1. Begin with the End in Mind
There was a time when clients approached us to help them with their digital marketing strategy, implying that they had a non-digital strategy too. There was online marketing and offline marketing. Today, we’re back to simply talking about marketing. Your customers are often so used to using search engines for answers to questions, they don’t even think about it as a separate activity. It’s like connecting to wi-fi or turning on the light switch and expecting the electricity to work.
When we look at new websites or a website re-design it’s with those ideas in mind. How will your customer interact with the website? What’s the best way to have the website fit your existing sales approach? What will we want to see, hear, and feel two years from now? We want to build the site with enough of today’s technology to be effective, but also put future marketing tools in place. For instance, you may not be using video today, but we may find that it helps with conversions down the road. Having your Google Analytics, Google Adwords, and Google’s YouTube accounts set up and communicating with each other from the start makes future marketing easier and more effective.
At LeadGen Compass we put preventative actions in place and come up with contingent plans to make your marketing seamlessly effective. You can do the same by coming up with a vision of the future, and then imagining where your company fits. Build with that in mind.
2. Make the Website Useful for Your Team
One of the best sources for web traffic in your company are your employees. Are they sending prospects and customers to the website to find answers to questions? Are they getting their own questions answered? Do they view the website with a sense of pride?
After hundreds of website re-designs, LeadGen Compass knows how important it is to have a site that all of your employees are proud of and use on a regular basis. We’ve seen lead generation projects derailed because the staff hated their profile photos, projects stalled because the sales team was positive they were going to lose commission to a strong site, and customers who got so lost in a demo site that they started looking for competitive information. We know how important it is to track questions and place answers on your website.
Our suggestion is to start tracking common questions. We use a simple mantra to start these discussions: 5 and 5. What are five questions customers ask each day, and what are five questions you wish they would ask? Get that content up on your site. It’s best if your content creator, whether in marketing or outsourced, interviews your staff to get the answers. The better the content creator is at interviewing your staff, the more nuanced the content, and the more useful it will be in your sales cycle. We know there is sensitive information that you can’t put on the website, but in this day and age of prospects thinking they can find ALL information on the web, it’s best to default to oversharing. Trust us on that.
3. Stop Guessing
Another one of our mantras at LeadGen Compass is no guessing. There are a number of assumptions that we need to make to simply get through the day, but if we can remind ourselves to not guess, we prevent a lot of re-work and failure work.
You can apply this to your own website re-design efforts. Everything from calling a customer and asking for their input on how easy it is to complete a task, to getting answers to common questions directly from the employees that answer them is a form of not guessing. Before you make changes, make sure you know why you’re doing it. We’ve found that many times, doing nothing and watching does more to generate activity than multiple changes happening at once. Take a few moments and reflect on whether or not you’re guessing at what your customers and prospects want.
4. Test New Ideas
Finally, in website redesign, we rarely learn anything without testing for a better result. At LeadGen Compass we’ve paid for big website projects and felt our hands get sweaty when the marketing agency sends the final sign off. What if there’s a better solution or a better way?
The only want to know is to be prepared to test. The simplest test is the A/B test where you take version 1 and test it against version 2 to find out if there is another approach that resonates better with your prospects and customers. The secret to an A/B test is to start measuring what’s happening with version A. Get enough information on hand to set up a new target and test a different way to get there. That’s what was missing from the old website projects we did. With content management systems like WordPress and Drupal or quick build sites like Wix or Squarespace, it’s easy to make changes. Too easy in many cases.
Bottom line is this, have a reason to test a new idea. Set a target and make changes, but run the changes in parallel with the existing design. It will save you a ton of time over the years and generate better results in a shorter amount of time.
When LeadGen Compass builds a new site or redesigns your website, our primary objective is improving your lead generation process. We know we’re on track when the new site gets more traffic, qualified more leads, and increases revenue. If our four guidelines aren’t enough and you need more information on website re-design or new site builds, call us today.