For years business owners have been told that they must have a website. As a result, almost every business has one.
Unfortunately, even businesses that have had a website up and running for long periods of time still aren’t exactly sure what that website is doing for their business. Some business owners have websites for no other reason than they were told they needed one. Still others understand that a website is a marketing tool but don’t know why.
While the types of websites are as varied as the types of businesses there are, all websites have one very important function: lead generation. The truth is, as important as a website is to your business, if it isn’t generating sales leads there no point in having one. (While there are particular cases when a website is designed simply to give a sales team credibility, this is an exception rather than the rule.) In fact, having an outdated website can often do more harm than good.
To be effective, your website should be constantly generating leads that allow your salespeople to close deals. And in some cases, a website is the sales team! If your website isn’t doing a good job of lead generation, you need to make some changes. Here are three places to start:
- Always be optimizing. Website optimization needs to be an ongoing process that helps your website become more effective over time. This is accomplished by becoming familiar with the behaviors of your website visitors, experimenting with changes that will encourage visitors to do more of what you want them to do (for example, buy a product), and then evaluating those changes to see which ones work best.
- Get personal with your calls-to-action. Statistics show that personalized calls-to-action convert 40 percent more website visitors than blanket calls-to-action. If a repeat customer visits your site, your website should welcome him or her back to your site by name and with information about products which match that customer’s interests.
- Nurture leads. The best—and simplest way—to nurture leads is to send thank you and other relevant follow-up emails. These can include things like special offers or discounts. Remember, it is much cheaper to nurture leads than to uncover new ones so don’t miss out on this important opportunity.
Remember, your website was created to work for you. Make sure it is doing its job.