One thing is for sure, newly launched websites all start at the same place in competing for online market share.
What determines the victors can be boiled down to several factors including monetary investment, choice of resources (ie which web agency to work with), type of strategy executed and time invested.
However, large corporations with deep pockets don’t always dominate the search results.
Often enough, I come across a large companies that have poorly developed websites or haven’t make the right investment in their online presence.
This leaves an opening for startups to exploit their competitors weakness by building a quality websites and executing a strong online strategy.
Many business owners have misconceptions shortly after launching their website.
1. If you build it, they WON’T come.
Simply having a website isn’t enough. Business owners often believe their website is going to get a flood of traffic shortly after launching.
The truth is that without a reasonable digital marketing budget and/or creative strategy, a businesses website has no chance at achieving online success.
Businesses are starting to realize the importance of having a strong online presence and that most their potential consumers rely on Google.
This is why it’s important to make an investment in an on-going online strategy such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, content marketing and social media marketing to name a few.
2. Your not that special. In fact, you’re one in a million.
This isn’t a compliment. But depending on your niche, the competition can be pretty stiff. A newly launched website is likely entering the online space against thousands of competitors.
At a Toronto web design company I once worked for, we refused to take real estate agents as clients. Why you may ask?
Toronto currently has an estimated 50,000 realtors. In fact, almost as many people selling houses as building them.
Most realtors have their own websites, usually provided by their parent company. They tend to also have no idea how competitive things are in an extremely saturated market. Unless you have VERY VERY deep pockets, getting results is almost impossible.
This barrier to entry due and fierce competition isn’t just limited to realtors but can vary in each industry.
Trying to get on the first page of Google in almost any niche becomes like crabs in a bucket.
However with the right investment, resources, strategy, time and patience, any business can get there.
3. Online industry leaders are investing. Are you?
Those who are leading the search results are likely making a sizable investment in their online strategy.
Large companies typically spend an average of 5% of their overall revenue in their online marketing.
To give you a sense of scale, a company which earns $10 million/year is likely to spend $500,000/year or $41,666/month.
Some companies may be more heavily invested in the online space and spend a larger portion of their marketing budget in online marketing.
This isn’t to discourage those entering the online ring, but the reality is if you’re not investing enough then you’re business is likely going to be overshadowed by the competition.
Investing $416/month versus $41,666/month will likely yield different results. Crazy, I know.
4. They may have a whole team behind their online strategy.
This is almost an extension to #3 since a team of employees is a huge cost. Large corporations and even medium sized companies usually have a marketing teams behind their websites.
One company I worked for had a marketing team of 15 people. We had a full-time person solely focused on graphic design, SEO, PPC, video, content marketing, a creative director etc, and everyone’s average salary was roughly $80K/year.
We were force to be reckoned with. A team of experts working together and dominating the online space.
This is just another reality into what might be behind your online competition.
5. You may have hired the wrong web designer or web agency.
Almost 20 years ago, I realized the importance of SEO. This was during the time that companies jumped on the online fad of building their entire website in flash which was also a detriment to their online presence.
I on the other hand was more concerned about building websites that were simple, professional design and most importantly got results.
I decided to make SEO part of the development process which also enabled me to become successful as an affiliate marketer.
Many web designers and Toronto web design companies still ignore SEO as part of their development process and on-going digital strategy. As a result their clients receive little to no online visibility.
When hiring a web design company it’s important to go through their portfolio and check out their case studies.
This article isn’t meant to discourage startups or businesses trying compete in the online space but to provide some often overlooked realities of what the competition might look like and why some businesses fail.
It should be understood that:
1. Having a website isn’t enough, especially in today’s fast growing competitive online space
2. There are potentially thousands of other businesses and websites trying to compete for similar online goals
3. Online success requires an investment in either time, money or both
4. Large corporations may have entire teams behind their online strategy
5. Making a poor choice in hiring a web designer or agency can be the downfall from achieving any online success.
NexToronto is a Toronto web design company that values our clients investments. We aim to help them build a strong online presence that helps build their business.