Why your website marketing is failing

You have a new website. You invested a lot of money designing it, writing copy, and picking out photos. You launched to great fanfare. “I’m going to devote all this time to marketing!” you thought.

Six months later, you realize that you’ve stopped doing marketing, and your business hasn’t improved. Sales remain the same, and you aren’t getting any new leads from the website.

How do you change that? Let’s get back to that in just a bit.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more. You decide that you’re going to start running.

You buy a pair of new shoes and a nice pair of shorts to go with it. You find the perfect exercise band and bluetooth headphones so that you can listen to podcasts. The first week of January, you’re up bright and early ready to hit the pavement. But life happens, and by February or March you’re back to sleeping in and skipping workouts. Sound familiar?

“Um, ok…but what does that have to do with my website?” you ask. Well, nothing….and everything.

Much like exercising, marketing your website is not something you can do in just a day. It’s also not something you can cram in for a week or two and expect to coast on the results for the rest of the year. Your website is a digital storefront that needs to be maintained and nurtured. To achieve results, whether it is marketing or exercising, you’ll want to approach it with a system.

Work backwards

When creating a system towards a goal, it’s usually easier to start with visualizing the end goal. Say you want to achieve $200,000 in sales next year, and your product is priced at $50. This means you need to sell 4000 units of product, which translates to roughly 330 units per month. You look at your past sales, and you see that you’ve been selling 100 units per month. Now you can begin to identify the activities that will bring you an additional 230 sales per month.

For example, you notice that all your sales come from your email list. So what if you were able to double or triple your list? Would your sales double or triple? What activities do you need to do to grow your list?

The possibilities can be endless, but no matter the strategy you ultimately choose, consistency is key.

Create habits

We intuitively know that relying on willpower is tiring and prone to failure. If you decide to just “power through” your marketing activities, you are more likely to drop out and miss your goals. If you’ve read books like The Power of Habit, you’ll know that a behavior is more likely to be successful if it becomes a habit.

To establish a new habit, experts suggest attaching the new behavior to an old habit. For example, you may try writing blog articles every time you have your morning coffee. Pretty soon, your morning coffee becomes your cue to start writing. Eventually writing becomes a habit, and you’ve establish some consistency in your marketing.

Set achievable daily goals

When I first tried my hand at running, I set the arbitrary goal of running at least one mile a day. It turned out that my body just wasn’t ready for that, and I would gas out at less than half a mile. It was incredibly discouraging.

I finally turned it around when I discovered the Couch To 5K program. Turns out I’ve been setting the wrong daily goals. The key was to start slow: run at a jogging place, and focus on running for 5 minutes. It didn’t matter how far I got; I just needed to run for 5 minutes. Gradually I worked my way up to 10, 20, and 30 minutes until I was able to run a 5K.

The same goes for your marketing activities. As you set out about executing your marketing strategy, it’s tempting to set daily goals that aren’t exactly under your control. For example, you might set a goal of landing two leads a day, but the problem is you can’t control whether your will land a lead.

A more realistic and achievable goal would be to reach out to, say, 10 potential leads a day. Some days you may land more leads, and on other days you might not land any. The key is to create consistency so that over time you will reap the results.