The 6 Keys to a Successful Website

Successful websites require time and investment. Your investment may be time or money, or a bit of both, depending on your skill set and resources. Here’s our guidelines for developing a strategy that produces success in the short-term, as well as future sustainability.

 

Purpose

 

Your website is the ultimate sales tool and must offer value to your business. Build your site for the user, with your business goal being top priority. What action do you want your audience to take? Perhaps your objective is for a purchase to be made, or to have users sign up for your newsletter, or contact you directly. Whatever your call-to-action may be, build your site accordingly. Your website page paths should focus on delivering that goal.

 

Functionality

 

One of the most crucial factors is usability. It’s impossible to know how your user will pass through your site, particularly if the navigation is illogical or your purpose is unclear. Ensure there is an efficient path that visitors may follow for your site. Your pages must be built with both your audience and purpose in mind. Focus on design and content, as well as the smaller details, such as text style and size.

 

SEO

 

Get back to the basics! Begin with quality content that entices your audience. Next, focus on the words you are using. Does your text match up with search engine queries? Test your keywords in order to understand what words to emphasis on your page. Online tools can help you master SEO but don’t fall victim to keyword abuse. At the end of the day, your content needs to be understandable to the reader and flow effortlessly. Search engines rules are constantly changing so you’re better off to focus your efforts on creating gripping, relevant content.

 

Data Analysis

 

There’s only one way you can determine if you’re hitting your goals and that’s by measuring your web traffic. The more skilled you become at measuring the appropriate things, the more successful your website can ultimately become. Site traffic isn’t the only data worth looking at. Hone in on unique visitors, devices used, time spent and conversions. Make changes based on your findings, re-measure and repeat, in order to ensure an optimum functioning site.

 

Quality Content

 

Is your message even worth reading? Ensure content is compelling, consistent and offers value. Consider your style of writing. Ask yourself – Is this readable? Personable? Does it make sense? Be sure to write for your audience and tell them exactly what they want to know. Providing original information that showcases your expertise and that provides value that your customers can’t find anywhere else will ensure they see your brand as an industry leader.

 

 

Operating a website can be a daunting, time consuming task. Just remember, profitable sites are more about quality, over quantity. You can absolutely be successful spending less money, as long as you streamline your efforts effectively.

The 5 Website Metrics Small Business Owners Must Understand

The 5 Website Metrics Small Business Owners Must Understand

A website is imperative to the success of any small business – but understanding the effectiveness of that site is the key to transforming consumer insights into actual sales.

So what metrics are the most important when it comes to how people are interacting with and using your small business site? Take a look at the top five website analytics you must understand to run a successful small business:

Page views. The most basic of all website metrics, you must know your baseline page views so you can tell if your site traffic is increasing over time – and by how much. Page views include all the “clicks” on your page, whether a visitor just goes to one page or multiple ones.

Unique visitors. This number is smaller than basic page views because it represents the individual visitors to your website. Someone who reads 20 product descriptions on separate pages only represents one unique visitor. The bigger the difference between unique and overall page views, the better. It means that the people who are coming to your page are sticking around.

Devices. How did your visitors arrive at your site? Increasingly, mobile is becoming the first internet source that people tap, completely cutting out the PC experience. This isn’t to say that you should completely neglect PC-friendly features but you should know how people are finding you. Ideally, your regular website should be optimized for mobile and users coming from all types of devices should be able to access what they need with ease.

Time spent. All the search engine optimization in the world won’t keep customers on your site for very long if they can’t find what they want easily. Are you doing enough to keep people on your site after that initial click? You certainly don’t want to hinder the buying process but you don’t want people clicking back to the search engine results mere seconds after finding you. If your website metrics are telling you that you have a high bounce rate, or percentage of viewers who leave your site after only seeing one page, then it might be time to consider more intriguing ways to keep people interested in your business and what it has to offer.

Conversions. From a bottom line perspective, this is the absolute most important metric to understand about a small business website. A good-looking site that ranks well in a search engine doesn’t mean a whole lot if it can’t take it one step further: converting visitors to customers. For some sites, a conversion occurs when a visitor actually buys something, and for others it happens when a contact form is filled out or a phone number is dialed. Whatever your desired outcome, knowing how many of your visitors are taking your cyber bait is important to fresh, innovative site updates. Most experts agree that on an ecommerce site, a 2.5 percent conversion rate is good.

