10 years ago, a website was largely a “shop window” of sorts. For a lot of B2B businesses, it was a digital version of their brochure – somewhere to showcase products and services, before pointing someone to give you a call. Now, it’s not just the shop window, but the sales assistant and the till at the counter. The conversation is no longer about how many “hits” you get (remember when people used to say “hits”?) but how many leads you get from your website.
There are numerous reasons why you might be getting an abundance of visitors to your website, but they’re just not edging over the line into potential customers. Here are my top 3.
Why are we waiting?
The modern consumer is impatient. According to this handy report by KISSMetrics, 40% of people abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Count 3 seconds now. It’s not long, is it? You could be losing almost half of your visitors from the get-go if your website is loading at a snail’s pace. Not only that, That’s assuming they get there in the first place. Page speed is a ranking factor used by Google, which means it’s one of hundreds of aspects they use to determine where to rank your site for a keyword. So if it’s a slow loading experience, the less likely you are to rank for keywords which are, well, key to your business. Luckily, there are steps you can take to overcome this. Note – you’ll probably need a developer to help you out here.
Run your site through Google Page Speed Insights
Google taketh away, but Google also giveth. They punish you for poor page speed, but they also provide you with a handy tool which advises you on how to improve said page speed. Simply visit this link and paste in the URL of the page you’d like to check (homepage is usually a good place to start). The tool will load the page and test how long various things take to load and render. You will then be presented with a score for desktop and score for mobile. Both are important. Anything other than “Good” you should probably look at addressing. You should aim to get these scores as close to 100 as possible. Tut, tut, Tesco. Tut, tut.
What do you do?
There’s nothing worse as a potential customer that trying to figure out what a company actually does. Personally, if you haven’t told me in the first sentence, I’ve switched off.
Case in point: two marketing automation software solutions, HubSpot and Marketo. Both perceived as market leaders in their own right.
The opening line on HubSpot’s page:
Lovely. I know what this is.
The opening line on Marketo’s page:
Not only is this not particularly great for SEO, if I’ve just landed on Marketo’s website, and I’ve never heard of them, do I know that this is marketing automation software? Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice messaging, but it shouldn’t necessarily be the first words a visitor reads. As HubSpot have done, this might make for a nice subtitle to accompany the main header describing what the product actually is.
Tough love time: you are not Coca Cola. You are not Nike. You cannot get away with not very explicitly telling people what it is that you do.
I always find the following quite useful when trying to write copy for a website, particularly if the company or product is a bit specialist – would your mom understand this? (Yes I mean mom, not mum, I’m from the West Midlands, and that is the correct way to say it, thank you). Even if your target audience are well-seasoned customers of your industry, no one likes to ready lengthy paragraphs chock full of jargon. Get to the point. Avoid wishy-washy, vague and confusing messaging. Try writing “what do we do?” at the top of your Word or Google Doc and answer that question in the paragraph below. If you have adequately and succinctly answered that question, you’re good to go. It’s a good idea to get other people in the business to read it to see if they feel the same. Get your mom to read it to if you like.
The journey isn’t clear
I’m sure you know that sinking feeling of being lost. Or that really annoying situation where there are 2 people in the car giving you conflicting directions, because they think their way is best. That can be how it feels to be a user on someone’s website when it isn’t clear what you want them to do. This could be because there are no clear call-to-actions, or too many. What is the destination you want your visitors to arrive at, and how do you want them to get there? Carefully map out the funnel that each visitor should travel through when they land on your site. Decide what the end-game is – it could be booking a demo, a consultation, arranging a free trial, or signing up to a webinar. Then find the best way to send them to this destination. You might not get this right first time, so it’s important to test different text, button colours and placements in order to find that sweet spot. If you’d like to learn more about how to develop really good CTAs, and avoid “meh” ones, read this. You should also avoid using, multiple CTAs where possible. This is like the analogy with the two annoying mates in the car – each is giving the user conflicting signals about what to do next. There are some situations in which two CTAs might be appropriate, but handle with care. Again, check out my handy guide to CTAs linked to above for more advice on this.
Honourable mentions (aka things that are just annoying)
- Poor mobile experience
- Pop-ups which you can’t figure out how to close
- Confusing navigation
- Autoplay videos
- No phone number provided
- Clip Art
I’ve focused very much on the big picture here. There are many more ways to use your website to generate leads – your blog content being one of them. Check out this post for advice on getting more leads from your blog.
Tried addressing all of the above? Still in the dark about getting more leads from your website? Get in touch.