Website – Hurting or Helping?

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking to owners and managers about putting their website on one of our directories. Many have been very interested, but I may have to turn many of them down. Not that I want to. After all, they were willing to pay me to be in the directory.

I may have to turn them down because I told them that their web site was currently hurting them more than it was helping them. That is, it was poorly designed, confusing, slow, and unattractive or it didn’t include sufficient content to interest or convince anyone to pick up the phone to inquire about their services.

It seems strange that a business owner, interested in attracting clients, would do something that was hurting them more than helping them, but the sad truth is, this is more the rule than the exception. And it is not only on their website, but in all their marketing and promotion.

Even more puzzling is that most of the things that independent professionals could do to help instead of hurt their marketing are not too hard to figure out, aren’t so difficult to change, don’t take a huge amount of time, and don’t cost an enormous sum of money.

I simply want to address five of those areas where you may be hurting rather than helping yourself, and give you some very frank advice for getting your *marketing act* together.

Not Getting Attention
Every time you open your mouth to talk about your services and don’t provide a crystal-clear “What’s in it for me” reason for people to listen further, you’re hurting yourself immeasurably. You’ll have branded yourself as someone who *just does stuff*, not as someone who can provide a solution to a problem. Why should they be interested?

No Value to Give Away
If someone shows interest in your services and you have no value to give away immediately, it’s a big let-down. You started creating momentum by generating interest, but then you fell flat on your face. How are they going to retain your services if you can’t tell them more?

No Unique Value
If you can’t answer the question “How are you different than…?,” then you simply get lumped together with everyone else who provides similar services. Because you have no Unique Value, you are easily forgotten and passed over for someone who does.

Poor Presentation
This covers a multitude of sins. But let’s come back to your presentation on the web. Amateurish layout and graphics, navigation that’s confusing, content that leaves you wondering, information that is incomplete, an absence of free information, slow meaningless graphics and no reason to respond top the list. Better to take down your clumsy web site and miss some business than keep it up and drive people away. Or put up a simple, clean, attractive site that people can get the facts from.

No Keep-In-Touch System
Even if you do all of the above in a way that helps you, you can sink it all by failing to capture the name and contact information of prospects and keeping them informed over time. If you don’t make sure people who met you once remember you when they need you, you’re inflicting a mortal wound on your business.

I’m sure there are a few more ways you’re hurting yourself, but this is a good start! As I said, if you’re experiencing resistance, confusion, uncertainty or that just-plain-stuck feeling about moving any of these into action, then contact ZedBiz

2 thoughts on “Website – Hurting or Helping?”

  1. Hi, I just joined the WCB network and from there clicked my way till got here.
    Being in the web design (and blog design) business I cannot agree more with you. Decent business owners use professional services for all their needs – except when it comes about their websites. I am always puzzled why would anybody think the neighbour’s teenager nephew can set up a website for them…

    Anyway, I’ll go back now to WCB. Great idea that you created it!

  2. Pingback: Playing with WordPress » Stubborn or stupid? - how businesses kill their web presence with an ugly blog

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