Your website should function as your best salesperson by providing all the answers to your prospects questions. Look at it this way – where else can customers learn about your business 24/7/365? Your website never sleeps and is available worldwide. If you know exactly what pains your services or products solve, then all of that should be easily understood on your website. There are not any human salespeople that can offer that level of service.
Does Your Website Know Everything About Your Business?
If you are using employees to market your business, you have training programs to familiarize them with your company’s products and services. Any information that you would provide to an employee in that role needs to be on your website. Again, your website is your best salesperson because it is the most readily accessible source of information for potential customers.
Your website needs to be thorough and complete. It should have every single piece of information you have on your mission, your vision, your values (branding), along with full descriptions of your products, services, and pricing. It is incredibly frustrating for consumers when there are minimal descriptions and no pricing information. Yes, some consumers may balk on price, but that is often because you have not adequately described your value. Be transparent; this goes a long way in today’s digital market.
Do You Measure the Success of Your Site?
It is essential to measure the success of your website. The problem is that most people use the wrong metrics. There is a focus on hits, click-throughs, bounce rates, etc. In the end, however, there is only one measurement that matters: sales.
One of the best rules of thumb is to compare the number of subscribers on your email list (you are building an email list, right?) to your revenue. The bare minimum you should be going for is one dollar in revenue per subscriber, per month. Many websites reach multiples in the 100s of dollars per subscriber, but if you’re just getting started, $1 per subscriber per month is a good base target.
If you have no idea what metrics you should be looking at read the 5 digital marketing goals you should measure.
The second thing to look at is continuity. A common saying in marketing is, “if you do not have continuity, you do not have an online business.” But what is continuity? Continuity is a business model that has a monthly or annual subscription or membership fee. Amazon Prime is a continuity program. You do not have to sell things like training, webinars, or services to have continuity programs.
If your revenues are not making that one dollar a month threshold, then that is when you can start delving deeper into your bounce rates, click-throughs, etc. If you are achieving your revenue goals, then spending time analyzing the nondollar metrics does not make a lot of sense when you have a limited staff of analysts. Not only that, but a lot of these metrics are also available in your Google tools.
Does Your Website Offer Complete Info on All of Your Products/Services?
There is nothing more frustrating for consumers than incomplete product information. Make sure that your website is the best source of information about your products and services.
Be sure to include details, videos, pricing information, FAQs, and customer reviews on your website. If appropriate, set up on-demand webinars where you can explain your products or services on a live webinar, and then record it for later viewing. The recorded webinar should also allow viewers to ask questions that you can compile into a FAQ for your website.
Your website cannot do its job as your best salesperson if you don’t give it all the information that it needs. That would be like hiring new employees, giving them a demo product and no other information, and kicking them out to the street to sell. It would not end very well.
To achieve success with your website, there are several things that are important to consider. The following are six things that should be a priority for your website.
Modern and Easy to Navigate Design
While content may be king, the design is most assuredly its queen. Although the aesthetics of design do not impact Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it does impact things like bounce rate (how long a customer stays on your site) and click-throughs (where customers click through to other content on your site after their initial landing page).
Poor design can also impact technical SEO, which will be discussed later in this article. For now, it is crucial to understand that the visual appeal of your site influences how consumers perceive your site.
Design is also essential when considering accessibility. Every site should take into consideration the millions of consumers with accessibility issues such as visual impairments, hearing impairments, and limitations to mobility that might make navigating your site difficult.
For example, all videos should be subtitled for the hearing impaired. While it may sound great to have a video with energetic music playing in the background as pictures flash on the screen, it does little for either the visually or hearing impaired consumer. The visually impaired consumer cannot see the video, so all they hear is music, and the hearing impaired consumer is left wondering if there was any real information conveyed that they could not hear.
More and more consumers are using their smartphones to shop online. Therefore, the speed and performance of your site on mobile is critical. Your designs should be “responsive.” In other words, the design of your site should look relatively the same, whether viewed on a phone, a tablet, or a computer. Many of today’s design tools allow you to view your pages in each mode without needing to switch devices.
Google also tests your site’s speed and mobile responsiveness and grades it according to established standards. You can get this information from your Google tools. Your ranking here is also another one of the ranking factors that Google considers when ranking for SEO.
Up-to-Date Content: SEO is King
SEO is your path to a page one position on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). SEO begins with keywords. These are the words and phrases that searchers enter into the query box of the search engine to bring up a listing of relevant websites.
The exact content of the Google search algorithm is kept secret, and is refined continuously. If people know what the criteria were, they would all do the same things. You would have equal scores that would make it impossible to determine who received a top ranking position.
SEO is how you attract traffic for free. By optimizing your content using best practices for SEO, you will evolve your content over time to reach page one.
Variety of Content
You should have two styles of content on your website: pillar pages and blog posts. Pillar pages consist of long-form (1,000-5,000 word) content that is evergreen. Evergreen content is content that is valuable now and will continue to be valuable five years from now. It is not about trending topics; it is about the fundamentals of your business. You can always make updates to these pillar pages if any of the information changes.
Blog posts are more conversational and address the trending topics in your industry. They can be any length (but we recommend nothing shorter than 850 words) and can be used to communicate things like sales, news of the day, fun facts about your company, etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to blog posts as they are designed to be read on a daily/weekly basis and are not considered evergreen content.
Social Media Integration
The proliferation of social media apps makes it challenging to choose how to interact with your customer. Unless you have a huge in-house marketing department, it is unlikely you can master them all. Here is how your website can assist.
First, decide what social media platforms you want to have human interactions on. Then, add “Follow us on [Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.]” buttons added to the header or footer of your website so that they appear on every page.
Next, make sure that you enable social sharing on all of your content. Social sharing is a powerful way to boost your position in the SERP because social sharing creates backlinks to your site. Google interprets these shares as indications that you are an authority on the topic that is being written about and ties into your overall SEO strategy.
To achieve page one of the SERP, Google now requires sites to have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. That certificate is what makes the transfer of information to/from the site secure, and is indicated by the “s” in the “https:” portion of your URL. SSL certificates are now free from many sources, and your web host probably has a method of applying a free certificate to your site. If not, a Google search for “free SSL certificate” should yield the applicable instructions.
Technical SEO are things that are considered by Google that are not keyword related. These include:
- Site maps
- Structured Data Markup
- Broken links
- Page speed
Technical SEO, as well as more in-depth information on keyword usage is beyond the scope of this particular article. It is important to be aware of these ranking factors, however.
What Consumers Want From Your Website
A HubSpot study of consumers found that 76% of consumers say that they want a website that makes it easy for them to find what they are searching for. Contrast this with only 10% of respondents who stated that they are looking for a website that has a beautiful appearance. Functionality is a priority if your website is your best salesperson.
Other Reasons Why Your Website is Your Best Salesperson
Your website is often a forgotten salesperson but it is doing its best for you in many ways:
- Your website is always selling
- Your website is always on brand
- Your website can do things that a salesperson can’t do
- Your website can juggle multiple customers and tasks simultaneously
- Your website is always a team player
Your website never complains and always works as hard as you do (and doesn’t cause any unnecessary office drama). There is not an employee in the world that competes with your website’s ability to bring customers from all over the world to your doorstep.