The Return… of the Website

July 24th, 2013 by Paula Keller French

Website examples

The website is back, y’all!  Yeah yeah, we know they didn’t go anywhere, but for the last few years we have had a large shift to companies investing in their social media presence and building out experiences that their fans can interact with on Facebook.

It made sense 100% of the way at that point in time. That’s where the users were — on Facebook. That’s where MANY users still are. Facebook is still growing; albeit, not quite as rapidly as 2 years ago, but doesn’t it feel like you see at least one new aunt and uncle popping up on Facebook each week?

If it’s growing, then why does it feel like it has become stale?

The challenge here lies in the evolution of Facebook over the more recent years. Facebook started with a wall for each person. That was the only place, besides on your own profile, that you could write anything on Facebook.

If you wanted to see what someone was saying, you had to visit individual Facebook profiles. Since 2006–and then expanded upon by “the new Facebook” in 2010–we have the News Feed. Facebook prioritizes what it thinks is news based on an algorithm of what it thinks you want to see. The problem is, I am pretty bored with checking my Facebook because the algorithm hasn’t quite got it right, and it’s too far gone to ever get corrected.

If you are a business, Facebook admits only 16% of your fans (I refuse to call them “like-ers”), are seeing your posts that you are putting all of that thought and energy into. Now I am not recommending you abandon Facebook — as you shouldn’t — buyers (especially women) are on Facebook, so learn how to improve your EdgeRank with our recent post by Laura Manning.

When Facebook users see only a couple new posts every time they check, they get bored. And bored on Facebook means your user starts to think “hmm… what else can I do on my mac, iPhone, or iPad?

I have found that I have started to wander the internet much more than I did a year ago. Facebook used to consume about 90% of my leisure internet use. Now it consumes about 20%.

Website Under Construction

What I am starting to find is an appreciation for websites again: a place where you can go and dive deeper into a product or service and really discover your options. Kind of how it was in 2000.

So for those of you who have truly been investing in your websites in the right ways over the past decade, who have recently started, or  want to make an investment now, my prediction is that is the right time to do so.

The Key Things You Need to Remember:

1. Make sure they can picture themselves using your product.

Got a spa? Make sure they can see themselves in it. Got a house cleaning business? Make sure they can picture themselves sitting in their clean living room when you are done.

2. Sell it.

Sell what you’ve got to offer. Whether you’ve got, again, a spa or a house cleaning service, buyers want to read all the juicy details of how they’re getting a quality, comprehensive service for their hard earned cash. Explain every aspect of your packages, down to the last detail. Even if you think it’s insignificant, your buyers will appreciate it. Your customers want to know the benefits!!

3. Update your website. 

Feature all of your products or services on your website. I want to know what you can do for me. No one wants to ask “do you do stump grinding?”

4. “Give away a little bit of the store.”

Search Influence’s Director of R&D, Amy Arnold, often preaches that each website needs to “give away a little bit of the store.” This means provide info on your site that you would typically share with someone when you have an initial call, consultation, or meeting with them. Yes, yes, it may be more than you want to put out because “what if they don’t call me” but trust me, this is the right thing to do. We have low bounce rates on sites that support this recommendation.

If you provide them the information they are looking for without them having to call you, you are proving to them that you have the knowledge — when you competitors are probably not.

The key learning here is simple — don’t ignore your website — your website should be updated almost as many times as your aunt comments on your recent pics on “the Fbook.” Your customers are searching, and they will likely find you if you continue to keep your website up to date. Of course, doing some off-site promotion of your site never hurt either, but that’s not the point of this post 🙂

Your website is being looked at more than you think. And if you don’t know how many visits you are getting to your site and from where they are coming, for heaven’s sake, install Google Analytics on it!