Originally published on July 20, 2016. Updated on 7 May, 2020.
There are lots of different types of websites, but we can generally break them into two categories: the old online brochure, and the new lead generation tool. The truth is, however, that your website should work for you. It should capture people’s interest, make them want to follow up, and ultimately contribute to your bottom line.
To be honest with you, the days of a static online brochure are long gone. Websites aren’t something you can simply “set and forget,” because trends change all the time, so this model won’t serve you. We recommend updating your website every 2-3 years to ensure it’s optimized, working well, and driving new business.
Here, we’ll run you through six common roadblocks that could prevent your website from working well, and then we’ll share four easy tips to help optimize your website to reach as many people as possible.
Want help generating leads? Schedule a free consultation.
Common website roadblocks
1. Bounce rates
The term “bounce rate” refers to the number of people who visit your website and immediately click away. There are lots of reasons for this – for example, perhaps they clicked on the wrong link – but most often it’s because of an easily-avoidable issue. For example, if your homepage is too crowded, outdated, or poorly organized, people won’t stick around. Your home page needs to provide visitors with a great user experience and an easy way to find what they are looking for. In fact, the whole website needs to be very user-friendly, because prospective customers aren’t interested in playing a digital version of hide-and-go-seek. Make it easy for them.
2. Quality content
Words matter! Content will always be king, whether it comes in the form of helpful webpages or inspiring blogs. The right kind of content marketing is essential if you want your website to generate leads. First, you have to ensure the content (e.g. words, photos, videos) appeals to the types of customers you hope to attract. Second, you have to ensure people can quickly find the answers they need. Content is the modern version of an attractive store front or a neighborhood flyer drop. Often, it’s the first impression you’ll make, so it’s important that it counts for all the right reasons. It should be direct, personable and helpful – just like your customer service.
3. Blog… a lot!
Digital customers are generally looking for information that will help them solve a problem, answer a question, or inspire them in some way. The best way to give them what they need is to deliver a fresh and consistent stream of content, which will attract their attention and direct them to your website. Blogging is a new concept for many businesses. The best way to start is generally to answer frequently asked questions, because these are the types of things people are most likely to search. Don’t be afraid to inject a bit of personality, because this helps them understand what makes your business unique and may entice them to click through and learn more.
Read more: 6 expert ways to optimize your blogs for SEO
4. Landing pages
As we’ve explained, the best websites give people what they need quickly. With that in mind, it’s generally more effective to direct people to specific landing pages rather than just your homepage. This is a great opportunity to answer their question, explain a bit about yourself, and explain how you’ll solve their problem with a call to action. It could be something simple like downloading a free factsheet, scheduling a free consultation, or making the most of a special offer. It essentially invites them to begin the path to purchase with you.
Read more: Anatomy of a high-converting landing page
5. Calls to action
A strong call to action (CTA) is an essential part of every webpage, but it’s especially important on landing pages. Once people have found the answers they need, you need to make it easy for them to engage with you. An effective CTA has a few basic elements: it’s easy, it’s clear, and it’s known. What do we mean by that?
- First of all, it should be easy to use – for example, a single click should take them from the page they’re on to the page where they can buy your product or sign-up for your service.
- Second, it needs to be explicitly clear what prospective customers will get from clicking on the button. It might say something like “Schedule a free consultation” or “RSVP now,” so inspire them to take action.
- Finally, customers need to know exactly what they’re going to get out of it and what’s required if them. If they click on the CTA, they want to engage with you now. Guide them through the process so they know exactly what to expect at each step of the way (and don’t ask for personal information too early!).
Read more: The evolution of digital marketing
6. Phone numbers
This may seem obvious, but don’t forget to give customers your phone number! It needs to be clearly displayed on every page of your website to make it easy for people to call you with questions. It creates a feeling of transparency and stability that goes a long way in building trust. Don’t play hard to get and make customers work for it!
Need help addressing your roadblocks? Schedule a free consultation.
Increasing your reach
Once you’ve addressed the common roadblocks, it’s time to start increasing your reach. After all, people need to know you exist before they can do business with you. Here are the four best ways to start:
1. Social media
Social media is a powerful way to connect with new people. When it’s done correctly, it will also help qualify the leads you generate, because prospective customers will have followed links, ads and offers that interest them. Your strategy can extend across multiple platforms – for example, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn – to attract and engage new people. This can also bring new customers along the path to purchase so by the time they actually reach your website, they’re ready to do business. Create quality content, share it regularly, engage with your followers, drive traffic to landing pages, and you’ll be in a good position.
2. Digital advertising
Advertising through search engines and social media is a great way to generate qualified leads, because they have the capacity to pinpoint different demographics and ensure the right people are discovering your landing pages. The best ones to start with are Facebook Ads and Google Ads, because these have the biggest audiences.
3. Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is the essential if you’d like your website to rank through search engines like Google. The first page of results is incredibly valuable digital real estate, and a good strategy will ensure your content ranks as highly as possible, which will lead more people to your site and increase your chances of converting happy customers.
Read more: How to create a show-stopping SEO strategy
4. Blogs, and more blogs
We mentioned blogs before, but we’ll mention it again to emphasize their importance. Blogs are vital to driving new customers to your website and ensuring you rank as well as possible through search. Often, because they answer specific questions, they may rank higher than your homepage. For this reason, they’re a critical part of every successful digital marketing strategy.
Have a look at your website. How is it performing? Is it an online brochure, or is it actively helping you generate leads? If it falls into the first category, we’d love to help. Schedule a free consultation today.