I know that, for a number of reasons, almost 100% of clients who come to us for consultation have websites that are missing a number (if not all) of the key elements that I’ll detail below, which would have certainly brought them more success if they’d been in place earlier.
The truth is that very few small-to-medium sized businesses have an effective online marketing strategy, whatsoever. If that’s the case for you, unfortunately you’re mainly gearing yourself for failure or at best, hoping for a miracle.
So, what are these key factors to website success, the “big mistakes” you’re making, I hear you ask? At their most basic level (essential ‘pillars’), they are:
1) You Don’t Have A Good Aesthetic
Guys set up “web design businesses” all the time as they feel that, with a little coding knowledge, they can be a web designer. The problem is that it’s not just about being able to code up some incarnation of a site that can be placed ‘online’.
The aesthetic can build trust, impress, hell it can even do a good portion of converting a prospect, for that very reason.
Plenty of times online I’ll buy from a site simply because it looks professional or trustworthy. The effort that has gone into designing a slick site builds confidence in the company because it looks like they take their business seriously.
2) You Have no Defined Traffic-Generating Strategy
It’s one thing to have your beautiful website sitting waiting for your next big prospect to arrive. The problem comes in targeting those prospects and bringing them to your website in the first place.
This is where you need to develop and implement an effective strategy for actually attracting people to click on the link to your website. Here are some of the base strategies you should be implementing right now:
- Online Advertising – Run a Google, Facebook, Linked In, Youtube or Bing Ad Campaign – Paying for your traffic is an essential form of traffic generation, especially upon launching your website. It’s super easy, though Google sometimes make it trickier than necessary – so, I’ve done a quick, free Google tutorial here which should help.
- Social Media – If you’re interested in using social media to drive traffic to your website here are a couple of important tips. First, on your Facebook page, make sure your website link is right up top in that page description. It makes it easier for people to just ‘click’ through (see image below). Next, make sure any relevant links back to your website have a call to action attached (for instance “Click here for the full article”)
- Blogging & SEO – If you’re a small business with a goal of building interest and engagement on your website, blogging is almost essential. The reason I’ve included SEO here is that it’s actually very difficult to build ‘organic’ (free) traffic to your website without SEO and it’s subsequently much, much easier to do that if you are blogging about what you do.
- Direct Response Marketing (in the email sense) – This sounds a little confusing but all the term really relates to is the strategy of email “list building” and then marketing to that list. When I refer to ‘direct response’ or ‘list building’, you may also have heard it called “database marketing” or “email marketing”. So the key here is to start building a list. You do this by having a focused area of your website geared toward offering something of perceived value to your prospect… in exchange for their email address. The most common forms of “bribe” are ebooks, video training, webinar access, discount codes etc. The key here is to identify something that really is of ‘value’ to your visitors and then making sure they can get instant access to this by signing up there and then. To facilitate this you would need to use a service like www.mailchimp.com to manage your list for you. You would also need to set up a sign up form on your site. There are many ways to do this but often they look something like the image below, which we designed for a client (also see first image, above for another method within the design).
3) Your Content Sucks (e.g. Poor Engagement)
It is highly important that the images and written content on your website attract, and then engage, visitors. This ensures loyalty, trust and ultimately, conversion.
So, pay attention to each image, written word, link on your website – throw out images or text that are surplus to requirements. Make sure they all make sense, are free of typos and offer valuable, bite-sized chunks of information for visitors who will then be prompted to subscribe, buy or contact you (whatever your goal may be).
This is especially true if you are blogging as your website will be regularly updated with new content – so make sure it’s “all killer, no filler” by writing information down which is of true benefit and value to your potential customers. The era of hiding your information away is dead; people want answers and help, and they want it now – if they can’t find it with you (fast) they will simply go elsewhere.
So give it to them in order to establish and cultivate all important trust, upon which you can then build upon and convert them into paying customers.
4) You Have no Conversion Strategy
It’s baffling how many websites have no real focused “calls to action” present within them. A call to action is simply a link, button or instruction which tells the visitor to take a very specific, intended course of action. It is effectively telling your visitor what action they need to take next to get the most value out of your website.
Depending on your website, your core focus for conversion may be for the visitor to ‘subscribe to your email list’ or simply to ‘buy your product now’. Whatever it is, you need to decide on that core focus and then strategise about how to get that visitor to take that specific action.
The key here is to not give your visitor too many options, as this can result in ‘paralysis through analysis’ whereby the visitor cannot make an informed decision and will therefore simply exit your website. So be clear with your instruction to improve conversion and retention.
Without these strategic prompts on your website you’re leaving a huge chunk of money on the table, because it makes it very difficult for a visitor to decide what to do next.
So, you may use buttons/links that say:
Add to Cart
Get Instant Access
Start Your Free Trial
Take the Next Step
Secure The Deal
Whatever you choose to use should be affirmative in its’ wording and should make it abundantly clear to your prospect exactly the course of action they need to take next to get access to your product/service.
If you start by making sure each of these key elements is in place on your website you will eliminate a vast majority of ‘bounces’ away from your website (where people land on it and then leave it immediately).
If you’d like a complete A-Z online marketing blueprint, with no technical experience required, you can get instant training by clicking the button below:
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