Your website could just sit there and do nothing. Many do. If you had an employee that sat around and did nothing – you would take action fairly quickly, right? It’s the same with your website. If your website isn’t getting these eleven things done, then put it on probation and a correction plan, or fire it altogether and hire one that will get the job done.
If you think your website could be doing a lot more to bring in business, you’re right.
Your website could….
1. Put you on the map.
If people aren’t coming to your business’s physical location, it’s at least partly because they aren’t finding your website – and your business – online. Assuming your brand is relevant and a market exists for its products and services, if your website isn’t putting you on the map with your target market then one of two things is happening.
Either your SEO (search engine optimization) hasn’t been done correctly (or adequately… or at all…) or you don’t have enough content to rank in search results. Or both, come to that. To fix it:
- Have your website analyzed by people (like us) who love organic search optimization so much that we study it on our days off, then give us leave to rework the on and off-page content on your website to bring it up to par.
Why? 70 percent of the links search users click on are organic (Search Engine Journal). That’s right, more than 7 out of 10 people scroll right past the ads no matter how hard Google tries to make them look non-ad-ey. The first organic search result gets 33 percent of clicks and only 1 in 4 searchers will go past the first page of results, where upwards of 95 percent of clicks will occur.
- Put content writers (like us) to work adding web pages and tons and tons of high quality, brand-relevant articles for your blog, over time.
Content (web and blog pages) marketing leaders experience 8x more site traffic than non-leaders; and, content marketing pulls in 3x the leads per dollars spent vs. paid search (Content Marketing Institute).
Did you know that small business websites with blogs get 126 percent more lead growth – not just web traffic – LEADS – than small business websites that don’t have blogs? Now you do! Your website could generate leads, a lot of leads. If it’s not, fix it.
Mind it’s not the blog – it’s the content: Companies that blog (verb) have 434 percent more indexed pages. Websites with more indexed pages get more leads, because Google rewards them for having a website with consistent updates and high-quality content over time, with improved search engine results placement, also referred to as SERP (Search Engine Journal).
How long will it take? How fast can you write? Traffic Generation Café suggests that your blog traffic may increase by up to 30 percent with as few as 21 to 54 blog posts.
2. Control the narrative.
Do you think you have a better chance of getting your message across in a great big room filled with people in your target audience – but also filled with hundreds or even thousands of your competitors all vying for attention – OR – in a room where you’re the only one speaking?
Lots of small businesses think (at least they must believe this because this is what they are doing) that they can substitute lots of social media activity for the optimization and content referenced in point one above. If they were thinking clearly, they would realize that on social media, they are competing against ALL their direct and indirect competitors for market share on a medium that most people go to not to engage with brands or shop, but to share photos and information with family and friends.
Your website could let you control the narrative by bringing your target audience into a space where your brand is the only one talking. You get to direct the conversation. You get to decide what’s most important. You get to entice and persuade the prospect. That’s of course dependent on whether your website is find-able, because it’s putting your business on the map.
Corrective Action: See point 1, SEO and/or content.
3. Give a history lesson.
Your website could prove how great your brand is by displaying past work, achievements, projects and so on. It could display your work in a portfolio that persuades prospects to work with you. It can also give people a reason to connect with you more personally by showing a history of your brand’s timeline and speaking to the passion that brought you into the business.
- What’s your story? Put the story of what got you into the business onto your about us page
- What about your business or industry gets you up in the morning? Write about your passions because emotional content connects
- Create a portfolio page that shows your most important or meaningful work and speaks (not just pictures, use your words, too!) to the types of clients who are the best match for your company
4. Brag about you a little. Or a lot.
If you walked around talking about all the awesome things you do and all the awards you’ve earned all the time, you would probably stop getting invited out. But your website could brag about you and your brand and its accomplishments and awards and testimonials and achievements and milestones and statistics all day long and no one will bat an eye!
- Add a web page to your site that lists your awards and achievements
- Write press releases for your blog any time you get an award or achievement
- Use statistics to talk about your professional achievements (# customers served, projects completed, time in the industry, etc.) – pro tip: animated stat counters are great for this!
5. Enhance your image by rounding it out.
Professional accomplishments and awards only go so far. They might bring admiration but they won’t foster connection. It’s the non-work you that you infuse into your website that gives people reasons to feel connected to you and – by extension – to your brand. Your website could communicate all the non-work-related reasons why people should do business with you, and why your customers should be proud for doing business with you.
Corrective Action: Use your about us and team biography pages to their fullest extent by including non-work “stuff” about you and your team like hobbies, favorites (books, movies, food, places, colors!), recreation, vacation, charities, trade and community organization involvement, etc.)
6. Build your authority in the market place.
See point 2. Your website could help you build authority as a thought leader, industry leader, expert resource, speaker and all-around professional awesomeness. 96 percent – that’s nearly ALL – of B2B (business to business) buyers want content from industry leaders (Demand Gen Report 2016).
