So now you have a website for your business. You invested the time and the money to get one, so how is it performing? Is it attracting the volume of visitors, prospects and customers you expected?
Last week I had the opportunity to present this topic at the VANHA (Virginia Association for Non-profit Housing for the Aged) 2011 Spring Conference in Norfolk, VA. I wasn’t surprised when virtually all of my audience indicated they had a website. But what was surprising was that most were disappointed with what their website was delivering. Given the time and/or money they had invested on their website, why wasn’t it contributing to more business?
Some Possible Reasons
- Consumer interface has changed–There has been a fundamental shift in consumer purchase behavior. Today’s consumer is empowered, better educated and wants to take control of their buying process. Instead of being the recipient of unwanted, intrusive advertising messages, the consumer goes online to shop the various options and discern the opinion of others at the time they believe is most appropriate.
- Website needs to be the hub of marketing strategy—It is today’s most powerful vehicle for marketing and communications. By providing relevant information and key SEO elements, it will optimize your opportunity to have a strong online presence to attract visitors and convert them to leads and customers. Take advantage of this 8 point Website Assessment Checklist to determine if your website is working hard enough.
- Content must reflect expertise—Does your website read like an ad of your businesses’ products and services or does it address the problems and needs of the audience you are trying to reach? You must speak to the emotional well-being of those you want to engage. And what forms and carriers of content do you use? Blogs, e-newsletters, social media, videos?
- Relevant Call To Action offers—In order to obtain a prospect’s contact info, you need to provide something of value in exchange. The offer should be matched to the appropriate stage of the sales funnel and be initiated from a call to action button on the Home Page.
- Lack of a systematic Lead Nurturing program—Lead nurturing is a series of emails that are generated to your leads. They are automatically triggered by a prospect’s previous requests and response to earlier offers. This email flow will pull leads through the sales funnel.
- Absence of measurement analytics—Without a means of measuring website performance, it is impossible to determine where improvement can be realized. It is important to determine what metrics you are seeking and by what means can they be obtained.
An Indispensable Marketing Asset
Your website should be regarded as a dynamic marketing tool that is always subject to refreshing and updating content and continuous improvement. If not managed properly, it will invariably not be working hard enough and will underperform your expectations. When effectively managed and optimized, it can be a renewable source for obtaining new customers.