We get a lot of our business from website owners whose sites deliver precious few sales leads to the bottom line. Why? Because they were never designed and filled with content with lead generation in mind. Their sites were created as Web brochures just in case anyone stumbles upon them and wants to know more about the company and its products or services. As Bob Dylan wrote, "the times, they are a-changin'...".
Bottom line - it doesn't matter how good your SEO guru is, how much money you spend on PPC ads or how beautiful your website looks. If your website isn't designed to capture sales leads, you are wasting your money. If there isn't at least one compelling "hook" on your home page and throughout your site, you have no way of capturing leads. If you are in business to make money, you might want to consider a design refresh.
All of the usual rules for attracting visitors and making your site "sticky" still apply. You must state who you are, what you do and what's in it for your visitor. The best designs do this without a lot of text or too many images. A great logo and tagline go a long way towards identifying you and stating your value proposition. After that, it's all about your target market. You have to anticipate what your potential customers are looking for and what "grabs" them. There's a lot of range to an effective design, but in general the following elements must be highly visible:
We do some pretty snazzy designs for our clients, and there are good marketing reasons for that. Let's face it, if you're like most people, you're online way too much these days. And yes, you see a lot of websites that are nicely optimized for marketing. So, you see a lot of calls-to-action and banners and "click here" links and buttons. It all starts to look like one big advertisement, which is one thing we are trying to avoid. A unique and beautiful design can go a long way towards alleviating that oversaturation problem. If the design itself is truly captivating, you stand a much better chance of keeping your visitor's attention and causing them to explore, click-through and interact with your Web presence.
I won't use the "i" word here (hint, it's the opposite of outbound marketing), but I want to emphasize that in today's consumer-is-king world, redesigning your website earns you precisely nothing. Marketing these days is a process of making connections through content and engagement. If you take a day off, your chances of capturing qualified sales leads go down. If you work at it consistently and follow a comprehensive strategy, they go way up. If you think of your website as a static piece of marketing collateral, you have already lost the battle to your competitors. You must dedicate talent and time to keeping your site fresh and targeted, alive and vital. You must work it constantly and measure everything. It's time to put your website to work for you as one of your most valuable marketing assets. Don't redesign your website, redesign your marketing strategy.
Photo credit: Bub Dylan
To learn more about the "i" word...