Here’s the thing. You’ve just got a new website; you’re still wincing at the cost and the time it’s taken to produce. You’ve shown it to your friends and colleagues, and they all tell you it’s great, but one thing seems to be missing.
The phone still isn’t ringing, you’re still not getting any new enquires and you’re not making any sales!
If you’re feeling a little disillusioned, you’re not alone. This is a really common frustration.
We work with many companies and it’s the same old story – the website looks great, and it cost a lot of money, but as a marketing tool, it’s just not working.
One client commented, “we are apparently getting more visitors (according to the web company we used) but visitors to the site weren’t taking the next step”.
“It seemed like nobody was showing any interest at all!”
Luckily, we helped them make some changes; a few simple, a few more difficult, and now the website is operating as it should – as a valuable sales tool.
So why aren’t you getting more engagement and ultimately sales?
Here are my top reasons websites don’t deliver engagement or sales
Little or no traffic
How can you expect to see sales from your website if you’re not getting any visitors? Truth is, most people don’t really understand the whole website traffic thing and in my experience, not understanding is the main obstacle to not getting sales! It’s likely that you’re not paying to get visitors to your site. Ponder for a minute – do you think DFS, the sofa people, spent £millions on the telly because they want to? This area is not a simple one – and there is help at hand – have a chat with me and I’ll give you some pointers.
Not understanding your client’s needs
If you don’t know what your clients want, how can you expect them to buy from you? Perhaps that sounds blindingly obvious? Well, trust me, I meet too many business owners who can’t really tell me what their clients want! Work out what your potential customers really need from your business, and make sure you deliver it.
Content is so ‘me too’
“We care for our clients…” and “We’re passionate about…”. Do they sound familiar? Of course, you’re passionate! And you clearly care for your clients. Isn’t that the very least customers should expect from you? To stand out – to really get your clients to listen – you need to give them more. And it can’t be about you – it needs to be about them and their needs wants and desires!
Content does not pass the ‘so what test’
Here’s my challenge to you: Read the ‘About us’ text on your website and ask yourself…does it really make you stand out from the crowd – in a good way? Or are prospective clients going to ask themselves, “What does that mean to me?”. Everything you say needs to matter to them. It needs to be relevant and it needs to persuade them to work with or buy from you.
The website does not reassure the potential customer
I often ask a client what they think their website is for. And the answer is usually, “It tells people what we do!” Well, they’re wrong. It’s likely your audience already knows what you do, it’s why they are on your site! Your website is about reassurance – just like you look for 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor or on Amazon! And who are the best people to create that reassurance? It’s your customers! Make sure you include some testimonials from people who already love you – video is best.
Content promises everything to everyone
“I’m a bookkeeper and I work with all sizes of business…” Really? Could you look after Easyjet’s books? Or do you need to narrow it down? Think about who you work for and then build landing pages for each type of customer. You cannot sell everything to everyone all of the time.
Poor and irrelevant images
Stock images or pictures your web designer chose will do you no favours! You need to demonstrate your personality and individuality. If you’re an accountant, don’t show a picture of a calculator – you will look like every other accountant on the planet!
Did you know most of your website visitors will only look at your homepage and more than 60% will leave your site without looking any further? Keep your navigation really simple and get as much on the homepage as you can.
No landing pages with interesting and persuasive content
Recognise that we’re all different, and depending on what you do, it’s likely that you will need to develop a different proposition for each type of customer. An example? If you’re a charity, recognise that healthcare professionals are different from volunteers, and will expect to see content targeted to them on their landing page.
You would be surprised how many people this will put off. People don’t fill in forms on B2B sites! To give the impression that you are a credible business, just have an email link that launches the visitor’s email client (Outlook, Mac Mail etc).
No interesting blog content to demonstrate your knowledge
You MUST demonstrate your knowledge and business credentials if you want to win business. It’s not enough to simply say how good you are – you need to give people a reason to believe it (even if you employ me to do it for you!). Good blog content gives you the space and opportunity to share your knowledge and personality.
So, what’s to be done? And please don’t feel despondent – the fixes are not as difficult as you might think.
A few small changes can make a big difference – and you can do a lot of them yourself. Here are 2 tips that might help sharpen your proposition.
1. Keep it short and put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes
Have a look at this example. It’s an Accountancy website in Southampton – their home page.
It’s a series of stock images. It’s dull and generic and the words say nothing other than they are ‘Chartered Accountants in the South of England’!
What’s the fix?
How about overlaying the following text on an interesting commercial background – ensuring the text is really clear and legible:
“Business-savvy accountancy firm helping
small to medium size businesses thrive”
We’re an accountancy firm and can help with:
• Clever tax advice
• Navigating HMRC issues
• Specialist corporation tax advice
• Sole trader and small limited company web chat service
• VAT and Payroll
• Tax investigation
• Free 30-minute consultation with one of our partners.
2. Don’t waste words stating the obvious!
If you employ a plumber, you kind of expect them to have a blowtorch! And accountants are likely to have a calculator too!
So, if you’re looking for an accountancy firm, the very least you’d expect would be that they’d be ‘fast, efficient and friendly’. And have you ever met a company that doesn’t tailor its service to your individual needs?
What’s the fix?
Writing sharp, persuasive copy that makes you stand out from all the other accountants while telling prospective clients exactly what you do can be really difficult. But it’s so important to reassure people that they have arrived at the right place – your place.
Crucially the approach above directly addresses a client’s needs by mentioning specific and tangible services instead of really saying nothing at all. It’s far more likely to encourage people to take the next step and get in touch.
The final word
So, if you’re wondering why you’re not getting more engagement and – ultimately sales – from your website, have a good look at your homepage copy and images. (And accountants – forgive me. It’s not personal, I assure you. I could have chosen any professional services organisation!)
And have a think – as a consumer of services yourself – what would YOU like to read in order to take the next step?
If you feel overwhelmed or too close to your business to work out what to change, and how to get the results you’re looking for, feel free to get in touch.
There’s no charge for an initial phone call, and you might just like the advice you get!
Call me on 07971 279564