This is blog two of a six blog sub-series on the topic of websites, part of the ‘All that PR & Marketing Bollox” weekly blog series.
I often get asked by clients: What’s the most important thing to have on my company’s website to promote sales?
Many people would consider the answer to be the obligatory About Us page. And while it’s important that you tell a strong and persuasive story about who you are as a company, I would argue it’s almost more vital to think about who it is that is coming onto your website, the type of company they are from, and the problems they are looking to solve.
Show your prospects that you 'get' their problems
One of the most important truths of the internet era is that visitors are becoming increasingly savvy and discriminating about a company and its motives based on its website. Thus, in my view it is as important, if not more so, to have an “About You” section on your website, or a page that describes your prospects and allows them to appreciate that you ‘get it’ and that you have the solution they are looking for.
After all, your prospect is almost by definition having to go through a process of discovery about who has the right solution to their problem and who is the most reputable person to buy from with the least risk of failure in delivery. So at the point of entry, “About You” should get your prospect to the point where they can see that you can solve their problems and should point them to where they can find out more about who else you have helped in their space. Even more effectively, providing content that is geared toward a particular job title will further drive home the point that you “get it” – that is to say you understand their problems and that you have solved them for others.
Check your Navigation
One more thing to be aware of in this journey is that given the wide use of search engines, you can’t assume that visitors will arrive on your home page and take the same measured navigation approach each time. Search will deliver a variety of different pages to the searcher—not necessarily your homepage—so make sure that he or she can navigate easily from wherever they land.
Is 'Contact Us' Useful?
Similarly, consider the overstated value of a “contact us” button. Everyone has one, perhaps lots of them on the web site in the mistaken belief that someone will immediately land on the website and say, “Great, please contact me now!” However, if you ask most website managers, they will explain that apart from customer service complaints, it is one of the least-used forms on the website.
This may seem a little counter-intuitive. But the problem here lies in the false assumption that your prospective client is ready to talk to you. You have to realize that on first arrival on your site—the start of their sales journey—they are likely to be at an early point through the sales funnel, offering them a “contact us” button is akin to promising them a call-back from an aggressive, pushy and probably annoying salesperson who isn’t going to leave them alone. Everyone hates a salesperson when they’re not ready to buy.
Give your prospects the information they need up front.
Unlike the B2C marketplace, B2B generally does involve human to human contact with a sales team at some point in the cycle, simply because a client needs to speak to someone to help them determine if a company can work within their specific context and constraints. However these days, the point at which that occurs is much later in that process, after they’ve gathered information about you and your competitors. Most prospective customers are somewhere between 50% and 70% of the way through the sales cycle before they are first willing to speak to one of your salespeople. So give your prospects the information they need up-front and avoid bothering them too soon.
Tip #8: The best way to demonstrate that you can solve your prospect’s problem is not just an “About Us” page but also, an “About You” page. Once you’ve sorted that, tread carefully, don’t ruin your chances by contacting them too soon.
If you are considering how you could improve the performance of your website for your prospects, you can download this handy checklist.