Creating and maintaining a company website is vital for success in today's business world but doing so represents an investment in your time and money. It is only right to expect measurable return for that investment, but too often business managers are disappointed when they experience low web traffic (numbers of people visiting a website) and even lower sales. We look at the reasons that your website might not be making you more successful and help you to find some of the solutions:
Problem 1: You don't know what you want your website to achieve
Before you even get to the stage of contacting a web designer, it is important to understand exactly what you want from your website.
You might be aiming to build customer confidence by giving information, you might have a new product line that you wish to promote or you may just be after a boost in sales and some international business.
Whatever your reason, it is important to understand that a website should not just be a method of contact. Merely adding your contact details to a website will not boost sales, without getting all of the other aspects of your website right, you will just be listing your business in the world's biggest business directory, and we all know how much we love looking through directories.
Problem 2: Your website doesn't meet your customers' expectations
The development of so much choice out there on the internet has meant that website visitors are very fussy about their user experience.
If a site they are visiting doesn't meet their needs and doesn't give them a smooth user journey to their goal, they will quickly click over to a different one. This means that an important element of website design is understanding customer needs.
If, for example, a customer is looking for holiday accommodation, they will expect to be able to tailor their search not just by location but by a number of more specific factors such as 'open fire' or 'hot tub'. If another site offers these filtering possibilities and you don't, customers will be quick to move away from your site.
Problem 3: Your website isn't visible in search results
There is absolutely no point in maintaining a website that does not meet the search expectations of the big search engines like Google.
The success of your website relies on its ability to appear high up in search engine rankings (the list of results shown after a search has taken place). The skill of managing SEO (search engine optimisation) is multifaceted.
Initially a website needs to be built with SEO in mind, the right type of regular content needs to be included and then we recommend the use of analytical software that monitors performance and informs the small changes that will make a great difference in your site visitor numbers and sales conversions.
Problem 4: Your landing page is not focused
A landing page is the first page on your website that your visitors arrive at once they have clicked on a search result. As many visitors don't look beyond this first page, it is important that your landing page meets certain criteria. It needs to drive leads or visitors along a track that eventually leads to sales, this is what is known as a conversion funnel.
You only have, on average, eight seconds to convince a visitor, so your landing page needs to have the following at the top of the page: a headline that states your unique selling point (USP), a focus on one, really attractive offer and a very clear indication of how to get this offer (this is known as a call to action or CTA).
A great image or short video can also make a difference to the success of your landing page.
Problem 5: Your content is under performing
Web content is the writing that makes up your website, this could be articles, blog posts, page text or product descriptions.
Having a clear content marketing strategy is particularly important for two reasons. Firstly because great content that is specifically targeted towards your customers is the key to sharing your brand's personality without appearing to be too pushy about your products, it will also build customer trust.
The second reason for having a clear content management strategy is to maximise your search engine potential. Search engines like Google respond well to websites that have regularly updated content that uses keywords in authentic and readable language. Without great content, your other efforts at SEO will be wasted.
The other thing to remember about content is the importance of analysis. Bespoke software is a vital element in judging the success of your ongoing content strategy. Another growing method of gaining customer following is to include utilities. These are little pieces of content that might be useful to your customer base, for example a simple app.
Problem 6: You are not maximising lead potential
A website is an excellent source for prospective leads, but it requires expert software to maximise this potential. A software package such as Thrive Leads can do this job in a very efficient manner. Thrive Leads offers a full package of design, relevant targeting (where client requirements are measured), A/B testing (where two options are tested against each other) and actionable reporting (that helps you to take action based on the results of testing).
Take away in this article:
It is clear from these issues that initial website design is only half of the online marketing picture. To help you to find e-marketing success, in a competitive economy, check our latest blog post about: "How to grow your trade business with social media?"
Another way to grow your business is to invest in an internal tool that can help you streamline your organisation: