What percentage of your company's revenue comes from its website? Ten percent? More? Less?
Let's address the fact that a majority of businesses aren't using their website to its full potential. Approximately 94% of B2B buyers research for solutions online before making a business purchase. Clients are more informed than ever before and they're looking at your company's website for answers.
If you remember only one thing from this post let it be this. A website is not a place to just dump a bunch of information about what your company does and it’s core values. Everything on your website must have a clear purpose - to evoke action.
You can find tons of articles on search engine optimization, how to increase your conversion rate, how to make a sales funnel, but what about the content itself ?? The web copy, the layout, the images, the calls to action. What even belongs on a website?
Sure, through great online marketing strategies you can get people to your company’s website but then what? If the website itself is lacking true value, people will leave.
So how exactly do you do add value through your website. Let’s start with what not to do. True value is not authenticity and transparency in the traditional sense. In other words, talking about “our values” and “our story” won’t cut it. When’s the last time you bought furniture solely because of the company’s values?
Don’t be transparent. Be useful.
Give value and give generously. People need solutions, your business’ solutions. But if you only talk about business practices or a commitment to integrity, they’ll never see how much they need you. They’ll move on.
Now we’ve stated the problem, what’s the solution? What every business needs is a sales machine. A website that attracts a target audience, generates leads, nurtures potential customers, and, most importantly, generates revenue. Here are 6 ways that companies can go from having a website to having a sales machine. Feel free to jump ahead to the section that you’re most interested in.
- The Art of Persuasion
- The Best Testimonials From Your Best Clients
- Talk About Your Target Market’s Problems In Their Language
- Services Are Nothing Without Benefits
- Lead Generation
- Design With A Purpose
The Art of Persuasion
Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a second. Sophomore English class to be exact. We were taught three major ways to persuade people. You either appeal to their emotions, logic, or ethics. If your company’s website is not doing all three of these things, you’re losing business. Point blank. Your message will only reach a small subsection of your target market.
Every word, every image, every form of media on your website must have a specific purpose of appealing to one or more of these three methods of persuasion. Whether you’re using in-depth testimonials to build credibility, using user-generated content to show empathy, or displaying data about how many lives and companies you’ve improved, you must be intentional.
Attention spans are short. You don’t have the luxury of wasting words with unprofitable messaging.
The Best Testimonials from Your Best Clients
Ever bought something online without reading the reviews? I didn’t think so. Assume people will approach your company with that same apprehension. Brands you’ve collaborated with, lives you’ve changed must be front and center on your landing page in order to establish authority and credibility.
Take for example Easy Metrics’ website. As soon as the page loads, multi-national brands that trust them are listed in bold. If FedEx can trust them, they must be doing something right. At the least, the logos give visitors a reason to keep scrolling and learn more.
Curating testimonials is also a great tool for your web strategy. The reviews you post must be persuasive and detailed. Find the reviews that talk about why your company should be trusted and how clients have been enabled to succeed. But even better than reviews are case studies. Check out how Shipbob has done this on their website.
Results evoke action. Use the results your company has achieved for clients’ to your advantage.
Talk about your target market’s problems in their language
What clients say about your company doesn’t just have to be used for reviews. It can inspire all of the copy on your website. The clients who put you on their landing page for everyone to see, they’re your source material. How they use your services, what they like most about your brand, this user-generated content is what you want for your web copy. That way you’ll create a domino effect. The tailored messaging will appeal to the next client and you’ll have more prospects approach your company that are in your target audience.
The goal with your web copy, is for people to read it and wonder how you read their mind. What better source for such empathetic web copywriting than the opinions of your current users.
Services are nothing without benefits
Personally, one of my biggest pet peeves is company websites that list services in a vacuum. Chances are, dozens of companies, maybe even an entire industry provides the same services that your company does.
So what’s the point of saying that you do the same thing everybody else does? People don’t buy services. They buy benefits.
I didn’t buy my car because it can get me from point A to point B. I bought my car because I refused to go one more winter freezing my tail off waiting for the bus. Furthermore, said bus was often unreliable and I wasted too much of time waiting for it. So let me be clear - I did not buy a car. I bought back my time and escaped the bane of my existence - temperatures below freezing.
So when you’re planning out your next website redesign and you come to the part where you talk about what your company does. Stop.
And think about why you even need to provide that service in the first place.
It’s 2020 and email marketing still works. With that in mind, every business website should be actively collecting emails. The more value you can offer, the more likely it is that someone will hand over their email address. Advertising as we knew it is dead and what people want from brands is to inform and entertain, giving them freedom to make their own decision. So whether it’s through blog posts, videos, or social media engagement, add something to people’s lives.
When evaluating your lead generation system, consider this. If you came across your company’s lead magnet, would you give your email?
Design with a purpose
Last but not least (well maybe least on this list but don’t tell your web developer that) is the web design process. Having the slickest, latest, fanciest, modernest website in town with features galore will not get you results. While there are plenty of websites out there that could use a face-lift and be brought into this new decade, what good is it to have a modern website that isn’t generating revenue, generating leads, or converting prospects. Looks will only get you so far and I’ve seen plenty of high-quality web design coupled with poor marketing strategies. It’s not a good look.
So when planning out how your new business website will look, here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Start with your brand
What is that gut feeling you want people to have when the think of your business? What kind of culture, customer, benefit, value, and voice makes your company unique? What’s that x factor that distinguishes your brand. All of this will inform the look and feel of your website.
2. State your business goals
What is the business objective of redesigning your website? Is it to reposition yourself in the market place or reach a new kind of client? Whatever that objective is, everything on your website must work to achieve this goal. There’s no room for fluff.
3. Stay up to date
A website is NOT something you redesign and then forget about for 3 years until the next redesign. It’s essential to keep it up to date. Something to keep in mind is that SEO is constantly changing. The keywords that work today may not work in 6 months. It would be ideal to use a website builder platform that makes editing a breeze. Webflow is a great option and it’s what I use with my clients.
And that’s all folks.This certainly isn't an exhaustive list but I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions or just wanna chat, feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love interacting with my readers.