Articles, Projects and More
Find some insights, ideas and inspiration in some of these articles. Blogging is one of the best ways to rank for SEO and to provide valuable content to your customer/client base.
I’m sure your business has a website right? I mean if you don’t, then congratulations, you are one of the rare businesses that can survive without a website. That is if you are doing well. I want to share with you some insights on some common mistakes people make when using websites and then I want to share with you one major change in the website strategy that will dramatically change your sales from the internet.
Did you know that 70-80% of people research a company online BEFORE visiting the small business or making a purchase with them.
That generally means that your website will be your customer’s first impression. The best advice I can offer you here is not to ask your spouse, friend or family member how they like your current site. The best opinions for this will come from your current customers. I would recommend sending them a short email with a few questions. Below is an example email I would send.
I want to thank you for being such awesome patrons of ABC Business and would like to ask you for a little help making your experience with us even better. Could you take 2 minutes and go to my website and look around. Then give me some feedback. Here are a few questions we are seeking answers to:
- Does the website load fast enough for you?
- Is the website easy to navigate?
- Were you able to find what you were looking for ?
- What would you like to see on the site?
- Did you use your phone or a laptop/desktop?
Thank you very much for your valuable time. We are looking forward to continuing to provide the best service in town. ”
Many people go on the assumption that just any old website will do. Even those template sites that let you build it yourself. This is a horrible mistake unless you have a zero budget. But once you have a budget, you must make this a priority. At the same time, I don’t suggest hiring just anyone that can build a website with pretty pictures. Esthetics are important but there are a few key things a good sales focused website must contain.
Only 2% or less of people that ever visit a website will ever give you their information.
Here is my list of what a great website must have in order to help the sales process.
- A great website design must be mobile optimized. Just about everyone uses their phones for search these days and mobile has overtaken desktop a few years ago as the #1 device used in the United States for internet use.
- A great website design must offer some information but not all information. Sales is about delivering value or even perceived value. Outside of an ecommerce store selling off the shelf products (like amazon), just displaying your products/services with prices on them won’t produce a lot of sales. You must use your website to display value and drive phone, email, direct message, or in store inquiries for more information.
- A great website design must give first before it asks for a sale. A simple way of doing this is offering “A FREE Guide To Losing 10 pounds in 30 Days.” or whatever makes sense for your business. You may have heard the term “Lead Magnet” before and that’s essentially what this is.
- A great website design must offer multiple opportunities for the visitor to give you their information in exchange for something….like a lead magnet. This ensures the visitors sees your offer and increases the 2% opt in rate. The lead magnet will more than double your optins.
- A great website design must easy to navigate and use. It should be quick to load. The main menu should not contain more than 6-7 menu items. You should group secondary options together and use drop down menus to help the visitors navigate to find what they are looking for.
Remember a confused mind says NO! If your website is confusing to use, then your competitor is more than likely getting your customers.
When websites were first introduced in the 90’s, you were told you need to have one but no one really took the time to think of it as assisted sales. People generally used it as a digital brochure. Today, websites have come a long way. So much so, that you need more than just a website now, you need a sales funnel. That’s right, a website isn’t good enough anymore.
What is a sales funnel? Well, a sales funnel is a system of web pages, digital advertising, and follow-up messages designed to gain the interest of a prospect and then help guide them to a transaction. That transaction could be a purchase. It could be an exchange of someone’s contact information for information or a trial of some sort. It could be to fill out a poll or sign a petition. Whatever the goal is there is a funnel for it. Here are the essential items in a typical product sales funnel.
- Ads (From Facebook, Instagram, Google, Youtube, and many other traffic sources)
- Landing Page
- Thank You Page
- Check Out Page
- One Time Offer Page
- Retargeting Ads (These are the ads that appear after you visit the product page and appear to follow you around the internet)
- Follow-Up Emails for cart abandonment
- Welcome Emails after the purhase
- Text Message Alerts and Notifications
- Appointment Scheduling Page *for those that work by appointment
There are many different types of funnels depending on what you are wanting to accomplish. Want to build your email list? There’s a funnel for that. Want to sell tickets to your event? There’s a funnel for that. Want to sell an expensive product and have it drop-ship to the customer without you ever touching it? There’s a funnel for that.
No matter what your goal, there is a funnel strategy to meet your needs!
Why a sales funnel and not use your website? Great Question!
Imagine you walk into a new restaurant and want to check them out. Their menu is huge! They’ve got everything from American comfort food to Italian to Chinese to 100 different types of pizza. You might be impressed at first but then you realize that it is becoming increasingly hard to make a decision. After sitting there for 20 mins confused, you decide to walk out. That’s what many people do when they visit businesses online. They go the the website and get confused and bounce.
The beauty of a sales funnel is the specificity of then entire process. Lets say I own that restaurant and I want people to try my 8 cheese pizza. Instead of running ads to everybody and allowing them to come to my website where I list my 500 items on the menu, I’m going to make everything about that 8 cheese pizza. Try to imagine this:
- An ad that shows a beautifully done pizza. Cooked to perfection. The video actually captures the steam coming from the pizza. The ad copy paints a picture of the most delicious pie you could imagine. The call to action is a 20% OFF coupon that needs to be downloaded and is only available online.
- They click the link on the ad and it takes them to a Landing Page. That landing page has no menu buttons at the top. No navigation. Just a simple page with a picture or video of that beautiful pizza and a BIG BUTTON that says GET YOUR 20% OFF COUPON HERE! They click the button and only have to enter their email address. BOOM! The coupon is delivered to the email and the business captures a new email.
Now the beauty of this method is that you can target pizza lovers only in your advertisements. You don’t have to target the entire population (although I don’t know who doesn’t like pizza) but this gives you extreme power over your advertising dollar. Plus when that customer who downloaded your coupon comes into your restaurant, what do you think they are going order? PIZZA, right! If they liked the pizza they will more than likely come back and chances are high that they got a look at the menu and started thinking about what they might want to try next time. What you just did is simplify there mind for them. In the future you can send a different coupon to your email list and since email marketing is one of the cheapest way to reach your customers and prospects, this is a major win-win.
Some companies have abandoned the website altogether and have gone to a straight up landing page funnel instead of a website but I still recommend having both. Keep an eye out for my video blog about this subject. It may make it easier to understand than reading about it. I will post the video here once it’s done.