Most Australian businesses have a website. It’s certainly more common than a well-established business not having one (despite the rise of Gen-Y business owners running their business from Instagram and Facebook directly). This indicates an acceptance of the idea that this kind of online presence is very important. So, what kind of ‘results’ do our business websites really provide us? How many new customer acquisitions can we directly attribute to us building a new website?
Build it and they will come… right?
I’ve built many websites for a range of businesses over the years. While the process is different for each website, the process undertaken by many business owners and managers once their new website has been completed is almost exactly the same.
- Send a link of the final website around the office or to family/friends to review;
- Post a “We have launched a new website” update on social media (without any paid promotion backing it);
- Sit and wait for the new clients to start rolling in.
Unfortunately, this is a common approach by small businesses in Australia to a new website launch.
Most small businesses view the development of a new website as the completion of a task and, by extension, the end of that particular marketing project. This is simply not the case.
As a Data Analyst and Marketing Strategist, this approach could at best be described as a little misguided. So who is to blame? Well, to be quite honest with you, we are to blame. The Digital Marketing industry as a whole could very well be to blame for this unhelpful phenomenon.
A website is often a large project involving Developers, Designers, Copywriters, Strategists etc. We all work together to produce a single, cohesive output. Now, being marketers, the completion of a website is often presented to our clients as a substantial achievement. The often over-hyped delivery method and presentation of the new website to the business could easily make the owners and managers feel like the job is complete. We finally got to our destination and can now enjoy the fruits of our labour… right? Sadly, this analogy doesn’t quite hold up. Once a tree has undertaken all of the work required to sprout from its seed, push up through the soil and explode into a network of branches and sun-loving leaves, is its work to produce fruit complete? No. The development of fruit (or the production of revenue in the case of a business) requires more work to acquire water and nutrients (customers) from the earth to then be converted into money… I mean fruit. The hard work simply isn’t over.
What’s the solution?
More work. It is as simple as that. Once a new website is complete, the next step is to drive people to the website to allow it to begin converting people into new customers. There are many more conversations that could be had around effective tracking systems and the implementation of a robust sales funnel for lead nurturing but that’s a conversation for another time! The point here is that a website is only as good as the audience that it attracts.
There are a few basic ways that all businesses can ensure that their new website is being given the chance to perform as was intended when it was first conceived:
- Content Marketing – Publish articles relevant to your audience. These articles need to deliver value beyond your paid product or service offering;
- Paid Social Media Promotions – Pay to boost your social media posts to a broader audience than just your organic following;
- Paid Search Promotions (PPC)– Invest in search ads (e.g. Google Ads) to regularly drive new prospects to your website.
What Comes Next?
Firstly, talk to your website developer. Talk to your marketing partners. Ask them about how you can be aware of the actual numbers (data) around the people visiting your website via tools such as Google Analytics. This will empower you to track how many people are actually seeing your new website, how long they are hanging around, and whether they are engaging with your content there.
Secondly, ask these partners how you can improve the numbers of people visiting your website by using content publishing, search (e.g. Google Ads), and social media promotions to dramatically increase your website traffic.
Finally, be wary of the fact that the numbers of people on your website doesn’t automatically mean more business revenue. Pay attention to the leads that you acquire from your website and the associated marketing activity that attracted them. Then, you can use this to adapt your marketing activity to drive more of these revenue-producing business outcomes.
About the Author
Lawrence Fox is the Head of Digital at Marketing to Families. Lawrence is a Strategist specialising in Performance-based Marketing and Data Analytics. Lawrence has previously managed some of the most innovative digital marketing projects and campaigns for the largest businesses in Australia including Medibank, Roadshow Films, Qantas, Novotel, Specsavers, and Holden (Aus & NZ). Lawrence has a Data Analytics background and specialises in Performance- based Marketing (PBM) as a means of delivering data-driven marketing solutions. In addition to Marketing Strategy, Lawrence has experience in branding, website development, and digital campaign management across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Google marketing platforms (incl. YouTube).