happy people are to help you out. Just ask.
Your blog posts won’t work for you if you don’t push them. Think of your posts if it they were flying lanterns. You need to get them up in the air first. Once they’re up, they’ll get noticed; people will point them out to each other; if they are well written, topical and relevant, they’ll more than take care of themselves.
What I’ve just discussed here is called a couple of things – content marketing, inbound marketing or as we like to call it at Miratrix “Talking About Your Business”.
I Know We Said Forget The Rankings But…
‘Talking About Your Business’ doesn’t just have a positive effect on how new business perceives you it also helps gain traffic from search engines. You are killing a flock of birds with one stone. Earning new visitors, developing trust in your industry, promoting your business and expanding your client base.
In the long term it’s the most cost effective and enjoyable way to promote and develop your business. You never know, you might actually impress someone enough for them to contact you before they meet you in person.