Build it and they will come?

How To Get More Visitors To Your Website

In “Field of Dreams” farmer Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner) hears a voice in his corn field tell him, “If you build it, they will come.”

He takes this as an instruction to build a baseball field on his farm.

For a long time no one comes but eventually (and not to give the plot away) stuff happens and it all works out fine.

In my experience a lot of people take the same attitude when they are setting up a website and unfortunately the outcome isn’t so positive. They build the website and wait for people to come along. When they don’t get a lot of visitors, they are left wondering what went wrong.

So why does this happen?
How can you make sure it doesn’t happen to you?

Let’s imagine that three little pigs, having escaped the plans of the wolf, each set up their own business.

They do some research and are pretty certain there’s a market for their products.

The first pig. He is a master of straw.

Piggie #1 discovers that despite his own experience, it is possible to build robust houses out of straw. He decides to make bales of straw to be used in the construction of eco-houses. He’s a very green pig.

The second little pig. He is good with wood.

Piggie #2 has a knack with wood and decides to get into bespoke joinery.

The third little pig. He likes bricks

Piggie #3 has always loved bricks and launches his business “All Things Brick and Beautiful”

Now at some point they all decide they need a website. It’s the 21st century and a website is part of modern marketing.

The Story of Piggie #1

Piggie #1 is desperate to get a website. He reckons it can’t be that difficult to do. He was a dab hand at drawing when he was a piglet (well he mostly kept his colouring-in in the lines) and goes to one of those build your own site places. He dashes off a few paragraphs about how great he and his straw are.

He also puts in a few pictures to show he know about straw houses. Gosh this website design thing is easy he thinks an hour later, those so-called professional designers were going to rip me off. And then he sits backs and waits for the phone to ring and for email enquiries to flood in………

A month later he is still sat there waiting. He has no idea why and declares that the Internet is broken and you can’t do business online. He generally has a bit of a hissy-fit.

The Story of Piggie #2

Piggie #2 is a little more clued up. He knows he knows little about design and wants to get someone else to set up his site. As he’s chatting to the guy doing his new leaflets he mentions this. The leaflet guy says he now does websites too and says will give him a good deal. Piggie #2 likes the idea of a bargain and takes him up on the offer.

Two weeks later, Piggie #2 has pretty website. It’s a bit tricky to find things on it. But that’s fixed by adding some help notes on how to navigate it. After all people can be a bit dumb, so you have to spell things out to them! Nevertheless, he’s reasonable pleased.

Well apart from the flashing day-glo banner but the “designer” assures Piggie #2 it’s the latest thing! Anyway, Piggie #2 has done a bit of research and knows he needs to let people know about his site. He puts it on all his literature. At the networking group he goes to, he proudly tells people about his site. He’s also heard about social media (well done him) and so tells all his Facebook buddies and even sets up a Twitter account.

A month after the site has been launched, he looks at his google stats (see I said he was a bit more clued up). Yep he’s had a fair number of visitors. Unfortunately, he’s not had one phone call or email enquiry. And just like Piggie #1 he has no idea why. He stamps his feet trotters and declares the web to be a waste of time.

The Story of Piggie #3

Finally we have Piggie #3. He’s the smart one and he’s really done his research. He’s looked at some of the websites of the people he’s met while out networking and spoken to the owners of the ones he’s been impressed with. He’s got a list of recommendations.

He sets up a few meetings with ones he thought best understood his needs in their brief phone call.

He has a lot of really good discussions. Each designers has some good ideas but one of them seems to really understand how to make his particular business successful online.

This designer takes the time to find out what Piggie #3 wants to achieve and makes some really good ideas on how that can be done. The designer also has suggestions on things Piggie #3 hadn’t considered. They talk about who is Piggie #3’s target market, what he wants to happen when people find his site and how to make sure people do indeed find his site. This designer explains in what SEO is clear terms, what it can do and want it can’t do.

She (well it could be a he but I’m writing this so it’s going to be she isn’t it) also explains how best to use social media and how not to waste time with it. After all it’s not the be all and end all of marketing but just one of the many tools. She also find out who is going to write the words for the site and they have a good discussion about the pros and cons of using a professional copy writer. Piggie #3 is really happy that he’s found a web designer who “knows the web”.

What happened when the site went live?

And when Piggie #3’s site is launched he’s over the moon. Through out the design process his amazing designer has kept him informed as to what is going on and has developed a site he really loves. Working with his designer, he’s come up with a strategy for keeping the site up to date and as he now has a content management system that is so easy to use, he can do this himself whenever he feels like it.

The website is beautiful and easy to navigate. There’s a clear call to action on it and it tells potential customers what they’ll get from “All Things Brick and Beautiful” and why it will help them.

Piggie #3 also now really understands this social media thing and makes use of it to connect with people in a meaningful way.

The “All Things Brick and Beautiful” site has taken a little longer to get off the ground than the sites belonging to Piggie #1 and #2 but it’s been worth the wait. At the end of the first month, Piggie #3 doesn’t need to look at his Google stats to know it’s working (though he does it anyway because he knows it’s the smart thing to do) as the phone is ringing and the email enquiries and orders are coming in.

And at the end of the first month, he gets a phone call from his designer asking how things are going. A couple of things have come up – nothing big but a few tweaks that Piggie #3 wants to make based on the feedback from his clients and as they are still within the scope of the project the designer is happy to do them for free. Piggie #3 knows he has a designer who he will continue to work with to keep his site growing with the business and recommends her to his two brothers and to anyone who comes along.

Which Piggie Are You?

So are you Piggie #1 or #2? Is your website and social media strategy working well for you? Or are there some things you could better to get your phone to ring a bit more? If you’ve built it and they’re not coming, then give me a call.

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