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Website Myths: Busted

Posted on: Jun 05, 2017

While we have all heard about B2C e-commerce soaring in popularity over the past couple of years, the lesser known B2B digital commerce has quietly been creeping up in importance. Businesses haven’t caught the trend, as it seems that useless websites are still running rampant. This leaves proactive executives with an opportunity to overtake their competition in a key business segment. Utilizing a customer-centric website is a differentiator almost as important as a company's value proposition.
 

1. Not everyone needs a website

Whether you are selling a product, providing a service, or backing a cause, internet surfers are coming to your site for various reasons:
  • To determine what you can do for them
  • To validate your credentials
  • To reinforce their decision
  • To laugh or be entertained
  • To comparison shop
  • To gain knowledge
Without the ability to fulfill the users’ needs, you will be quickly forgotten.  Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so don’t blow it!

 

2. Creating an effective online presence is easy

Although there are many tools and videos to help create a website, creating an effective online presence involves a great deal more.  Simply building a website, just to have one, defeats the purpose.  When creating a site a great deal of thought needs to take place prior to, during, and after launching.  It is imperative to consider your goals for the site, the functionality required, the design and layout, as well as the content contained within it.  Each of these aspects needs to be reviewed on a continual basis.  With the internet constantly evolving, so should your website.

 

3. Navigation has no effect on user experience

I thoroughly enjoy the term "Mystery Meat Navigation," coined by Webpagesthatsuck.com. It is used to describe a navigation menu that is hidden until the user hovers over it with their mouse. The intended idea is to create a clean look in the header section, although it leaves the visitor confused and looking for a reason to stay on your website. That is not something a company wants to encourage when the average page duration for a B2B site is already under two minutes. A website is useless without a clear navigation.
 
Straightforward and concise navigation will reduce the chances users will turn and run. The basic premise is this: what is your customer's goal when visiting the site? That goal can be something like booking a reservation, making a phone call, or trying a demo. If they can't figure out the path to their goal, then they will leave in a heartbeat. A good navigation starts driving users down the decision process.

 

4. Social media isn't important for my industry

Everybody is using social media. It's a free and easy way to amplify your business's message. Every market has a chance to connect and engage with their prospects on one social platform or another. The problem is most organization's don't take the time to differentiate which channels are driving their social metrics. Make sure you are easy to connect with on social media and include social sharing widgets on each piece of content.
 
Even more importantly social media does have indirect effects on your website's SEO. It isn't connected in the way most SEO specialists think. Nonetheless, it is an important traffic indicator when planning the design of a website.

 

5. We don't sell online; we don't need security

Even the biggest websites get knocked down sometimes. That doesn't make SSL security - or any other security measures for that matter - irrelevant. When a visitor arrives at a website and sees HTTPS in the URL, there is no doubt about the reputableness of your business. Additionally, SSL security is another SEO indicator that Google's algorithm takes into account when ranking pages.

 

6. I don't need to showcase my services; my sales guys will do that

A website acts as your storefront; it's the first place people go to gather information. If prospects can't find out exactly what you do or sell they will be dissuaded from engaging. Without a dedicated product or service page, your website lacks transparency, and you'll watch conversions drop.
 
Drive leads by creating a thorough service page. Stick to these five must-haves:
  • Quick overview - what are you selling?
  • Define the target market
  • Clearly layout prices
  • Customer testimonials
  • Relevant form / CTA

 

7. If we build it they will come

There seems to be a perception that viewers will magically find your web presence. While some businesses get lucky, most will realize that hard work needs to be put into driving traffic. That is where search engine optimization comes in. There are dozens of indicators that crawl bots take into consideration when deciding which pages should appear on search results.

SEO is a hard nut to crack. Algorithms are always changing, and no search engine works the same. If you need help boosting search rankings, Quicksprout has compiled the best SEO guide I've ever seen.

 

8. All website development companies cannot be trusted

Unfortunately there are bad apples wherever you go, not just in the web development world.  However, if you know the traits you are looking for in a web development company and the goals you want to accomplish with your website, then you are off to a great start.  Take advantage of the internet and all the knowledge it possesses.  Look at potential web development company websites and see if it practices what it preaches.  Check out their portfolios, testimonials, experience, and see if they resonate with your needs.  Contact them and ask questions.  Creating your website takes cooperation and communication between both parties, so you need to be able to get along.  If the expectations, for both you and your web development company, are clearly defined up front, the process of creating your new/revised online presence will be positive.

 

 

"5 Myths Regarding Your Need for a Website." Ironistic. N.p., 26 Nov. 2014. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.
Burns, Tommy. "Matrix Marketing Group | Marketing Blog." 17 Myths About Useless Websites. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017.