Last night, I had the pleasure of speaking to the New Jersey Chapter of the American Marketing Association. It was great to visit with people who are confronting the changes in marketing brought by the Internet and working out the impact in their businesses. I fielded lots of good questions on how to get started, especially with small businesses.
The answer is to start small. You don’t need to redesign your whole Web site—in fact, I would advise against it. Instead, make sure you have your site tagged for metrics with Google Analytics or a similar metrics tool. You need to know how many people are coming to your site and whether they are doing what your site is designed to do (such as buy something, fill out a contact form, call you on the phone). You want to drive people to the goal of your Web site.
Then, you need to change something. One person I talked to last night said her site’s home page was a mess. They have people coming to the site who want to submit their resumes, and other people who want to hire them, but the home page doesn’t clearly tell each group what to do. So, she should just change the home page so there are two big buttons that say, “I want a job” and “I want to hire someone” and link those to the right pages for each.
Will that fix the rest of her Web site? No. But it’s a start. Make that one change and see whether more people click through rather than abandoning. See of a few more resumes trickle in. See if a few more employers hire someone.
This is not rocket surgery. Figure out one thing you are doing wrong and make it just a little bit better. Check your metrics to make sure you really did make it better. And then do another one tomorrow. Or next week. Or whenever you can. If you pay attention to what your customers tell you and change what you are doing, it’s amazing how smart you’ll look. Do it wrong quickly, then fix it.
You can check out my complete deck of slides on the The New Internet Marketing.