In recent years there has been a fundamental shift in the way consumers make their purchasing decisions. The availability of free, high quality information online has changed the way consumers buy and your website should be at the hub of your marketing activities.
For most businesses, the primary purpose of a website is to generate leads. If you can attract your ideal type of customer to your website you can then entice them to exchange their contact details for something valuable (a lead magnet). You then have permission to contact them and try to convert them into paying customers. Unfortunately most websites fail because they are simply ‘electronic brochures’ that list the who, what and where of the business.
Most websites are trying to attract anyone and everyone when they really should have a laser-like focus on their ideal type of customer. Remember, you are competing with close to 1 billion other websites on the internet and in your industry you’re probably up against businesses with much bigger budgets and resources. That might sound daunting but the web is virtually a level playing field so you can compete with the major players in your industry and ‘beat’ them if you have the right strategy, content and features.
If your website isn’t delivering, we provide the following tips to help you revive the site and re-ignite your marketing engine.
1. Know Your Numbers
Your website is your silent sales person working 24/7 and like any staff member, you need to measure and monitor performance. Do you know how many people are visiting your website every day? Incredibly, very few small business owners know the answer to this question. You can’t manage what you can’t measure and it starts by installing Google Analytics on your website. It’s free and you can see your daily traffic statistics plus identify the source of your visitors, the internet browser they used and whether they accessed your site from a mobile device.
2. Responsive to Mobile Devices
Smartphones and tablets are now a way of life. We are a mobile world that can receive information anywhere and at any time. If your website isn’t ‘responsive’ to these different devices you risk frustrating your visitors and they aren’t a forgiving lot!
You’ll find close to 25% of your website traffic is now from mobile devices and growing. If a prospect lands on your site and it doesn’t re-size or re-shape to fit the size of their screen, it could be a lost opportunity. The loading time can not be slow and if it still shows the desktop version of your website then it’s time to get responsive.
3. Take Control of Your Website
Paying designers to edit your content (like simple staff changes) is costly and old school. Behind every website is a content management system and they are generally very easy to operate. In fact, most are now like using Microsoft Word. Over the years we have seen business owners burn thousands of dollars getting their webmaster to make simple changes to their website. They have been held to ransom, but with half an hour of training you can master the content management system. It’s now time to treat your website as an investment, not a cost.
Video should be an integral part of your marketing strategy and website in 2015. YouTube is now the second biggest search engine behind Google and the experts predict that 57% of consumer internet traffic will come from video by 2015. According to Cisco, by 2017 two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be driven by video. The statistics around video are compelling, including 78% of people watch video online at least once a week and 55% watch video online every day. Marketers also tell us that you’re 53 times more likely to get a page one listing on Google with video content on your website.
Your videos don’t need to be the production quality of Titanic or The Great Gatsby and you don’t need to be Steven Spielberg either. However, you need to have video as part of your marketing arsenal because the population have small television screens in their pockets disguised as smart phones. Gen Y have come of age and they expect video communication. If your target market includes 14 to 40 year olds then you need to deliver your messages in video format.
5. Calls to Action
When you attract traffic to your site and start building relationships and trust with quality content, the next logical step is to close the sale. This is done by asking your prospects to take the next step in the buying process and follow your ‘call to action’.
In business, you must ask for the order. People generally feel uncomfortable selling but the call to action lets your website do the talking for you. In fact, if your website doesn’t give people the opportunity to move from the prospect-phase to the customer-phase, you’re actually doing them a disservice. If they have engaged with your content then they really want to know what to do next. You simply need to be direct and tell them. It could be ‘contact us today’, ‘call for a free consultation’ or ‘click here to get a free sample’.
The above five items are a great starting point and it’s time to review your current website. If it’s not performing it could be time for a makeover.