Imagine if your best, most-trusted salesperson was on the clock 24/7. Never tiring, always courteous, always helpful. That’s exactly the way it should be.
Of course, we’re not talking about your workforce, but your website. That’s the kind of asset it should be for your business. But it also needs your help.
In much the same way you’re responsible for supporting and managing your sales personnel, you’re also responsible for giving your website the attention and assistance it needs to be as effective as possible.
Here are some common ways that companies fail to do just that, leaving leads (and money) on the table. Do any of these ring true with your website?
1. Services aren’t clearly articulated.
You have a great track record with the clients you’ve worked with in the past, but your web traffic is a different audience. They may not have heard of your business at all. These people are looking to solve a problem, and when they hit your site they need to immediately be met with “Here’s what we do, how we help, and how it works.” If this core information isn’t readily available, you can bet the next website on the search results page will get their attention (and their business).
2. Page content too technical
Who is your audience? Are you communicating in a way they understand?
In several cases with clients who sell highly specialized and technical equipment, we’ve found page copy that reads like a manual. But their intended audiences weren’t technicians, they were (for example) doctors who simply wanted to know how the product in question could benefit their practice. Language like “number of gigawatts necessary to polarize the obfuscated blah blah blah...” does nothing but drive those potential customers to competitors. It’s time to take a step back and look at your content with fresh eyes.
3. Missing Calls-to-Action
I don’t mean to sound disparaging, but most people browse the Internet like sheep, needing clear direction as to what their next action should be. I’m one of those sheep myself. I visit a web page and immediately look for what I need…and when I don’t find it, I look for the indicators of how to get it or what comes next. “Do I need to call? Email? Is there a button I’ve missed? What am I supposed to do now?” If there’s no clear call to “Do This!” then I’m gone.
4. Where are the forms?
Following up on the previous point, it’s important (particularly in lead generation) that your site have very visible forms. If a submitted form is a valuable lead, then you want your website to promote the form whenever and wherever possible (within reason, of course). It shouldn’t be buried three layers deep in the Contact section.
5. Neglect of SEO basics and keyword choices
How is your site ranking? Not for vanity terms, but for useful, profitable, revenue-driving terms. Have you done a recent audit of your site’s code and content to make sure all of your messaging and keyword targeting is appropriately aligned? If you aren’t making intentional choices to communicate to Google what your site is about, don’t expect Google to figure things out on its own. It does you little good to have a nice website but ignore the basics of search engine optimization.
6. No relevant landing pages
If you are running any paid search (PPC) ads─and you should at least be considering PPC─then you owe it to your website and your advertising budget to make sure your landing pages are well-designed and carefully selected. I don’t mean they need to be pretty, although that may help. I mean they need to be the truest and purest embodiment of all of the above principles. If you want your ad dollars to matter, then you must make those pages as perfectly tailored to the user as possible. Deciding to use a current page on the website “that mostly works” just won’t cut it.
How does your website hold up against these six fail points?
Are you writing clearly articulated messaging to the correct audience, capturing them via organic or paid search, and bringing them to well-crafted pages that include clear calls to take action?
If not, what steps can you take in the next week to start the correction process?