David Abell | AMT Squirrel Works
Your website should be one of your top marketing tools. You utilize it to create inbound sales, attract exciting new leads and communicate your company’s message, vision and goals. That is why periodic assessment of your marketing strategy – what works, what needs improvement, and what can change – is not only necessary but crucial.
Here’s the problem. All too often, businesses inadvertently forget about their website and what a workhorse it can be. Once it’s designed, up and running, and chugging along, too many businesses sit back with a sigh of relief believing that the website will hum along on its own, bringing in new customers.
But what happens when this doesn’t occur?
Most of us forget about the website we spent so much time and money designing. We forget that a website can be tweaked to better serve our interests and our customers’ needs. We forget that technology changes almost daily, and how critically important it is that we keep up with the trends. We forget that a website is similar to a machine – it needs maintenance. These are mistakes, and they can be costly.
The good news is that the first step in fixing any problem is in understanding what is wrong. Here are the three top reasons your website might be costing you money instead of boosting your business.
With more than 50 percent of site visits originating on mobile phones, Google has begun penalizing websites slow-to-respond on mobile devices.
Lack of Clarity
Are your company’s services easily accessible to a first-time visitor to your website? Is the most relevant information front and center, so it’s the first thing potential customers see? If the answer to either of these questions is no, you need to consider your website’s layout.
Customers aren’t looking for snazzy graphics or heartwarming stories detailing how your company began. When potential customers visit your website, they want to know two things: what value you offer and why they should do business with you. This means, your website should be neat, presentable and easy to navigate. A customer should never struggle to find content that answers these two questions.
Speaking of content – are you using easy-to-read headings that offer key information? Does your content answer critical questions that will differentiate you from other companies? Are you a trucking company or a broker? What kinds of loads do you specialize in? Where do you operate? This content must be easy to read, short and to the point. Don’t risk losing a potential customer whose interest is always one click away from being gone.
Remember, potential customers need to know why you are the best provider for their needs. If your website doesn’t answer these questions, it’s costing you money!
Vague and Complicated Contact or Purchase Process
Let’s assume your website has convinced a potential customer that they need your services. You’re off to a good start, but now you need to make sure you have a clear call-to-action. Are you asking potential customers to reach out to you right now? If you’re not, you need to fix this with an eye-catching button on each page. It can’t be stressed enough how critical it is that your call to action is clear, concise and accessible.
If your call to action is clear, take a good, long look at your website to make certain it’s easy for your potential customer to contact you. Then it’s time to revisit your contact page. Is your information correct and up-to-date? Transportation companies often make the mistake of over-complicating the contact form, or creating a long form with too many questions. Respect your customer’s time by whittling that form down. Ask only what is necessary for a sales team member to reach out with the information requested. Simplifying this process will increase the number of contacts you make, giving your sales staff the opportunity to create personal relationships with new customers.
Time is money — if your website doesn’t have a clear call to action and an easy and rewarding process of contacting you, it’s costing you money!
Research shows that a good, lead-producing website doesn’t have to be flashy to attract potential customers. In fact, simplicity and clarity beat flashy every day, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore current design trends or good practices set by search engines such as Google. Furthermore, an outdated theme will scream to customers that your company is stuck in its ways, and not the industry leader poised to help them meet their shipping goals. A new visitor needs only a few seconds to lose interest in a company whose out-of-date website does not communicate their personality, ethics, mission and brand message.
Let’s say your website is up-to-date, clear, and concise. Have you pulled it up on a mobile device? Your website should look as good, if not better, on a mobile device. With more than 50 percent of site visits originating on mobile phones, Google has begun penalizing websites that are slow to respond on mobile devices. Your customer lives and works in a fast-paced world and relies on a mobile phone to make quick decisions. Don’t forget how easy it is to click (or swipe) away from a poorly designed mobile website.
An engaging website on all platforms is a must and your website is costing you money if it’s not interactive, responsive and vivid.
Tackling these three mistakes with a simple redesign of your website might be the easy answer to a website that isn’t generating more leads and a company that isn’t growing. Remember your website can save, rather than cost, you money if you implement clarity, a robust call to action with easily navigable contact forms and an up-to-date and engaging website. If you follow these three rules, your website will become one of the best marketing investments you make.
The author, David Abell, is Product Manager with AMT Squirrel Works. He may be reached at [email protected] or (618) 509-5740.
We forget that a website is similar to a machine – it needs maintenance