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The majority of small businesses have more website visitors than face to face meetings…
…so why do many businesses not capitalise on that?
The numbers are there to be seen
All small business owners would like more customers, or even just a bigger prospect base! And many such business owners spend hard-earned money on advertising, trade-shows and networking etc, to find new prospects and win more business.
Yet, some small business seem to pay little regard to a ready source of prospects – their own website. And some (or many) of those visitors may be “part qualified leads” because they have visited your site perhaps looking for something they want to buy. And if your website has analytical tools, you will know how many visitors ‘hit’ your site every day. But how many of those visitors become customers? It’s in the numbers.
Most of your website visitors will bounce from your site to another site – maybe a competitor. And you haven’t had a chance to talk to them. But even if you only get 1,000 unique visitors per month to your website – imagine what would happen to your sales numbers if 2% converted into customer each month?
A bounce is where a visitor visits a page on your website then clicks away to another site (or they close their browser). You can guess that if all of your visitors are bouncing off your page, then they are not finding what they want – and so not engaging. A high “bounce rate” is not good.
What can you do better? For example, can you show a clear and compelling link to a blog article of high value? Can you make your key messages stand out better? Is it easy for a visitor to ask a question, to find key information, or to buy?
Think about what you want the new visitor to do or learn – and facilitate that. This is sometimes called the “user journey”.
The website experience is important
Some small business websites are fantastic in their design. Buy many aren’t. But they don’t need to be.
When searching for something online, I want the websites I visit:
- To work
- Be obviously updated, ‘live’ and relevant
- To be responsive (i.e. they work nicely on desktop, tablet and mobile)
- And importantly – to tell your story and to help me do what I want to do
If a website is dated, non-responsive, or otherwise unhelpful, visitors will abandon their online conversations and go elsewhere.
The acid test
Thing about how you present your business at a trade-show. What are your key messages? What are the three things that you say to someone you meet for the first time? (OK, yes, your ‘elevator pitch’). What are the messages that seem to chime and attract business interest?
Now imagine being able to say that to the thousands of visitors who visit your website.
Does your website pitch your key messages? No? Then it’s time to think about how your website ‘speaks’ to visitors.
Website visitors look for key information. Don’t try to say everything. Say what you need to say, and if your message chimes with the visitor, then they might become a sales lead. If you key messages are buried in fluff, they’re probably not going to be found. Look at the successful players in your sector – can you learn anything from how do they pitch their messages?
Fancy design is nice. But not critical.
I have visited many sites that sport terrific layouts and lots of high-tech visual features – but fail to tell me what I want to know. At the same time, I visit some sites that don’t sport such design elements and yet I prefer to do business there.
Yes, design is important but if it comes to a battle between ‘design’ and ‘function’ – then function wins over design – every time.
- Write down your three key messages, on paper, whilst not looking at your website. What are the three things you tell people about your business?
- Visit your website (on a PC or laptop) and see how long it takes to find those three key messages. Or have an independent person do this.
- Repeat step 2 on tablet and mobile
- If you have analytics (like the excellent Google Analytics), see how may people bounce off your home page (or your key landing pages). If you don’t have analytics, then get some.
- Make a simple plan to better present your key messages or encourage key actions, using the bounce rate as one way to determine improvement. Try different things until you get to learn what works (in the jargon, this is called ‘optimisation’).
Can we help?
If you want an independent view of your site or need to redesign a user journey, we can help. Contact us for a discussion.