Your website is a “24/7 salesperson.” Though an old cliche, the phrase’s initial meaning has morphed over time.
Businesses used to be able to get by with simply showcasing the products they offer. Now, the market is flooded with options. Having a simple brochure website doesn’t allow your business to stand out in the marketplace. You must go deeper to get a potential customer interested in submitting contact information or giving you a call.
Where do you start?
The Sitemap Is Key
When considering a refresh of your website (whether it is a complete design overhaul or merely a realignment of content), you will likely have questions like:
- What services do we offer now?
- How has our story changed?
- What third-party tools do we need to better integrate with?
- Who does the contact form need to go to?
I’d like you to start with a different question. One that drives deeper and allows your business to make an emotional connection with your audience:
How do we solve problems for our clients?
You have products or services that are better than the competition and a unique process that only your team knows how to run, but your true differentiator is how you solve problems — not all the bells and whistles.
How you solve problems for your customers must be the cornerstone of your sitemap-building process. Once you define how your business as a whole solves problems, you can use that lens when thinking through each service you offer.
The outcome from this sitemap-creating methodology is website content that falls in line with how you sell. When meeting with a new lead, you’re actively making a connection with them by solving multiple pain points. Website content written to highlight pain points (and how you guide clients to a solution) ensures your website runs hand in hand with your sales process and reinforces conversations.
Have Proposals on Your Site
An easy way to get leads to your website is to have the proposal live directly on your website.
Proposal-generation tools create beautiful PDFs to showcase your products well. The problem? They typically don’t link back to your website.
Rather than sending a prospect a PDF, create a privatized page on your website that walks a lead through the journey of partnering with you. The many advantages of this approach are:
- You now have blocks to re-use and can pull in specific client testimonials with the click of a button
- You can pull portfolio pieces that speak to the specific needs of the client (with links to the individual portfolio piece pages for the client to learn more)
- During the initial sales conversations, you spoke about a specific topic of interest to the client. Coincidentally, you have written a few blog posts about that topic. You can drop a predefined element that displays the most recent blog posts within that topic allowing you to keep your potential client on your website for longer.
Now, instead of a flat PDF file, you have an experience that showcases your process and provides value to the customer before they even sign the contract. The rapport you built during your calls is now reinforced with a tailored proposal that highlights the “smaller points” of the discussion.
Know Where Leads Are Coming From
Thanks to the analytics tools in the marketplace today, gaining a general idea of where your leads are coming from is simple. There are a couple of areas I see missed on a regular basis and two that do not require any expensive tools.
On websites we inherit, I see one of two things:
- A unique (albeit duplicated) contact form for each page
- A single contact form without attribution
The problem with duplicated contact forms is that if you want to make a change, you have to do it multiple times. The reason I see companies use the multiple-form route is that they want to know which page a form was submitted on. A better approach: most forms allow you to have a “hidden field” that dynamically places the URL of the current page within the submission form. Now, you can utilize a single form on multiple pages and the website will automatically populate the URL so you know where the lead originated.
Combining Analytics and Heatmaps
The biggest cause for concern I see in this area is using one of these tools but not the other (typically, most businesses use Google Analytics but don’t have any heatmaps installed). Analytics tools can only tell you so much about how a page is performing. They tell you the amount of time spent on the page, bounce rate, and which pages users went to after they left the page you are studying. However, without combining the analytics with heatmaps, you don’t know what these users are looking at on the page in question.
- Did they scroll down past the header section?
- Did they go to “Secondary Page XYZ” through the button in the header section or the text-link in the paragraph halfway down the page?
- Are users clicking on areas of the page that aren’t clickable?
- Are users even scrolling down to the main call-to-action form you want them to fill out?
Without heatmaps, a business user would not be able to tell how well the page is performing. Combining analytics and heatmaps gives marketing teams the data they need to know in order to make smart decisions about the next steps.