Your website should be a powerful marketing tool, designed to generate leads and make your business money.

When thinking about your website, you should be asking yourself questions like:

Do you want new customers? Better quality customers? To compete less on price or more on value?

Most businesses fail to realise the full benefits of a sales driven website. The reason for this is simple:

Web design is NOT marketing. Often, web designers are creative types who focus on presentation instead of persuasion. While a nice presentation helps, you MUST persuade a potential customer that your business is the one they need to choose.  

The five most common problems we see with business websites are:

  1. Persuasion - the lack of a persuasive sales message (sales copy)
  2. Science - the absence of a scientific approach to testing ideas and messages
  3. Design - the website design hinders the goal getting the visitor to take action
  4. Tracking - a lack of tracking where leads and sales come from and what advertising sources are working
  5. Qualification - failing to maximise the number of qualified prospects visiting the website

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1. Persuasion

As a business owner or sales manager, you may not fully appreciate the value of professionally written sales copy until you see the results for yourself. Persuasive messaging works because people are hunting for information in order to make an informed decision. They are looking for reasons to choose your business from the pack. They are actively interested, they have a need for what you offer and they intend on spending money. SO, they will take the time to read information about why they should choose you.

Your sales copy should NOT be:

  • A bland, generic list of who you are and what you do
  • A list of exaggerated, overused buzz words that you see in just about every ad
  • A list of unrealistic claims without an explanation

This is what many websites do and their advertising is ineffective. Why? Because everyone is promoting the same hype. Prospects are ruthless and they will filter quickly.

So how do your write a persuasive message?

First, you grab a prospects attention so they have a reason to keep reading.

Then, you expand on who you are and what you do.

Your sales copy should:

  • be benefit focused
  • acknowledge objections, fears and problems
  • define the problems and present your solution
  • differentiate you from your competition
  • create value in their mind so that you are not competing on price alone

Most people buy on emotion, then justify their choice with logic. For this reason, your sales pitch should focus on their problems, fears and desires. Your prospect needs to imagine the positive feelings they will enjoy when your product or service has solved their problem.

All of this can be achieved by following a clear process to develop your message and then take a scientific approach to test and tweak your message until converts visitors into leads and sales at the highest rate.

In Canberra? Click here to register for your free on-site marketing consultation

2. Science

Many businesses lack a scientific approach to testing their marketing ideas and messages. These businesses often invest heavily in building a website yet enjoy little or no benefit from it's existence because they don't know how well it has performed. You should be asking yourself questions like:

How many leads has it generated? Are people visiting but is your message failing to convert them?

If you have a product that people want or need, you know there is a desire out there for it, your website should generate qualified leads and sales.

The only golden rule for what combination of message, layout, offer or other website element will give you the best rate of conversion of visitors to customers is to MEASURE EVERYTHING and EXPERIMENT. We can certainly give you an excellent starting point, one that we believe will put you in a better position that most of your competitors, but to get the most out of your advertising spend, you need to test many messages and evaluate what works.

We have developed testing and tracking strategies that allow us to monitor any element on your website; dynamically and on the fly. So we know precisely which version is generating the most leads and sales.

Consider the following example:

Bill runs a high traffic travel booking site. Being a visual product we need to find out which images should be on the main sales pages. We also want to try a couple of different headlines and first paragraph combinations.

We set up a test that uses three different images, two different headlines and two different first paragraphs. This gives us twelve possible combinations. The test starts by using different combinations in equal amounts. We then track how many conversions each combination receives. With sufficient data, we discover that one particular combination is converting 20% more than the original page. This combination becomes the new sales page.

Why is sort of testing important? It helps identify a clear winning message. This message becomes the base for future tests.

This might sound complicated or unnecessary, but it can make big differences to leads and sales for businesses of all sizes. When you consider that you may be paying $500-$2,000 per newspaper advertisement with no tracking data to support your spend, you should be investing in a few hours each month to improve your marketing message and see clear scientific results.

In Canberra? Click here to register for your free on-site marketing consultation

3. Design

Does your website design hinder the goal getting the visitor to take action?

Far too many websites fail in their primary goal: to encourage the visitor to read the your sales messages (including images) and lead them to take action.

Common problems with business website designs:

  • Inappropriate font style and size
  • Slow loading
  • Too cluttered
  • Difficult to navigate
  • Poor contrast between text and background colours
  • The use of text as image files (missing search engine indexes!)
  • Generally unprofessional design

Your website is your digital shop front. If you run a traditional business, people will be visit your website before they ever meet you in person. First impressions count! If you have or are planning to have an online presence, your website design is your only chance to make a credible impression.

Websites that are slow loading, hard to read or look cluttered and unprofessional cause people to hit the back button and move on the next website. This will cost you money, especially if you paid for advertising to draw them to your website.

Your website design should be:

  • Clean
  • Professional
  • Easy to read
  • Easy to navigate
  • Direct attention towards the key sales message
  • Create a call to action

There is nothing wrong with getting creative and having a design that looks fantastic, as long as it is done in a way that is consistent with the primary purpose of the website, which for most business is to make money.

In Canberra? Click here to register for your free on-site marketing consultation

4. Tracking

Are you tracking where leads and sales are coming from? Do you know what advertising sources are working? Do you know how much you should be spending on each advertising channel to yield maximum results?

If you are spending money on advertising you need to know exactly what channels are working.

You need to know:

  • How much revenue each advertising channel generates
  • Which search engine phrases are leading to in-store purchases
  • What you cost per acquisition is for each channel
  • Which advertising channel delivers you the best return per dollar spent

Some businesses make an attempt to solve these questions by recording how their customers found them, yet most are unable to generate a clear picture of exactly what is and isn't working because they lack the detail. Search engine advertising allows fine grain tracking to help you know precisely what search phrases are leading to people visiting your business and ultimately purchasing.

If you have been in business for some time you may have experienced times when you have spent significant amounts of money on advertising campaigns such as tv, radio and print. Were you left wondering what the actual return on the investment was? You need accurate information about how much business each channel is generating. You should also know what each channel costs and direct your advertising spend in the right direction.

In Canberra? Click here to register for your free on-site marketing consultation

5. Qualification

Are you maximising the number of qualified prospects visiting your website?

The final ingredient to a profitable website is getting people to your site. If we have done everything else and we add this into the mix, suddenly you have a great looking website, with a persuasive and compelling message that will convert visitors into leads.

Getting the right people to your site may involve any number of advertising channels. We have identified over 93 advertising channels that you could be using to drive traffic to your site. While no single channel should be disregarded, the obvious starting point for most businesses is search engine advertising.

The dominant search engine in Australia is Google with 85-90% of all searches. Yahoo and Bing are also worth considering and often offer lower costs for the same search phrases.

When your website is done right it will be the most powerful sales too at your disposal.

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