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Wedding Business Solutions Podcast with Alan Berg CSP - Is it time to fire your website?Podcast Transcript – Is it time to fire your website?

We all know that our websites are an important part of our marketing and branding. They’re waiting, 24/7/365 for someone to come from somewhere, and that’s when your website’s job begins. If you sell on your site (e-commerce) then your site’s job is to get people to put things in the cart and check out. If you don’t sell online, then your site has one job – get you the inquiry. If you’re getting the right people to your site (the job of your marketing and advertising) and those people aren’t contacting you, it’s time to either retrain or fire your website, because it may be costing you more in lost business than a new site will cost. I wrote “If Your Website Was An Employee, Would You Fire It?” and this 11-minute episode will give you some insight into how you should address your site upgrade, or replacement.

Listen to this and all episodes on Apple Podcast, YouTube or your favorite app/site:

Below is a full transcript. If you have any questions about anything in this, or any of my podcasts, or have a suggestion for a topic or guest, please reach out directly to me at Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com or contact me via textuse the short form on this page, or call 732.422.6362

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– “You need a new website” is something that I don’t like to have to tell people, because I know that there’s time, and money, and headaches involved with doing that. So, when is it time to fire your website? Or when can you just improve it? Take a listen to this episode and find out.

– Hi, it’s Alan Berg and welcome to the Wedding Business Solutions podcast. Today, I want to talk about a topic that I get asked about every once in a while which is “When is it time to fire your website?” Or better yet, is it time to fire your website? So my first book, which some of you have read, some of you have may not know about’ is called “If Your Website was an Employee, Would You Fire It?” And if I ever write another website book, it’ll probably be called “Five Signs It’s Time to Fire Your Website.” So let’s talk about some of those things.

We know that your website is the first place that people go when they are trying to find out more about you. So whether they’re coming from another site, whether they’re linking through from Google or whatever, they’re likely to come through your website. And I say this all the time, you don’t get business from your website, you get business through your website. They came from somewhere, to your website, to come through to get to you.

So when is it time to fire your site? The first sign is one that I spoken about and it’s kind of one that we laugh about a little bit, but it’s true. If your website looks like you made it yourself, it’s time to fire it. I didn’t say you couldn’t make it yourself. It just shouldn’t look like you made it yourself. And the reason is, when it looks like you made it yourself you’re bringing down the quality of your products and services compared to a company that has invested in a site that looks better. That looks more comparable. Unfortunately, people aren’t comparing you just to other people in your category and market. They’re comparing you to every website they ever visit because a website is a website is a website in terms of experience.

The experience has to be comparable to, or at least feel more comfortable to wherever they’re coming from. So WeddingWire or The Knot, or EasyWeddings or WeddingsOnline, or Guides for Brides or whatever it is, it should feel comparable that, “Hey, this is a good handoff. I’ve come from here. I’ve come to you. And it feels kind of similar.” So that’s why I don’t like sites that are black with white text. Besides being hard on your eyes, Google doesn’t do that. Facebook doesn’t do that. Amazon doesn’t do that. The Knot doesn’t do that. When they all do that, we’ll follow. But right now, a light background, white background, nice and clean. The color should be coming from the photos, not necessarily coming from the site itself.

I actually had that conversation with somebody today as well. So if your site looks like you’re made it yourself, investing in a new site is probably a good idea, whether you may make it yourself or someone else. Because think about how much one lost sale costs you in dollars. Would a new site costs you the same? Would it take two? I remember getting a call one time, a frantic call from a friend of mine, Aldo Ryan. And Aldo’s like, “Alan, I need your help.” I said, “What’s going on?” He goes, “I just lost a sale.” Someone that was referred by a wedding planner, they went to his site. They went back to the planner and said, “We don’t like his site. Refer us to someone else.” And she was like, “No, you’re going to love him. He’s great. I’ve worked with them before.” They said, “We don’t like his site.” He lost the sale. Didn’t even get the contact by the customer because they didn’t like his website. And that cost him more than a new site would have cost him to make.

If it’s costing you more in lost business, there’s another sign there. If it’s costing you more in lost business, then you definitely need to make a site because you’re going to continue to lose money. You’re going to lose more money by not changing the site than it would cost you to get the new site made. So when is it time to fire your website? If you’re not getting conversion. You’re getting traffic to the site, but they’re not converting to inquiries. Now, some of those are easy fixes. And I’ll speak about that in another episode, about how to get more people to contact you.

But let’s say you have good calls to action all over the place and you have photos and stuff and they’re just not converting. The first thing to figure out is are the right people coming, because they may not be. And if they’re not the right people, let’s market ourselves differently. Not enough people are coming, in that case we need to market ourselves more. Or people are coming, they’re not liking what they’re seeing. Can you fix the design or is it time to let it go? But again, are you losing more money with the current site than it would cost you to make a new site?

