In this week's video, the author and curator, Bob Dearsley, explains how your website is the first touch point between you and your potential customers, and how to set your website up so it acts like your best marketing and sales employee.
As someone who owns my own business, I often spend time in my home office in the evening, trying to solve the business problems that I don’t have time to solve during the day. If you are an a start-up or SME business owner who spends your days responding to clients, dealing with HR problems, emails from your accountant, and attending meeting after meeting, I imagine you also cherish the precious hours that are free of interruption in the early morning and later at night.
In these moments, when I’m searching the internet looking for a product or service that my company or business might need to implement, to stay ahead of the competition, sometimes I know exactly what the solution I’m looking for is, and sometimes I don’t. At this time of day, I can’t pick up the phone to call a sales rep—and thankfully, no one can pick up the phone to call me—so the content of those websites is my only tool in determining if they’re going to be useful to me or not. This common scenario is the perfect representation of one of the most important fundamentals of doing business today: “Your website meets your prospects before you do.”
How Do Your Visitors Reach Your Website?
So consider that there are only four ways you can arrive on a website:
- Direct: A prospect may type the URL directly into their browser because they already know it and may revisit using a browser bookmark.
- Referral: Visitors may reach your website by clicking on a link from an email, social media, other file, other website etc.
- Organic Search: Prospects might key a term into a search engine, such as Google, and follow a link to your website from search results.
- Paid Search –The same process as organic search, but instead a prospect follows an advertised link, or by clicks on an advertisement on a website.
Firstly prospects may land directly on your website as they know you company name as a result of your profile in the marketplace. There is no substitution for good marketing and promotion, whether that is PR, word of mouth referrals or direct promotion.
Secondly, click throughs from other activity can make a significant impact on the volume of visitors. Email still has the ability to catch people at the right time, although I do not in any way condone spam. Deliberately targeted emails to defined individuals in a target market offering more than “Do you want to buy one of these?” is still an appropriate and efficient method of communication with your target market. But be careful and make sure it is well targeted.
Points three and four come from a clearly search engine optimised website. Organic search, in most B2B environments delivers somewhere in the region of 75% of traffic to a well optimised site. Paid media, if targeted well, will also deliver interested parties to your website but remember that you can reduce your expenditure and rank higher by having a high quality score.
Finally, please consider once you’ve got someone to arrive on your website, it is absolutely vital that you engage with them. Make sure your website has the opportunity for visitors to leave footprints like contact details, and ensure your content is relevant, engaging and – I can’t emphasise this strongly enough- explains exactly what you do for your customers.
Closing tip: There are a specific number of ways that people can find your website. When they do, make sure they can directly engage with you and understand exactly what you do. You may only get one chance to engage that prospect.