You website is one of the best tools that your organization has - and lots of organizations fail to use its full potential. Think about it, when you want to know something about a business or organization where is the first place you try to go? Their website! But at the same time, we often don’t think people do the same when looking us up. Here are, in our opinion, the top 5 ways people under-utilize their website. Forbes actually has a good article on this also, but we wanted to add a little.
Emailing information that is not on your site. This is a big one. Don’t get me wrong, email marketing is an effective way of keeping your customers, members or other people up to day on what is happening, but you should email a newsletter or update that you have not put on your website. This is especially true if your website has a “coming events” page or calendar. If you are emailing it out, put the details on your website because if people have questions about your email, guess where they are going to look for answers… Just sayin!
Failing to update your website - especially of big changes. Imagine you want a night out with your special someone. You google restaurants in your area, evaluate the menus, images and other information. Then you make a decision, make a reservation and go out for a nice night out. You sit down at your table and open the menu…. and it is completely (or significantly) different then what you looked at online! This can lead to negative reviews and other negative impact.
If your business has undergone changes that are not reflected on your site - time to update! Your site needs to be the first place to reflect changes. This includes the example above, or changes in location, staff, products and or services and the list goes on. On the flip side - if you website reflects these changes before they happen it can build anticipation and actually increase business.
Failing to send people to your site. If you ever are telling people about your organization and say something to this effect - “…for more information check out our email blast, phone our office, or check out our newsletter…” and your website is not listed, you are missing something. Your website is the first place you should send people for information. All the other ways you disseminate information should reinforce what is already on your site. If people need information you should confidently be able to say “Check out our website” every single time. The advantage here is that not only will people see the information they are looking for, but they will look at other areas of your site and this may translate into increase sales.
No Member’s Only Area. Now - to be clear - this does NOT apply to everyone, but if you are part of an organization that has members or information that only a select group should see - a private “Member’s Only” area may be worth the investment. This is a good place to keep your member’s contact list or other information that only these people would need to see. Often this kind of information does not get put onto a website because you don’t want it available to the general public, fair enough - but a member’s only section could be a good solution to this. Just as a plug - you would want SSL on your site when you do this.
Not including your web address in advertising. This seems like it should be obvious, but people often forget this. As a rule, it should not matter where or how you advertise - your URL (web address) should be listed every single time. You have invested in a site, now get it out there. Having a good website make you look professional, so show it off.
It is important to remember, the more traffic you send to your site, the better your SEO. Don’t let your site just be something you have because you feel you had to get it - use it to its full potential. You are correct that you have to have one, and since you do have one - use it… and use it often. It is a valuable tool that can increase the bottom line and the profile of your organization.
Often sites are not used because updating seems like hard work or like it may be very time consuming, if this is the case - pay to have it done for you. We have a variety of web maintenance plans that can fit any budget and make it easy for you to use your site to its maximum potential.
Contact us today to get more information.