We recently returned from the first UK HubSpot User Group (HUG) event in Oxford, where we were one of several leading digital marketing agencies invited to give a presentation on an element of inbound marketing. With more than 100 people there, the event was a great success, but if you couldn’t make it, don’t worry, because I want to fill you in on the tips and tales we shared on the subject of turning boring brochure websites into ROI-based business assets.
You can check out the video of my presentation here, but I will expand on what I mean below, so don’t rush off just yet.
To start at the start, your staff should do one of two things: either they save your company money, or they bring money into the company. Why should your website be any different? Your business website should be your number one sales guy. Its purpose, after all, is to bring qualified buyers into your sales funnel and guide them along the customer journey until they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
And yet, most business websites are not built or structured towards this end. Traditionally, what most of them say, when a visitor comes to them, is: ‘Hey look at me, I’m awesome. Look at my credentials. I’m great at what I do, so you should totally buy from me.’
That approach doesn’t bring results anymore. If it ever did. ‘Why not?’ you may ask. Well, imagine you are trying to sell something to the people around you, and using those lines. Would they be impressed? I’d wager you wouldn’t make very many sales.
The simple fact of the matter is that you are not giving your customer base any value. Why should they buy anything from you when you are not offering anything up front? Your potential customers want value, and they want it immediately, so to stand any chance of attracting and converting them, you have got to give it to them from the very start.
From our own experience working with clients and prospects over the last few years, we have seen a lot of websites that have a strong hero image and a nice graphic or two, some nice images of the company’s movers and shakers, usually at award ceremonies, and there will be a list of accreditations to ‘wow’ over. Now, we are not saying those things aren’t valuable, but there is a place for them.
They are what we call ‘second level qualifications’ and they are not what you would use as your opening gambit on a first date. It’s akin to walking up to someone in a nightclub and saying ‘Hey, you could have all of this!’ You’re not going to get the reaction you are hoping for.
It is not as simple as Kevin Costner would have you believe. Building it doesn’t mean that they will come. Customers will only really come to your business website if you create great quality content that contains several key elements that immediately offer value to potential customers, and importantly, is also focused on what the business needs from it.
Traditional brochure websites tend to just throw lots of product information up and expect customers to come running, but growth-driven websites are based on the simple concept of analysing what content and pages work best, based on data analysis, to bring potential customers into the sales funnel, and focusing efforts on those qualified leads.
This requires a couple of big decisions. The first is recognising what value each feature you plan to put on the redesign holds, both for your business and for your customers. What is the context of the feature when somebody visits your site, in relation to the results you are actually trying to get?
Secondly, how do you measure these results? How do you make sure the website is now actually doing its job? It’s not enough to just walk into the boss with your laptop and show them how pretty it looks. It has to do its job.
You need a KPI for the website build, and that should always start with the user in mind. Put yourself in the shoes of your typical potential customer, and ask what it is they want from you. Ask why they are the perfect customer for you, and what you actually want them to do on your site.
When you have this figured out, start working on creating the pages that give them the relevant information they need, and bring them towards the position you want them to be in within your sales funnel.
Look at the most effective landing pages you can create to offer an eBook, a video demo, a webinar series – anything that helps qualify what it is that your business brings to the world, what problems you solve, and what brings potential customers further along the customer journey. On top of that, figure out how best to turn visitors into not just customers, but advocates for your business by delighting them with further relevant and helpful information after the sale.
Figure out how you want to personalise content for target audiences. For example, our own blog splits return visitors into segments based on the persona they first identified with, so that we only show them the content most relevant to them, which increases lead generation and conversion.
If you are having trouble creating effective content that will bring visitors through the sales cycle, download our free Lead Generation Survival Kit:
Essentially, you need to decide on what assets you need, and build a map. If you build a launchpad site, you can go live with a working website that you can continue to improve on. Done is better than perfect at the start, but when you start to see the data come in and figure out what works best, perfection does follow. You can do this by insisting on getting results based on real user data and improving on it in an iterative fashion.
There are several great tools you can use to gather, collate and analyse the data your new website will bring in, and we recommend using them.
Of course, we also recommend availing of a digital marketing agency such as Get Focused, who can not only see your redesign through to completion, but can provide the analytics that will show you what works, what doesn’t, and how to improve, as well as the great content that will help you attract, convert and close leads for your business.
Find out how we can help your business drive more traffic to your website to generate great leads and increase sales. Just go to the phonebooth and ask us to give you a call:You can check out the video of my presentation here, but I will expand on what I mean below, so don’t rush off just yet.