So you spent some money on a great looking website, and you’ve sent out some e-mails about your new website to clients, and perhaps a few people even clicked on the link and visited your website. But then what happened? Where did they go? Why didn’t their visit turn into a sale?
This is often the fundamental link that many people overlook. You can spend hundreds, nay thousands on search engine optimization, but if you don’t effectively communicate and grab your audience’s attention when on your website – they’re going to go somewhere else and all that money has gone to waste.
Picture this: a new B&B opens up on a very busy highway. The location is superb, so the owners of the B&B spend thousands on a big colorful advertisement board and pitch it alongside the highway. People driving past see it, and some decide to stop over for the night but when they enter – they see that although the rooms have lovely curtains – there are no beds to sleep in.
This is just a silly metaphorical example of what I am talking about when it comes to a website that does not get the job done, and results in them turning around and never coming back. You can make your website look as pretty as you like (the curtains) but if people can’t take action on your website (by way of purchasing, enquiring, setting up appointments and so on) – they are going to leave as quickly as they came in.
Asking the right questions
So what are we going to do about it? As I always say, we need to start asking ourselves some very important questions starting with: What are my visitors going to achieve by visiting my site? What do I want them to do? How are they going to do it? Do I offer a value add? Why should visitors buy from me instead of the person across the street? And ultimately; how much is it going to cost them?
No matter how much spice you add to your deal, if the price is not listed or visitors have to enquire on pricing – they’re going to go somewhere else. You do it – so why should your visitors be any different?
The best place to start is to map out the entire online experience. I’ve worked with many companies developing their website of well over 200 pages, but when I ask them what they want their visitors to do once they have read all 200 pages – I often get a dazed and confused expression followed by a head tilt. What do I mean?
When a customer finds the product that they have been looking for, what then? Do they download a price-list or an electronic brochure? Do they set up an appointment with one of your reps to come show them the product? Do they purchase the item online?
Let’s say we are evaluating an online fast-food franchise website, and we want our visitors to order their food online. First step is to create a menu, an electronic one that they can (quickly) view online and download and save if they wish. Secondly, we need a great ‘combo deal’ – order today and we’ll throw in a FREE 2 liter coke! Finally, we deliver to your door in under 30 minutes!
The visitor is happy, he found the food he wanted, got a free coke and had his meal delivered to his door in under 30 minutes. Don’t forget to throw a fridge magnet into the bag so he can call you again when he’s hungry!
That’s an online success story. On the other hand, fast-food franchise number 2 listed all sorts of meals, going into the detail of preparation, the history of the farm that the beef came from and even the history about Mrs. Jones who perfected a recipe handed down to her from her great great great grandmother.
And although your visitor might be extremely interested in all that, the bottom line is that he’s hungry and – yes – wants value and a great product, but that can be said in a sentence or two on the home page or running as the footer on each page. Franchise 2 did not include any prices, or any ordering infrastructure so our hungry visitor when to franchise 1 and placed his order.
You’ve got to remember that although a superior product might be on offer at the same time, the company who has listed its price, payment options and delivery normally takes home the bacon.
Recapping your strategy
Let’s recap. First, define your user’s online experience, ask yourself:
- What my visitors going to do on the website? Order product? Order a Service? Set up an appointment?
- How much does it cost? Is the price easy to find?
- Additional information – is this easy to source and download?
- How do they order?
- Why should they order from you? (what is your value -add?)
- Do you offer additional benefits such as free delivery – is this clear to the visitor?
- How do you get them to come back (can they sign up for a newsletter? Write a testimonial?)
Additional elements you need to consider are:
- Are your visitors hungry?
- Are your visitors in a rush?
- Who are your visitors?
- Where are they coming from?
Finally, become aware of what motivates you to buy a product online – because those are the same or similar factors that will motivate a customer to buy from you.
Be sure to follow me on Twitter of more topics similar to this: @_Jadeye_ or be sure to look up Jadeye Designs on Linked in or Facebook.
Until next time: Happy Marketing!