Way too many business owners think they can get away with using the content of their brochures to fill up their website. They’ll have a Home page, an About Us page, a Services page, and a Contact Us. In 2016, this won’t cut it. To really stand out you must invest significant time and energy into the actual content of your site --- text, images, video, funnel, etc.
A brochure website refers to a site that follows an outdated mode of thinking about a company’s web presence. Until recently, it was enough for a company simply to have a website. You could take generic information about your company and your products and services, add a contact us page, make it look nice, and you were done. Just showing up was good enough. In 2016 this is no longer the case.
Here are five reasons why you should ditch the brochure website and start thinking much bigger.
No one will find you.
If your site is just a brochure on the web, you won’t have any pages that will rank well in Google searches for non-branded keywords. Sure, prospects can find your website by Googling “[your company name]” or “[your company name] and [your location],” but no one who doesn’t already know who you are will be finding you online. Your site needs to have great content that’s actually worth finding. You can’t do that by having a couple of pages all about you and what you do.
Pro tip: don't just think about what your potential customers are googling when they know they need you. Think about what they might google before they realize they have a problem.
It won’t meet your prospects needs.
Your website should focus less on who you are and what you’re about --- and more on how you can help your target audience/customer base. Of course you should have some company information on your about page, but make sure most of your content is genuinely helpful and informative and NOT focused on your company. If you are constantly talking about yourself and how great you are, if somehow people do find you, they’ll run away faster than Usain Bolt in a zombie movie because…
No one likes reading marketing gobbledygook.
State-of-the-art, cutting-edge, best-in-class, breakthrough, innovative --- all of these words are so cliché they’ve become essentially meaningless. When you have a brochure website, all of your content is aimed at selling and it’s therefore unbearable to read. Drop the mumbo jumbo and think about making some web content that’s actually helpful for your prospects. You understand all the ins and outs of your industry. You have valuable info and answers that people need to find. Don’t be afraid to proactively give those away. Your prospects will eventually reward you with their business.
You can’t measure ROI.
If the goal of your website is to impress your customers and prospects by having a super sleek, aesthetically pleasing brochure website --- how exactly do you measure that? What are you going to do? Survey all your customers and ask, “on a scale of 1 to 10, how cool do you think our website is?” Even if you were to do that, how would you know how many sales are actually coming from that?
Aesthetics don’t matter (as much) anymore.
Every website needs to have a professional look and feel --- that’s a given. Form is a subconscious given, but function isn’t. Many business owners focus WAY too much on how they think their site looks. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how nice you think your site looks. What matters is how effective is it at attracting prospects and making money.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Different businesses have different goals for what their website should accomplish. If you don't need to drive traffic and sales with your site, a brochure-style site may suit you just fine. Perhaps the ultimate goal of your web presence is simply to impress existing clients who hear about you through word of mouth or offline marketing. That's understandable. But if you are expecting your website to command web traffic and advertise itself, you must abandon the idea that a brochure site will get you where you want to be.