Inbound marketing teaches that not all websites are created equal, and most websites are actually created with a misguided mission in mind.
Think about some of the sites you’ve visited lately. You may recall that most sites on the Internet are simply designed to provide company information to anyone who might stumble upon those pages.
We like to refer to sites like these as “electronic brochures.” These companies are putting as much information about themselves, their products, their services and their people on the site for you, the visitor, to wade through and check out. This is a mistake, and here’s why.
It has to be emotional.
You have 10 seconds to grab a visitor's attention. If your initial message and overall company story aren't emotional, you’re going to lose your visitor right off the bat. Why do you think most sites have a bounce rate of over 50 percent? Someone searched for a phrase, found your site, clicked on your link and landed on your page. This person wants what you offer, but you’re not talking to him or her correctly. So, your visitor is leaving. Connect with people emotionally, tell them the “why” behind your company, give them an experience on your site – and it'll generate a huge amount of highly qualified leads.
It’s all about you, not about them.
If you're telling me about your children, you can probably talk for an hour. But, once I start talking about mine, you’re only listening politely for a few minutes. This is exactly what’s happening on your site. It’s easy to talk about your business, but your visitors don’t care about you. They ONLY want to know how you’re going to help them. Make sure your website design includes enough about the value that your business delivers to your prospects, and watch all of the site metrics pop through the roof.
Keep the buyer journey in mind.
You have to manage your visitors' journey through your site. What pages do you want them to land on? What buttons do you want them to click? What images, videos or copy do you want them to see? This has to be thought out, planned and then built into the website strategy and site architecture. Thinking this through, from beginning to end, is the only way you’re going to turn your website into a lead-generating machine.
You want them to come out of the shadows.
All of your visitors are anonymous. The only information we know about them initially is their IP address. This series of numbers doesn’t help us drive revenue at all. So, we need to get them to step out of the shadows and tell us who they are. This is one of the major objectives of your website: Turn visitors into new contacts for your business.
We do this with educational content – content that is designed for people in the awareness stage (top of the funnel), consideration stage (middle of the funnel) and decision stage (bottom of the funnel). Do this effectively, and you’ll quickly find that your best leads come from your website.
Your site has to generate leads.
You know you need a website, but did you know that your site’s only goal and measure of success should be leads generated? On average, our clients receive about 100 leads per month from their website. Some may be getting many more, some may be getting many less (especially clients whose programs are just gaining traction). If your website isn’t contributing at least 50 percent of the qualified leads for your business, it’s underperforming and needs to be reworked.
There’s a major difference between an electronic brochure and an inbound marketing website. The bottom line: You want the latter. Having an inbound site is the only way to turn your marketing investment from a “get your name out there” branding exercise into a lead-generating program that drives your business.
Start Today Tip – Reworking your current site into an inbound site takes time. It could take as little as 30 days or as long as three months. So, recognizing that you need an upgrade and starting to plan the list of items to tackle is the perfect step to start today. Go through your site. Is it about you or your prospects? Does it have offers for all types of prospects at all phases of the buyer journey? Has your site been architected with the buyer journey in mind? Does it tell an emotional story that connects with your potential customers or clients? If the answer to any of these questions is NO, start a redesign effort immediately.
The October issue of 2Inbound features everything you've ever wanted to know about inbound websites. Check it out by clicking below.
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