WWWWW: Why Won’t Wonderful Websites Work?
Filed under: Business Growth, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
For the fourth time in 15 years I’m revamping my website. My technology wingman groans, rolling his eyes and thinks, “Here he goes again.”
Why does the website that made me so proud a few years ago make me cringe? The reasons jump out at me:
It’s too complicated. The messaging isn’t clear, the back end doesn’t work, it’s not SEO-friendly, visitors are down and it’s not written in the right language. Length of stays is down, it’s not customizable, and, thanks to statistics on Google Analytics, the website just isn’t doing the job.
I ask experts and gurus, “What’s your latest thinking on effective websites? What’s working?” The avalanche of ideas and advice I hear only makes things worse.
“Get your reader engaged”…”Crowdsource”…”Give away your value.”…”Tweet, tweet tweet!…”Improve your Klout score!”…Like everything you can on Facebook and you will be liked back”…Your Face book must talk to your blog which talks to your LinkedIn”… “Put ads on your site”… ”Reciprocally link”…”Update your meta tags”…. “Fool Google…”First page or fail!”…“Get people to talk about you!”
With a sense of déjà vu, I freeze up. I can’t move ahead or accept my website for what it is and isn’t. If I upgrade my website, I know I face thousands of dollars and worse yet, a hundred hours invested only to be no further ahead than where I am today.
I ask clients, referral sources, friends and family, “What do you think of my site?” I hear platitudes like: “It’s so informative.” “There’s so much great content.” You’ve done so much.” The worst is, “I was going to hire you anyway.”
I know I have to change my site or accept that websites are nothing more than billboards and content giveaways for a professional-services firm.
Then it hits me. All I ever wanted from my site was to provoke and qualify prospects into having a live conversation with me.
My business, like most conceptual services, only works when I have a conversation with a prospect who shares his or her goals and challenges with me. Website hits, visits, click-throughs, registrations, follows, likes or joins don’t really matter unless they create that conversation.
I went back to the roots about how my prospects hire me, how they build trust with me and their typical buying behavior in hiring me. For every 10 conversations, I can generate five meetings, three proposals and close one sale. And I have decided to build my new website simply to do this.
I can already hear experts scoffing, designers and social media mavens who preach the building of customer engagements, social friendliness and website stickiness. Frankly, I just don’t care. If my strategy generates 10 conversations a month but everyone else thinks it’s a bust, I’ll be pleased.
My business goal is to keep failing in new and different ways, and frankly I haven’t tried this before. And how much worse could it do? But maybe this time, I’ll be saying, “WWWW: Why Website’s Work Wonderfully!”