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Is Your Website a Necessary Evil?

ArticlesIs Your Website a Necessary Evil?

Does this sound familiar? You work for a professional services firm, law firm, engineering firm, accounting, insurance, etc. And it’s you who manages the office. You turn the lights on in the morning and lock the doors at five. You’re known as the official company cat herder. You’re the one who manages all the details including your company’s online presence… your website.

Yes, you have one but it sucks. It was built back in the stone age or say 1999. The original web designer is long gone and no one else in the office wants or knows how to deal with it. So you do what you have to do. Get a quote for its redesign.

You’re all excited but you’re also between a rock and a hard place. It’s double the cost of the first one and the boss isn’t buying it. “What’s wrong with the one we have?” “How will rearranging the pages change things?”

The company founders view the business website as some necessary evil expense. They started the business many years ago and agreed to have one made but only because their competitors got one. It seemed optional. Till this day, they depend on stone-age means, i.e., brochures, print advertising, sales guys, etc., to generate new leads. The old tried and true. The existing website is embarrassing but the redesign is going be a hard sell. So, you do what you did the previous years. Shelf it.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

I can’t begin to tell you the number of times we’ve seen this scenario play out in our offices at Drum Creative. Basically, it’s a case of “You don’t know what you don’t know”.

These business owners have never seen a website
that actually did what it was supposed to do.

I don’t blame them for their jaded attitude because, well, their websites do suck and frankly, they wasted the three grand they spent on the first one. It’s bad at attracting visitors and bad at conversions. These websites vaguely represent what their company does. Their content is chock full of useless vague headlines like, “Dedicated to meeting the needs of businesses” or “Our mission is simple: Respond to our client’s needs”. Can you detect what that business offers? I can’t and neither has anyone else. If your website is similar, you’re missing out on a lot of business.

Here’s What Your Website is Capable Of

Websites done right will do amazing things. The key is, “done right”. And that is the main takeaway of this article. I don’t mind revealing that over 90 percent of our business comes strictly from our website. We have no sales guys and we don’t waste money on expensive print advertising. We’ve also crafted a handful of websites for other Greenville-based companies who acquire 90% or more of their business directly from their website. Without a website, their business would die.

Whether you’re selling products, professional services, widgets or umbrellas, your website has the potential to (dare I say) replace your sales staff and advertising account executives and pull in a substantial amount of new business… all on its own.

Here’s Why

If you’re thinking your website is a necessary evil then you’re probably familiar with the “Phone Book”. Remember that? This is where everyone went to look something up. They were on a mission to solve a problem. Today, people go online to do the same thing. Over 90 percent of online experiences begin with a search.

Prospective customers will Google you. Existing customers will Google you and potential employees will Google you. People go online because they need something. Why not take full advantage of this captive audience? Unfortunately, many businesses fail to seize this golden opportunity. A web page can run circles around a “Yellow Page”.

Here’s How

The “Phone Book”  basically treated everyone as an equal. Black ink, yellow paper, phone number. The best way to differentiate yourself was to prefix your company name with several letter “A”s.

The web offers a very different playing field.

Online is where you can tell your target customers your whole story, illustrate your uniqueness and demonstrate how you’re the best company to solve their problem at hand.

Simply present a solution that directly matches your website visitor’s immediate need and you’ve got their attention. Further engage them with useful content and call them to action. Those three things, when executed properly, will get your phone ringing, and not your competitors… who view their website as a necessary evil.

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