Is your website regularly bringing in new business for you? If not, you likely have problems. In the new business buying paradigm, the average B2B buyer completes 57% of her sales process before ever contacting a salesperson. How are they doing pre-purchase research? They're talking to colleagues for advice and recommendations, but they're spending most of the time on the web trying to figure things out. If they don't find you when they're doing research, you're probably not going to sell anything to them. If you do, it will be blind luck.
Another truth of the modern sales and marketing environment is that your website is the most visible representation of your brand. It needs to complement and support your customer relationships as well as reinforce the positive iimpressions your front-line salespeople create in their day-to-day life. Imagine this scenario - one of your consultants has a great meeting with a potential customer and finishes the meeting by exchanging cards. She leaves the prospect's office, who promptly checks out your website. If it's as outdated as many of the websites I see, it will totally undercut the positive impression your consultant made and replace it with a perception that you're not a professional company. That's jjust the way things are now.
That's why we've just published our new eBook, How To Make Your Website Your Best Salesperson. In the eBook, we lay out a 4-part strategy to create a website that will be an inbound marketing powerhouse.
1. Make sure people find you in search engine queries
Design, color and typography are all important elements in creating a website that brands you as a professional in your field. But none of that matters if no one can find your website.
The first part of search engine optimization is on-page SEO. On-page SEO involves using keywords naturally in headers, page titles, URLs and other elements of your web pages. We go into it in detail in the eBook.
The second part of SEO is building links to your site from authorative sources. The best way to do this is by creating great content that people want to read and share.
2. Make your website easy to use
As Leonardo (Da Vinci, not DiCaprio) said, "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This certainly holds true for your website. Your goal should be to have a website that is easy to navigate that doesn't confuse users.
The best way to understand how you should be structuring your website is to realize that too many choices results in no choices being made:
"In a famous study of the so-called "paradox of choice", psychologists Mark Lepper and Sheena Iyengar found that customers presented with six jam varieties were more likely to buy one than customers offered a choice of 24."
In our new eBook, we give practical tips on how to incorporate good user experience design into your website.
3. Content keeps users on your site and gets people to buy
Once you've helped your target audience find you with SEO and got them to the right place with UX design, it's time to educate them and offer value with content. It's very important to make your website customer-centric - it's about them, not about you!
At the core of your messaging should be your unique value proposition, the answer to the question, "Why should a buyer choose to do business with me rather than choose any other alternative, including doing nothing?" As you can probably guess, that's a pretty deep topic to cover in a paragraph or two.
In our eBook, we share tips on how to attract buyers to your site with content. We share tactics to communicate with clarity and to avoid the corporate-speak that we're all sick of.
4. Lead and customer conversion - your ultimate goal
The last step in creating a website that is your best salesperson is to create a lead generation machine. We share tips to optimize your lead conversion ratio, from best practices for calls-to-action to creating landing pages that close the deal. This is where it all comes together and your website truly becomes a 24 hour a day sales machine.