Patrick Dillon is CEO of WISE Digital Partners. He covers topics related to business strategy, websites and digital marketing.
If you build a website, they’ll come, right?
Sorry, but the famous movie line, “If you build it, he will come,” doesn’t apply to websites. It may have worked in Field of Dreams, but it doesn’t work for businesses that want customers to find them online. Why? Because this is the real world, and there’s no magical experience that’ll draw people to your website. They will only come if you convince them they should, and it takes significant digital marketing effort to do that.
It seems like a simple concept, but as the CEO of a digital marketing agency that has headed up over a thousand website builds, I encounter business owners all the time who believe a nice-looking site will instantly attract customers. It’s easy to get focused on the design and aesthetic and forget about the rest.
A Website Has the Power To Be a Marketing Engine
Done correctly and backed by solid digital marketing strategies, a website is your strongest marketing tool. A successful website build involves experts who understand the interplay between a dozen business, marketing and digital disciplines — a team that will guide the entire process with a well-written strategy aimed squarely at your business goals.
Going with a fast, cheap solution isn’t going to result in a successful website that drives your business forward. That path only gets you a brochure online that is never found by your prospective customers.
“But I Don’t Have the Time or the Money”
You get pulled in many directions when you’re a business owner, and not having the time or money is a given. But your website is too important to get wrong.
Let’s talk about your time.
You’re an expert in your field. Maybe you’re a mechanic who knows everything there is to know about rebuilding car engines, or a chiropractor who can adjust a person’s spine. In these cases, what you’re likely not an expert in is digital marketing.
And what do you do when you need help with something you’re not familiar with? You hire a person who is. You seek out other experts. You don’t spend your valuable time figuring out how to properly design and code a website, learning about SEO, creating effective online ads or going through the painful process of writing the type of copy that gets people excited about what you do. Instead, you need to focus on fixing cars or adjusting people’s backs.
To get this done right, you need a team of experts by your side. Why a team? Because no single person is an expert in all digital marketing disciplines. You’ll never find a website strategist, copywriter, designer, developer, SEO whiz and advertising expert all in one. And to do digital marketing right, you need all of them.
For example, BrightEdge reports that SEO drives 1,000% more traffic than organic posts on social media. An expert in that discipline alone can make a huge difference for a business. Even something as simple as copywriting can boost your business. As reported by HubSpot, businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than businesses that ignore it.
Finding the Right Team
The best place to find a digital marketing team is at a full-service marketing agency. But before you search for one on Google, it’s essential to know they’re not all the same.
The right agency will build you a website on a solid foundation. It’ll start with a rock-solid written strategy developed with your goals in mind. They’ll have SEO experts and copywriters on staff to make sure your content is on point, and they’ll have designers and developers who know how to bring users along the journey in a way that converts them into customers. Once built, they should also be able to assist you with advertising strategies to drive traffic your way.
There’s another key point I want to emphasize. Many business owners will build a website with the idea that they’ll incorporate the strategy and optimization later. This is a backward approach that often results in frustration, sunk costs and lost time.
The wrong agency won’t take the time to get to know you and your business thoroughly, and they won’t suggest or offer everything your business needs. They’ll simply take your direction, build a nice-looking website and move on to the next project. You’re left with a solution that does nothing to grow your business.
And now let’s talk about the money.
When I hear business owners say they don’t have the money to do digital marketing right, I show them they can’t afford to ignore what they’re missing. Our websites have made our partners tens of millions of dollars and have made the owners’ lives easier in the process.
If you don’t have the funds, I advise you to find a partner that’s willing to finance your digital marketing efforts for you. You can perhaps work out a loan or even give a partner a partial stake in your business in exchange for helping it grow.
Some business owners tell me they don’t care about growth because they plan to coast for a few years and sell the business. What I explain here is that the multiple on a sale of a business is based on growth. If you’re not growing, your sale price shrinks.
Setting up a plan for digital marketing should be done by you now, and you’ll retire better. It’s an excellent investment.
Settle for a bad website, and it’ll likely turn people away. It won’t inspire confidence, and potential customers will instead seek out a competitor. Hire a team to build a great website with a solid digital marketing strategy to back it up. Then watch your business grow.