Why spend thousands on a website if you're willing to spend nothing to promote it?
One question that gets me confused more than any other is why do people spend thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pounds to have a website designed and built only to let it sit there with no effort or money put into promoting it. To put it simply, why would you build a shopping complex in the middle of the desert where nobody is ever going to find it.
And I guess the same is true if you switch the question. Why would you put thousands into internet marketing if you have a terrible unfriendly, unusable website.
I think becoming successful online takes a good website - not necessarily the best looking, but certainly usable, and consistent marketing. Whether that be through search engine optimisation, pay per clicks ads, an affiliate program and so on.
Once you have both and you have consistency put effort into the latter then you'll start to see results. However in most cases if you just have a fantastic website with no marketing then you're not going to get anywhere.
What do you do if you have no marketing planned?
So what should you do if you do fall into the situation above, you have a great website but do no marketing or you have a terrible website and do a load. Well the simple answer is take a step back and make a plan. I'll say that again...step back and make a plan.
If you have a great website then invest into making it grow
Decide what you should do, if you have an amazing website but no traffic and no conversions then investigate into search engine optimisation, invest into pay per click, decide if you should join an affiliate program, etc.
If you have the cash but not the time then hire someone who knows what they are doing. If you have the time then there are many great resources online to help/guide you.
If you market well but have a lousy conversion rate then investigate
If you already have your marketing sorted then check your data, what are your conversion rates like. If they are 1-3% then you're most likely doing ok. If they are below 1% then you may need to look at your website, what obstacles could stop your user, what information are you giving them, what aren't you giving them. Do usability testing to make sure you aren't missing the obvious.
The list of things you can do is endless but the main thing is you begin to tackle the problem of why your conversion rate isn't as high as it could be and proceed from there.
This article was just a little overview of some of my recent thoughts but with a website there is ALWAYS something you can be doing to increase traffic or increase conversions and if you're not doing it then you're missing out and you are at the risk of others who will do these sort of things to grow their own business.
What do you guys think?