 

Your small business website is your window to an entire world of customers – take advantage of that fact and let your analytics lead your website sales strategy.

 

10 Steps to Cleaning Up and Reigniting Your Sales Funnel in 2016

If you’ve noticed a sales slump, it may be time to clean up your funnel. With the New Year, it’s the perfect time to make adjustments to your processes to foster growth and customer loyalty.

 

10 Steps to Cleaning Up and Reigniting Your Sales Funnel in 2016

 

Step One: Clean Out Old Leads

Go through your current system to clean out any old leads. Find the leads you believe are still worth contacting, and keep those separate from the leads you are purging.

 

Step Two: Reestablish Follow Up Timeframes

Chances are, you’re going to find some leads that are overdue for follow-up. Here’s your chance to establish the right timeframe to reach out to those leads while they are still warm. Prioritize your timeframe to act quickly, as 50% of customers will choose the vendor that responds first. Your odds of reaching a lead increase 100 times if you call them within five minutes rather than waiting 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying and converting a lead increase by 21 times if called within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes.

 

Step Three: Enter New Leads

Go through your contacts and enter any new leads you have that haven’t been entered into your system. Categorize them based on whether or not they’ve been contacted, and whether or not they’re interested, so you know how to move along the rest of the funnel to help them convert. Remove any leads that are not qualified, or not interested.

 

Step Four: Establish Better Pipeline Processes

Now that you’re basically at a clean slate, consider how leads are moving through your pipeline. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an excellent tool to help you maintain your pipeline and improve customer service.

 

When leads come in from various sources, where do they go? How much time do you have to enter them? Who or what qualifies them? Who or what moves them along in the funnel? How much time do sales agents have to follow up with the leads? Determine what makes the lead an opportunity, and move forward accordingly.

 

Step Five: Evaluate Your Current Funnel

Every business wants to move a lead to a converted customer and a converted customer into a repeat buyer. Every business has a different approach for getting customers from one stage of the funnel to the other.

 

Does your current funnel work as well as you’d like? What could you do to improve it? Are leads coming in and getting stuck in the process? Or, are you having trouble with lead generation? Find out where your problem spots are.

 

Step Six: Make Adjustments to Your Marketing Strategy

Based on what you determine about your current funnel, you’ll need to make adjustments to your marketing strategy.

 

If you’re having trouble with lead generation, it’s time to amp up email, social media and content marketing efforts to help build brand awareness and bring in new leads.

 

If on the other the hand, the number of leads isn’t the problem, and you’re instead finding the leads in your system aren’t as qualified as you’d like, you’ll need to adjust marketing efforts to better target your ideal buyer.

 

And, if you have plenty of qualified leads, but they’re not converting – you’ll need to take a look at where they’re dropping off. What is your competition doing? Is your pricing too high? Your process too complex? Consider asking for feedback to help you find and solve the problem.

 

Step Seven: Start Funneling New Leads

Once you’ve worked out all the kinks and have your new funnel and marketing strategy in place, test your adjustments. When new leads come in, follow the established follow up timeline and pipeline guidelines to see if the funnel starts moving again.

 

Step Eight: Nurture the Leads Through the Funnel

Use lead nurturing techniques such as follow-up phone calls and emails to move leads through the funnel. Take note of where leads fall off in the funnel to identify weak areas. When the data points to a pattern, you know it’s time to adjust yet again.

 

Step Nine: Rinse and Repeat

When you’ve found what works—keep it going. Keep marketing efforts bringing in the new leads, follow your established pipeline practices to qualify your leads, move them through the funnel, and convert them into customers.

 

Step 10: Regularly Purge Old Leads

Even when your funnel is overflowing with prospects and the marketing machine is working to bring in profit, take time to purge old leads as you go, so you don’t end up with a buildup of clutter.

 

Getting your sales funnel right won’t happen overnight, but by keeping yourself organized and paying attention to the data and analytics from your CRM and website, you can focus your efforts on the key areas that will promote change.