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Some businesses think that building a new website will solve all their problems. It’s like taking your boat to a mechanic and asking him to replace your engine without telling him what the symptoms are. I’m sure he’ll be happy to send you a hefty bill, but if he’s worth his salt he’ll ask you a series of qualifying questions, just to make sure. Depending on the answers your money might be better spent elsewhere.

First things, first. In order to prescribe solutions we can stand behind, we must determine what the problems are. Here are a few questions to ask your team to determine if you truly need a new website for your marina.

1. Why do you want a new website? … and no your brother-in-law’s opinion doesn’t count.

2. Big picture, what are your business goals and how would a new website help you get there?

3. What percentage of your business is done through your current website annually?

4. What are your customers saying about your marina? If there are glaring customer service issues, spend the money fixing that first! Like any great establishment, exceeding expectations is how you keep customers coming back.

5. How does your current site help your existing members and attract new ones?Depending on their needs this could be done by simply added pages and relevant content to your existing site. Some marinas even create closed Facebook groups to communicate directly to their members.

6. How will new customers find you from the water? If you have a mobile friendly site already, all you need is to do is add your latitude and longitude to your homepage.

7. How are you ranked on Google? If you’re number one, I would not build a new site, it could take years to get back to that number 1 spot. Instead, focus on which pages aren’t converting well, and keep adding content that your customers will return for.

8. How does your website help your members & staff lives easier? Do they need an easy way to pay their bill or submit a service request? Do your employees need a better way to manage vessel & dock information? Still, there are 3 party plugins and shortcuts that could be easily added to your existing website.

These questions serve as the conversation starter, to align the teams, define the business goals, and prioritize if and when a new website makes sense for your marina.

If you need help determining if your marina needs a new website or not, drop us a line. This way your team can move forward with the right solution for your business. #RideTheWave

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