I get it. You’re excited. The inbound marketing strategy and 12-month inbound plan is done, and you love it. It’s been six weeks, and you’ve been so patient throughout the planning exercises.
So, why does it take another three to four months to get your inbound marketing website done and live?
First, don’t take my word for it: There are many, many web references on how long it takes to do a website correctly. Most reputable web design shops quote 90 days, while others say 12 to 16 weeks. Keep in mind that most of these reference points are NOT for inbound sites, but rather "electronic brochure" sites – ones that simply have information for visitors to read, a "Contact Us" form and that’s it.
Inbound sites have many more features and require an entirely different website strategy for the design, build and delivery. Regardless, it’s still going to take a minimum of three to four months to get your site up and live.
You don’t want a site that’s done in less time, and here’s why.
You Want A Site That Connects With Prospects, Right?
If your prospects are visiting your site and then hitting the back button, what’s the point? The whole mission of your website is to tell your business’ story around the clock. This means that you need a website with compelling emotional messages right on the home page. It requires a solid messaging strategy and creative execution that aren't going to happen overnight.
You only have 10 seconds to grab a prospect’s attention, draw them in and encourage them to click around to learn more about your business. Skip this step or execute it poorly, and you’ll have a new site that doesn’t add any business value to your company.
You Want A Site That Ranks On Search Engines, Right?
Want to know the best place to hide a dead body? The second page of Google. Ha! If you implement a site that isn’t built to rank, it's not going to be valuable to your company. Google and the other search engines don’t rank websites; they rank website pages. So, you need to let your inbound marketing agency think through their search engine ranking strategy in advance of any website work.
In fact, every page needs to be aligned with your overall search strategy so that those pages are committed to specific search terms and then those terms are integrated with the story, architecture and copy. It takes time to go through every page and create a plan for each one so that it ranks when people are searching for those terms. But, this is how you drive up the visitors to your pages and your site.
You Want A Site That Converts Visitors Into Leads, Right?
Visitors to the site are great, but they don’t pay the bills, do they? You want leads for your business. That’s why you hired an inbound agency. Now, we need to go page by page to make sure that we understand who’s going to be visiting those pages, what they want, what action we want them to take, what story we want them to see and what emotion we want them to feel. Yes, emotion. People make purchase decisions emotionally, and we need to evoke emotion on your website pages. It takes time to do this right and well.
At Square 2 Marketing, we literally map out every single page on your site, creating a story, matching it with an educational offer to turn the visitor into a lead, designing the user experience and then reviewing it in context to the overall site. We do this to ensure that the visitor experience is as remarkable and compelling as possible. This is how you get leads from your website, and not every agency is capable of delivering a site with this kind of conversion optimization methodology.
You Want A Site That Drives Sales Opportunities, Right?
Leads are nice, but new customers are better. I get it: You want people who want to buy right now. OK. To get highly qualified sales opportunities from your website, you need to make sure that the entire site does one thing really well: make your visitors feel safe. Once people feel safe, they’re more willing to reach out and engage in a personal relationship with your company.
Another way to do this is by creating more compelling bottom-of-the-funnel offers. "Contact Us," "Speak With A Sales Rep" or even "Request A Free Consultation" isn’t good enough anymore. Who doesn’t see through this as a glorified sales call? No one wants to speak with a sales rep. No one wants to be sold anything. Plus, you can do better. Offer them something that’s of value to them.
Here are some of our bottom-of-the-funnel offers:
- Get 30 Blog Ideas In 30 Minutes
- Get A Free Website Analysis With Ideas For Improvement
- See How Many Visitors You Need To Hit Your Revenue Goals
These have value for the prospect. They require you to ask questions during your call, not sell anything. These offers take time to create, time to design and time to map them perfectly to the pages that people in the decision phase are visiting.
You Want A Site That Can Be Optimized For Even Better Results Over Time, Right?
Perhaps the most important aspect of delivering a great website in 2015 is the ability to optimize it over time. No matter how much time we invest up front, there are going to be pages that need adjustments after we start getting performance data. You want a site that enables you to enhance conversion performance based on real-time data. Don’t make guesses at what’s working and what’s not. Use actual data.
You should be running tests to see what offers convert better, which messages drive more conversions, which pictures generate clicks. No matter how long it takes to get the site ready, you’ll never know more than you do after the site’s been live for a few months, and that’s the perfect time to go back in and make adjustments based on the behavior of your actual prospects.
Your website should be considered an ongoing project. It’s NEVER done. You and/or your inbound marketing agency should always be making adjustments to pages to drive up visitors, leads and sales ops.
Now, if you answered "no" to any or all of the questions above, then yes, you can have a website in two weeks. I know a guy who works out of his garage, and he'd be happy to take care of your business’s new website. But, if you want a business asset that’s going to be the cornerstone of your marketing effort for years to come, waiting a couple of months for your professional marketing firm to build you the right site seems like the right advice.
Start Today Tip – Before you enter into a new website project, make sure you’re clear on the time line. Understand that time lines change and what seemed reasonable today might need to be adjusted next month. Often, there are perfectly good reasons for a change in timing. You might increase the scope or change the strategic approach. Or, you might delay the project by taking more time than originally planned to provide feedback. Don’t expect your agency to “just catch up” because you want them to. A website is a collaborative project that requires a partnership on both sides. If you work together, you’re going to get a much better result, more visitors, more leads and more sales.
Square 2 Marketing – Leading The Reality Marketing, Inbound Marketing And Inbound Sales Revolutions!