Stale Content A Root Cause of Losing Sales Opportunities
The starting point in designing or redesigning a particular website is all about the audience you want to reach. Before you think of a color scheme or an artistic design, the visitors to your website must be analyzed. What do I need to know about them to appeal to them, to get them to pick up a phone or send an email? What will interest them and cause them to spend more time on the site? Getting into the head of what people think and how they will react to certain key points is important and the reason why visitors will come to your site and return. You must be cognizant that we live in a world of changes. What was important yesterday may be passé today. The ever-changing marketplace is a rule you count on and goes back thousands of years.
To be successful in website design, you must realize you are selling an online marketing service. Hence, there is the need to understand how the visitors use the Internet to find or check out a small business. This is a big part of the website design job that is often not even mentioned as part of the services delivered.
Once you understand your target audience, then the focus shifts to the business owner. What does the owner want to accomplish? A web designer is actually constructing a marketing asset to perform a specific purpose with business goals to be achieved.
The owner may not have a website. I read somewhere, 46% of small businesses don’t have websites. Creating a website from scratch is a wonderful creative experience because it dovetails with many marketing activities and discoveries about the business, the offerings and the marketplace. In today’s environment, you can still have a “web presence” without a website. This may be accomplished via social media and local directories. Without your own website, your branding is distributed over different web structures that may not deliver the messaging you want. It is much more difficult to manage your brand without a website. Your own website provides a vehicle to create a centralized worldwide marketing repository that is under your control and allows you to stress the key points you want to be heard first.
Many businesses already have websites. As previously stated, the marketplace is changing that means your direct competitors and how you address the needs of your customers with offerings are also changing. Having a website is like building a working vehicle. Your website’s purpose is to take you from point A to point B on your practical marketing roadmap. Many times an existing website is static and goes stale over time. A site that was performing great previously, starts to lose appeal and traffic. Many times this has nothing to do with SEO or promotions, but comes down to a single factor, “fresh content”. The need for a major rework in the form of a “website redesign” to revitalize content becomes the challenge. The audience is looking for original content – not the same old stuff.
Based on recent statistics, 77% of US Internet users use the Internet to find local products and services. The audience’s perception of the business with “no website” or in need of a “website redesign” may be felt in a variety of telling points about the business, the type of customer service it provides and the quality of services or products offered. The audience can draw negatives from having “no website” or long overdue for a “website redesign”. May be the business is:
- New or a startup and trying to figure out the business
- Perhaps it has entered into a new category or new offerings
- Inexperienced and learning or simply making it up as it goes along
- Unreliable and pays poor attention to details
- Not the best or a leader in the local area, maybe the worst
- Cut-rate and delivers poor quality results
- Run by people who are not good at business
- Scam, or a fraud to capture your identity
- Fly-by-night with no intention to deliver on their promise
To a prospect this means risk and taking a chance with a business that lacks visibility and credibility. This business may not be a serious business or even show up to deliver what is promised. Many prospects are not willing to spend their hard earn money or time with the business that is doubtful to deliver the value sought. Why take the chance, when there are plenty of reputable brands to choose from. Content provides most of the branding and includes a variety of substance that illustrates insights and facts about the business. The content may offer evidence of the brand claims by a rating with Yelp or the Better Business Bureau or other proof-point that include: testimonials, photos of finished work, licensing, certification, etc.
Hence without adequate content, most of the audience will look further for a business that can be trusted to do the job right. There is quite a bit of information that can be supplied with well thought-out content to satisfy the buying process. Content that can help to make a buying decision in your favor, by delivering factual information about: pricing, references, experience, warranty, specialties, guarantee, etc. It boils down to brand visibility and creditability. Because of the lack of brand creditability, the business owner will lose sales opportunities without really knowing anything about them or whether the opportunity even existed. Usually, business owners sense something is wrong with their on-line marketing. It’s not generating enough sales opportunities it should. The problem with stale content is it may not be even considered to be the root cause of the problem.