» Your Business Website: Friend or Foe?

This article was written by Alan Berg, a WeddingWire Education Guru. Alan has over 20 years experience in wedding related sales and marketing, and is a member of the National Speakers Association, an author, and founder of The Wedding Industry Leaders Conference, an organization dedicated to the educating and consulting of highly motivated individuals and businesses. Learn more at http://alanberg.com/.

If you’re like most businesses, you understand that your website is one of the first impressions a potential client sees about your business. For example, when they click through to your site from your WeddingWire Storefront, you’re showing them who you are, what your brand looks like and what you can do for them. At least that’s what your business website should be doing…

Is your website your best asset, or just a big liability?

If their first impression of your business doesn’t match their expectations, they’ll leave. If they don’t understand who you are, where you are and what you can do for them, they’ll leave. They’ll leave if you make it hard to navigate to the information they want. They’ll leave if you play music or videos automatically (the busiest times of the day for most wedding websites is during work hours, don’t get them “busted” by their boss). They’ll leave if they can’t easily read the text on your site. If they’re leaving without contacting or doing business with you, your website is a liability, not an asset.

There’s no shortage of reasons for them to leave.

While there is no shortage of reasons for them to leave, there is a shortage of reasons for them to stay, especially when there are so many of your competitors’ websites waiting for them to arrive.

What you need to do is make your site more “sticky,” which is internet-speak for getting your site to engage your audience to want to invest their time to learn more about your business. How do you make your site “sticky?” First, make it clear what information you provide about your business for your relevant audiences, and then make it easy to navigate. Just because you have great content on a page on your site doesn’t mean anyone is actually reading it if it is buried, or you aren’t making it appealing and easy to learn more about your business.

What does a new website cost?

While I don’t make websites (yes, I’ve written a couple of books on websites, but I leave the building to the professionals!), I get asked all the time what it would cost to make a new site. While the needs of each business are very different, even in the same market and category, my answer is always the same: a new website will cost you less than the business you’re losing every month with your current site. Think about it, if your current site chases away prospects every month, what does that cost you in lost business?

Plug the holes in the bucket.

If you had a bucket that was leaking water and you relied on that water to survive, wouldn’t you fix the bucket, or get a new one? Of course you would. Well, every link in the sales and marketing chain is part of your “bucket.” What’s leaking out of your bucket are sales dollars. Find the holes and plug them, or, when the time is right, get a new bucket.

When is it time to get a new website?

When you can no longer repair your current site or when the features of a new site will drive more business, it’s time. But don’t wait until your current site needs replacing, start preparing now. My website will be two years old this month and we’re already working on the new site. Why? If I wait for my site to look old and dated, it’s way too late.

My plan is to replace my site way before it’s no longer functional. You can’t make a site in a day, at least not a good one. You should always be thinking about constantly improving your current site, while having an eye on the next one. So, stop thinking about what a new website will cost and start paying attention to how much your current site is costing you in lost business. If that number is more than it will cost for a new site, you’re already behind schedule on getting a new site. Begin the process today.

Want to learn more from Alan and other Education created specifically for Wedding Pros? Check out the great articles and info in the WeddingWire Education Center. Additionally, premium WeddingWire members can review Alan’s past webinar, Stand Out with a Winning Website and all other past educational webinars in the Education Center!

2 thoughts on “Your Business Website: Friend or Foe?

  1. building websites is easy if you have access to HTML WYSIWIG editors.;

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  2. If you sell product, consider including your card with the product when it is delivered to your customer. Same goes for services. For example, if you are an auto mechanic, consider slipping your business card in your customers car visor, or create a sticker business card that will adhere to a discrete area of the customers car windsheild. If you provide regular on-site services, consider a business card magnet to be prominently placed on a refrigerator, or filing cabinet. Keep in mind, you dont need to actually sell product, or deliver service to ensure your business card gets and stays in the hands of others. Include your business card with every piece of correspondence: quotes, RFPs, letters, even photocopy your business card and include it in fax transmissions. When mailing out information, include it in the mailing by stapling your card (if possible) to the bottom or top corner of your letterhead.^

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