29800 Harper Ave Ste 5
St Clair Shores, MI 48082
Text/Voice (313) 723-4023
29800 Harper Ave Ste 5
St Clair Shores, MI 48082
Text/Voice (313) 723-4023
May 12, 2024 // ODH

Getting Exceptional Results

The Good, the Bad, and the Exceptional

Every business owner has expectations of employees, landlords, laptops, and nearly every other business expense. Why do so few have clearly identified expectations of their websites?

Know what’s possible

There are many kinds of websites, and business websites have multiple subtypes based on the business, budget, and purpose. Here are a few that Thinkfeelrespond has built and managed:

  • Legitimacy: Ever since Search engines have replaced Yellow Pages, first impressions have been largely made with websites. Businesses without a website may find it difficult to claim and manage their Google Business page, and startups without a website may find it difficult to launch at all.
  • Awareness: Considered by many to the the primary purpose of a website, awareness in the form of high Search rankings and significant traffic is generally difficult to achieve in a short time. Early adopters benefitted from less competition, but newcomers must use a combination of time and paid promotion to gain brand awareness—with the occasional boost from luck.
  • Lead-Generation: A step beyond awareness is consideration, which hopes to bring the right offer to the right audience for successful lead-generation. Lead-gen websites become 24/7 automated servants of your business—and depending on your business, a single successful lead could pay for the cost of your entire site.
  • Sales: The most common example is an e-Commerce store, although sales can be facilitated with online contracts, payments, and bookings. Sales-focused sites can be built with WordPress/WooCommerce, Shopify, PayPal plugins, and with fully-custom WordPress solutions. We’ve even built some single-product sites (like a book promotion) with minimal cost and time as a static site.
  • Services: For many professional businesses, online services like form-management, document-handling, and pre-registration can reduce staff labor and improve customer experience. One such use-case is a forms-management system we developed for a local family practice, and another is a recurring endodontic seminar registration site.

Beyond the functional differences, website structure matters. In the broadest terms, websites can be static (conventional, hardcoded) or built with a Content Management System (CMS). The most common CMS is WordPress, but many others exist including Joomla, Drupal, Magento, Hubspot, etc. Which to choose?

  • Static: Despite the name, this does not mean “non-moving.” Choose static when time and/or budget are severely constrained, when cheap hosting is needed or required, or when you want a nearly unbreakable/unhackable site. It’s also ideal for clients who would rather have a professionally-managed site. (This website is a static build)
  • CMS: While the basic benefit of a CMS is the ability to update and add content without coding, a CMS still has a learning curve. If you’re not familiar with WordPress, it can be daunting. Choose a CMS when you have a need for frequent updates (more than 1x/month) AND staff/resources dedicated to the update.

Identify your Marketing Goals

One of the toughest things for any organization to do is to market themselves. Having worked for many large advertising agencies, I can assure you that self-promotion is the worst job in the house! Many such agencies actually hire outside agencies or consultants to develop their marketing.
     Whether you do this yourself or not, you’ll need to start with at least one (and not more than three) key “conversion goals” for your project— this is the “Respond” portion of “Thinkfeelrespond.” Conversion goals are generally measurable audience responses to your message. Examples include phone calls, form fills, downloads, store visits, and online orders. With your goals identified, measurements can be established and success can be quantified.

Raising the Bar

All of the above may satisfy your goals, but Exceptional Results go beyond numbers. They require the extra time and effort to talk to customers, generate and test variable approaches, and to really understand your unique selling proposition. Knowing what makes you different (authentic and memorable) that also matters to your customers is a huge advantage.
A single insight of this caliber has often become the guiding force for an entire brand and company.

Executive Summary

Getting to Exceptional starts with knowing what's possible and continues with knowing what you need for your particular business model. The real prize is found beyond functional excellence—when the sum of your marketing parts forms an authentic whole that resonates with your customers and prospects. Let us help you find it!

Call or Text to discuss your website or communications questions: (313) 723-4023