Why are websites so….complicated? We all know we need one, but many of us aren’t quite sure why. Once we have one, we’re not entirely sure what to do with them. They need to rank on Google and other SERPs, but nobody can figure out how SEO works. All you want is for your website to attract leads to your business so you can thrive and grow. If your site seems to achieve this, you’ve likely not considered how much more it could do for you. It’s already doing what you want, after all. But often, the biggest mistakes ruining your profitability stem from the belief that you’re already profitable.
From neglecting to realise that you could be more profitable to believing your site is profitable when it isn’t, it’s easily done.
And maybe your website isn’t even at that point yet. Perhaps you’re frustrated that you’ve spent time and money on this thing, and it’s yet to deliver any return.
Increasing the profitability of your website and marketing efforts is a significant concern for most business owners. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, running a startup, or heading up a well-established company, the higher your profitability the better.
#1 Your Website Is Not Optimised For Search
Arguably the key to business success is ranking #1 on Google. I can and have written extensively on this subject, but suffice it to say the more your rank on SERPs, the more organic traffic you receive; that’s traffic you didn’t have to pay to click through to your site. It found you all by itself. The more you get, the more leads and profit you generate without spending money. It’s perfectly possible to create a complete marketing strategy that relies on nothing but SEO – on search engines, social media profiles, or both. Highly successful businesses have been built without the aid of paid search, PPC ads on social, or anything other than a website and a blog.
And I include my own business in that. For years I had no means of marketing my services other than content, and to this day, I have spent very little on paid ads for TWCG; I briefly experimented with Google Ads for a month, which earned me a couple of clients, but they weren’t as high quality as the ones I gained organically.
And I didn’t have to pay for them.
Many businesses need to be made aware of a few things relating to SEO when they build their websites. Firstly, they need to learn that a website designer or developer isn’t necessarily well-versed in SEO. They may build you a site that looks great and even appears to perform well in terms of navigation and speed, but if it hasn’t been structured, designed and written with search engine optimisation in mind, its ability to attract all that lovely organic traffic will be limited.
Next, many companies need to be made aware of how vital ongoing SEO work is to their ability to rank. Your site needs regular updates, fresh content, old content to be refreshed, and emerging errors to be fixed, not to mention keeping pace with the endless algorithm updates Google throws at us.
If your site isn’t correctly optimised, you’re missing out on a ton of organic traffic. The good news is, once it’s set up, SEO is a perpetual motion machine with exponential growth potential. This means that it has vast potential when it comes to improving profitability. You will need to invest in your website, content and ongoing SEO, but this can be regulated according to a fixed budget,
However, the returns you receive on your SEO should compound over time. Meaning the longer you work on it, the greater your ROI becomes.
Caveat: It Was Optimised For Search, But You’ve Done Nothing Since They Were Built
You may have found one of those magical website developers that are also well-versed in SEO. Or you might have had your site built by an agency that has an SEO expert on staff to work with your developer. As a result, your site may have been perfectly optimised when it was built.
But how long ago was that? If your site is not regularly updated, it will have serious performance issues. If you never put an ongoing SEO strategy in place, the potential it had at the start will never have been fully realised.
There are two ways to fix this issue. The first is to optimise your existing website and ensure an ongoing SEO strategy that gets you where you want to be. The benefit of this is that it’s inexpensive. Even if you have a huge site and a load of issues with it, you can start working through issues (either yourself or by outsourcing it to an SEO expert) as and when you have time. My SEO packages, for example, start at £160 per month. For that, you get a monthly update, a quarterly backlinking campaign, and an hour spent updating your site and fixing issues.
If there aren’t many issues, you’ll be up to scratch in no time. If you have many problems, it will take a long while to get through them, but that’s just the basic package. Higher packages offer more comprehensive options, more time spent on fixes, updates, new content creation, and even media outreach and PR placements.
You decide how much time you spend DIYing it or how much you can afford monthly, and it gets worked on at the rate you can afford. You can also get the current issues fixed in one go, giving you a solid base to build on.
The other option is to scrap your current site and build a new one. You’ll still need the ongoing SEO strategy in place, but rather than being on the back foot with a website that will take months or even years to optimise fully, you have a clean slate. Your new site can be structured with all the latest SEO needs in mind, and you’ll get a fresh design to boot. This has the obvious downside of a significant upfront cost for the new site, which is why I offer my One Stop Website packages with a 12-month payment option – so you have an affordable way of doing this if it’s the best option.
Which option is best for you will depend on the current state of your website. I’d suggest you begin by getting a website audit to see how well your site is currently performing, what it would take to get it to perform well, and advice on if it’s worth investing in optimising your current website or if you’d be better of getting a new one. Drop me a message if you’d like a FREE audit of your website, and I can advise you from there.
#2 You’re Lacking An Effective Lead Capture System
Quality business leads start with a killer website. You’re working with a goldmine if your website has an effective lead capture system. But if you don’t have this infrastructure in place, all the traffic flooding to your site washes right back out again.
Sure, you’ve got your phone number on the site, an email address, and a contact form, but you’re relying on the people visiting to contact you. Most people research before buying, meaning most new traffic to your site won’t get in touch with you. Instead, they will return when they’re ready and contact you.
But who is to say they remember you, specifically, when the time is right? Who is to say they won’t choose someone else?
If you have their contact information, you can directly market to them, keeping you front of mind and ensuring when they are ready, they immediately think of – and come to – you.
Capturing leads allows you to have an honest conversation with prospects, find out what they need, answer their questions, allay their fears, and suggest the best possible solution for their problems.
Leads lead to sales. Your website needs to be appropriately geared up to capture as many high-quality leads as possible.
