I am guessing most of you have websites for your business already; but the real question is whether or not it is producing quality leads for your business. You don’t just put a website up, and it magically generates customers. Avoiding the following pitfalls will help ensure you get the most out of your website.
Your website could be the best thing out there, but if people can’t find it; it won’t matter. Google search is the primary source for internet traffic, and as such requires a lot of attention. Optimally you want your business on the first page of your targeted keywords. These targeted keywords are not just your business name, but also your products. One thing I get asked a lot is “How do I get to the top of Google?”. Well the short answer is content, content, content; but the long answer is that you have to continually work at it. Don’t try and hack your way to the top, Google will find you if you content is interesting enough. I could expand way more into the whole SEO realm, but I will instead link you to an article titled Five SEO Writing Tips for Your Blog or Website.
Social media is another key traffic source that you should be leveraging. Twitter and Facebook is a great way for you to develop a following. Take a look at the following Facebook-vs-Twitter infographic from 2010 that shows some staggering statistics. 500 million total users on facebook alone. 41% of those users login everyday. Tell me this is not a place you want to market your brand. Now I should also note here that this is hard work. You can’t simply create an account an expect people to want to follow/like you. ENGAGE!
Lastly a quick note that really is the easiest for you to implement right now. If you aren’t already, link your physical business to your online presence. Put you web address on newsletters, business cards, signs, decals, etc.. You probably already have traditional marketing in place, so why not use that to further help your online marketing.
Do you update your content? And if you do, how often? You need to find some way to get people coming back. If your visitor comes back to your site in a month, does the homepage have some updated content? I argue that a site that doesn’t get updated is almost as bad as not having one. The following are a couple suggestions to keep things looking fresh:
Making things interactive and fun never hurts. I don’t want to read pages and pages of content, I want to enjoy interacting with the content.
Design is a big part of your first impression. I don’t know about you, but when surfing the web I make a split second decisions all the time. Did you know the most clicked button on a browser is the “Back” button? I will hit the back button if something doesn’t grab my attention in that split second. The website could have outstanding content, but if the design is ugly I will go elsewhere.
On the other end of the spectrum you need to ensure that your design isn’t too flashy. You may have heard of “Minimalist Design”. All that means is that the layout is simple. You don’t need animations and flashing text to get people’s attention. Sometimes the subtle effects are way nicer.
Keeping your website focused is a huge task. On the web it is so easy to multi-task and do as many cool things as you can. Always keep in mind what your end goal is. This end goal should always result in $$$. Doing something cool and/or fun doesn’t always bring you leads. Focus on getting users to your contact page, or your online store, or maybe to your paid content. The less steps it takes to get here the better. I’m not going to click 4 different links to get to your store. Just give me one large button that directs me.
One of the hardest things to test is the usability of your website. There is so much you need to be aware of, and understand about your users. What also makes it more difficult is that every website has a different target audience.
Some of these points are taken from Steve Krug’s – Don’t Make Me Think. Man I love that book!
Have more ideas on how to produce website leads? Hit the comments with your suggestions, and thoughts on the article.