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You've built it but they're not coming? Don't be a victim of the field of broken dreams

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Last weekend I found myself watching the Field of Dreams, I hadn’t seen it since the 90’s and it’s still just as cheesy. I’m slightly ashamed to announce that I really enjoyed it - the baseball bits are lost on me, but the films messages are strong and have only become more powerful for me in the last 20 years. At its core it’s a story about faith – faith that building a baseball field in an Iowa cornfield would lead to great things, no matter how illogical that might seem. Faith is something that all entrepreneurs need in abundance, but unlike Ray Kinsella we can’t afford blind faith – our faith needs to be rooted in reality.


Yet still most websites are built with a “build it and (they) he will come” mentality. Sadly a website by itself will not bring you business. So how can you be proactive in attracting visitors to your website?

There are 4 main ways to get visitors to your website:

SEO
Search Engine Optimisation is a mine field and if you hire the wrong SEO company you won’t just be wasting your money, but could seriously damage your business and reputation in the process. Our advice is to make sure your website is configured properly, is mobile friendly and fast. An SEO expert will probably be along shortly to tell me that we’re wrong and SEO really works – I’m sure that they’re right, but I just don’t think it’s worth your effort.

Advertising
We’ve worked with Google AdWords, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We’ve had great results with all of them, but they are expensive and getting more expensive, take time and attention to get right (you’ll be spending money whilst you do) and you really need to understand your metrics to understand whether it’s all worth while.

Email
Email still really works so long as you’re sending interesting content to the right people. Email lists take time to build though and need you to be doing some or all of the other items I’m mentioning.

Social media and content marketing
This is how you need to be spending your time! Build a network of your ideal clients on the social networks that you know your clients hang out on. Write blogs, make videos and share interesting content. Always have a call to action designed to attract your visitors to your website - start conversations!


Once they’ve come then what?

I touched on having a message last week – a great message will buy your visitors time. But most website visitors won’t be ready to do business with you yet. If you’re a recruiter, you’ve most likely just attracted a visitor who might represent a business looking to hire in the future or a candidate who isn’t looking for a job quite yet. What you really need is their email address, so make sure you have an attractive proposition, an irresistible lure in exchange for your potential clients contact details. I’ve touched on lead magnets before here – they’re a vital part of what we do.

Too many websites fail because companies and yes website developers too, believe that a really good website is enough. If you build it, they won’t just come.

If you want to avoid becoming another victim of the field of broken dreams a good place to start is with our test – it will help you get clarity on your current circumstances and help you to understand the actions you need to take today to change your business.