What can you offer of value in exchange for people giving you their information? You’ll have noticed in the previous section I offered you a free website audit in exchange for getting in touch. Do you have something similar? If not, what can you create that they will find of value? Look at the menu on this site. You’ll see a freebie section containing several different digital documents available for download. You might also create a webinar, a video series, an audio, a collection of graphics, swipe files or templates your readers can use to create content of their own.
You can offer many things, from free consultations and discovery calls to free eGuides and the first chapter or two of an entire book.
The real question is, what will work?
Having signup opportunities on your website isn’t an effective lead capture system unless an incentive convinces people to sign up and then nurtures those leads until they are ready to buy.
You need a lead magnet, and a good one. Your leads need to funnel into an email marketing manager that automatically delivers what was promised and follows up with a series of emails introducing you, what you do, and demonstrating its value. You may also include a personal call to discuss how you can help. Then, on an ongoing basis, you’ll want newsletters going out regularly (weekly, fortnightly or monthly, depending on which you feel is appropriate).
Once you have it set up, remember it. Test it’s working. Get feedback. Improve it continually. That doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel, but it does mean keeping your lead magnet updated. Experiment with other lead magnets to see which works best. Make sure your nurture sequences and follow-ups remain relevant. Add new social proof to your sequences as you have it. And, of course, actively promote your lead magnet regularly, not only through the signups on the website but through social media and (if it’s within your budget) PPC.
#3 You’re Not Developing Assets And IP
Content marketing is expensive – in either time or money, you will have to pay for website content creation, particularly if you’re serious about ranking on SERPs. Whether that means blogging regularly, creating compelling product descriptions, or adding new listings, video or audio content. It doesn’t matter. Content creation is time-consuming and expensive. So making it in such a way that it’s capable of delivering revenue in return is ideal.
When it comes to the value of your business, various things are taken into account, from your turnover to your client list, to your website. While a standard website doesn’t have any inherent value to the brand, a website with a high domain authority that commands a high traffic volume adds value to your brand.
The more unique and independent features your website has, particularly in capturing or sharing data, and unique content, the more value it gains. Brand assets and intellectual property – unique and original content, like a book, training material, a course, or a methodology – all add value to your business.
As you develop and build a website, you have choices. You can invest in various structures; some will create assets – like a portal your clients can log into or a bespoke booking system – and others will develop features on the site. You’ll also have the choice of different types of content creation. Some will be generic, standard content with no unique element; others will be thought leadership content and IP.
What functionality can you add to your website to increase the value of your brand? Before you answer that, consider what you can add to your website to benefit your users the most; the two usually coincide.
How much better would your user experience be if your clients could sign in to a dedicated portal and look at all their relevant details?
My SEO clients gain access to a portal when they signup for a monthly retainer. This gives them direct access to all their SEO data, allowing them to see their current keyword rankings, backlinks, and their site’s performance.
Sure, they get a monthly report that tells them all that, but what if it’s mid-month and they want a look? What if they can’t find the information, and it’s 2 am, and they can’t ask me for another copy until morning?
This is something other than what I’m obliged to offer clients, and it doesn’t help me in any way to have it. But it improves the client experience by having instant access to real-time results. In addition, it aids in transparency and confidence in my service to let them see and interpret the data for themselves.
There’s no data I need clients to upload, nothing for them to upload to it, but if you have a business that requires clients to send the documentation, that can work really well. I’ve worked on portals for clients that gave functionality like this – timesheets for recruitment agencies, contracts for law firms, questionnaires, contracts, and various other documents – and if part of your user journey is sending you digital stuff, a portal is a great idea.
Do you have aspects of what you do that your clients find particularly confusing? What educational resources could you create to help them effectively (ideally without boring them to tears)? Video courses are always great for this. Teach your audience something practical, actionable that enables them to understand a fundamental sticking point.
The kind of sticking point that keeps them from converting. By doing so, you simultaneously create an effective lead magnet that captures and converts leads and create intellectual property that increases the value of your business.
Even if you’re not looking to sell your business at any point, having brand assets is highly valuable. There’s a reason they’re called assets and a reason they increase your company’s worth; they set you apart from your competitors by giving your customers greater value or functionality.
How To Avoid Mistakes Ruining Your Profitability
I’ve given you three examples of the big mistakes ruining your profitability on your website. Still, it’s by no means an exhaustive list. However, these are the most common from ten years of working with businesses across multiple industries. Others include:
- Failing to monetise your site through one or more of the various means available.
- Underestimating the power of brand ambassadors and super fans.
- Relying on generic content rather than creating thought leadership content.
- Lacking a powerful brand story.
You may be guilty of multiple mistakes or just one. The key to avoiding them is getting an outside perspective. Or at least an inside view from a new angle. If you have someone on your team who has nothing to do with your current website – they didn’t build it, design it, write it, or have any involvement in any of that, and don’t particularly look at it regularly. This person needs to objectively appraise the site in terms of profitability.
How much traffic is it attracting? Has that level been consistently increasing? If not, why not?
Are you effectively catching a reasonable percentage of visitors as leads? Are a good percentage of those leads converting to sales or new contracts? If not, why not?
Are you creating content that has longevity and worth in its own right? How can you capitalise on your content and ensure you generate the future with this in mind?
Suppose you need someone on your team capable of doing this objective overview. In that case, it’s worth bringing someone in to audit the site, look for gaps and make suggestions on how you can plug them.
In case you missed it, I offer a free website audit to new clients. So, if you’re looking for an objective perspective on the mistakes ruining your profitability, get in touch with your website details and let me know if you have any specific areas you’d like me to assess.
Have you seen James Jernigan’s YouTube channel?
Nope, can’t say I have :)
Good article. I am going through some of these issues as well..
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