Your website sucks – there, I said it. Why does it suck? Because you let your website sit there, only “updating” it once in a blue moon with a notice about a new sales rep or a couple press releases about a new product. It’s not providing value, so what’s that $50,000–$80,000 you spent getting you? Definitely not ROI.
Your website can and should be your hardest-working, most powerful sales and marketing tool, working 24/7, 365 days a year to address your prospects’ and customers’ needs. Read on to understand why it’s not working that way (and what you can do about it.)
You don’t know who’s visiting your site or why
Your website should be developed entirely around the needs of your best prospects. If you haven’t thoroughly detailed who those people are and what makes them tick, you should; use this helpful worksheet to get you there. With buyer personas clearly outlined, you will have a basis for all the content you present on your site, and all the content you offer for downloads and in your blogs.
Once you’ve developed buyer personas to guide you, review your Google Analytics and look specifically at the Audience section. See who’s visiting your site, where they’re visiting from, and also notice the number of mobile vs. desktop visits (how does your site look on mobile?). If you don’t take advantage of the data provided by Google Analytics, start today; it’s free and it provides data that’s useful to you.
If you have HubSpot, even better! HubSpot’s analytics go deeper, providing a rich snapshot of the people filling out your landing page forms and viewing your site (pay close attention to your marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads, because they’re the type of visitors you want on your site). Ignore, in a sense, your overall traffic numbers; that’s a vanity metric. What’s important is how many leads you’re getting from those visits. If you have 20,000 views a month and none of them are good potential customers, what value is that providing? The more you know about who’s visiting your site, what they are visiting on your site and what your leads are downloading, the more you can tailor your content to reflect the information your leads want to receive from you.
There is no useful content on your site
Now that you have your target personas locked down you can start writing high-quality long-form content that piques their interest at all points along their buyer journeys—from Awareness to Consideration to Decision to Delight. Create content that addresses the different questions they have during their buyer journeys – and the nature of those questions, from simple/generic questions in the Awareness stage to more in-depth questions about price and comparisons to competitors in the Decision stage. If you provide content aligned with those needs, Google will determine that you’ve got what people are looking for and present your content in their search results. Need some help? Check out this helpful guide on how to create quality content.
Another smart tactic is to author guest blogs on related (and respected) industry websites. For example, if you’re a plastics manufacturer, you can reach out to an industry trade publication website that targets engineers and buyers, asking for the opportunity to provide a blog post or other content that relates to their readers. Guest posts add to your credibility and value in the eyes of Google, increasing the likelihood that prospects find you when searching online. Publishing on other websites also increases the number of links pointing to your site (your blog post on an industry site will typically link to your website so readers can learn more about your company), further improving the chances that Google will see your content as credible and useful.
You have a website that hasn’t been improved in years
In addition to regularly adding relevant and useful content to your site, you should also be making site improvements on a regular basis. The best approach to do this is called Growth-Driven Design, or GDD (learn more about Growth Driven Design here). GDD is an iterative process that allows for regular changes to your site (usually during ongoing monthly work “sprints”), based on actual user data. GDD takes user-experience data from software like Hotjar, as well as Google and HubSpot analytics, as the basis for making smart adjustments to your site. If, for example, data showed that very few visitors are clicking on your “Get a Free Assessment” button, you might make that button one of the things you’ll address in your next GDD sprint. What you do about the button’s failure to perform is up to you and takes some instinct; it might be to change the style, position or wording of the button.
The basic process for GDD is to set goals for your site’s performance, then outline and hypothesize what changes you can make to your site to achieve those goals (see more detail about this below). Check out our presentation about the GDD process below and view more of our blogs about GDD if you want to learn more!
Before reading this you didn’t know you should have goals for your website.
Whether you’re taking a GDD approach or not, you should always be identifying specific site goals. You cannot measure success if you have nothing to measure, and you can’t achieve it if you don’t know what it looks like. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based) for your site and regularly check the metrics to see how you’re doing. Rather than, “We want to increase the number of people downloading,” for example, a SMART goal would be, “We want to increase the number of conversions on our ‘Best Types of Plastics for Critical Use Components’ eBook from 1% to 7% by changing the amount of input required on the form, and by placing the offer higher on the page. We want to achieve this goal in 6 months.”
Be realistic. You may want to increase the number of conversions from 1% to 90%, but that’s probably not going to happen. Factor in your industry, your prospects, and the value of your content before you pinpoint your goal.
You aren’t practicing Inbound Marketing.
Weidert Group is an Inbound Marketing agency. We drink our own alcohol… err Kool-Aid. Punch? I don’t even know, but we drink it. What does this mean? Arm yourselves with knowledge and check out this page dedicated to learning about inbound marketing. The strategies, tactics and tools of inbound marketing are precisely engineered to align with the buyers’ behaviors to effectively attract high-quality prospects to a company’s website, convert them into leads by offering relevant, helpful content and, ultimately, help build relationships that lead to sales. It means setting up landing pages for lead conversions, providing content like ebooks, blogs and whitepapers and promoting that content through different social media channels; it also means not being salesy or spammy and providing helpful information rather than sales tactics. The ultimate goal is to lead your buyer personas down the funnel, turning them from a visitor to a lead to a customer.
These are just a few of the reasons your website sucks. Keep researching and changing things; some experiments will fail, but others will be amazing successes. Stay laser focused on your buyer personas. Make some decisions based on assumptions and make others based on data. Combine those two together to make a successful road-map for where you want to be and what goals you want to achieve. Learn more by downloading our Growth Driven Design eBook.