Co-written by Madeline Ulivieri
When it comes to building a business online, every business is chasing the same things -- the No. 1 listings in the search engines results pages, an engaged tribe, a large list, and a pipeline full of new, high-paying, pre-qualified leads. But why is it that so few business owners actually reach this point of online nirvana? Jennifer Bourn has been answering that exact question for years.
Jennifer shares that the real problem isn't a lack of information -- it's the implementation and the strategy behind it. Jennifer says:
"Most business owners are frustrated with their brand, their website, and their mediocre marketing results because they have all the right pieces in place -- the logo, the website, the email newsletter, the Facebook page, etc. -- but nothing seems to be working to produce the results they want."
She goes on to explain:
"The problem is that most businesses settle for an 'online presence,' because existing is easy. But that's not the answer. What they really need is to transform their blah business presence into an extraordinary and lucrative brand with a website that works when they are not working."
Jennifer believes an online presence is no longer good enough. Businesses need more than the right pieces of the puzzle. On her website, she has blogged about branding, websites and the strategy behind them for years.
As Jennifer points out, the most important brand asset for an online business is the website, which is the heart of the business and the center of all marketing activities. But working on the website isn't the most attractive part of growing a business, so all too often it gets overlooked. Marketing on Facebook, starting a YouTube channel, and creating a search engine optimization (SEO) is imperative. Why? Because these actions are visible, and they're a lot easier than creating a website that works to produce the big results that business owners are looking for.
Unfortunately, there is a serious flaw to this approach that is sabotaging the success of online business owners. Jennifer explains:
"Most businesses rush to get their website up and jump right into marketing and optimization. Generating traffic to the website becomes their primary focus and SEO practically becomes an obsession, and the strategies are successful, but the results are dismal."
They receive little to no opt-ins for their free offer, their marketing list isn't growing, they aren't making sales, and people aren't lining up to work with them.
Extensive amounts of time, effort, and money are often wasted in driving traffic to an ineffective website. The issue is that there is no strategy behind the website to ensure that those who do come to the site take the desired actions. With an average 73 million Web pages created every day, simply plugging the right pieces in the right places isn't going to get you far. As Jennifer reveals, "Every aspect of a website must be planned and designed to help visitors get to know the business, like what they have to say, trust in their expertise, and compel them to take action."
According to Jennifer, business owners need to focus on the core ways they make money, prioritize the desired results, and design the site to drive visitors to take those conversion actions. She shares:
"There are three types of conversion actions -- at Bourn Creative we call these: Hire Me, which includes one on one services and is usually the most expensive option; Buy From Me, which includes lower-priced product and program sales; and Learn From Me, which includes opportunities to join your list, subscribe to your blog, or engage with you at no cost."
Jennifer urges business owners who are less than thrilled with their website results not to get discouraged. With the right strategy, it is possible to have a website that generates a consistent, income stream of ideal, high-paying, ready-to-get-started clients and customers.
Follow Clarissa Burt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ClarissaTvMag