Would you purchase from your website or your competitor's?
We have all heard this before, but now more than ever is it critical to have a better website than your competitors and I'm not just talking about what you see on your computer, but mobile as well. Telmetrics and XAd conducted a study in 2013 showing that 46% of searches were conducted vis mobile as referenced in a Search Engine Watch article penned by Jessica Lee last month.
So here is the question of the day and please answer honestly because this may be one of the most important questions you answer today.
Your website is the front door to your business.
Are your visitors walking in and buying from you?
If you answered the question honestly and you said your competitor you are not alone. Your website is one of the most important components of your business yet it is one of the most overlooked parts of business development by small and medium sized businesses.
It is irrelevant what type of industry you are in or what type of products or services you sell, Period!
Think about it this way. Your at a dinner party or networking event and a friend introduces you to someone that you have never met before. During a casual conversation you find out that this person is actually interested in the "widgets" you manufacture or sell after five minutes of conversation.
Where do you think the first place this person is going to look to learn more about you, your company, and your widgets?
Here are 7 things to think about...
1) Does your website connect with your prospects and customers?
2) Does is answer the most commonly asked questions your customers ask on a daily basis?
3) Are these answers easy to find for a first time visitor?
4) Is your website's navigation easier to use than your competitors?
5) Do you have clear CTA's (call's to action buttons) on every page of your website to drive your visitors where you want them to go?
6) Does your website tell a story your customers want to hear and are interested in?
7) Does it look better than your competitors in "your customer's eyes", not yours?
8) Is your website designed responsively (mobile friendly)?
9) Do your pages load in under 2-3 seconds?
10) Are you ranked in the Top 2 search results for your primary keyword phrases?
Your Website Should Be A Sales Funnel
The primary purpose of your website should be to make money. If your an ecommerce business than you want to sell immediately if possible. If your a company that has a longer sales cycle then you want to generate qualified leads for your sales team.
At the end of the day your website should be a sales funnel for your business. If it isn't then it is time to think about a new design.
Creating a sales funnel with your website takes experience, planning, and some software to be extremely effective. If you select the right partner to do this for you it is routine. If you pick your second cousin to design your website to save a few bucks then you will be in the same position as you are today.
Last week I wrote and article about 3 Easy To Fix Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website. If you answered "NO" to more than two of the questions above then I would highly recommend you read this article if you missed it.
Top 5 Page Syndrome
This is an easy one.
Can a visitor easily click through to your top 5 web pages from your homepage in less than 8 seconds?
If the answer is "NO" then you are losing sales and need to fix it today!
To clarify, the top 5 pages may not be your highest trafficked pages in Google Analytics or your top 5 blog articles according to social shares. The only metric that counts here is revenue.
If your not sure what these pages are then it is time to figure this out.
Start with your top 5 products or services that generate the highest profit margin. Don't focus on top line revenue. We're business owners here so the bottom line is really what we care about.
Once you have identified these pages now let's think about what your customers want. Do your top 5 and your customers align? To find this you need to ask them. I know this is a hard ask for some owners, but you should have at least 10-20 promoter's that love you that you can ask regardless of your business.
If your top 5 and their top 5 align then you are in good shape. Now just go into PowerPoint and make some quick professional looking CTA's to drop on your website to make them easy to find for your visitors. When your done with this open up your Google Analytics and see what other "entry pages" have high traffic volume and drop in a primary and secondary CTA on these pages. Just be sure they CTA content is relevant to the page content.
First Impressions Last a Lifetime
The first thing that a visitor will notice when visiting your website is the look. By this I mean the first impression. This why your design needs to be better than your competitors.
The design of your site should instill confidence in the visitor that they have landed on a page they can trust and easily locate the information they are seeking. This where the branding standards, images, and messaging collide to tell a story if done well.
Image selection and consistent branding standards are essential to a well designed site that impress your potential customers immediately. It is pretty easy for most consumers to tell if a website is new or old by how much text in on the homepage and the quality of the images they see.
One key element here is to steer clear of commonly used stock photos in your industry or stock photos all together. Use real images whenever possible.
Below are two examples from the limousine industry which is a luxury industry and should have very clean and professional designs.
Believe it or not, this is an actual website and a reputable business in the limousine industry.
(Click on the image to visit the website)
This is a site for Uber which is a low cost and very controversial transportation network.
(Click on the image to visit the website)
Which one would you buy from?