Is Your Amazing Website Responsible for Sad Sluggish Sales?
The web is social, interactive and engaging. That's the inherent nature of social media, the videos people most share and the most popular apps on our phones. Your website had better be that as well or you'll miss out.
I build websites. I've seen some outright amazing looking ones. Some I can only describe as visual treasures. However, if they fail to engage your visitors, you're missing out on the leads and sales it could be getting for you.
A few weeks back I wrote about "Purple Cow." It was the book I read on getting noticed in a world that bombards us with tons of advertising. You have to be as remarkable as a purple cow (literally) for anyone to notice you.
We've clearly transitioned from a world where the seller was in control of the sales process. Back then, you had your inside sales, outside sales and fulfillment working together. They educated the customer. They made sure they consumed sales materials in predictable way. The worked as a team to get them to purchase. The website was a convenience. It served as an online replacement for sales literature.
The table's now turned and buyer's is clearly in control. Before anyone on your sales team is even knows someone has an interest in what you sell, they've checked you out. They've researched what others are saying about you. They've, for sure, checked out your website and are highly educated using information that's on the web about you.
Before, you would pitch content at buyers educating them on what you do. Today what's happening is buyers are pulling the content they find about you, consuming it as they see fit and only then do they come to you. Over 65% of the buying decision has been made before anyone in sales gets involved.
This means that your website and online presence through social media MUST work overtime. Let me repeat that. The sale is being made on your website before you even know it's happening. That's where you have work to get the sale.
As scary as this sounds, it's a financial boom for businesses. Having buyers purchase this way drastically reduces the cost per lead. The sales team is less critical. Producing blogs, running an engaging social media campaign and working organic search is the focus. These ways of promoting your business and getting leads is considerably less expensive than traditional forms of advertising.
So what must you have on your website. First of all it must be visually pleasing. As important as your content is (and I'll get to that in a moment), if they don't find the site attractive, they'll never bother to read your content or watch your videos. So make sure first impressions when visiting the site are positive.
A top priority is the site navigation. You want to make it easy for visitor to find what they want. I have visited sites that have a super visual design, but they are difficult to navigate. When you want to find something, it's not clear where to go or confusing. This will slow down your buyer and, even worse, chase them away. They are looking to get educated on you and you've made it hard for them. Not good.
The website must be accessible across all platforms. So it must perform optimally on PC / Mac using all the major browsers. It must work very well on tablets and mobile phones. On phones in particular, it must be lightning fast. Not only will Google penalize you for slowness in their searches, the mobile phone user, who is extremely impatient, won't tolerate slowness of any kind.
So let's get to the content. First question, can a visitor tell what you do in seconds. This is as important as any elevator pitch you've ever given. If someone isn't clear what you do right away, they will leave and you may never get a second chance at them.
A next important question is why should they buy from you. Remember that buyers have so many options today. You may have a super service and a super message to go with it. But what is it that makes you special and remarkable compared to others they are considering.
Avoid being really clever. Because we've been watching commercials for many years (We've been bombarded with it, remember?), we connect "catchy" with "effective." This is the advertising media myth. To be really clear, people respond better to clear and concise than to catchy word plays and cleverness.
If you are reading this article, then you know about blogging. I make a point of writing at least a blog a week and sometimes two or three. I include videos in many of my blogs and have started producing video interviews with clients and people who are experts in the field. I want to provide resources that are valuable for my clients and prospects. Not only am I provided them with valuable information, but I'm positioning my business and me as "the" resource. Even if they aren't buying from me, I have showcased my knowledge and expertise to them. The visitors themselves can now become my advocates promoting what I do to others.
In the past few weeks, we've released several new websites. I'm going to be reviewing them in my blogs in the coming weeks so you can see what makes a website effective and what does NOT.
Hope this helps.