I ran into an old client the other day and so I thought I would check out their site and see what they are up to. Since we did their website several years ago, it is always fun to see where they are when they go it alone.
The website after leaving Brandwise, was nice and added some new features. The designer they used was much more reasonably priced than Brandwise, so it was the right fit for them at the time. Now it looks like they stepped things up to overcome some of the shortcomings of the previous site. The site looks great! It is beautiful and engaging in the way you interact with the site. It offers a much hipper user experience.
After digging a little, one thing I noticed is the site was not really set up to be a sales tool. Sure you could say any site is a sales tool, but honestly, this is not the case.
Here are a few mistakes I see this old client making with their site and a few mistakes I would bet 85% of other websites make as well:
- SEO opportunities missed - one thing you must do in order to get found is set up your site to take full control of the keywords and key phrases people will use to find your site. These keywords should be spread throughout the content, within the page title, in the H1 header, used in alt text with images and in the meta description. Every page on the site needs to have it's own keyword for each of these areas of the page. Most sites have the same one set of keywords used on all pages across the whole site. This is a big mistake.
- Lead generation opportunities missed - so lets say your getting a ton of traffic. That's great, then what? Is this helping close deals? Not if you don't have a way to generate leads from your website. This is why landing pages and contact forms are so important. Sometimes people want to connect with you, but are not ready to be sold, they may just want to learn more or get on your mailing list or passively connect with you. It is important to have this be a main focus of web development.
- Lead nurturing opportunities missed - chances are if you do not have the lead generation system put in place then you are also missing an opportunity to nurture the leads. By collecting the prospect's info you are able to reach out to them over time sharing ideas and solutions that might be a perfect fit to their needs. The percentage of prospects that are engaged over time that turn into a customer is pretty high roughly 60% and above. Are you willing to let these prospect go and not engage them? If so your leaving a lot of money on the table.
The bottomline is this, websites are expensive and they must be made a part of the sales teams tools. They need to be more than a "check out our website", part of the salespersons use in conversation. Websites really can be a lead generation tool that fills your sales funnel and allows the sales team to push prospects down through the funnel. When you get to this point, you know exactly how much your website is costing you and also how much business it is bringing in.
Think about it, what would it be like to hold your website accountable to a return on your investment, better yet exceeding your dreams of website ROI?
Wow! That's pretty cool right? You bet it is! The funny thing is it isn't that hard to set a site like this up, but it takes more than just focusing on how beautiful the site is! You have to build the site in a way to be a business tool then once this foundation is set build the beauty on this foundation. This is how strong, sales focused sites are built.