October 21, 2019
For many businesses your website is your storefront. For most, it's the first impression your prospects and customers will make with you.
For something so essential to the life of your business, it's easy to leave it to the wayside. It's quite common to find websites that are not optimized, not posting content regularly, or not being tracked and leveraged. This is not an indictment, its simply calling out common issues we all face as marketers and business owners.
While your website may not be the crucial element in closing a deal, it could be the first detractor to preventing someone from taking the next step. If you are to grow your brand and truly leverage your website then you need to see it as an extension of yourself and your business.
Some of these problems are easy to avoid if you recognize them. You may fall under one or multiple of them - it's okay though, we all do. In this post, we will identify common problems that your website must avoid in order to truly stand out from the competition. We'll provide actionable steps you can take to avoid these common issues in the future, as well as tools to help your team.
This one is critical, and quite simple to get in the habit of doing.
How often do you track your site's metrics? We're talking things like page views, sessions, bounce rate, etc. What about where your traffic is coming from or your conversion metrics on your website?
If these questions are giving you a sinking feeling in your stomach or causing you to sweat, don't worry - we feel you. A common mistake business owners and founders make is not measuring or understanding their site's performance and metrics. The difference between an 'okay' marketing strategy and one that kicks butt is the latter is likely based off data. If you are not tracking your site's performance and metrics it's as if you've bee asked to make a wedding cake blindfolded.
Fortunately, the barrier to entry here is pretty low.
Programs like Google Analytics provide analytical statistics measuring your website traffic. One of the common problems, especially for businesses just starting out, is the inability to gain substantial viewers on your website. However, if your business has been operating for several months - our years - and traffic has not improved it's time to review your data. Consider examining what type of content is performing well, where your traffic is coming from, and how effectively you are reaching your target market. Google Analytics makes it easy to view your site's traffic at a high level as well as dig deeper into the demographics of your visitors. Crafting buyer personas or soliciting feedback from current website visitors are a few ways to start figuring out how you can improve the design or content of your website.
As mentioned above, your website is often the first impression you'll make with your customers
With people turning to search engines to make their buying decisions (seriously, over 90% of the time people go onto the internet it's to use a search engine) it's important to land the right first impression.Just as you'd do in person, it means being presentable and inviting for your visitors.
Website design is essential to your marketing goals because an easy-to-use website assists users efficiently and can help make them brand ambassadors for your website.
Thankfully it's easier than ever to create a beautiful website when you are short on time.
If you are completely new to the web, hiring a designer/developer is likely the way to go. If you're more adventurous then most website (commonly called CMS) platforms have visual page building tools to give you a boost. Our site, for example, is built on Wordpress and uses the Elementor plugin for more advanced features. This costs us around $150/year and after a day or two of setup is pretty low maintanence. Squarespace and Wix are other popular and low-cost options as well should you want to give them a try.
Whatever you do, make sure your site is clean, easy to read, and has a clear CTA (call to action) to convert visitors into leads.
Poor SEO remains one of the toughest challenges especially for content marketers just beginning their business.
SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing your website for search engines (hence the name). Digging a bit deeper, SEO covers things like keyword usage, page speed, and site structure. Google's primary job is to answer questions (if the results Google returned weren't very good, then you'd use a different search engine right?) , so what Google chooses to show on the first page of results is critical to its success.
At its core, SEO is about creating content that clearly answers questions and is easily identified by Google's algorithm as something worth surfacing. Far too many businesses ignore SEO, which can set you at a serious disadvantage. SEO is the difference between your or your competitors being found on Google, I'll bet you'd prefer to appear over them every time right?
SEO is a topic that can dominate an entire collection of blog posts, so let's keep it simple. The best thing you can do is narrow down your content to a few broad topics that you want to be known as an expert on. Based on these topics, try to choose 5-10 keywords that you want to focus on - they could be questions you commonly hear or search terms you see your competition appearing for.
From there it's a matter of ensuring you are using those keywords across your site and creating content (like blog posts) around them.
Related to SEO is creating quality content, and creating it regularly.
On average, companies that blog see 67% more leads over those who do not. The key though is to write on a consistent basis. Far too often we see businesses create content, not see it perform well (usually it's because it didn't go viral and bring in customers) and then stop. Or worse, they get really excited and create many blog posts, then drop off to a slow trickle.
Quality content is a necessity to ensure new and repeated customers. The adage that content is king is an important insight to remember - and it's still true. Blogging provides more indexable pages on your site for Google to track, gives you opportunities to rank for keywords, and provides your team with assets to share with customers or repurpose for social posts and email newsletters.
Remember to update other parts of your website as you evaluate the effectiveness of the other parts of your website as well.
These common problems can hamper your marketing goals if you do not seek to address them, but fear not!
Follow the tips outlined here and you'll start seeing the benefits to your site's traffic and conversion rates. It may seem overwhelming at first, but stick with it and continue to learn as you go.