Where does our website fit? It’s a question many businesses ask when they look at their marketing and lead generation strategies.
Websites are often neglected and unloved. Yet your website should be a key strategic marketing and lead generation asset. It should actively help you overcome three problems almost every business faces:
● ‘We need to be more visible.’
● ‘We need more leads and to convert more leads into sales.’
● ‘We need to know more about our customers.’
So why don’t more businesses make the connection between their website and solving these vital business problems? Maybe it’s just familiarity.
Business websites have been around a long time (at least in internet terms). Many new digital marketing channels have grown up around them. So it’s natural - maybe even healthy - to ask what job your website is supposed to do and whether you even need keep investing in it.
Or perhaps the link isn’t obvious because nobody ever executed your website in the way that it should be done - so you’ve never experienced the full benefits of your website as a proactive revenue generator.
A strategic, high performing website always proves excellent ROI, from engagement building brand trust to ecommerce revenue conversions. Whatever the main objective of your marketing strategy or campaign, the website should be working hard.
Let’s look at these problems in more detail and explore how your website should offer solutions.
‘We Need to be More Visible’
Ever since humans have been trading goods and services, visibility has mattered. If everyone knows who you are and where you can be found, you have more opportunities to sell.
In the digital age this translates to potential customers looking at Google searches. Often it also means wondering why your competitors always seem to rank higher and are easier to find.
Sure, you can pay for the top Ad spot, but wouldn’t it be nice (and more economical) to command search results without paying every time for the privilege?
Optimise your site for organic search and you’ll have continuous visibility. You can then reserve more of your paid search budget for specific campaigns.
SEO is more complex and nuanced than it was 10 or so years ago. The key points are these:
● Structure your site and the content so it’s easy for Google to index it properly.
● Invest in the technical build to make sure pages load quickly on all devices and browsers.
● Continuously update your site with high-quality, relevant, SEO-rich content.
Google’s business model is based on giving users the best possible experience. It aims to serve users good quality, trustworthy content that answers their question. It also rewards sites that are easier to use and where users aren’t drumming their fingers waiting for pages to load.
And, after all, isn’t that what your prospects want too?
A slow site is difficult for Google to crawl and index. And there’s only so much time and resource they’ll allocate to crawling your site before they move onto the next. So some of your pages simply won’t be visible in searches if your site is slow.
Good to EAT?
Google evaluates sites according to Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT). You need all three to rank highly.
Links back to your site are still an important ranking factor. But these days you have to earn them by publishing targeted, good quality content that adds value to readers.
You might be sitting there thinking this all sounds like a significant investment. And you’d be right. But it’s an investment with a sustainable and recurring benefit that brings your business greater visibility.
‘We Need More Leads and to Convert More Leads into Sales’
Sales growth is fuelled by lead generation. Your website should be celebrated within your business as a vital lead generation and sales engine. But often that’s not the case - even if there's plenty of traffic.
To understand where things might be going wrong, think of your website as a department store.
Once people come through the door they must instantly see where they need to go to find what they want. Imagine what happens if the signposting is unclear or the store uses names for the departments that they don’t recognise.
What if what they need is on the second floor and they can’t find the escalators? Or the escalators are broken? Or if they find what they want but there aren’t enough staff at the sales desk?
These examples represent some of the obstacles your website could put in the way of prospects - and of your business growth. To streamline the conversion process you need simple user journeys and excellent website infrastructure and performance.
It’s worth noting too, that you may be paying to get people onto your site through paid search campaigns, just to give them an unhappy experience.
How to Improve Conversion Rates with User Expereince Design
The first priority is to make sure that nothing’s broken. Links lead where they’re supposed to and forms and payment functions load quickly and operate as they should.
If there’s nothing technically wrong then the chances are that your website is confusing. Alternatively, you’re forcing people to take too many steps to get what they want.
This, essentially, is what user experience is. People should find what they want quickly, instantly see what action they need to take, and do it with minimum fuss and effort.
If you invest in offering a better user experience you can expect a significant return of 10x or more. Turning around your site performance to convert more sales involves:
● Investment in user experience research and design
● Investment in technical development of your site
● Investment in growth-driven design
If you’ve also done the things we talked about earlier to be more visible, you’ve cracked two out of three major business problems.
So what about problem 3?
‘We Need to Know More About Our Customers’
Can you ever know enough about your customers? Certainly, the more you know the better you can tailor your offer and user experience to meet their needs.
Since so many interactions with prospects and customers happen on your website, that seems like a good place to look for insights.
Data collected through your website can tell you where customers are, what times of day they’re active, what they’re most interested in and which types of messages they’re most likely to respond to.
You can also discover how your customers found you and whether or not they engage with your content. With tools like Google Analytics and Hotjar you can turn all of this into actionable data.
You can also add pop ups and exit surveys (without being annoying) to further enrich your understanding. All of this will help improve brand communications, product development and customer service.
Gathering customer intelligence links back to our first two problems: visibility and conversions. The most important search terms you want to optimise for are linked to your customers’ intent at different stages of their buying journey. These may not be the more generic high-volume terms.
Understanding more about your customers will help you predict the google searches that are more likely to result in action. You can then target how your landing pages are optimised with more precision.
Basic performance metrics such as bounce rate, page views, page depth and conversion rates will say a lot about how well visitors engage with your site and where you need to make improvements.
‘That all sounds great, how do we get it?’ The answers are deep dive analytics and to work with an agency that understands how to collect the right data and turn it into valuable business intelligence.
If you follow these tips your business will be in a stronger position. You’ll also have a great answer if somebody asks: ‘What did our website ever do for us?’ ‘Not much, it just helped us address three of the biggest problems facing our business.’
How Fingo can help you
Fingo has been delivering integrated digital strategy and performance marketing since 2003. Based in the UK, we’ve been lucky enough to partner with clients from various sectors including E-commerce, property development and Financial Services. As one of the UK's leading marketing experts, we consistently perform 10% higher than the Google Premier Partner threshold.
Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org We will be delighted to help.
- Established in 2003
- Based in UK
- Google Premier Partner
- Fully certified Google team
- Top 3% of UK marketing agencies
- Manage client media budgets of over £4.5m annually