Imagine. It's 1989. You've scrambled and scrimped for years to realize your dream of opening a bookstore. And finally — finally — you've managed to save enough money to quit your day gig and open your own business.
No more working for the man. You'll finally be in control of your own destiny. There's just one thing: you didn't budget any money to hang a sign, purchase a cash register, or build the shelves you'd stock.
Thirty years ago, a storefront was a necessary piece of infrastructure for anyone to conduct business. Now, not so much. Now, the critical infrastructure is a website.
In 2019, a website is everything to most small businesses: digital storefront, branding vehicle, capabilities showcase, lead generation system, Yellow Pages listing, and even your accounts receivable system.
That's why, as a digital agency, it is perplexing when a company recognizes its need to redevelop its website, but allocates only a small amount of its marketing budget to rebuild and redesign.
For that matter, it boggles us that so many companies consider their website builds to strictly be marketing's project.
So many times, we hear from marketing directors who have a laundry list of business goals, past issues they need to correct, and new capabilities they'd like to have, but who complain about the scant resources they've been allocated to get the job done.
Your website serves more than just your marketing efforts.
Sales needs to optimize the site for lead generation, data capture, and CRM integration. Operations needs to ensure that the site is holistically supporting the business's supply chain management, daily work tasks and process improvement.
Meanwhile, HR will be using the site for talent acquisition, training, culture building and internal communications. Finance needs to make sure that the site's ongoing maintenance costs will be sustainable and that the site itself will become a profit center. And leadership needs the website to provide round-the-clock PR.
Hypothetically, every department should be allocating budget to the project. Marketing heads should be making that honest case to their fellow directors, but failsafe budgeting to their company's holistic medium and long-range business goals.
They should be planning a year or two out and anticipating that, in the year of the redesign, it will take a decent-sized chunk of the marketing department's budget to do the job right.
And the job's not done once the website redesign is complete.
Like a revamped brand, the refreshed website must be nurtured, because a website that's allowed to become obsolete or stale will gradually cease to yield qualified, profitable leads.
Companies should thus also budget to meet the costs of keeping that redesigned, rebuilt website up to date, or they'll just find themselves back in the same, daunting, leadless position in a year or two.
SEO efforts need to be continually refined and perfected, to stay ahead of the algorithms and keep your website discoverable and ranking at the top of results lists. Calls to action (CTAs) need to be A/B tested, revised and refreshed as psychographic trends shift.
And UX needs to be monitored, troubleshot, analyzed and tested, to ensure that potential customers aren't frustrated or turned away by glitches, slow loads, or counterintuitive mapping.
Your website is your digital storefront. And, like a brick-and-mortar building, maintenance is never done. There's always something to tweak, tighten, seal, or repair.
Have you noticed your website isn't as successful at lead generation as it used to be?
We can help. Our team at Cleriti leverages deep expertise in website development, SEO/inbound, integrated content marketing and UX to help you optimize your online visibility and reach your lead generation goals.
Click here and tell us about your web needs. Let's see where there's synergy!