What is your website doing for you? Is it allowing you to capture and engage your perfect potential customers? Are you attracting site visitors who are just beginning their buyers' journey and giving them a way to engage with you?
If your website is like most websites we see on a daily basis, the answer to that last question is probably "no," even if you think the answer is yes. Let me explain.
Four Problems with Most Websites
We look at a lot of websites. On any average day, we probably look at a dozen or more for one reason or another. We're curious, yes, and we also look at the website of anyone who has requested a demo or discussion around one of our products or offerings - because we want to know more about them.
And 90% or more of those websites have one or more of these four problems:
Problem #1 - The website is all about the company and how their people can answer every question and solve every problem for every site visitor. It's basically an online brochure.
Problem #2 - Instead of focusing on the perfect potential customer, the website tries to talk to everyone. As a result, it speaks to no one. The site is too broad and trying to be all things to all people.
Problem #3 - No clarity. Visitors can't easily tell what the company does, can't easily find information, and can't easily navigate the site. It's confusing and too intertwined (people get lost).
Problem #4 - No engagement. Sure, the site might have a "Contact Us' form and possibly a "Request a Quote" or "Request a Consultation" button, but that's it. There's no way to engage a site visitor who is not at the bottom of the funnel (ready to buy or ready to talk to sales).
Unsupervised Thinking and High Bounce Rates
What's the net result of having a website with one or more of those problems? First off, if your website is trying to address a broad audience that might have some remote interest in something you offer, there's a lot of unsupervised thinking going on. The site isn't guiding people down a pathway; it's throwing maps at them and depending on them to pick their own journey.
Secondly, they won't do that. They'll bounce off your site and find another site that offers them clarity around whatever problem or challenge they're trying to address. If you look in your Google Analytics account, what's your bounce rate like? Above 80%? Above 90%? Sure, some people get to your site by accident and bounce, but a very high bounce rate means a very low engagement rate.
And you COULD be capturing them. You COULD be guiding them.
The cold reality of sites that are too broad, lack focus, and/or are hard to follow is that you end up appealing to no specific group that you can nurture into becoming loyal customers. Why? Because youâ€™re adding confusion, friction, and unsupervised thinking.
You want to have a website that talks DIRECTLY to your perfect potential customer, a website that will help them gain insights into ways to solve their problems (problems that your products and services solve).
Express the Why Clearly
Some site visitors will not understand why they should care about whatever is on your website. If your site reads like a presentation of your products or services, but doesn't tell people why your products or services are important TO THEM, and it doesn't build an emotional connection, it's missing the mark.
Remember the old story about someone walking up to the chairman of Rolex and asking him "How's the watch business?" The chairman replied "Rolex isn't in the watch business; Rolex is in the luxury business." The fact is, if you just want to know what time it is, you don't need a Rolex. But if you want the feel of luxury and the status of owning a very expensive watch, you do want a Rolex.
Same with whatever your product or service is. You're not selling the watch; you're selling the feeling the watch gives you. I just met with an advisory services firm. Their website lists all of the services they provide. But nowhere does it talk about WHY people buy their services. Do they offer peace of mind? Reliability? A way for people to gain and maintain a certain standard of living? Or are they just like every other investment advisor, counting on years of experience and the use of large words on the website to get people interested in working with them?
See what I mean? Get to the core of WHY and make sure the website clearly expresses it.
Pro Tip: too many WHYs mean the website will lack focus. Get to the core of the WHY and own it.
Address All Levels of the Buyers' Journey
Most visitors to your website are not interested in talking to you, at least not today. So why do most websites only offer the opportunity for visitors to engage if they ARE interested in talking to you today? That's right - "Contact Us" and "Request a Quote" and similar calls to action are specifically designed for the four to six percent of site visitors who are ready to engage with your sales efforts.
That leaves 94% or more of your site visitors in the "we don't want to talk right now" limbo-land that your website provides. If you don't have calls-to-action (CTAs) that address all levels of the funnel, the site is not engaging enough of your visitors.
So... you end up in a cycle of having to drive more and more people to your website hoping that some of them will fit in the 4-6% category, watching the bounce rate remain pretty constant, and failing to engage the people who aren't ready for a conversation. You have to keep putting gas in that engine, because it's burning fuel as fast as you can fill it up. Know what I mean?
Think about your perfect potential customer. What problem or pain or opportunity do you help them solve or address? What could you offer them that will START a conversation with them? How can you appeal to those people in their terms, so that when they land on your website, they'll be happy to take you up on an offer of some content? Think in terms of a download or a survey - something that will entice people to give up their email address and declare themselves as a lead when they are EARLY in their buying journey.
Start with one CTA that's a top-of-the-funnel offer, for when people are just getting curious about solving a problem or addressing an opportunity. Build on that. Then come up with a mid-funnel CTA later. You don't have to have everything all at once. One step at a time will do just fine.
It's More Than What You Say...
It's the way you say it, and it's when you say it. The right content at the right time will resonate with the right person. With the right strategy in place, that right person will be your perfect potential customer. That's why a well-done content strategy informs your website, your blog, and your email strategy. It's why the ability to create calls-to-action that are content-specific (related to whatever is on the page or post) is so important. It's why you want to talk to all levels of the sales funnel - all levels of the buyers' journey, throughout your site and with your outreach to your leads.
Tweak your site to make it more about your site visitor than about your company - building that emotional connection, starting a conversation, acknowledging the reason they might be on your site. Become a guide, a trusted resource, and, ultimately, a partner.
The website is where the world views more than what you do. The world would also like to know why you do it, and people want to understand what's in it (a relationship with you) for them.