Today I want to share with you why a flexible website is an important component of a good marketing strategy.
If you use a website to market your business, you need to care about the code that runs your site, even if you don't know a thing about coding. That's because the code your website is built on determines what you can do with it and how easily you can change it.
I’ve never lived in an apartment, but it sounds amazing. No yard work. If something breaks, I’d just call someone else to come and fix it. I’d just get to live in my space and spend weekends catching up on urban fantasy novels.
BUT. I’d also have to deal with the noisy neighbors and I wouldn’t get to go into my backyard and eat sugar snap peas by the dozen straight off the vine.
Luckily for me, I have a wife who is an amazing homeowner. She does things like change the furnace filter and notices when the gutters are totally broken. Then she calls someone to fix them so we don’t end up with a crawl space full of mold.
Left to my own devices as a homeowner, I would definitely end up with someone like this guy telling me my foundation is totally rotting and we have to rebuild.
1. Custom Code vs Flexible Website Framework
In my work life, I often end up delivering the bad news that someone’s beautiful website is built on a rotten code foundation that’s full of termites.
Website owners don’t generally take this news well. Unlike houses, which fall at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, code is a giant mystery to most people and let’s face it, not that important in the scheme of things.
If someone tells you your house is going to fall, you’ll probably be motivated to fix it. It’s tough to explain why someone should care about something they don’t understand when all they can see is the pretty candy coating.
If your website is a serious foundational element for marketing your business, then it makes sense to be sure that it’s operating at peak efficiency and that’s it not going to fall just when you need it most.
In the days of building brochure sites that were static calling cards, it was fine to build a site, put it up, ignore it for a few years until it looked dated. And then, start the process over again.
Modern marketing websites need to be agile tools that allow you as the business owner to execute your marketing strategies quickly and easily.
That means building targeted landing pages testing different lead capture opt-ins (those annoying pop-ups that you put your email address into even though you hate them because you’re hoping to get useful information), and most importantly, measuring and testing your efforts so you know what’s working.
Preferably, you should be able to do most or all of these things without having to call your developer to change every little thing, or wait weeks for coding changes. At the very least, it should be quick and easy for your tech team to accomplish whatever you need.
If your website is a serious foundational element for marketing your business, then it makes sense to be sure that it’s operating at peak efficiency and that’s it not going to fail just when you need it most.
2. Your Website is Not an Island
Here’s another thing that’s different about marketing websites. They need to play nice with others. Successful online marketing involves many different services:
- Email service providers
- E-commerce payment gateways
- Landing page builders
- Analytics and Tracking
- Social Media
Trying to find a one-stop-shop solution that does everything is a good way to end up with a service that does a mediocre job at a lot of different things. The solution is to find the best-in-class services for what you need and make sure they talk to each other. It’s easier to get services to play nicely when your site is founded on an up-to-date codebase that follows modern best practices.
4. Does Your Website Need an Underhaul?
This phenomenon of terribly built beautiful websites is so common that I came up with the notion of the ‘underhaul.’ You don’t necessarily need to change your branding. You just need to be able to move with the times and launch that killer marketing strategy without your technology foiling your plans.
I have never been more excited about the tools that are available to make WordPress sites into flexible, scalable, modern marketing platforms.
Instead of being locked into a theme with limited layout and presentation options, you can use a framework. It allows you to change major elements without coding.
Instead of subscribing to third-party landing page builder sites and giving away all your content and SEO, you can easily build those pages in your WordPress site and own all the content.
These things excite me because I don’t really care about code either. I care about using code to help YOU reach your goals.
If you've got a website that needs some love to become a better marketing tool for you, tell us about it and let's talk.