I recently came across statistics that revealed the following:
- Over 76% of technology buyers will visit a vendor’s website as part of the purchase process.
- 77% would rather buy from an unfamiliar business with a quality website, than from a more familiar business with a poor website.
Most Sage and Microsoft VARs recognize the necessity of a website … but from my experience, not as many recognize the critically important role it plays in the lead generation and purchasing process. More than just an online brochure, your website can be a revenue-generating machine if designed and used properly.
I’ve seen too many websites that, based on the content and design, say “We just slapped something together 10 years ago and haven’t touched it since.” In fact, I can type in a few URLs pointing to Sage partner websites that have been ‘under construction’ for years … literally! My guess is these are the same folks that say Twitter, LinkedIn, blogging, and social media are a waste of time. In my opinion, nothing is further from the truth.
A Few Tips
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Update content frequently. Adding new content once every few years doesn’t cut it. A copyright notice from 2005, logos that say “Best Software” and references to Solomon or Sage Enterprise Suite tells visitors that you haven’t been to your own website in a while … so why should they be there?Your website should be dynamic. Blogs, downloads, white papers, videos.
- Design matters. A clean design and organized menu make it easy for web visitors to find what they want. Delete the 90’s clip art and try going to www.istockphoto.com instead and get some professional images for cheap.Also, get rid of the flash animation on your home page immediately … other than annoying your web visitors who immediately begin search for the “Skip Intro” link, that flash animation is killing your Google ranking.
- Your website should be visible to Google. Ok, this one is pretty obvious. But what may NOT be obvious is that the website you haven’t touched/updated in years might as well be nonexistent as far as Google is concerned. Aside from all the SEO stuff like title tags, anchor text, inbound links, and the like (which is a whole other discussion), Google rewards content that’s fresh and frequently updated.
There’s a long list of things your website should do or accomplish … but the point here is that it should be more than an online version of your printed brochure that’s static and rarely updated … because statistics show that it’s hurting your bottom line!
Oh and if you want to see what NOT to do, mozy over to www.websitesthatsuck.com.
What are your thoughts? Do you use your website actively or has it been neglected for a while?