How do you view marketing when it comes to your business – an investment or an expense?
- If you pick investment, then spending money on creating a powerful web presence is something you will do willingly because you know it will help your business grow and succeed.
- If you pick expense, then you will cut marketing when things get a bit tight (if you spend on marketing at all) and make irrational decisions when it comes to your web presence.
Such as in the following situation:
I was contacted by a small business whose WordPress website had been hacked. The web developer they used was nowhere to be found so they were looking for someone who could clear the problem and restore their site.
I said I could help.
The web developer then emerged from hiding and the company said they were all set and that he would take care of it.
Until I received an email from them that said:
“Our website guy has disappeared again and mid-stream no less. He took the new site down and put our old site up and was supposed to fix all the blacklisting before putting a clean copy of the new site back up..I haven’t heard from him since (about three weeks now). Do you think you can still help us?”
I said I could.
This email struck a chord with me on many levels. I’m a marketing person and a closet geek. From the marketing aspect I was appalled!
- Replacing the website with one using different URLs and no redirection will wipe out any search engine ranking as all the WordPress pages are now not found (404). Google will remove them from the index due to the amount of time involved but hopefully index the old site back into the results pages.
- Anyone who does go to their site directly through the domain, sees an old, out of date website that projects a very poor image of the company.
From the closet geek aspect, securing your website is critical so this scenario doesn’t happen. So I ask:
- Why take down the site that has been hacked? Why not just find the culprit and fix?
- Why was the site hacked in the first place? Where is your .htaccess file securing the directories and why aren’t the permissions set properly?
- Where are the backups and recovery plans so you can be back up and running quickly?
When I checked to see whether they still needed my help, I got this:
“To my endless frustration…the higher ups here have a constant aversion to spending money on anything related to computers, websites etc. For now, this project has been dropped in the lap of someone at our sister company who runs their website. He’s a sharp guy and seems pretty good with this stuff…but it’s not his primary role and I’m not sure how versed he is with WordPress sites.”
Which leads me to my question:
Is your small business website a marketing investment or a technology expense?
If you view your website as a technology expense, it will be just that – an expense. You will never view it as a lead generation tool therefore, it will never create visibility for your products and services or generate inbound leads.
Now I’m all for saving money but if your website is down for an extended period of time for whatever reason, what revenue opportunities have you lost because you are being “penny wise and pound foolish”?
Note the following data on how local search leads to sales. If Local search is used by at least 60% in any product, business category (Marketing Charts), what does that mean to your business if your website is low quality, has been hacked and down or can’t be found?
Your small business website is the central focal point of your inbound marketing strategy. Without a well developed, quality website, your visibility is compromised. You need to:
- Create a compelling website to establish a strong web presence where you can regularly develop and promote relevant, brand-related content
- Invest in search engine optimization so your website can be found
- Ensure that your website is a lead generation tool, driving more inbound leads and increasing your revenue
Don’t make this mistake. Invest in your business by investing in marketing:
- Develop a quality website
- Create an active blog with rich compelling content
- Strive for high rankings in the search engine results
- Build a strong presence in social media to increase your digital footprint.
All to generate inbound leads.
This scenario is a real situation. This business’s website has been down since the beginning of April.
The moral of the story:
- View marketing as an investment
- Invest wisely when it comes to your important online assets
- Work with knowledgeable professionals who understand the importance of your web presence to the success of your business.
How do you view your small business website in terms of marketing for you business? Investment or expense?