8 Sales Tests for your Website
As we approach Christmas, it’s a good time to reflect on the business and plan for 2014. Ideas that have been suppressed whilst doing the day to day work come to the fore. It may involve getting new business, changing direction, developing new services.
Generally its a worthwhile time to review the website to make sure it still targets the right audience and clearly defines the services or products you offer.
I thought I’d share 8 sales tests for your website which I’ve listed out whilst going through the exercise myself.
Do you know who your audience is? Maybe it’s more than one audience. Can you describe them and visualise them?
The image is a frame from a video called How To Get More Clients Using Customer Insight Mapping – he begins to construct the above diagram from 6:10. It is by Ian Brodie. I’ve not found anyone who can explain the process of profiling your audience and proposition as well as Ian.
Keywords should underpin your whole business. They are the words or phrases that your audience will type into Google to find you. Or if someone says a word, they immediately think of you.
The keyword needs to be a central part of your strapline, which in a sentence describes what you do to anyone you meet. The strapline should be in the title of your website as well as on flyers, business cards and other marketing material.
Have a look at the Hallam Internet diagram and see how central the Keyword Research is.
For a service based business like mine, the About page is critical. Visitors to your website want to know you are credible before spending any time looking at the rest of your website. Around one in three will first visit the About page before looking at anything else.
The About page needs to be transparent, honest and genuine. It has to be about the owner and not the company. For most small businesses the company name is irrelevant as it is not yet a credible brand. So don’t hide behind it.
4. Demonstrate your worth
give them something for free that draws on your skills
Once a visitor has looked at your About page, they will feel relaxed to look round your website. Demonstrate your worth – give them something for free that draws on your skills. Something that you wouldn’t charge for normally but is deemed of value to the visitor.
It may be an article, blog, case study or perhaps a piece of research or a survey. Ideally use your target keywords in the title to draw in visitors through this content.
5. Build Contacts
The primary purpose of a service website like mine is to get in touch with people I can do business with. If they like the initial free content they read, maybe they are happy to leave their email in exchange for receiving a downloadable document. Maybe they will leave their email and permission to be updated when the next blog comes out.
6. Inform or Buy mode
When I visit Tesco Direct to do my online shopping I’m in a buy mode. I know what they sell, I trust them so want to buy and leave.
This is a very different mode to when I’m searching around the internet to be educated, informed or signposted. I’m in an inform mode and it’s the mode most visitors to a service website are in. It may take several visits before the visitor decides to engage and switches to buy mode.
Buy mode in this case will involve getting in contact or perhaps requesting a quote.
The visitor should know where to go to buy and what the service is they’re buying, but it doesn’t need to be sold to them. They’ll go there when they feel comfortable and are ready. It is important to have a very clear “call to action” that can be easily found by the visitor.
Take another look at the Hallam Internet map in point 2. There are numerous ways of promoting and selling services. Not all will work for each business. The chosen channels need to be joined up in a strategy with a series of campaigns.
Where does your audience hang out?
Now consider again the audience from point 1. Which forms of media will they look at, read, respond to? Where does your audience hang out? This will determine who you’re promoting to and what message you’re giving out.
Google Analytics is a superb free tool that can analyse every aspect of your website. It’s pretty easy to install on most websites. Its the way to determine the effectiveness of keywords, who your audience is, entrances to and exits from pages & visitors to each page.