Let’s think about what is the job of your website. For most people in the wedding and event industry, it’s not to make a sale because you can’t. They can’t put their credit card in and buy what you do. If they can like on my shop, if you want to buy a book from me, go to ShopAlanBerg.com You can buy a book. The prices are there. It is a shop. It is e-commerce. It’s made for that. But if you want to hire me to train your sales team or if you want to hire me to do a website review, you can’t do that on my site. Now if you want to find out about group workshops I have, they’re on my site, but you still have to click through to another site to buy it, to actually buy it and buy the ticket over there. That’s e-commerce. But for most people in the wedding and event industry, they can’t rent your venue, reserve your venue on your website. They can contact you, that’s it.

When you see, and I see this often, buttons on your site that say, “Book us now.” And I’m curious and I’m like, “Okay, am I going to actually book you now?” That’s what it says. Am I going to book you when I click on that button? It’s going to take me to a page. I’m going to fill out all the information and put my credit card in. I’ve seen it, occasionally. And I ask, I said, “Do people do that?” And they tend to only do that after you’ve spoken to someone and then you send them there to basically do self-service on doing the contract and stuff. That’s not the reality of most weddings and events. You have to get the contact. So let’s think about the purpose there. You may not have to fire your website but you might need to change a whole bunch of things on it and make it more clear what they’re doing: checking availability, getting a price quote, arranging for a meeting. What am I going to do to take the next step here? And if it’s not actually booking you then don’t say “book us now.” And again, you may not have to fire the website but you might have to fire that button and change the words on that.

Kudos to you if it’s a button because that’s good for mobile, but don’t have words that are those high-commitment type of actions. Another reason to fire your website is if it’s not mobile compatible. Now these days, Google is not looking at the desktop version of your website anymore. It’s only looking at the mobile version of your site. Now for a lot of you, including me, we have a responsive design website and the site is exactly the same on mobile and desktop. But just earlier today, I was having a consultation with someone and he was showing me the different templates that he’s considering to use for different websites he needs to make for different parts of his business or different businesses actually. And we’re looking at mobile and desktop and he said, “Yeah, I can leave some things off of the mobile to make it cleaner.” I said, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Mobile is first. You need to put all the things you want people to see on mobile and then also let them see them on desktop. But if he were to do that and have a mobile version that was scaled back and Google comes and reads that website, the content that’s on the desktop site is not getting seen. Stuff that’s on desktop and not mobile would not be seen.

So you want to make sure that your site responds, which means that it adapts to the size of the screen. So whether it’s a small phone or a big phone, or a tablet or a bigger tablet, or a laptop or a desktop, you need to have it adapt. It’s called the “responsive design”. That’s one site that adapts to the different sizes of the screen. And then you need to make sure that it adapts well. And what I mean by that is, just because it responds, doesn’t mean it’s responding well. I just saw that the other day. A friend of mine, Brian Lawrence, some of you heard me talking about Brian. We’ve known each other for years and he’s who I recommend for websites. So if you need one Brian@BrianLawrence.com So Brian and I, Brian has me go through sites. If I recommend someone to him, he’ll have me, he calls it ‘Alanyzing’ it. Instead of analyzing, Alanyzing. It’s cute. So I was going through this site and it had some gorgeous photos, but on one of them when it went from desktop to mobile, the couple was off to the side of the picture. It was beautiful picture on desktop, but on mobile they weren’t in the picture at all. And that’s a very common thing that happens with responsive design.

You have to make sure is it going to take the middle of the photo and put that on mobile. Is it going to take the left or the right? Or is it just going to shrink the whole thing down? In which case it may not look that good, either. So it was just one photo that had to be changed. It’s a very common thing there. You need to look at your phone and pull up every page on your website on your phone and make sure that it responds well. I’ve seen text that’s too big. I’ve seen text that’s too close to the edges. A bad user experience makes your business look less professional and they will just go away Because you are a one click away from them going to somebody else’s website. So there were some signs that maybe either you need to change your website or maybe even fire it. But certainly if it’s not working well on mobile, if it’s not responsive design, if it doesn’t pull up on certain devices, like if you still had Adobe Flash, which is an old way of showing video. I saw a site just the other day, still had Adobe Flash on it. And what came up? A box that says, “This is not supported.” So they really need to change their site. This site looked like whenever they first put up a website, they just left that website there. It was a very popular restaurant, too. And I don’t know why they don’t change it. I guess they figure it’s not hurting them, but it really is. Because it would’ve been a lot easier and more friendly when I pulled it up on my phone and it would just shrunk down so small there. There’s a bunch of reasons why you might want to change your website or update it.

I’m Alan Berg. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions about this or if you’d like to suggest other topics for “The Wedding Business Solutions Podcast” please let me know. My email is Alan@WeddingBusinessSolutions.com. Look forward to seeing you on the next episode. Thanks.

Listen to this and all episodes on Apple Podcast, YouTube or your favorite app/site:

©2021 Wedding Business Solutions LLC & AlanBerg.com

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