The term replicated website is thrown around a lot when talking about MLM software, but what is a replicated website? How is it different from a regular website? Is the replicated website you’re using the best tool for your needs and your business? These are all great questions that every company should be asking themselves. If you don’t have the best tools and systems in place for you and your sales force, you will fall behind in this innovative industry of entrepreneurs.
So let’s start with the basics; what is a replicated website?
Simply put, a replicated website is a template for a website, which may be distributed or duplicated for any number of different users and customized for those users. The html code remains the same, but information such as user names and profiles are tailored to each individual distributor. Early replicated websites were about duplicating a website for multiple users as simply and quickly as possible. This was a technical approach to meet the demands of the market, not an innovative solution to helping distributors generate leads and grow their business.
Unfortunately this usually means the only change from one site to the next is the actual user information. Bill, Sally and Jim were all given the same exact website by their company, the same site they give to every other person in the sales force. The only difference from one site to the next being the user name, user photo and maybe a user contact email address or phone number. All other elements of the page are the same. Everything from the actual layout, colors, logos, testimonials, welcome page, blog etc. This did offer a quick way for companies to get new sites up and running, new team members online and all with a minimal amount of work. However, several problems started to arise with this simple process of duplicating the same website over and over for the entire sales force.
Popular problems with replicated websites and MLM software
The first concern that most people have with replicated websites is the difficulty they have with SEO (search engine optimization). SEO is the ability your website has to show up in organic search engine results. No matter how great your website is, choosing the wrong MLM software to build your replicated website will keep people from ever finding and arriving at your content through a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Bing. Duplicate content coupled with convoluted and poorly structured URLs found in most replicated websites will make finding your business through a search engine nearly impossible. The architecture of most replicated websites does not allow for simple changes or content updates which also compounds the poor ranking of your website among search results.
Other problems arise once people do manage to arrive at your replicated website. One major issue is the poor conversion rates. This stems from simple things like the lack of a strong call-to-action, poor lead capture, but most commonly, the general lack of personalization that is being presented to the audience. Remember, the entire sales force has the same website, with the same content going after the same customers. As a customer, is this something you would find engaging and what to take to the next level?
The right MLM software for the job
This is not the way MLM software has to be for creating replicated websites. Changes in technology, constant evolution in social media and the we we interact with the Internet today all have high influence in what a modern replicated website can be. Obviously tackling the basics like SEO and lead capture are a must for any replicated website, but other features like social media integration, the flexibility to manage personal content like a blog, videos or testimonials, build in analytics for visitor feedback and internal communications systems are all essential features for replicated websites moving forward.
In my next post I will talk about the future of replicated websites, where good replicated websites are now and where they will be going in 2011.