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8 Seconds: move over bull riders, this is about website performance

8 second website image santa maria ca
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Your website has 8 seconds.

Your website visitors land on your site, look around for roughly 8 seconds, make 11 judgements about your company, your professionalism, products, and credibility and then….leave.  You have 8 seconds to make an impression.

Further complicating things 96% of your visitors are not ready to buy from you the first time they visit.

So let’s sum up:

  • Your site visitors are a lookie-loos.  Statistically, no one comes to buy the first time.
  • Your digital footprint has to look good enough and make a strong enough impression that your visitors will come back (8-10 times on average if your product requires trust).
  • Your competition are companies like Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, and Goldman Sachs. Your online presence has to feel like it belongs on the web in 2015.

So how is your website doing? 

Let’s start with something easy. Raise a hand if your business has a website.

hands in the air for website ownership arroyo grande ca

Ok, put your hand down for a moment. Now raise your hand if you track more than three data points about your website’s performance: weekly or monthly is fine.  You get extra points if you have also looked at a performance report within the last 15 days.

one hand in the air image santa maria ca

Shockingly, 98% of small businesses report that they have no idea if their site is aiding in their marketing efforts. Almost no one is able to draw a clear line between their digital footprint and new business.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

Too many business owners aren’t sure how to make their websites work for them. They’ve been told they need one but fail to build it with the next new customer in mind.  The local business landscape is littered with billboard type sites that declare “I am here!” but do little else.

Before you do any further marketing answer these questions to yourself.

  • What does your website need to do? If you’re not sure look at the website of the Fortune 500 company that offers your same services.
  • How will your site convert visitors to potential clients?  Start with the end result, a new client or product sold,  and build a marketing pathway back to the first digital introduction your company makes with the public.
  • How will you measure your website performance? Every click, page, article, and form needs to be tracked and measured.

Without solid answers to these questions all marketing efforts, whether digital or not, will be disadvantaged dramatically.

If you find the introspection daunting and the answers are not coming quickly enough it may be time to talk to someone.  Digital marketing is changing quickly and good help is not difficult to find.  Have a handful of conversations with qualified providers and clear themes will appear.  Digital marketing is formulaic.  Everyday it is done successfully by the smallest businesses as well as those that have millions to spend.

A parting shot – none of this article has mentioned “pretty.” “Pretty” is easy.  Effective marketing is worth it’s weight in….well, new customers.

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