You’ve spent hours and lots of money on your website, but does it perform?
If we had a dollar for every business owner who came to us with a “broken website”, we could quit our jobs as B2B content marketing consultants. There are lots of bad websites on the “interweb” and lots of unhappy business owners who just aren’t seeing sales results from their websites.
Why are so many websites broken?
Because everyone starts in the wrong place.
We can’t help but see the world through the view of “what” we do, not why it matters to customers. We all start by writing down a lot of stuff about our company and our products or services and then we hand it to a web designer and ask them to build us a website.
And then we make their job even harder when we insist we “know” what needs to be on the home page or in the main navigation or the photos we choose to reflect our business. If we start from a place that reflects our point of view, not a customer’s, our websites will fail. And they will continue to fail until we use data, testing and customer-centric content to build not just a website but a buyer journey that clearly maps the content our best customers need to see in order to choose us.
Why are your customers not responding to your website?
Because you have not made it easy for them. You tell them what you want to say, not what they need to learn and understand in order to choose you.
So let’s fix that!
Buyer behaviour has changed. Your website is now the top of the sales funnel. So you need to work to understand that sales funnel. The days where you could launch a website and leave it are over. You wouldn’t hire a salesperson and not talk to them for a year. Your website is no different. You need to set a goal, test content and conversion and continuously improve your B2B content marketing to understand if your website working or not.
The 5-Step Website Audit
Marketing CoPilot is on a mission to help people improve their websites. If you are struggling to understand if your website is performing, share this post with your leadership team and review the answersÂ at the next marketing meeting. If you don’t get five out of five on this audit, maybe it’s time to build a B2B content marketing strategy for your company to improve your online sales conversation.
1. Define the goal of your website
Write down the primary goal of your website when you launched it. Is that goal still the same today? If you have multiple goals and multiple strategies you are confusing not only your customers but your employees. You can’t be all things to all people. You need one clearly stated goal of what the website is intended to do, otherwise it will never perform.
For example: Three years ago your goal might have been to present product information in a website format. However, if your goal is lead generation, you need conversion points identified on your website to test where someone is in their understanding of your products or services.
Start by ensuring your goal matches the content and format you have on your website. Don’t be afraid to admit that your website is not helping you achieve your goals it’s okay! You can’t fix it if you lack clarity of why.
2. Test your three main eye tracking areas
Eye tracking and heat mapping studies point us to the the three main places the eye and the brain go to when they land on the home page of a website.
- Top left – Where am I?
- Top right – What can I do here?
- Dead centre- Why would I do it?
Each of these locations need to be clear for your visitors. (Check out MarketingExperiments Web Clinic highlights for 2014). Let’s use the Marketing CoPilot home page as an example:
Does your homepage in eight seconds or less, logically tell people where they are, what they can do on your site and why they should do it? If the answer is no, you need to rethink your homepage design and content. These three main eye-tracking areas are the key to having someone take a next step on your website. Throwing all of your products and services on the home page or providing too many click-able links, buttons or options, does not help someone take a next step. Clarity trumps persuasion. Make clarity your friend. Being explicit in what you do and why you are different will create trust and help people through the buying process.
3. Evaluate the buyer journey
The buyer journey is a series of steps a potential buyer takes when he/she is on your website deciding if your product/service is the right solution for the problems they are looking to solve. Take the time to think through how you want people to engage with your website. List the micro-steps you have on your website today that allows them to confirm their level of understanding. You need to test how people are engaging with your site, where they leave your site, how long they read pages of content and when they are ready to give you their contact details in exchange for content on your website. List the steps on your website you have in place to guide them through a sales conversion about why they should choose you.
4. Identify conversion points
Marketing efforts must have a call-to-action. Communicating is not the same as marketing. Communicating is passively telling someone something (like product information) but marketing is eliciting a physical and measure response. If there is no physical and measurable response, you are simply communicating.
Examples of physical and measurable responses:
- Being able to share or Tweet great content on a visitor’s personal social media account (links to your corporate social media are useless to a visitor wanting to share).
- Asking someone to download helpful content in exchange for an email address.
- Placing an instructional video in a useful place on website content illustrates how much someone wants to learn and this action can be tracked effectively including length of time they watched and what they did at the end of the video
- Subscribing or unsubscribing from your email list.
You must have a conversion point on your website where people can do something. What do you want people to do on your website because just offering them a “contact us” option in the main navigation is no longer enough.
5. Use your Google Analytics
The best way to measure if your website is working is to look at the data. Running Google Analytics code on the back-end of your website allows you to track number of visitors, time on page, geography of visitors, number of returning versus new visitors, keywords used to find your site, etc. There is gold in the data and many business owners ignore it.
The most interesting part of Google Analytics is In-page Analytics. This allows you to see the percentage of people who click through on different places on your website. You are able to track how many people are clicking on one menu item versus the other, etc.. This is an awesome way to determine where people are clicking on your website and if people are following the buyer journey you have set up for them on your website. In fact, we think this is so important we are running a Workshop on How to use Google Analytics to redesign the next version of your website.
Google Analytics allows you to set benchmarks for your website and track and compare over time. Do you have Google Analytic running on your website? Are you running reports on your website on a monthly basis? Here is a great template for Monthly Digital Marketing Reporting.
So the $64,000 question: Is your website performing? If not, register below for our workshop.