Is Your Website Your Main Source of Lead Generation?
Just like you need a nice shop front for people to browse and hopefully buy your products, for online shoppers, your website needs to be attractive enough to encourage your prospects to buy your products or services.
WARNING: This article is NOT JUST for companies who run an online store. EVERY company needs a website that helps their prospects through the buying cycle, at every stage of their customer life cycle.
What Makes a Website’s ‘Shop Front’ Appealing?
You already know about the regular design requirements: your website needs a great visual display wherever you can. But here are the website elements I bet your website is missing, unfortunately making you miss out on opportunities for inbound marketing to generate sales leads:
- Presentation of information that makes it easier to make a decision.Ongoing, relevant content to create more “touch points” with customers so they keep coming back, building customer trust in your company. Planning your website’s content strategy before redeveloping your website will mean you can prepare to offer Tagged-Content, Content organized by Categories, and Related Content to make your site sticky such that once a user is already on your website they want to stay and read more. This one tip will significantly shorten your sales cycle as every click is another “touch point”. Prospects will appreciate that you've taken the time to provide more information on what they want to know—and predicted their needs: they’ll find content they didn't even realize they sought. That’s a client-customer WIN-WIN.
- WIIFM language: you have to prove you’re not a self-centered company, but a company committed to your customers’ needs. Simply writing “excellent customer service” on your website—like so many in-house writers will do—means nothing. Every claim you make must be backed up with evidence. If you have sentences without benefits and features, delete them from your website ---what’s the point of lengthening your sales cycle by making people read words they don’t care about?
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO): if this isn't built into the seven key content places throughout your website that it should be—how can search engines recommend your site to searching users? Consider the August 2013 Google Algorithm change: people search for answers to questions, is your site ready to offer answers to aid your sales cycle?
- User friendly navigation (This is why planning the usability of your company website BEFORE you approach a website designer & developer is critical to the success or failure of your website. If you engage the designer first, and simply build a site map—you’re likely to be another one of those companies dissatisfied with your new website within 6 months, guaranteed.)
Stay Tunes for: Lead Generation – Then and Now?