Why Your Website was a Waste of Money and How to Fix It…
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Article by, Dan Kaplan
After 15 years of building and promoting websites, I’ve seen CEOs and business owners time and again assume their team or vendor is doing everything needed to generate as many leads as possible from their websites.
Here are the 10 most common mistakes I’ve found business leaders make when it comes to their websites, along with concrete steps you can take yourself to ensure your website becomes a 24/7 salesperson that doesn’t sleep.
1. Do you personally know how many leads came in from your website last month ?
Only you can ensure the success of your website. Even if you don’t understand technology, you should know how well your website performs. Have your marketing team or person provide you with monthly reports on Key Performance Indicators. A good place to start would be the number of leads, number of visitors, and top 10 keywords.
2. Are your I.T. people running your site ?
Your tech team absolutely needs to have a seat at the table, but your website is a marketing tool and you need to think of it that way. If marketing is driving the decisions, your website’s goal will be to speak to the consumer and drive leads, and things like search engine optimization, cost per lead, and market share of search will follow.
3. Do you rank high for “buy terms” ?
You need to work hard to rank high in Google, so make sure it’s for terms that prospects are searching on when they want to buy your product or service. In the business, we call these “buy terms,” as opposed to “about terms” or “brand terms.” A buy term is something like “Baltimore SEO consultant” where the searcher is clearly looking to purchase my services. An about term might be “SEO” where the searcher may just be looking to learn more about the topic. A brand term would be a company or person’s name, such as “periscopeUP,” or “Dan Kaplan.”
The biggest mistake we see is in thinking that ranking high for your company name is enough. Searches on your company name will only attract people who already know you. New prospects will find you only if you rank high for keyword terms related to your products and services. It’s therefore best to have one page on your website devoted to each product or service, each targeting just the right buy term.
4. Does your website present features and not benefits?
A feature is what your product or services does, a benefit is how it improves someone’s life. When people search, they’re seeking solutions to their problems. This isn’t about you. It’s about how you’ll make them sleep better at night. Your website copy should be a sales pitch: match up their pain with your solution.
5. Does your website have a telephone number prominently displayed on every page ?
Don’t make users struggle to find a way to contact you. Prominently place your phone number in on every page, preferably in the upper right corner. You should be tracking the number of calls as well (see point No. 1, above).
6. Does your website give users a reason to call ?
While you are adding your phone number to every page, give people a reason to use it. A good “call to action” should be simple, direct and enticing. For example: Call 800-555-1212 Today For Your Free Consultation. This doesn’t have to cost you anything but may incentivize the reader to pick up the phone, download a form, send an email, etc.
We recommend adding calls to action directly in your sales copy, once above the fold and once at the end of every relevant page.
7. If your company is local, are you showing up on pin-map searches ?
Make sure you’re listed with http://www.google.com/+/business/ and that your listing is both complete and uses the exact same contact information that appears on your contact us page. Users are relying on pin map listings more and more everyday to find service providers close to them, particularly with their mobile phones.
8. Are you tracking from search to sale ?
Website marketing is a unique form of advertising in that you can track just about everything, but most companies we encounter don’t have their analytics packages configured to track completed goals, without which you’re not able to learn what drives conversions, and where to put your team’s time and money. Make sure your analytics tool is configured to track all leads and form submits.
9. Do you know what provides the best Return On Investment ?
Your web statistics provide a wealth of consumer information, and it starts with what people are thinking when they sit down to type a few words into Google to research your products and services. Once you know which traffic sources, campaigns, keywords and website pages are responsible for acquiring the most leads, you can tailor on and offline sales and marketing strategy to exploit these opportunities.
10. Are you improving month after month?
Here’s the No. 1 secret to improving website performance: every month, increase both the number of qualified visitors and the percentage of those visitors that contact you. If you compete against yourself month in and month out, and consistently improve in these two areas, you’ll blow away your competition. Don’t set it and forget it.
These are some hard-learned lessons for turning your website into a lead-generating machine, but it starts at the top. If you haven’t personally committed to your website’s success by now, now is the time.
Marketing on the web has become a dogfight. Beat your competition and they’re going to put resources into getting back, at your expense. Google is thought to have over 200 million searches per day, and unlike social media, people go to Google to research and buy. Commit to your website and reap the rewards.
“How to Transform Your Company’s Website into a 24/7 Sales Machine!”
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