Why Your Website Stinks

Posted by: Steve Brown

I’m not gonna sugarcoat it: your website is a flop. Not in a bad way, either––it’s just a fact.

You’re thinking, “Wait, how do you know my website stinks? You’ve never even seen it.”

That’s a fair argument, and I may be painting with a wide brush here. The larger point is this:

If you’re thinking of your “website” as a website, then it’s going to hinder its effectiveness. Instead, you should be looking at it as part of a larger system.

A system that leads your potential customers to your most helpful content, a system that is fully automated for marketing and sales, and a system that includes a high-quality landing page for your strategic campaigns.

In other words, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings with the title. Seriously. I’m saying that you need to think about your “website” in a different way if you want it to grow your business.

Because if your website isn’t growing your business, maybe you don’t need one at all.

“You Don’t Need a Website”

Nine out of ten startups fail. The risks are real.

Yet, in our economy, 98.5% of businesses have twenty or fewer employees. That means that most of the country is employed by people who have the audacity to stand in the face of the odds and say, “I’m starting a business, no matter what anyone tells me.”

But just because you had the bravery to start your business doesn’t mean you’re fearless. As a result of that fear, you’re making some mistakes. And more often than not, that mistake comes in the form of an overly-complex, outrageously expensive website.

It’s so much easier to focus on tricks and shortcuts when we’re only worried about making our business survive another day.

But what if I told you that the main reason you’re afraid of surviving another day is because you’re focused on tricks and shortcuts?

Let it sink in a moment.

Way back when websites were the hip new thing, I was the outside sales manager for several web design firms. People were obsessed with websites and saw them as the catch-all for their business’s hopes and dreams.

If only we had a website…

If only our website were better…

If only…

I’d close the deal, we’d get the client’s site in production, then disaster would strike when we handed the project off to our web designers. (Back then, the only qualifications to become a web designer was being proficient in MS Paint and knowing how to spell HTML.)

The thing is, the designer’s job was to design––that’s all they cared about. They didn’t have a stake in the client’s business.

They just wanted to create something that looked good, and they took their sweet time doing it. The process was frustrating for everyone involved.

That’s when I made the jump to create my own agency. I thought if I could manage the whole process—from educating the customer, walking them through every step, and aligning everyone’s expectations (including the designers)—we could avoid the frustrated, fiery end that those accounts all came to.

Not so much.

I started my own agency to solve the problem of designers designing for design’s sake because they lacked a foundational appreciation for what the business owners were building. That makes sense enough.

What surprised me was that the business owners themselves were missing that same piece. When I realized that, my mindset shifted from:

Let me sell you a website to You don’t need a website.

Spending For Spending’s Sake

When it comes to websites, most entrepreneurs just spend money without thinking about why.

Websites are just another component of a business process. You don’t need just one component to solve your problems—you need the whole thing.

What I see now that I didn’t see back when I was an outside sales manager is this:

Websites are only valuable if you’re using them as part of a system to grow your business.

In other words, if you think you need a website, look at that need again.

Ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-nine…percent of the time, what you need is to move the needle somewhere else, whether it’s sales, customer service, recruiting, or marketing. You’re just using your website and the metrics associated with it as a proxy for improvements that should be made elsewhere.

Do you want your bounce rates to go down or do you need more sales?

Do you need more site visits or do you need to fix what happens after you get leads in the proverbial door?

If your website doesn’t support any of your other processes, it’s failing your business.

Now, when clients come to me and my team at ROI Online, we help them see the problem with a different set of eyes. We start back at the very beginning of their business processes, and we don’t let people self-prescribe, because it’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle.

When someone says, “I need to redo this website because it’s not working,” we tell them, “You’re right, and here’s why you’re feeling that way and exactly what you can do about it.”

What I do for people has little to do with websites. We help entrepreneurs thrive.

I want you to focus on the problem you set out to solve with your business––whether it’s fixing HVAC systems or installing granite countertops––rather than spinning your wheels and wasting more money on marketing.

If I can help you align your strategy and overall goals with a better system instead of just throwing money at the website you think you need, there’s no limit to what you can do with your business.

Grow Your Business with a Content Management System

So why does your website stink? Because you’re thinking about it like a website instead of thinking about it as part of a larger system.

At ROI Online, we know how difficult it is to navigate the process of marketing and website creation. That’s a big reason why I wrote The Golden Toilet: because I want to teach you how to stop flushing money on an expensive website that doesn’t help your business grow.

To learn more about marketing automation, sales automation, and turning your website into a world-class content management system, schedule a strategy session with the ROI Online team. We’re happy to help.

Schedule A Strategy Session