Have you ever wondered if your website, maybe just sucks? I know that can be a little harsh, but if your website isn't really representing you, your brand, and what you do...it's only hurting your business. Let's be realistic here, more people are finding you online than in the phonebook. You can argue, "I barely get any leads from my website", but...that's kinda my point. The odds are if you don't have a great site that's designed to convert you're losing leads, sales, and revenue!
Consider the 5 things below and start turning your visitors into leads, your leads into sales, and your website into a marketing powerhouse.
1. Why do you have a website?
Have you ever really asked yourself this question? I mean, really, why do YOU have a website? Too many people will answer "because I'm a business and I thought I should have one". You should really think about this question because the question isn't whether or not you should have a website, it's why do you have a website.
Your website can be designed to drive leads, increase sales and make money. It can be designed to automate tasks and simplify your sales funnel, so not only are you getting leads, but your sales team is now more efficient. Your site could be focused on turning you from business owner to industry influencer, it could be to help support a product, it could be....for so many different reasons. But if you think about your workflow, your sales process, your goals...and really think about...why do you have a website?
2. Start blogging...like, today
I know what you're thinking. You have nothing to say, no one is listening...no one cares! Well, all of these things just aren't true. Even if you feel like your existing audience doesn't care, or you sell a product that doesn't support a blog (spoiler alert: they all do), one of the most important reasons to have a blog is Google and other search engines.
A couple of reasons to write a blog
- SEO (Search engine optimization)
Google and other search engines love content...like...a lot. Content is king and search engine algorithms kind all agree on this. You'll hear tons of SEO tips...but one thing everyone can agree on, write more content. Having a blog allows you to write articles based on what your clients are searching for, but without loading up your website with information overload. Your website is designed to sell...your blog can be more flexible, less sales copy and more content and drive the traffic you need.
- Be an influencer or an expert
A blog allows you to show off your expertise. You started your business because you know what you're talking about, you really do! If you can share that information with your site visitors and really show off that you know your stuff, it's going to help you stand out from your competitors that just don't. If you're a chiropractor and someone is comparing you to your local competitors and you're able to show off your expertise while your competitor just has a phone number and services, who do you think they're going to trust more? Often your customers want to work with you because of a rapport...a blog will help you build that rapport before you ever speak to them in person.
3. Have call to actions!
You might not even be sure what a call to action is, so let me explain a little. A call to action is really an obvious step you're giving someone to take. I mean, in the phonebook a call to action is kinda as simple as "Call today" with a phone number. That's a call to action...I'm calling out to you to take action. Ok, seems kinda obvious now...you've been doing this forever, but didn't know it had a name...boom, mind blown.
So, you're already doing it, what can you do better? Here's what you need to think about and focus on. Your website shouldn't be focused on someone picking up the phone. I know that's the dream, right? I put up my phone number online and it just starts ringing, right? That's just not how it works anymore.
What kind of call to actions should I have then? Your call to actions can vary based on page and be targeted to the product or services on them, which is awesome. However, you need to think of your call to actions not just on what they're for, but who they're for.
You have...let's say...3 types of visitors to your site. You have those that want to buy, those that aren't ready yet, and those that will just never be customers. The ones that aren't going to buy...buzz off, right? The other two, require two different approaches. You have your primary call to action, this is going to be your "buy now" or "schedule appointment" call to actions. They're ready to buy, our call to action is going to give them the ability to easily do so. Sweet, what's next? Well, most of those visitors that are interested, generally aren't ready to pull the trigger. This is your second call to action. You want to come up with something a little more "entry level" so you can build rapport. Maybe we offer a lead magnet such as a checklist, eBook, or whitepaper, or maybe we offer a free consultation or subscribe to a mailing list. The goal here is to turn the visitor into a lead that you can nurture before they leave.
4. Where's your phone number?
I know...I just said earlier not to plan your site on people calling, and I stand by that! However, remember, I also said there are people that do go to your website with the intent to make a sale, and that's why your phone number should be easily available. This is a commonly overlooked thing on your website. What we suggest is have your phone number always in the header space and the footer space. That way it's immediately there when they visit your site and it's immediately there when they get to the end of the page. Having your phone number in the footer is also good for your NAP data (Name Address Phone), but we'll get into that in another post.
5. Contact forms are a must!
First of all, having your email address listed on your website has become a spam nightmare. So, if for all other reasons, get a contact form just to solve that issue. However, there is actually a more important reason to have easily available forms on your website. CONVERSION! The more hoops someone has to jump through to reach out to you, the less likely they are to do so. This just isn't acceptable anymore.
Conversion is about leading a client to connect with you and simplifying in how they do so. You'll see a significant increase in conversion comparing an email address to a contact form. It's just easier! Also, if you have someone that's good with making intelligent forms (not to toot my own horn, but toot-toot) then you can even have submissions go to certain people in your company based on the client's needs. Now we're not just improving conversion, but we're improving your efficiency in your business. Go you!
This is a short list, but these are some of my top tips to improve your website. We'll constantly be adding more tips all the time, but this should get you started in the right direction. If you have any questions or thoughts, please feel free to reach out, I'd love to hear what you're doing and what's working. Or if something's not working, reach out...we can help.
Owner of Cloud Nine Communications
Ed Ellingham has been building websites for nearly 20 years and has an extensive background in all things technology. With a love of design and technology and a passion for entrepreneurship he started Cloud Nine Communications in 2014. Hes put his focus on helping small businesses grow through the power of the web and digital strategy.