Yes, I know. It’s frustrating when you’re trying to run a business and people keep telling you about all the stuff you should be doing online.
Sure, you had a website built but, as far as you can tell, it’s not giving any benefit to your business.
None. At. All.
It might be a really good looking website. (Which cost a bomb to build.)
But it’s not bringing in any business.
You get lots of calls from SEO guys, so maybe you spent some money on that.
Social media. Same deal.
OK, maybe you got a few likes and somebody (you?) takes the time to post on your Facebook page.
Not that you can see any benefit from that, either.
None. At. All.
Which is why you might be one of the hundreds of thousands of business owners who don’t spend even a dollar for online marketing. Not even on their website, which hasn’t been updated in years.
What’s the point of pouring more money down the drain, right?
Could be, that’s why you came to Results.MAGNIFIED. Hoping you could finally get some results out of this online marketing thing.
Surprisingly, you can get started to fixing it with just ONE BIG QUESTION. . .
‘What do you want visitors
to do when they come
to your website?’
When it comes right down to it, most business owners have never asked themselves what’s the point of having a website.
Don’t get me wrong. You’ve got to have one!
Without a website you have NO credibility in the marketplace and prospects won’t give you a second thought.
However, most business owners treat their website as a giant brochure. It tells people where you are and what you do. It describes what kind of widgets you stock or what services you provide. It may introduce your wonderful team.
That’s all good stuff.
But mostly it does NOTHING to get a website visitor to take action!
Even if it’s the fanciest, best-designed website in the land.
In general, law firms spend big money on website design.
(Do a quick search for lawyers in your city and see for yourself.)
And yet 76% of new clients look at more than three websites before choosing a law firm, while 29% will look at more than six! (ilawyermarketing)
Your website Bounce Rate (if you know how to check it) will tell you how many visitors come to your website and leave without clicking a single link on your page.
They come. They go.
According to intuit, more than 90 out of 100 visitors to your website will leave, without taking action.
What’s going on, here?
The simple answer is, you couldn’t convert them from a visitor to a lead. Or get them to do something else that’s valuable for your business model.
In fact, that’s Google’s definition of a conversion:
‘An online conversion occurs when a click on your ad leads directly to user behavior you deem valuable, such as a purchase, signup, page view, or lead.’
That’s from Online Conversion for Dummies, which was primarily written about Google AdWords campaigns.
But they’re right on the money when they say:
‘Whether someone buys something you’re selling, signs up for a service, or simply clicks on a link, you need to identify what success is for your website. That’s your first step.’
WHOA. . . let’s just back up the bus!
You’re already in business. Your personal lifestyle depends on you continuing to generate profits by meeting the needs of your clients, customers or patients (whatever it is that you do) and selling them your products and/or services.
So you already know what “success” is for your website: “find new customers.”
(Hey – can we agree, to save my two typing fingers, that any time I mention ‘customers’ then it will also include ‘clients’ and ‘patients’? Thanks!)
Unfortunately, a lot of business owners kinda “hope” those customers will just mysteriously appear from their website. Just walk in the door one day, or decide to fill out a contact form, perhaps.
So they don’t make any proactive effort to prompt an action which will start a visitor down the funnel to becoming a customer.
Hmmmm. Now we’re back to the Big Question: WHAT ACTION do you want your website visitors to take?
You can’t move somebody forward with a “valuable action” unless you know what that action is!
It’s not going to be “buy something, now.”
(We’re not talking about an ecommerce website, where the action is to hit the ‘Add to Cart’ button. You’re a typical small business, serving a local market area.)
The fact is, it’s unlikely somebody will make a significant purchase decision based on a few minutes of interaction with your website.
But what if you could get them to show you they’re interested in buying?
If you could generate a list of Qualified Prospects, then you can:
– give them information that will make them into “educated” buyers
– build up your status as an expert authority
– provide social proof (testimonials and reviews)
– give them incentives to buy from YOU and not a competitor
Here’s a FOUR-STEP PROCESS to get customers from your website:
Step 1: Design a funnel
Work out the path to becoming a customer, starting with a SINGLE action on your website.
For example, you may be able to offer free trials or gifts with purchase, provided they take action to register.
