Of all the tactics in the very large arena of marketing, the most undervalued one is your company website. Old concepts die hard. Back in the 90’s a website was sort of an online version of a business card. The web industry coined the term, brochureware—a derogatory term today.
Moving on into the 2000’s with the advent of Web 2.0 et al, functionality became the newest thing. Functionality today is still a hot ticket, exemplified by the over 40,000 plugins in the WordPress repository. The irony borders on insanity: Most of those plugins with the exemption of a handful, like Yoast SEO, will do absolutely nothing to grow your business.
Which brings us to a point: How do you use a website to grow your business so that it becomes a valued investment and not some dead anchor of brochureware or wasted functionality?
A website’s lifecycle is often very frustrating or outright depressing. And let’s talk about this before I share about high performing business websites and Growth-Driven Design.
By lifecycle I mean the entire process of owning a website. As you know, the process starts out with vetting a web design agency, then planning, then execution of the deliverables, then strategizing and loading content. From start to finish, we’ve seen this process last from several months to over a year. Often website projects are 90% completed but no one can decide on messaging so the website project gets hung up—often for a very long time. A website is often the #1 marketer’s pain point because of these things.
Then what happens? The website is launched and because of Google’s Freshess update algorithm, traffic spikes—for a while—then dies back down again once the content goes state. Then, after a few years, this painful process begins all over again.
I’ve written several articles on the GDD website concept, including one calling GDD “The last website you’ll ever need.” GDD solves both the design and execution pain point, and the stagnation issue. A GDD website never grows stale because it’s under continual analysis and revision.
A website should be viewed as the sum of its parts—or sum of its pages. From a standpoint of value some parts of your website are more valuable than others. Value is correlated by not how much work you put into developing the content necessarily, but how much traffic each section receives.
For example, our blog receives far more organic traffic than any other section of our website including our home page. So we’ll put the most time and effort into analyzing the metrics of our blog and finding out what needs to be changed. We also give our blog a facelift about once per year just to keep it fresh.
The concept of weighing priorities is just one facet of GDD and its focus on the strategy of your website being the most valuable commodity in your marketing arsenal.
High Performance Websites
The best kept secret of the web design industry is that most all business website offer a significant return on investment. The problem is not the lack of value of a good website but the lack of methods used to measure it. A Google Analytics report is utterly worthless as soon as someone asks, “How much money did all that traffic yield?”
With the right software, not only traffic, but lead acquisition, lead sources, conversion paths, keyword performance, and a host of other metrics can show not only what’s working but what’s not.
Growth-Driven Design fixes the website staleness issue and establishes a platform to generate leads. A high performance website simply is a website that creates leads and captures new business. To generate leads, core inbound practices must be employed:
- Get your messaging right. This means you address your customers’ needs first then talk about your capabilities, branding, successes, etc., second.
- Provide fresh content. Having a good blog is essential. Updating pages and keeping up with social networks is in this realm also.
- Provide conversion paths. You must give visitors a path to convert. A contact form is helpful, but going beyond that with calls-to-action links or buttons, content offers, and landing pages all equate to conversion paths that capture leads.
- Follow up with email campaigns. Our Hubspot software automates about everything. Email marketing is simple: If someone reaches out to you, reach out back. Email today is not about coercion; it’s about developing relationships.
This is the year to get going with Growth-Driven Design and inbound marketing. Why inbound? Get in the know with our free downloadable marketing report.
Both traditional web design and traditional marketing are dead. Traditional websites grow stale and traditional marketing annoys. Now is the time to make a shift and get ahead of your competition and start seeing the ROI you should be seeing!