By Kim Albee
I am constantly amazed that businesses will pay a LOT of money for a website design and then not think through how that site gets implemented such that it's a business-building machine. I am also amazed at the number of web design and dev firms that continue to build basic brochure sites for their clients, without giving them access to the basic page-level search engine optimization necessary for every page at their site.
To keep up with business today, and to get the most value from your marketing efforts, your website needs to be a business-building machine. It needs to be fluid and able to change and respond to your market. By that I mean it needs to be designed to generate leads and feed a follow-up process that allows you to build relationships with your leads and move them through the buying process to your ultimate goal -- INCREASING REVENUES!
Doing this will take some time - YES, anything in life that is worthwhile takes effort. But, if it helps you grow your revenues by 30-100% would it be worth it? Studies show that if you can pick up your demand generation efforts, and implement effective follow up messaging that is relevant to your leads, you can grow your revenues. Check out these statistics:
- generate 50% more sales-ready leads
- increase your win rate on deals by an average of 30%
My company, Genoo, has published a new series called Get Hitched; Not Ditched, and each guide looks at a specific aspect of the process of generating more leads, nurturing/following up with those leads, and converting them into customers. Why? because there is so much that's possible that doesn't need to cost an arm and a leg -- but will give you the ability to have a web presence that is a business building LEVER that you can access, exploit, and measure.
When I see sites today that have gone through a redesign, and essentially end up being hard to get search engine optimized just based on their structure, and don't include any lead generation aspects, it's disappointing because so much potential is lost, yet that company has made an investment in their online presence, that in the end isn't going to pay off very well.
Here's how you recognize these sites: they have a bunch of information, and possibly a "contact us" form, or a "get a quote" form. This means the ONLY leads they will get are all the way through the sales funnel. This approach leaves a LOT of money on the table in terms of lost opportunities, because the vast majority of browsers are NOT ready to buy right away -- especially if you've got a complex/considered sale. You need to capture and build relationships with people at the TOP of the funnel -- who are looking, seeking information -- and then build the relationship between your organization and your leads, such that when they get to making a selection, you've already greased the skids, and converting them into a customer is a natural process.
In Sales, I always hear - 'get the low hanging fruit'. Here's a twist on that concept: Having a website that is a lead generation and nurturing machine is a way for you to CREATE the low-hanging fruit on-goingly.
I'll make a bold claim -- if your website isn't delivering business results that can be tied to increased revenue, then you are missing a HUGE ability to get results and grow your revenues, and you will lose out to competitors that are being smart about their online presence.
Go check out the guides -- more are coming. They are practical and will walk you through moving from a brochure to a business building machine.