As the old saying goes - if you build it, they will come.
However, we all know that isn't quite true, but it’s a mantra that a lot of companies still seem to believe in when building a website.
Many companies build a beautiful and attractive website, concentrating its visual appeal, and then wonder why leads and sales aren’t racing through the door. While their product or service might be the best mouse trap around, if no one knows about it then they’re not going to buy it. And with the website being one of the most important parts of your company, you have to get it functionally right, so it can perform for your business.
How many of you have spent thousands of dollars on a new or updated website design expecting it to automatically generate more traffic, leads and sales, but then be left disappointed that nothing changed and the analytics don't show any improvements in traffic, leads or sales.
It could be because you’re treating your website more like a brochure and you want your brand to look good, instead of being focused on the goals of your sales and marketing teams.
If that’s the case then here are 5 things you can do to help your website and make your Inbound Marketing programs become more successful.
What are your website goals? Why are you doing this?
When we start the web design and development process we like to to focus our clients on the goals of getting more website traffic, more qualified leads and more sales. That's the real purpose of the website.
Ideally you want to attract as many people as possible to your website so they can find out more about you, what you do, and hopefully be interested enough to take the next step to become a lead or buy your product or service.
Your goal is clear - to get more website traffic, leads and sales - and make those goals all working together in unison. Therefore the process of improving your website conversion rates i.e. the ratio of leads to total traffic, and the % of leads that convert to sales are among the most important metrics to aim for.
If you take on these types of goals, then you will need to add the process of continual improvement and track the metrics weekly to show improvements have been made.
You'll also need to figure out what do you want people to do when they arrive at your website ... and then compare it against what they are currently doing. That will give you some focus on where to make ongoing website improvements with things such as improving the page layout, navigation, where to include call-to-actions (CTAs), how to get visitors to come back to your website, how to convert leads into sales etc.
Make it easy for your website visitors - it should be for them
Now that you have your goals set, how does your website layout or design help you attain these goals? Is it working for you or against you.
Do people get frustrated or scared off before they even get a chance to explore your website a bit more? While something might look great website design at first, the website also has a very important job to do, so it needs to be functional and practical in order to hit the goals you've set.
The easier you make it for a website visitor to find what they want, the better user experience they will have and therefore the more likely they are to respond positively to a CTA or return to your website again.
It's all about content - content marketing is key
Google has changed their search algorithm many times over the past years, to give more weight to websites that are regularly updated with new relevant content (such as frequent blogs, articles, eBooks, white papers, videos etc.).
There's a catch though; the website content has to be relevant to your target personas and website visitors have to actually like it. What that means is that the content has to be useful and informative for your target market and not just filled with key words and jargon. And remember it has to be written for people - not for Google.
This gives you an ideal opportunity to prove your worth to any potential customers out there and show that you know what you are talking about and how you can help them. Think about adding specific content to help the problems your customer might have and then provide a piece of content that can help fix or answer that problem. So for example, what statement is more likely to be Googled, “10 Ways to reduce communication costs” or “group messaging software”?
Shout about it - use social media
It’s time to tell people about your website. Social media is a great medium to get the word out to your target audience when used properly. This means finding the right networks that your target market uses (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest etc.) and leveraging them to get people back to your website.
For more valued pieces of content such as eBooks or white papers, paid ads such as Google AdWords, PPC ads and banner ads can be useful to give that content a boost and drive traffic back to specific landing pages on your website.
Lastly, always measure and analyze
You need to always measure and analyze what’s happening on your website. How much website traffic do you get? Where are they coming from? How many website visitors convert to leads? What CTAs and landing pages convert the best? Which blogs are being looked at? What blogs are not being looked at? What eBook’s are being downloaded? What does the customer journey look like and where are people going when they're looking around your site? How many new leads require nurturing this month? How did the product promo campaign perform? What organic keywords are performing best? How many people have subscribed to the newsletter list? What is your SEO page performance looking like?
There are lots of tools that are available that let you know all this, Google Analytics is a good free one, and having access to this information is critical and important to see how well you're performing and to see what worked and what didn’t work. And most importantly, what could you do to make your website better?
Your website is a very valuable tool for your business. In fact I like to call it your best sales rep. So you have to nurture it and spend the time to keep it highly productive and efficient. When it reaches its full potential, it should be treated more like a member of your sales and marketing team, and then your website will generate amazing results contributing to your increased sales and bottom line results.
The Brit Agency is an Inbound Marketing Agency providing SEO, Website, Social Media and marketing automation conversion services to small and medium sized businesses. We're focused on generating traffic, leads and sales and we're experts in the Inbound Marketing, lead generation process and how to increase website traffic, leads and website conversion rates. The Brit Agency is a Gold level Hubspot Partner, a certified HootSuite Ambassador agency, and a certified Google Badged Agency Partner.