Since March/April 2020, life on Earth changed dramatically. In many cases, it’s changed forever… with thousands of businesses realising just how much you don’t need the office – and embracing the work from home model (as did we). We had already planned to move out of our existing offices in Southend, and we were actively looking for a new place whilst temporarily moving to the work-from-home model… but as lockdown looked imminent, we decided to just fully embrace the model, adjusted how we communicated slightly (we moved to Microsoft Teams and a few other things to help us cope), and it worked like a dream.
At the start of lockdown, we had a number of our marketing clients pull the plug (as you would expect)… and whilst I understand why… we increased our marketing activity and continued to ‘put ourselves out there’ – because ultimately, if everyone else is stopping advertising, it’s the best time to start.
We also had a healthy percentage of our clients continue their marketing… even though some had businesses which were physical “bricks and mortar” businesses and forced to close – they understood the importance of lead generation… and we just adjusted their campaigns accordingly. Over the last six months they (and we) have continued to generate many leads/sales… This was almost exclusively done via Google Ads, but also many other platforms / mediums were used.
But a word of warning… before you go generating lots of visitors to your website, you need to make sure it’s done in the right way, otherwise you could be wasting money / not getting the best return on your investment. So here are my ‘top tips’ for developing a new website:
1. Make sure you know the purpose of your website
The first thing to establish when setting up a new website is a question people often forget to consider: What do you want your website to do? Clearly the end-goal is to generate more customers, but how it goes about that can be done in dozens if not hundreds of different ways. Where are you planning to advertise your site / how are you planning on bringing people there? What’s your offering to people / what does your product or service do for people?
The key question is: What’s the benefit of what you’re offering?
One you’ve got that figured out, you need to work out how to effectively communicate that message to people. You see, you could have the most amazing product in the world, that helps resolve real ‘pain’ (be it literal or figuratively) but if your website / content doesn’t communicate that in the right way, no-one will ever know.
So what’s the purpose of your website? To get someone to call you? Buy a product online? Fill out an online enquiry form? Request a quote? Well, the next point may help with that…
2. Provide good, quality content in exchange for their details
Whether you’re selling online with e-commerce, or looking for leads for your services-based business, one thing will always be true.
For the majority of the time people are using the Internet, they are not using it to buy.
This is a really important thing to understand, because once you do – you’ll realise that one of the best ways to generate leads and/or sales online, is to offer information in exchange for people’s details, so you can continue to email them / provide follow up information and/or offers. If you think about it, it makes sense… you’ll get hundreds or thousands of visitors to your website, but handfuls of sales/enquiries in comparison. The majority of people, are looking for information – or they’re researching suppliers.
So the key to success, is simply – be there, and provide good content. Offer people a download/guide or similar, in exchange for their name/email, then follow up with them relentlessly. Clients of ours often worry about being seen as a ‘pest’ or ‘spam’ – but if people have requested information from you, and you send nothing but useful, interesting, or entertaining content – the chance of them choosing you over other suppliers is significantly higher.
3. Make sure your website is extremely mobile friendly, and a phone number is prominent
The first part of this point is pretty obvious, everyone knows now that your site has to be mobile friendly. But what’s probably more important, that I see over and over again as being missing – is a really prominent phone number.
Think about it.
The majority of web traffic is now mobile… everyone’s on their phone all the time. Even when they’re a desk, they’ll often Google things on their phone or check Facebook etc. So the chances of them landing on your site on a phone is way higher than it ever has been before.
This means you MUST have a mobile friendly – but crucially… they’re on a phone! So getting them to phone you is just common sense, right? The more you can engage with someone in a phone call at the start, the higher the chances you’ll get the sale.
4. Write for the customer/client, not for search engines
This is one something people often don’t think about. They’ll think that content has to be stuffed with the relevant keywords to make sure Google pushes them to the top of the ranks… and sure, you should have all the right, relevant keywords in the right places… and should make use of all best “seo practices”… but what’s more important, is that the way your content is written does the following:
a. It captures the reader’s attention
b. It creates interest from the reader
c. It creates a desire for the product/service
d. It provides a simple, obvious call to action
In the copywriting world, this is referred to as AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire/Decision, Action). If you focus on anything else within your content, you’re not going to get people’s attention, you’re going to be losing people’s interest, they won’t have the desire for your product and without a good strong call to action, they won’t know what to do even if they did want it.
So there we have it, my top tips for creating a new website. If you follow those, you’ll have something that’s ready to market, and will generate you sales/leads when you do.
To find out more about how I can help, or to request a free copy of my book (The Disorganised Business Owner’s Bible – which talks through all the above in much more depth) simply call us on 01702 668558 or click here for a call back.