You’ve heard the statistic. Your website visitor gives it only 3 seconds to answer these questions:
Who is this? What do they do? Am I in the right place?
If the visitor can’t find these answers, your site isn’t doing its job!
(And as for that visitor? He’s . . . GONE! Likely never to be seen again.)
As a professional seeking new clients, the 3 second test is even more important, since 83% of people check your website first before ever taking another step. That means —
Your website is at the center of all your marketing!
In fact, your website serves as the hub of your marketing. Take a look at some of these common lead generation situations for professionals where your website would be involved:
- You are interviewed at a convention. Your website address is flashed across the bottom of the screen. Will it reflect the impression you’re making in the interview?
- A potential client gets one of your business cards. She immediately checks out your website from her phone. Is the site mobile enabled?
- Someone seeking the answer to a thorny problem looks on Google. Will your website article – that provides the perfect answer — show up in the search?
- Your name comes up on someone’s LinkedIn search. They immediately check your site to see if you have the credentials they’re looking for. They also check the sites of the other names that came up. How well will your site compete?
- You want to add names to your mailing list. Do visitors to your site have a way to sign up?
Is your website well designed?
The situations described above are individual, and not every website will hold up well in every circumstance. But if your site is well designed, it should.
“So how do I know it’s well designed?”
Start by asking yourself: “Does the designer of the site understand marketing?”
Here are three simple steps to a professionally-designed marketing website. How well do you think your site rates today?
- The site is built around your marketing plan. The plan has identified your own lead generation activities and shows how the website relates to them.
- Appropriate copy has been written for each individual page. Different pages have different purposes and thus require different marketing language. (If you’re not comfortable writing it, get a professional copywriter.)
- The design displays the marketing messages to their best advantage.
Can an old website be updated?
Absolutely. Websites, unlike printed brochures, can be updated and published quickly!
But analyze what you have before throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Do you have an established “brand” that includes a logo, colors, a typestyle (font), a particular “attitude?” If you’re well known, you don’t want old friends to land at your new site and think they’re in the wrong place!
And just as you are cautious about falling for the latest advertising gimmick, watch out for the latest trends in website design. The flashy “look and feel” of a high-tech retail site probably won’t work for your professional site. At the other extreme, you can simplify and streamline so much that in those first 3 seconds the visitor can’t find a single answer!
So again, while your website can be updated, you may want to do it gradually. (And regularly.) And, as we said before, with the help of a designer who understands marketing.
What’s your next step?
From our perspective, a good website has four foundational pages plus some optional pages. Each page has its own purpose, and is integrated with and supports different marketing efforts – speeches, networking, referrals, direct mail campaigns, advertising, social media, etc.
If you’re interested in learning more about each of these elements, get a copy of The Marketing Machine guidebook: Website – The Hub of Your Marketing Plan.
It’s 50 pages of detail aimed specifically at the professional business owner. With it, you’ll have a much better understanding of how well your site is doing its job — bringing in more business!