Many small businesses causes their website failure by taking a “build it and they will come” approach to their website. They invest their hard earned cash into creating a website and then sit back and wait for the traffic and clients to come rolling in. Their website is left to languish for months and years without being updated which usually results in their website not earning its keep.
This tendency has gotten even worse with the rise of social media in the last few years. The relative familiarity and ease of social media publishing has led many persons to view it as the low hanging fruit to expanding their digital footprint. Rather than creating and growing a unified online presence, they take a piecemeal approach where online properties are separated from each other. Websites are left to gather dust, while they share cute images and quotes on the social pages of their business. This separation of of online properties usually results in:
Little or no website content creation
Little or no content creation on their website which causes the website to stagnate. This stagnation in turn not only lowers the website’s ability to compete on the major search engines, but also provides very little incentive for visitors to become repeat visitors. On the social side content being created is usually shallow (Good morning Facebook) or second hand content re-purposed from other sources.
Low traffic from search engines and social platforms
Shallow and second hand content does little in the way of driving traffic from your social pages to your website. At most shallow content might be liked by a few fans. Re-purposed content may have a higher chance of being shared, but this does much more to publicize the original author of the content rather than those who are sharing it.
Disconnect between social audience and products and services
Without the sharing of visitors between social platforms and a businesses website there is little chance for the brand equity created from social transactions to actually translate into actual clients. The visitors interaction with the brand is limited to their activities on social media, which in turn usually lacks the depth of information and or details required for a hard sell.
How to avoid website failure
The solution for these problems are simple enough if businesses who have these fragmented online strategies take the time to:
Put their website at the center of their online strategy
This makes sense since this is the only property that you really own. Investing heavily in social media while your website goes un-maintained is akin to putting rims on a rental car. Create content for your website first and foremost and then seed that content down to your other social channels.
Accept the need for a unified approach to online marketing
One which sees a symbiotic relationship between website and social channels, one which encourages the sharing of content and traffic between all the properties that makes up an organization’s online ecosystem.
See social media as a means rather than an end
Social media as a means focuses on creating content that is designed to encourage visitors to visit your website. This can be done by including call to actions within the content as well as by reducing the content on social media and including a clear path to the meat of the content for users to follow.
Remember that there is no magic bullet that will automatically solve all online marketing goals. Examine closely what your individual goals and needs are and then select the most appropriate mix of techniques and strategies to create a unified marketing plan.