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Websites don't 'attract new business' all by themselves. Really.

One of my clients contacted me the other day and told me he’d be moving on to a new host and marketing pro. “No problem,” I told him, but asked if he could tell me why?

He told me that “unfortunately, had never received any business through the website.”

Let’s look at that…

One of the things I do with every client is stress, repeatedly, how critical it is to think about their new website as the powerful tool at the center of your marketing efforts. Note the word ‘efforts.’  And also, how very important it is to get fresh, useful, high-quality content onto the site on a consistent regular basis.

Having a business website, especially for a small, new business, is not and has never been an “if I build it, they will come” proposition.

This particular client hasn’t added a single blog post since the site was launched in mid-2012. He hasn’t made an edit to a page since about 1 month after launch. The client’s only social media involvement for the business is LinkedIn, and there have never been any updates posted there.

In short, the website hasn’t been used for marketing at all, as far as I can tell. It was launched and has been allowed to sit there for over two years, providing little to no benefit to this business.

This is frustrating for me as a designer and developer of websites for companies. I try my best to prepare my clients and get them used to the idea that launching a website is definitely not the end of the process – it’s just the beginning. My clients who consider their websites successful and important parts of their overall marketing strategy actually use their sites in the following ways:

  • They blog regularly, providing useful, expert-level information about their business, their services, their industry as a whole. They provide a service to their community by doing this, and also establish themselves as knowledgeable, trustworthy resources.
  • They are active in social media, using it to drive business to their websites.
  • They use their websites to keep in touch with customers and fans through events, newsletters, blog subscriptions, etc.
  • They sell products and use their website to keep their customers in the loop about new items, sales, how happy other customers are through testimonials, new product videos, and more.
  • Their focus is on providing high-quality information and creating relationships with people who are interested in their products and services.

In short, they keep things interesting by changing things up on a regular basis, and in the process providing value for their customers. There’s some churn; the website’s not always the same, there are reasons to go back to it again and again.

So, while I’m sorry to see this client go, maybe his new marketing pro will be able to convince him that he has to actually do something with his website in order to see a real benefit from it. I hope that’s the case.