Leads come in all shapes and sizes. If the only way you allow a customer to engage with your company through your website is using your contact from you’re basically asking them to marry you on the first date. Those visitors ready to consider you as marriage material are really close to making a buying decision. They’re evaluating suitors. But what about all those visitors who are in the research stage? They’re leads too and with a bit of courting they may become marriage material. Don’t leave them out on your website.
Offer a smaller less scary way for them to give you their information and offer something of value in return. These visitors are often looking to a solution to a problem; they don’t even know you’re marriage material. A how-to guide or educational e-book may be just the thing that visitor needs to decide your product is the right one to solve their problems. Allow visitors to download the guide in exchange for their contact information, their name and email address. Then you can follow up with them in a week or so to see if they’re still on the market or offer them another piece of advice to be found on your website to see if they’re evaluating suitors yet.
Think of the pages in your site like networking contacts. If you only know 5 people you’re far less likely to find a person interested in your service than if you know 500 people. Search engines know your website by networking with your pages. If you only have 5 pages they only know your company is excellent for 5 different reasons. This makes it difficult to refer you to anyone, other than those who are looking for you specifically, because the search engine just doesn’t know you very well. If the search engine knows you’re excellent for 500 reasons it will be much more likely to refer you to its friends, the persons preforming internet searches.
Many business owners solve the small site challenge by adding a blog and contributing to it regularly. This way you grow the information in your site and show the search engines you can be depended upon by adding new content on a regular basis. Each blog post you make is one more a reason why a search engine would refer you to a searcher, essentially making one more networking contact with that search engine.
If your site doesn’t talk about your company the way your target market searches for your company the visitors to your site may not be in your target market at all, which makes it exceptionally challenging to convert them to qualified leads. For example if you provide house cleaning services and call your company a maid service but everyone searches for a cleaning service your visitors will not find you. This challenge also occurs often when businesses are selling to a market that is not very educated about what they do or sell. The market doesn’t know what the business or product is called or that the solution they offer to a problem even exists. For example a company experiencing rapid growth may be looking for a calendaring solution in the cloud. They may not even know that Google Apps exists so they won’t be searching for the term “Certified Google Apps Reseller” they’ll be searching for “cloud calendaring solution” or “online calendaring program”.
Research before you write. Or research after you write and revise! Search engines only know what you tell them, they don’t read in between the lines. Determine what your audience is truly searching for and make sure you include those terms in your web pages and blog posts. See our series of videos and blog posts on keyword research using the Google Adwords Keywords Planner for more information about how to discover the right keywords for your business:
Miss America doesn’t win because she fits in with everyone else, saying the same things, walking the same walk. She wins because she’s more memorable than her peers. Better than the other participants because she knows what to say and do, along with when and how to do it. Even if your site is the first out on the search engine stage, the first one searchers click on, if it isn’t memorable or doesn’t give visitors what they need to move on to the next step in their buying decision they just move on to the next contestant on the list. Leaving you lost in the shuffle.
Don’t wear the same dress as your competition; pick one that makes you shine. Be brave and offer information that traditional sales people like to keep hidden to establish your company as an industry expert than can be trusted by your transparent approach to educating potential buyers. Stay away from the tired industry sales speak, stop selling to your visitors and start consulting with them. The site isn’t about you, it’s about them, all the content you share should have them in the forefront throughout. Don’t design your site to look just like the competition. Industries tend to choose a color pallet and if your company’s identity uses the standard industry colors that’s OK. Just don’t design your site to look just like your competitors. Add eye catching elements that make them remember you’re more than just the contestant in the standard black dress.
Everyone has a favorite sweater, the go-to wear all winter kind. But what if this year you forgot to unpack it from the winter cloths box. Out of sight, out of mind, the sweater spends the winter tucked away until you remember it one morning. Even after you remember that special sweater it just takes too long to find among all those boxes in the storage room and you have to get the kids ready and be to work in 20 min. So it goes unworn for yet another day. The internet is like a big box of winter cloths just waiting for you to unpack it. People have a reason to unpack the box of winter cloths, it gets cold, they need to stay warm. But do they have a reason to revisit your site? If you don’t update it regularly and give them a reason to need to return they won’t. And even if your site is a favorite and does give joy with every wear if you keep it packed away out of sight out of mind people won’t remember to visit it.
Create a virtual winter. Give visitors a reason to return to your site again and again. Make it useful and update it regularly with content they need. Like that warm sweater. Then help unpack the box and put your site on the shelf right where everyone who loves it can see it. Each time you update your site with a special or blog post tell the world about it. Post it on social media and send it out in an email. Don’t keep that awesome sweater hidden, put it out there where they’ll be sure to see it and want to wear it again.
Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.
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