One of the first – and most important – things you need as a small business is a website.  In fact, for most owners, websites should be their #1 lead generation and marketing tool. After all, the majority of all consumer transaction start with an online search in Google or Bing.

To get a site, the vast majority of small businesses choose one of the following three ways:

  1. Pay a national web hosting company associated with their domain registration (e.g. GoDaddy, Register.com, etc.)
  2. Pay a small, local web company, family friend or associate
  3. Try the “do it yourself” route with Wix, Squarespace or any one of dozens of others

Prices can range from nearly free, to $30-$40 bucks a month and all the way to $15K a year or more for website packages that have some sort of custom features or marketing add-ons. In fact, more than a few small businesses owners pay $20K-$40K a year or more for well-designed and maintained websites.

It may sound expensive, but websites that drive lots of leads more than pay for themselves in new customers and a continuously-filled pipeline – that is, if they’re good. If not, they not only don’t justify the money you’re spending on them, they’re actually doing your business harm.

How you ask? Read on.

Do you know where your website is right now?

You see, if your site can’t “check the box” on all the items below, it’s actually lulling you into a  false sense that, because your site is “out there” and “on the web,” it’s doing a good job attracting and converting new customers for your business:

  • Has a high number of monthly clicks from Google or Bing search for terms buyers and sellers would use to find you (e.g. “homes for sale in Glendale,” “landscaping in Peoria,” or “top dentists in Orlando, FL”)
  • Has consistent and healthy local web traffic for the area you service with a low “bounce rate,” or number of users that come to your site then leave without clicking anything else
  • Has a high percentage of users visiting the site that click more than 1 or 2 pages and that spend more than a few seconds on your site before leaving
  • Has a high (and growing) number of other websites linking to it  (called “Backlinks”)
  • Has simple and attractive “call to action” forms and buttons that get used consistently by web viewers to send you messages, request showings or register to search listings

If you can’t simply and easily measure all the above and track these things to the number of leads you’re getting, well, why waste the money? It’s kinda like paying for an expensive billboard and putting nothing on it.

 

If you can’t measure your site, does it even exist?

Sadly, most small business owners simply pay for their site and forget it assuming that because they’re out there, they’ll get seen. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Did you know that the vast majority of sites built for small businesses never even get indexed by Google? Not to mention the DIY options. Unfortunately for most small business owners, learning how to make that happen and maintain is just a bridge too far in terms of time, money, and learning how to make it happen.

No matter which one of the ways you’re building and hosting your site, here’s a list of 3 things – at a minimum – you should make sure you’re getting for your money from the folks who do your site (or learn to do it on your own!):

  • Details on how your site is built as far as search engine friendliness goes
  • Monthly reports showing how many visitors you’re getting and where you rank for important keywords that lead buyers to your door from search (how many people each month arrive at your site and how?)
  • How your site titles, headings, and content are faring versus important keywords and phrases for your business
  • How all the technical configuration of your site complies with Google indexing requirements (URLs, HTTPS/SSL, etc.)
  • Who you’re competing with, how their sites are performing and how you can fit into the competitive digital landscape

Why? Well, the web is a very dynamic place. Doing something right one day doesn’t mean it will be the same tomorrow. Customer interests change, technology changes, markets change and more. If you’re not getting these kinds of stats from your provider, chances are you don’t even know if your page is stale, not performing well and needs fixing.

Think about it this way: there are trillions of stars in the universe, but we only see a small handful of the brightest. The web is exactly the same thing. Your site is just one of the billions. You must always work to make it shine or no one will see it.

What does that mean for your small business if you don’t? Well, you get no leads, no new customers. And your “brighter” competition gets more, thus growing their lead in your local market.

 

Wanna find out if your site stinks? We’ll scan your site for free. 

VandlaslSmile customers get high-performing websites with high search visibility included when they buy as well as Marketing Insights weekly and monthly reports of our full scans of their websites and social media.

Our customers not only get the best lead generation in the business, they also get a continuous improvement of their existing websites outside of our network. It’s total lead generation.

Or, send us an email directly and we’ll scan your site for free! sales@vandalssmile.com.

 

About the Author

Jason Polancich

Jason Polancich is app designer and digital marketing lead for Musubu.io. Polancich is a linguist, software engineer, data scientist, intelligence analyst, and real estate broker and investor with his wife and business partner Rebekah. He's also the founder and lead architect of VandalsSmile, a data-driven, small business marketing and lead generation network making big data work practically and usefully for owners. Polancich also originally created HackSurfer/SurfWatch Labs (Pre-VC), a cyber analytics firm founded in 2013 that provided highly accurate, timely and actionable information to businesses regarding the cybercrime threats they face. Polancich is a serial entrepreneur focused on solving complex internet commerce, data analysis, and cyber-defense problems. Novii Design, a company he co-founded in 2005 with Rebekah Lewis-Polancich, was based on his contributions to cloud architectures, distributed computing, data analysis and systems integration. The company assisted the U.S. Intelligence Community and Department of Defense in building some of the largest data warehouse and analysis systems ever put into operation within the government and defense contracting sectors. Novii Design was sold to Six3/CACI in 2010. Polancich is also a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Army. Amazon Author Profile.

Contact Me