It wasn’t that long ago that most websites were simply electronic brochures. They simply listed the who, what and where of the business but times have changed.
Back then, converting your corporate brochure into an online brochure was a logical progression. The internet and search engine optimization were in their infancy and the most important thing was to have a web presence. Unfortunately, these types of websites no longer cut the mustard and with the evolution of the internet we have also seen a change in consumer behaviour. People now buy goods and services online including cars, holidays and whitegoods and to capitalise on this behavioural shift you need to upgrade your website from an ‘electronic brochure’ to a lead generation website.
Your prospective customers now turn to Google, your website and social media for answers. They start their buying journey browsing websites and gathering information. They are looking for educational content to help them make an informed buying decision. If your website content includes e-books, whitepapers, videos, infographics, cheat sheets, checklists, research or presentations you’re on the right track. By educating your prospects you’re building trust in your brand and also positioning your website as a valuable resource centre. In the process you’re moving your prospects closer to a sale.
If your website is still an electronic brochure full of bullet points that list your products and services here’s an important message - the next generation of customers and clients expect more. They don’t care about when you started the business, your promise of great service or your convenient location. They only care about whether you understand their pain and how you can solve their problem. Ideally they want proof that you’ve helped people with similar issues and your solution is simpler and more effective than your competitors. The features, benefits and finer details of your business, your services and your products are really just ‘fillers’.
Today’s consumers are impatient. You only have a few seconds to prove that your business has the answers, the solution or the fix they are looking for. You want the standout website in your industry and it needs to send a clear message, be easy to navigate and provide calls to action so you guide the prospect to the next stage of the buying process. Have a look at your home page right now, does it spell out what you want your prospects to do next? Call for a free consultation? Click here to download our free guide? Fill in the box for a free sample?
Content is king and you need to understand what your prospects are searching for in your industry. Tailor your content to their search terms, provide the information in your blogs, videos and FAQ’s. Identify the questions that your prospects are asking during the research stage and then create pages on your website that answer those questions. It’s strategic and you’ll probably find you include the important keywords in the process. Make sure you embed calls to action on those pages as well so should they be ‘sold’ on your information or answers they are only a click away from your cash register. Google craves fresh, original content so you need to keep adding content to your site. The truth is, your website is never ‘done’ and it will always be a work in progress.
Here are some signs that your website is still an electronic brochure and possibly in need of a makeover or replacement:
- Outdated Appearance - this should be pretty obvious and if the skin or layout hasn’t changed much in the last three or four years then it could be time for a facelift. Web trends keep changing and modern sites have a clean design and easy navigation. If your site is a cluttered mess that looks old and tired it could be time.
- It’s Slow - the majority of consumers expect your web pages to load in less than 2 seconds and most people will abandon your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Not only that, a slow loading site will impact on your search engine ranking. Having a fast-loading website will keep customers on your site and provide a positive experience.
- Your Competitors Look Better - while the cosmetics aren’t everything, if your competitor’s websites are more attractive, easier to navigate and have some extra features then that could influence your prospects. In the digital age you need to keep up with the Jones’.
- If your website doesn’t work on mobile devices it’s almost extinct! Test it by typing your URL into this link https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly Most searches are now done on mobile devices and if your website isn’t responsive to them you are invisible to the search engines which defeats the whole purpose of investing in a website.
- Low Traffic and Search Engine Rankings - search engine algorithms have changed considerably over the years and if you don’t stay on trend you could slip down the page rankings. No traffic means no sales so a rebuild could be on the agenda.
- Visitors Leaving or Not Converting - If your web analytics show a high bounce rate where visitors click away from your site or they spend minimal time on your site then that’s a pretty strong indicator that your visitors don’t find your current site useful for one reason or another.
- It’s Just Not You Anymore – Businesses evolve and if your message isn’t clear or the website doesn’t spell out precisely who you are and your point of difference then it could be time for an update. A website that worked well in 2013 may not work so well in 2017. If it’s missing calls to action or your visitors can’t find what their looking for chances are you’ve outgrown your current website.
The primary purpose of your website is to generate leads and convert them into sales and revenue for your business. If it's not performing it's time to but your website under the microscope.