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid”? Right now the words that should be running through your mind are:
It’s the content, stupid…
It’s the content on your website that demonstrates your expertise, prowess, knowledge, skills, abilities and so on. It’s the content that gives a site visitor the confidence that you know what you’re talking about. That you do business the right way. That you’re going to be there for them when they need you, or when something goes wrong.
- Blog 3-4 times weekly about topics relevant to your industry and your target audiences – note these will rarely be self-promotional, they will mostly be topical – your goal is to be the thought leader, not the sales leader
- Add web pages to your site that clearly communicate your company’s unique or rare points of differentiation – what makes you (or your brand) uniquely qualified to solve specific problems?
- Add an FAQ page to your website with any/all of the most frequently asked and/or most important questions customers ask
7. Start conversations with prospects.
Once the content has helped you attract your target audience to your website, your website could help you convert qualified (people who need what you sell, are ready to buy it, and have the means to pay for it) site visitors, turning them from prospects into buyers/clients/customers/subscribers etc.
This doesn’t happen by osmosis, however. Conversion occurs because your website facilitates it.
Corrective Action: Use forms throughout your website to give site visitors a chance to take action right away (buy, subscribe, request information, request a quote, schedule a consultation, etc.)
8. Persuade and motivate site visitors to take action.
People research online before buying. One Hubspot stat notes that about half of consumers read 3 to 5 pieces of content before taking the first step toward making a purchase. After reading recommendations on a blog (see point 1 above), 61 percent of U.S. online consumers made a purchase (BlogHer).
- Use forms in your blog posts (find out more, ask a question) to stimulate prospect interaction as well as buying actions
- Use product and service landing pages with forms to tell site visitors who are ready to take action exactly what they should do next (fill out a form, buy a plan, subscribe to an interest list, call you, etc.)
- Infuse blog posts and web pages with calls to action – always make it clear what you want the site visitor to do next (read another article, go to a landing page, fill out a form, etc.)
9. Increase customer retention.
Your website should be your company’s most effective and prolific sales and lead generator, but it should also be one of your most effective customer retention tools. Think about it… All that content you’re using to connect with people emotionally and establish thought-dominance? It’s not just the reasons customers should buy from you, they are they are the reasons customers should stay with you.
Your website should be facilitating customer service 24 hours a day, too. 67 percent of consumers list bad customer experience as the primary reason for leaving (Kolsky, Customer Service for Executives). Your website shouldn’t just give direction to those who want to buy, it should also give direction to customers who need your attention, support, help or who need you to take action because something went wrong. You can’t be there at 2 AM when your customer can’t figure out the instructions, or something broke, or something else has pushed frustration to peak levels, but your website can.
Corrective Action: Make sure your website has clearly defined sections of content that are dedicated to the customer experience and customer service – not just to sales. Nothing says “we could care less” to the customer when everything on your website is a sales pitch!
10. Keep you open for business 24 x 7 x 365.
You and your team have to sleep. You have to take days off. You have doctors and dentists to see. Vacations to take. Meetings to attend.
Your website doesn’t.
Your website should be your hardest working employee. It doesn’t need to take breaks or lunches or vacations or go home at the end of the day.
Your website should be KILLING it when it comes to lead generation and sales. But the extent to which it can attract, facilitate interaction, and earn conversions depends on whether you have faithfully executed points 1-8 above.
Corrective Action: If your website isn’t your sales and lead-generation leader, fix it or fire it and hire one who will!
11. Reduce the cost of client acquisition.
Whaaaaaa? Reduce costs, you say? Maybe this point should have been number one! Content marketing (see point 1) costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing while generating 3x as many leads (Content Marketing Institute). That is win-win math, where you get both wins.
If you’re going it alone, having a website that accomplishes everything you’ve read above is SUPER CHEAP.
- Cost of domain (URL – or website address, such as marketingdesks.com) $15 per year
- Hosting package – $10 or less a month
- WordPress template – one-time cost of $0 to $70
Contrast that with SUPER EXPENSIVE marketing tactics like Google AdWords, which is a PPC (pay per click) marketing tool. Giant retailers can spend up to $50 Million – MILLION – per year on Adwords. The average small business using AdWords spends $9-10K a month – that is upwards of $100K per year (WordStream). Not only more expensive, but less effective than the approach we suggest (see points 1-8) above.
Corrective Action: Assess your current website critically against the performance objectives outlined in points 1-9 above. If it’s not being “all it can be,” you know what to do.
And now to show we practice what we preach…
Call to Action
Reach out for a free consultation. We’ll take a quick peek at your website and email you a list of suggestions. From there, you can request a quote for SEO and/or content writing services or simply go forth and conquer yourself. We would love to be part of your story!