In this digital age, there's no denying that your website is your company's most valuable marketing asset.
When people realise they have an issue or need something, they begin their research on search engines. The internet, social media and content marketing gives consumers the ability to learn everything they can about the goods or services they are looking for. Eventually, you hope that online research will lead them to your website and that is your chance to make a great first, second and third impression.
To survive online, you must create the right website content for lead generation. Your website must enhance a prospective customer’s experience when they visit your site, not cause frustration. It sounds like I’m stating the obvious, but there’s still so many websites on the internet that annoy and disengage people. Some marketers still believe a quality website is one which looks good and is easy to navigate. This is not enough anymore.
If your website isn’t generating you loads of leads or converting customers online, then consider reading these five tips.
1. MAKE SURE YOUR WEBSITE TALKS DIRECTLY TO YOUR BUYER PERSONA
It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ when you’re developing content for your website, but before you start, you need to know what style will impact your audience. The most overlooked step in building websites is simply defining your buyer persona. When you can clearly identify your ideal customer, the content you create begins to have a much greater impact.
Studies from Forrester Research shows that 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests. Customers now expect a tailor made experience. Websites must educate, inform and inspire prospects - prior them contacting a company or business.
You need to know your audience’s emotional triggers and its segments to bring the brand persona into your content.
Marketers who personalise their web experiences and talk directly to their buyer persona see an average 19% uplift in sales. It’s more important than ever to capture the readers in just a few seconds with a website that resonates.
2. BUILD YOUR SITE FOR STRANGERS, PROSPECTS, LEADS AND BUYERS
Too often, marketers go ‘straight for the kill’ and try to convert prospects far too quickly with a decision making offer such as: ‘Buy now’ or ‘Call for a free consultation’. That worked in 2005 but not now. 90% of buyers are researching online, so this strategy means you’re targeting the few prospects that are interested and are soon ready to buy. Your website needs to attract and capture every prospect, no matter where they are in the buying cycle.
An inbound website has balance and includes the fundamentals of Inbound Marketing. It’s focused with content at every stage within the buying cycle:
- Top of the Funnel offers (TOFU)
- Middle of the Funnel offers (MOFU)
- Bottom of the Funnel offers (BOFU)
Your site should target strangers with TOFU content, prospects with MOFU content and buyers with BOFU content. Think about whether your website helps strangers solve their problem for what they are searching for and whether you are providing the right tools to help prospects learn if your product/service is the right fit. Have you included content which helps your prospect make a purchasing decision? At every stage, there’s an opportunity to engage.
By providing the right content, to the right audience at the right time, you will turn more website visitors into qualified leads and see an increase in engagement and conversions on your site.
3. KEEP GOOGLE IN MIND WHEN YOU WRITE CONTENT
The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position. It is what the user comes to see and therefore extremely important to search engines. You must make pages on your site easy to understand and crawl to satisfy both the searcher and the search engine. The principles of good search-engine optimisation (SEO) must be applied to every piece of content as you create it, but remember, your content must talk to the reader, not search engines.
You can increase customer engagement by developing smarter headlines which include relevant keywords and entice the viewer to read more. You should continue to build informative and engaging content throughout the body, to keep readers online. Never stuff keywords into your content for the purposes of keyword rankings.
Google works on finding the best results for people, based on their search. If you satisfy the reader with quality content, Google will work for you.
Oh, and with smartphones and tablets combined now accounting for 60% of all online traffic - make sure that your site is mobile-friendly and that you understand the implications of SEO. This is especially important with Google’s new algorithms launched in April 2015.
4. MAKE SURE YOUR SITE IS "CUSTOMER CENTRIC" NOT "PRODUCT FOCUSED”
80% of websites get stuck talking about the ‘what' of their product or service. A lot of content read online is focused around business product specs and service offers. Most websites are a carbon copy of their printed brochure, with a few extra online gadgets. The problem is, 90% of buyers are chasing information to “solve their problem”. If your website starts off with educational based content focused on the customers needs, then it's going to be much easier to convey the value of your product. And if you deliver the right content marketing messages that resonate with the individual, then chances are, you will improve online leads and customer acquisition.
5. FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT FOR MORE
Researchers have proven that a web user forms the first impression of a web page in as little as 50 milliseconds! A prospect can make judgments about a web site’s visual attractiveness within the blink of an eye.
Having an award-winning design is not the most important element of a website, but if you fall below a basic standard of design quality, your potential customers lose trust – no matter how big and successful you really are.
Even in the age of the internet and inbound marketing, people still want to buy from people. Be authentic and be transparent. Use real images and include a personality behind the brand. Face to face you can easily build trust, so should your website. Online first impressions are often a last impression.