You might offer a low cost service as a lead-in to your higher priced offering.
Or offer information which is highly valuable to a potential purchaser:
• The 5 Top Mistakes Home Buyers Make
• 3 Things You Need to Know About Tax Before You Hire a CPA
• 4 Common Insurance Mistakes You Won’t Learn About Until Too Late
These are called “Lead Magnets” because they attract qualified prospects. If they’re not a prospect, then a visitor to your website won’t take action. They’re not attracted to the magnet.
But if they ARE potentially interested in buying from you, they’ll opt-in by exchanging their contact email address for the lead magnet.
Interactive ‘Engagement’ action
Another powerful technique to encourage action is to provide a live engagement, such as Live Chat, or an interaction tool such as Contact Express.
These give prospects an opportunity to explain an immediate problem or challenge, and get direct feedback.
There’s interesting research showing that engaging with a visitor’s ‘information needs’ makes them 31% more likely to share their contact details. That’s likely to be way better than the conversions you’re getting now.
NOTE: The conversion action does NOT have to be online!
I once worked with a company who sold and installed heat pumps (reverse-cycle air-conditioning units.) On their website, and in emails, we recommended calling to check if installation was available, before deciding to buy.
We said they shouldn’t commit to buying a heat pump from ANY company without calling Bob, our installation manager, to make sure he could install in their area this month.
There was no such person as “Bob!”
But we knew that anybody who called and asked for him was a hot prospect, to be passed immediately to one of the sales team!
(It’s also possible to get a “tracking” phone number, which you’d promote only online and redirect it to any number you choose.)
Step 2: Create a reason to act
Your “Call to Action” (CTA) should be something that has appeal to a target customer. But you should also have incentives to encourage immediate action.
By creating urgency you create fear of missing out (FOMO) which will increase the likelihood of a conversion action.
How would your prospect understand that action needs to be taken now? The tone of the copy, phrasing of offers and imposition of deadlines can all influence urgency.
However, nothing creates urgency like scarcity.
There are two different kinds of scarcity:
- TIME (for this month only)
- QUANTITY (while gift stocks last)
For example, a finance broker might offer registration to a free online Webinar, promising to share financial management tips. A webinar has a limited number of seats and is set for a certain date.
A coupon for a free trial might be available only until the end of the month – or until all the samples are claimed.
Step 3: Make the CTA obvious (and easy)
If you’re running ads, you can send people who respond directly to a landing page, where they can ONLY take the action you want: for example, “opt-in” for your lead magnet by providing their email address.
Or you might be relying on visitors from “organic” search results, who come to your website where you tell stories about your range, quality, service and value.
In that case, you’ll want to sort random visitors from quality prospects – which you can do with an ‘exit overlay’ or a ‘scroll box’ offering your lead magnet.
You can get free versions of these and other great conversion tools from Sumo Me.
Step 4: Follow-up
You’ll need to follow-up your new leads, promptly. If you don’t have an automated email sequence then it’s a good idea to have someone on standby to make contact immediately.
If you let it go for a few days, or even a few hours, you’ll miss the opportunity.
An autoresponder sequence is designed to follow-up automatically, with a series of emails over a period of days or weeks.
For example, if you’re a flooring company, you might position yourself as the “go-to” authority on custom, hand-laid wooden floors, perhaps.
Your Lead Magnet might be: “Four reasons why a hand laid wooden floor will outlast tiles, add more value to your home and look more beautiful with passing years.”
Then you’d set up an autoresponder sequence to educate them about wooden flooring, with a series of emails over a 30-day period.
– How wood floors should be laid
– Engineered vs solid wood
– Glued vs nailed vs floating floor
– Problems with tiled floor
– How to polish and maintain a timber floor
Over to you. . .
Reading back, I think I’ve turned this post into something that’s almost book-length!
However, most small business websites I see have no plan to capture prospects and turn them into customers. They haven’t asked themselves the “Big Question” and have no idea what action they expect their website visitors to take.
By writing this I hope I can help you to think more carefully about setting up a process for generating new leads and converting them onto new revenue.
Action Step: Design a funnel which will turn a visitor into a customer
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