Is your website accomplishing its purpose for your business? Have you even really defined what its purpose is and how it’s supposed to help your business?
Recently I was talking with Tom, the owner of a restaurant that is very upscale. The dining room is immaculate, the kitchen is pristine and the food is out of this world. Yes, it’s expensive but it’s worth every penny for the experience and the quality of the food.
As we were talking I asked him what business he was “really” in? His answer was very normal.
“I’m in the restaurant business,” he said.
That’s the obvious. However, as we started talking about his website he began to understand why his website wasn’t helping his business the way it could.
He mentioned that very few people ever even mention the website.
As we began talking and I began asking him questions we discovered that there are a couple of reasons why his website was not very effective for his business.
The first three reasons are related to his business directly and the other three are related to the website itself.
Six Reasons his website wasn’t working for him:
#1 – Tom Didn’t Know His Business
Tom had gone to school to be a chef and had worked in the industry at several very nice restaurants over a fifteen year career. But he felt empty and it seemed like something was missing. He always felt he could do better and create a unique experience for his patrons.
But somewhere along the way, not long after he broke free from his job and decided to do it; he ended up giving himself a job in his company. He did the same things he had always done when he worked for someone else.
His vision was unique and fresh during the initial creation of the business. Of course he was focused and excited. He created the menu, the restaurant layout, and what he thought would be a great experience. He was for a moment being an entrepreneur that was creating something. Isn’t that what entrepreneurs do? They create!
However, he never took the time to think deeply about his business and how to articulate it beyond the obvious.
And that is where business owners make their first mistake.
You should be able to say in one or two sentences who you serve and what makes you different than everyone else. Tom couldn’t do that.
Being that I am who I am, I couldn’t help myself and I jumped right in… yes, on the spot and for free.
Here is what we came up with:
“… Restaurant is an upscale, warm, inviting place to experience the absolute best meal you’ve ever had.”
In fact, he went on to guarantee it or your money back.
This will forever change his website and his messaging.
#2 – Tom Didn’t Know What Problems He Really Solved
Like the majority of business owners, Tom had never thought long and deep about the practical problems people experience when they dine out and how he could solve that problem for them.
The good news was he did know who his customers where, or at least who he wanted them to be. But, he never thought about his restaurant in terms of solving problems. It’s a place where people eat, right?
Well, not necessarily.
Here is a short list we came up with of problems he solves for his patrons:
- Are you tired of eating average tasting food at high prices?
- Would you like a great night out at in a restaurant that offers a unique setting?
- Do you want a luxury environment and great service that caters to you and your needs?
- Are you tired of servers that don’t care and who are not true professionals?
- Do you want an experience that a true professional can give you over that of an untrained college student?
- Would you like to experience live entertainment with class in an inviting and warm atmosphere?
Do you see it?
Tom offers an upscale experience that includes the atmosphere, experienced and courteous staff, and amazing over the top food.
It just makes me want to go there right now! How about you?
#3 – Tom Couldn’t See His Vision, Strategy, Goals and Objectives
While his vision was there, it wasn’t clear; and you can’t communicate something you cannot see yourself.
In marketing, you have to really understand:
- Vision – what is the big picture that your audience cares about?
- Strategy – How will you relay your vision to your audience?
- Goals – How will measure the results you want from your strategy?
- Objectives – What are the specific tasks that will fulfill your goals?
When your website and your marketing are put into a framework you allow for clarity. Clarity is the engine that drives marketing and sales.
When you have clarity around your business, you then gain:
When you have these three practical things in your business come together, your website will potentially skyrocket your business.
Because people have clarity around your business and what you have to offer them. You have focus and you can execute your goals and objectives because you’re able to define them.
In return, your audience understands quickly and concisely when they are on your website and are moved to do something.
You’ve created the essential steps to earning trust and you’re giving them a reason to like you.
#4 – Tom’s Website Was Layed Out Wrong
How your website is layed out is critical to how the eyes and brain receive information. Your website has to very quickly tell the story of how you solve their problems and meet their needs.
The issue with too many layouts is that there is a lack of understanding how pages should be presented. For every business type it ought to be different:
- Restaurant websites should be using more pictures than text on home and landing pages. Reviews and testimonials are critical.
- Entertainers should be using a combination of videos, audio samples, and pictures more than text.
- Realtors and Real Estate Agents should be using pictures, charts, and text. Video is also very helpful
- Manufactures should show and explain the practical uses for their creations through text, pictures, and videos and how their products solve problems for their prospects and customers.
- Service based companies should be using testimonials in written and video formats and comparative charts that separate them from their competition.
While these are just a few examples of ideas, the point is that when you understand your audience and what they are looking for you can create a website that speaks to solving their problems by the way you layout your website and incentivize them to dig deeper and then contact your business or visit; or better yet buy something.
#5 – Tom’s Website Was Too Slow
Loading times are a very big deal. Tom’s site was taking longer than ten seconds to load and people simple were not waiting.
Consider what that practically means? How many people did not visit his restaurant who never heard of it before because they had a bad experience with his website?
Think about it, if it takes more than five seconds to load a website are you personally more inclined to return where you came from and start over again? I know I am.
There are a few reasons why a website may load slowly and they are all easy fixes:
- There is a problem with a third party script loading. Sometimes it can be what we call a widget – it’s code from someplace like Facebook that is not loading properly and it slows down your site. Either replace or remove the widget.
- You have a slow server. If the server has consistent slow or down times you should ask the hosting company why and what to do. If the problem persists you may either need them to move your site to a new server or find a new hosting company; and in the event you’re getting a lot of traffic you may need a dedicated server to handle the load.
- Bad coding – I admit I see less and less of this, but it could still be an issue. If you’re site isn’t built properly it could have major affects on your load time; not to mention your users experience. This should be addressed immediately.
# 6 – Tom’s Website Was Not Easy To Navigate
We all get frustrated when we visit a website and get trapped inside of it. I want to get back to where I was, but how?
Or, how do I find a specific page where I was at in the past and want to find again?
You have to make it easy for people!
Plus, don’t forget that you really, really, really need a responsive theme for smartphone browsers. Make the experience easy for your website visitors on a phone to navigate around the site. I can’t express how important this is for people if they are traveling and want to find you.
There you go, there is six reasons your website isn’t working for you and how to fix it. The first three were more practical and dealt with your business and communication. The following three dealt specifically with your website.
So, how are you going to make your website better?
Do you need:
- Your website updated?
- Your website re-designed?
- More clarity around your business?
- A strategy for your website marketing?
- A more comprehensive online marketing strategy?
- To explore who you really are and what problems your “really” solve?
If you realize that the #1 one problem you have is your message, check out the Begin Here page and learn how you can develop an incredible, game changing message!
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