We all have a tendency to spend energy and “heart time” on relatively trivial things. In some cases, this relates to our need for immediate gratification — in others, it is because we are trapped in previous perceptions.
There is one marketing priority, however, that combines (near) immediate gratification with vital current-era management — and that is your website.
Almost inevitably, potential clients will go to your website before they communicate with you directly. They will either discover the website through direct research or through the search engines (and increasingly, they will visit the site on mobile devices).
The question, then, is: “How much time, thought and research are you putting into your website — and how much budget priority should you give to ensure your website is effective as a branding and lead-generating resource?”
I expect, probably not enough.
As a rule, I sense websites have about a three year lifespan these days. That is for a major rebuild/redesign. They need much more frequent regular updating and maintainance — in part because fresh content is so important in attracting SEO and (more importantly) branding/expertise reputation.
Of course, with websites, you can spend a lot for not very much, or achieve much with little. You can build flashy designs that attract little traffic, are slow to load, and don’t read well on different browsers. Or you can create a simple, powerful, and effective “call to action” — perhaps with a special landing page relating to your marketing and site.
How do you chose your experts to take on this challenge? I think the best approach will be to (a) consider non-competitive businesses with really effective websites — you may meet/connect with these people through relevant industry associations. If you learn from them, their designer, you can follow the path to that service.
I would certainly be wary of inbound solicitations — especially from spam emails — that promise miracles.
If you would like a few recommendations (not self-serving) you can email me at email@example.com.
P.S. We’re about due for a major rebuild of our own websites. The core design is, yes, about three years old.