Your best promotional tool is your website.

If you are considering starting a new business or already have a business and a website you may be wondering the best way to use it to promote your efforts.  You probably have been told it is imperative you have a website; you may be confused about what should be on your website, what you should add to your website, when you should change it (nothing lasts forever!) People may question the expense of having a website at all, or try to create a site the cheapest way.  Here are some things to avoid  that make websites dead weight. 

Never changing anything on your website.

If you add little text content to your website, never add any new content to it and never try to get people to see it, it might as well be an online business card. In some cases this maybe OK. 

Solution: Create an article, story or audio/video and push it to social media, and/or email. Add new content as your business changes, create exciting promotions and sales.

Expecting people to find your website and your business with google only.

A website needs great content that people want to see. If your website has very little content that never changes, don’t expect your website sell your business for you on its own.  

Solution: Promote your website and therefore your business, in various venues and places. The harder you try the better results you will have. Give people something to do once they get to your website. 

An over designed website.

I’ve made some gorgeous websites that do nothing. and I’ve also seen websites that haven’t been changed in 15 years that get great SEO, both have the same problem. They dont deliver once they get a visitor. Dont spend big Bucks on a brand new website before you even know what you want it to do. Do Start modestly with mindfulness. 

Solution: Star small and test your website to see if it answers questions, explains what your business does and has some interest. Make your website look good while makeing a point 

(trying to) Force people to do what they don’t want to do

  • A restaurant that only takes payment thru their ap, no cash. Too strict! too intimidating!  (really? let some people pay cash)
  • A artisan market that only takes orders on the phone or worse fax. Too Old! (some people wont do this)

I was pretty amiable to signing the whole foods/amazon prime app. You can train your audience to do something new, but, be careful! 

Solution: Test it to see how it does. 

Solution: Deliver programs people want and make it easy for them to opt in. One mad customer is too many.

Not respecting your visitors time.

They might not want to sit thru long videos or large amounts of text like they have nothing else to do. Get to the point quickly. 

Solution: Make the highest quality content you are able. I like podcasts that are around 15 minutes, after that, you might just be repeating yourself.

Not caring what your content looks likes and how performs on all devices.

You may not know if they are seeing your website properly, or can read the content at all.   

Solution: Test it to see how it does. 

Interrupting someone while they are reading

Hey I was reading that! For real? you want me to opt in that box that flew up in front of what I was reading? 

Solution: If you MUST use a pop up have it come up as they are leaving. 

Poorly thought out or confusing promotions.

Not being able to follow up, no being able to close the deal, I struggle with this all the time, what can I offer you that is easy for you to buy and is useful? 

Solution: Keep working on it until it works 

Solution: Test it to see how it does. 

Not paying attention to current trends.

Im a web developer, I read stuff about websites all the time. I went to school. Nothing I say about websites I came up with on my own. 

Solution: listen to advice, google information where you hear about it, admit when you are wrong, think out side the box

Expecting to monetize everything.

The old broadcast model of creating content to sell advertising around probably isnt gonna work for you. Be your own best promoter and use your content to advertise what you are selling.  

Solution: If you have the chance to monetize great! make it tasteful. Dont make it your first priority with a large amount of advertising and worse, misdirection. 

Expecting your visitor to sign up before telling what you offer.

Why should anyone sign up for your newsletter? You need a really good reason or they just wont. 

Solution: Create a hard to resist offer and tell people what to expect from you

Not targeting your market

When many people start out they say everyone is their client, and its almost true, because you don’t know yet what will happen. it may helpful to think about who is NOT your customer.

  • People who don’t respect you enough to pay you.
  • Your parents, unless you are selling something baby boomers/seniors really want. Dont expect them to understand.
  • Your family. Some lucky people have the most supportive family. You may have a sibling that totally gets it..but these people are probably not the best audience.  Either they think everything you do is great, or everything you do is misguided. Not very helpful.
  • Your friends. Your very good friends might sign up for your program just to support you, but this isn’t very helpful

You will learn who you don’t want as a client. Probably after you’ve experienced a few of them. 

Solution: learn from your unique experience to find your niche

Not connecting with social media.

If you hand me a business card at an event, Im likely to look at your website. If there is no connection to social media I can not create a relationship with you. I’m likely to forget all about you, where I met you and vise versa.

Solution: learn from your unique experience to find your niche

Not clarifying what the website is about the first thing.

This one of the biggest “sins” of the internet, even the biggest websites are guilty of it. The first thing seen on your website should be what the website is about.  

Solution: Practice your “elevator speech” until it gets the point across, then try that on you home page above everything else