Stop it already with the bad marketing! Part 1: Websites
December 9th, 2014
This is the first in a multi-part series where we’ll discuss much of the bad marketing & sales we see throughout our industry (sadly, it’s in many other industries, too) – and what you can do about it.
Don’t believe me? Just look around. And while I’ve been involved in marketing & sales for most of my 30+ year career, it doesn’t take an expert to see all of the lousy marketing happening around us…
- Old, tired and hard-to-navigate websites
- Way-too-wordy capabilities presentations
- E-newsletters that sell, rather than inform
- Boring ads that you flip right past in Quirk’s (then the advertiser complains that advertising doesn’t work!)
- Content, like articles and eBooks, that doesn’t provide useful or helpful information
- Social media sites that haven’t been updated in months
- Sales people who ‘cold call’ because their firm’s marketing isn’t generating any sales leads
- Pop-up exhibits (at conferences) that are as boring and wordy as their PowerPoint presentations and ads
- Not having anyone on staff dedicated to business development
- Relying on others (word of mouth and referrals) to be successful; which is fine… until the outside help stops
- No strategy or plans in place… firms are just “doin’ stuff!”
- And so on… and so on…
The reality is… when it comes to marketing & sales, many in our industry are not quite sure what to do… don’t really know how to do it… or simply don’t have the time or staff to get it done. The result, unfortunately, is a lot of ill-planned, haphazard marketing initiatives that can reflect badly on your firm.
Each week, in the course of this series, we’ll provide a listing of tips, tricks & recommendations (some easy to implement, some that require a little work) that can improve your marketing & sales… ultimately helping you to build awareness in the markets you serve, generating and nurturing new sales leads and differentiating your firm from your competition.
This week… here are 13 common problems with WEBSITES and some recommended fixes.
- Amateurish design. If your site is homemade or a remnant of the 1990s… your best option is to invest in getting a professional designer to enhance it. Remember, you get what you pay for.
- Outdated copy. If it’s been more than a year or so since you looked through and updated the copy of your site, now’s the time. If nothing else, make sure your site is up-to-date with services, staff, news and contact information.
- Too much copy. When it comes to website copy… edit, edit… then edit some more. Fewer words, more white space and more imagery create a modern, professional and easy-to-read website.
- Bad structure. If you still have to call in the “web guy” to make simple changes to your site… you’re spending unnecessarily. Make sure your website is built on a popular CMS – content management system – (like WordPress) so that you can easily add pages, make copy changes, upload blog posts, etc.
- Not going small. Is your website optimized for mobile use? I don’t know what your metrics tell you, but if your site is anything like ours – about 1 in 6 visitors is on a mobile device… and you don’t want them leaving your website because it’s hard to read or navigate on their iPhone.
- Missing information. You probably do a nice job of explaining what you do and who you serve… but you might want to think about adding a section discussing how you’re different and one about the problems you help solve.
- Poor navigation. Does your website use a simple tool bar or menu system for primary navigation? Do you have easy-to-find links – on every page – to your ‘contact’ information, as well as your social media sites? You need both.
- No content marketing. Are you sharing useful content on your website to showcase your thought leadership and to give people a reason to visit more than once? At a minimum, think about starting a blog and adding a new post weekly.
- Missing staff. People in our industry like looking at the photos/bios of the people they work with – think about adding those.
- No lead gen. Do you have any mechanism on your website for capturing visitor information (e.g. a downloadable eBook or white paper)? If not, consider adding something like this as a way to support your sales effort.
- Poor page rank. Make sure you’re embedding at least a little SEO help, particularly the consistent use of a few targeted keywords/phrases and meta-tags on every page.
- Lack of measurement. Run Google Analytics every week. Over time, you can see what resonates with visitors and what doesn’t… allowing you to tweak copy moving forward. This can be especially helpful in determining what topics to write about in your blog or for other content.
- Wrong answers. As visitors are browsing your website, they’re asking themselves questions like, “What’s in it for me?”, “How can this firm help solve my problems?” and “Why should I choose this firm?” If you’re not answering those kinds of questions… you’re not getting the business.
Bottom line: You only get one chance to make a first impression… and it’s more than likely with your website. Use it to put your best foot forward.
Need help with your website? If the words above hit a little too close to home, maybe we can help. For a limited time, Harpeth Marketing will provide a no-obligation, no-cost website audit for any firm in the MR industry. To discuss scheduling your audit, Click Here.
Next week… Advertisements.