Your website should be a content-driven, lead generating machine that attracts quality customers to your site and solves their problems through varied and focused content. The ‘online brochure’ website is the singles biggest killer to your marketing in today’s ‘Age Of Information’.
Here’s a 10 point checklist to see whether you have an online brochure for a website:
1. No Humanisation:
In today’s online world, our customers have the power. No longer can companies put on the act of being a big faceless conglomerate. Our customers want engagement from us. They like the human touch. People do business with people, not logos. If you are in business today, you have to engage with your customers. Humanise your brand to monetise. Rather than hiding behind your logo and stock images of business people that we don’t know, (which people hate), have a picture of yourself. When people can see who they are dealing with it builds trust and will therefore more likely encourage them to get in touch and do business with you.
2. No Content That Solves Your Customer’s Problems/Needs:
Your customers are after content that solves their problem/needs. They can quite easily type a search into Google/YouTube and quickly find an answer in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Your website needs to be full of content that solves focused problems/needs of your customer. If you don’t have any content that is relevant, interesting or compelling then your customers will simply move on to somebody else – even though you may be the best service provider in your industry.
3. Your Website Content Never Changes:
If you are not dedicated to creating content for your customers then by default your website will not change. This is bad for two reasons:
i) You are not satisfying your customers’ needs. This therefore will not allow you to build trust, demonstrate your knowledge and encourage the sale.
ii) A static website that doesn’t change is very bad for your SEO. You will rapidly slip down the SERPs if your website is only updated once in a blue moon.
4. Too Much Info About You And Your Company:
Your customers don’t care about you or your company. (Sorry to be harsh!) They care about the benefits of your products/services. If your website has huge text-heavy sections that go on and on about you, rather than solving your customers’ needs then you have an online brochure. I have seen company websites that go on and on about their location, the fact that they are situated next to a canal – who cares?! Your customer wants to know if you can solve their problem/need. Don’t get me wrong, keep it balanced. Have an info section about you but keep it short and most of all – relevant. Showcase your experience and a bit about why you are doing what you’re doing. (This is a great way to humanise your brand.)
5. Long History Section:
Let’s face it – when was the last time you read a company’s history section?… The fact is that most people don’t care about your company’s history. It’s OK to have a little blurb about it but keep it short. Heritage is good but it doesn’t mean the same to your customers as it does to yourself. A short blurb is fine but try and jazz it up and make it relevant. Include why it’s important to you rather than a dull history lesson.
6. No Blog:
Blogs are by far one of the best ways to bring your website up to speed. It is a brilliant way to demonstrate your knowledge in your industry; to create brilliant content to solve your customers’ needs; to increase your SEO; to drive more traffic to your website (companies that blog drive around 70% more traffic to their website than those that don’t).
7. No Landing Pages:
Landing Pages are one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site and to generate leads/sales. Landing pages are very underused but are crucial to driving quality traffic to your site to make sales. Landing pages are so useful for things like special offers, announcements, competitions, downloads, giveaways etc. This is a great way for your customers to engage with your site and to see and obtain relevant information that is valuable to them.
8. No Calls To Action (CTAs):
We have seen that our customers are after engagement. Once they come to your site they should be met with everything they want to see. One way to drive engagement is to include CTAs. these are subtle and direct commands that encourage your customers to do what you wish them to do – watch, book, download, enquire, reserve etc. You have to come from the mindset that you have to tell your customers what to do. You are responsible for directing them through your website. You determine where you want them to go. The aim should be to drive them to effective and relevant landing pages that will encourage a lead/sale.
9. Not Generating Leads:
A website that doesn’t generate leads is like the pencil with no point – pointless. Your website should be a lead generating machine. If your website generates leads then it is a good reflection that your website is doing a good job of attracting and retaining customers. Your website will often be the first point of contact with the customer. It should represent you in the best way and in a human way. By doing so you should be able to increase your leads generated.
10. No Social Links:
One of the best ways to humanise your brand is to be social. what better way to be social than to be a part of the wonderful world of social media. This is where you can really engage with your customers and to also build a strong online community. If your website doesn’t have social links it can actually put people off your website. This is because more and more of our customers are hanging out on social media. They now start to ask enquiries or complain through social media. They expect you to be there too to answer their enquiries. (Click to download my FREE eBook ’10 Commandments of Social Media’.)
Hi, I’m Haroon Rashid and I’m the author of this blog and the founder of Finisher Creative. If you are a small business or a charity/non-profit I would be more than happy to talk to you about your online marketing and social media needs. If you’re in the Yorkshire area (UK) I’ll even take you out for a coffee! You can email me on email@example.com, check me out on Facebook, follow me @FinisherCre8ive or Google+ I look forward to hearing from you!Get a FREE Consultation