So you “need” a new website. Your current site is ugly, lacks professionalism, doesn’t get much traffic, underperforms on the lead-generation front, and it doesn’t resonate with your audience. In other words, things are broken and you think the fix is a shiny, brand new website.
And you know what – you might be right. But don’t jump into a costly rebuild just yet. Consider the following options. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of that $40K+ that you’d be spending on a new website. And most importantly, you should see more leads and sales.
“Traffic is down! We need a new website!”
A website rebuild MIGHT be what you need, but there’s a really good chance it isn’t. If traffic volume is your issue, unless you just have a major website construction flaw, a site rebuild probably isn’t going to attract visitors in throngs. Instead, you’d be smarter to consider the following.
The first thing I’d do is probably run my site through an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) audit. Now, I could learn how to do this myself, or I could reach out to an agency (cough, cough) to do it for me. Or I could even do something REALLY basic like use Hubspot’s website grader. The diagnostics I gather will greatly inform me on why traffic isn’t at the level I’d like it to be. I might have a URL structure problem, I might not be using keywords that are effective, I might have forgotten to think about page titles and page headers on the individual pages of my site.
A simple SEO audit can uncover lots of SEO mishaps at the fraction of the cost of a website build. Get these fixed and you should start to see a climb in traffic.
Content strategy and implementation
You don’t blog? You don’t add content to your site regularly? You don’t think about a keyword strategy that will attract new users via the search engines? Those are all problems and they need to be fixed.
I can say with confidence that 95% of the time an investment in content strategy and implementation will drive significantly more traffic than a new website build ever will. The more good content you have on your site, the more traffic you’ll capture in search engines. Think of it like fishing. The more lines you have, the better your chance of catching a fish. I’ve actually written a post comparing content marketing to duck hunting and the use of duck decoys. It’s a similar analogy.
If you’re not familiar with link building and the reasons for doing it, start here. If you ARE familiar with link building, but you’re not doing it, get your act together! Link building has been one of the single best tactics to date for Gorilla in terms of driving traffic to the sites we manage, as well as helping said sites climb in the search engines.
This is a practice that must be done right and must be done with the right intentions, otherwise, Google will penalize you and once that happens, well, you’ve got an entirely new set of problems on your hands. Before dumping $40K+ into a new website, take a small chunk of that budget and explore an in-depth link-building initiative. Agencies that do this have processes in place that have proven to be effective and efficient.
“Leads? Through my website?! I must need a new website.”
Maybe. But doubtful. Before assuming that the reason you’re not getting leads through your website is that you need a new website, first, think about what might be broken.
Do you have conversion opportunities? Do you have a form that users can fill out to ask questions or to request a bid? What about downloadable educational content that you give in exchange for an email address? Are your forms too complex or not asking the right questions? Are your landing pages in disarray?
There could be a wide variety of factors at play, all of which could be determining the lead volume you’re getting. All are drastically cheaper than a website rebuild.
“Got the traffic and conversions. But no buyers. My site lacks professionalism. I need a rebuild!”
You guessed it – you probably DON’T need a new website. Yeah, professionalism is nice, and shouldn’t be undervalued, but as my business partner Joe wrote in a blog post, “The JOB of a B2B website isn’t to look professional, just as your job isn’t to wear professional-looking clothes. Nope. Professionalism is a characteristic of how you present yourself. It’s not a job description. Whether you’re a marketer, salesman or B2B company executive, your JOB is to grow your business. Likewise, your website’s JOB, first and foremost, is to grow your business.”
So, “That’s all good and great,” you’re thinking, “but I need sales.” Okay. What are you doing on the nurturing front? Do you have an email strategy in place? What about a true sales process that goes far beyond the single phone call or email? Are you aggressive enough?
“I hear your points. But I still think I need a website.”
Let’s say you own a coffee shop on a side street somewhere a few blocks off the main drag, and you decide you want to grow business. Would your first priority be a costly redesign of your store? Or would you build a plan to generate foot traffic off that nearby busy road. We’re guessing you’d promote your business to get in front of the right audience. And when those patrons started filing through your front doors for their morning jolt, you’d do whatever you could to engage them and get them to come back again and again.
So before you settle on an expensive website rebuild, talk to a professional and get an opinion. There’s a good chance that you can start getting results for less money than you originally planned.
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