Unlock the Power of Your Website: Is It a Sales-Generating Machine or Just an Online Brochure?

authentic branding brand strategy customer journey website design Jan 30, 2024


I see it all the time. Marketers throwing money at the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of making their website high-functioning, they try to cut corners and ‘get it done’ adding another useless marketing tactic that drains the budget. 


And it doesn’t help with platforms offering “build it in a weekend DIY” website builders - you can build your website for cheap, then you end up wondering why it’s not working to bring you business. 


The truth is, a good high-functioning website should work for you.


It should be a marketing machine disguised as a beautiful, engaging online brochure. Whether it’s for a personal brand or an enterprise company, websites play a critical role in almost everyone’s business marketing strategy. 


In this article, I am going to show you 5 website elements you can assess easily to ensure a better customer journey. But first, let’s lay the foundation. 



The Purpose of a Website

Websites are pivotal to successful buyer journeys. It’s the first place people go to find out more about you when they encounter your brand. They may have heard about you, or maybe they were searching for the solution you provide online and they landed on your site. 


Your website is where all roads lead - meaning it’s a single point of relevant information about your services and products. From social media posts, to events and other marketing tactics, the idea is to drive traffic to your website and lead them on a journey. 


A journey to learn more about one thing: How are you going to make their life better? 

Can you solve their problem? 


Because we are communicating in a digital world, your website must be deliberately and strategically designed according to your business plan, marketing plan, and your brand story. 


The Customer Journey

When a prospect lands on your website, they’d better have a great first impression that encourages them to stay and keep scrolling to find out more. 


Next, you want to make sure that the prospect is led through your homepage to take the action you want them to take. This could be clicking one of your service boxes to learn more about your offers. It could be that they click your About Page, which is very likely since it’s the 2nd most viewed page on your site after the Homepage. 


Your website is where people go to learn about you, and to buy! Or at least take the next step - like booking a call or signing up for a free download. 


As in any marketing endeavor, we must keep asking questions, and websites, one of the most expensive business expenses, deserve no less. 


You will want to ask questions like:

  • Where are our leads coming from?
  • When they download a free offer, are the Thank You pages nice and inviting?
  • How are our social posts performing - are they engaging? 
  • Do all the Call-To-Action buttons work?
  • Is the navigation easy and smooth?
  • Are people clicking on all the sections on the homepage?


Because if you don’t understand what’s working on your website, and what isn’t, then you won’t know how to give your visitors to your website a great experience.  You simply won’t get traction. I hope you’ve got a great website that is functioning to give you new leads while you sleep! 


The good news is that there are some easy ways to measure your success. In this article I’m going to take you through 5 assessments you can make to ensure that visitors to your website are happy, and can easily choose exactly what they want to do next! (remember: that means what you want them to do next.


Let’s dive in! 



Don’t Ignore the Obvious

Even though analytics and statistics are not your thing, we should not ignore the data.  And it's not that difficult. 


Easily accessible, we have the information we need to make executive decisions by simply paying attention to the data. It's easy and doesn't take long to assess - less than an hour. Through this you know what you need to do to improve the customer journey on your site. Keep in mind that many platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Wordpress have analytics built-in. 

Google Analytics is a fast and easy way to see where your visitors are spending their time on your website. Review each section, and their location and assess. What pages of the site are people viewing the most? How long do they spend on any one page? There are great free tutorials on how to get the most from this data. 



Five Elements to Evaluate to Improve Your Website's Effectiveness. 



1. Rotating Banners: Don't Do It

Your hero image at the top of your homepage is prime real estate.  You've seen the rotating banners or sliders on websites? Yes, they allow you to show multiple banner messages to your website, visitors, by presenting them one at a time, but you are wasting some top visibility moments. Here's why. 


These rotating banners automatically rotate with sometimes a button for the visitor to control the rotation.

They usually rotate automatically at fixed time intervals. Sometimes a visitor can control the rotation with banner navigation but mostly they ignore them and keep scrolling never to see your salient juicy top-level message. 

In fact, a study at the University of Notre Dame found that only 1% of website visitors wait or click to see the other banner messages. This means your message is lost as your visitor zooms down the page to figure out if you can solve their problem. These statistics tell us that the top banner header images aren't a great place to drive action.


A better strategy is to use your top homepage banner (or any page top banner) to deliver clear messaging of your brand promise, what your company offers and for whom with 2-3 value propositions thrown in. 


This will compel visitors to engage with more of your website, pushing them further through the journey to becoming a customer.



2. Social Media Links

One of the biggest website mistakes I see companies make is putting their social icons in the upper right corner - a terrible place to put them!  The upper right corner of a website page is the most important - the spot where you want to add a phone number, email, or a Donate, Schedule A Call, or Buy Now button. 


With social media icons being seen as fun, familiar, and connected with friends, it's easy to have a knee-jerk response to the icons and click never to be seen on your website again. Just know, if your social links are in the upper right corner (we recommend the footer), they will click.


And they will get over to Linkedin and forget they were even looking at you as they get lost in their social media. When you Look at the data. I bet you will find that those social icons placed in the upper right corner are taking your visitors right off the site - and never coming back.

Put your contact email or phone number in that spot, you have a better chance of seeing your leads increase. 




3. Blogs for Business

Blogs serve as a powerful tool for enhancing your business. They contribute to increased brand visibility, establish you as an industry thought leader, boost search engine rankings, educate your customers, and effectively convey your marketing messages.

However, there's a critical issue when it comes to blogging – consistency. If you can't commit to regular posting, it might be better not to start at all. Blogs only yield significant value when you consistently publish content that aligns closely with your niche.

Inconsistent blogging can have a detrimental impact on your brand's search engine rankings. Search engines evaluate the frequency of content updates, and irregularity can work against your online presence.

Furthermore, your regular readers expect fresh content to keep coming back. These individuals show an interest in your message or services but may not have taken any action yet. New visitors also take note of your posting frequency – seeing recent updates is positive while noticing long gaps can be less favorable. Erratic publishing can lead to a loss of trust, giving off an impression of disorganization.

To gauge your blog's performance, review your analytics. It will reveal whether your audience is engaging with your content or not. If there's room for improvement, adjusting your content or consistency can make a significant difference.


4. Popups are a Pain

The topic of website popups is a subject of significant debate.

Popups are intended to provide marketers with a means to convey important messages. However, if a popup disrupts the customer's journey in any manner, it can harm your website's ability to retain traffic.

Your primary goal is to keep visitors on your site for as long as possible and guide them toward taking action. If they become irritated or frustrated due to intrusive popups, your initial impression takes a hit.


Rectifying a negative first impression is a challenging task.


Nonetheless, when executed effectively, popups can yield high conversion rates. According to a study by Sumo, which analyzed over 1.5 million popups:

  • The top-performing 10% achieved an average conversion rate of 9.3%.
  • The remaining popups only managed a disappointing 3.1% conversion rate.


To determine whether a popup is suitable for your website, consider these three factors:

  1. They encourage an action that holds high value for your visitors.
  2. They exhibit a strong conversion rate.
  3. They do not negatively impact website performance, such as increasing the bounce rate.

Removing popups from your site is a valid option. You might discover that this improves the user experience and enables you to drive conversions through alternative means.



5. Lead Generator Forms

Lead generation is an essential component for every entrepreneur. It's safe to say that every business owner desires new qualified leads. One effective approach to generate leads is through lead generation forms, where you provide something valuable in exchange for your prospect's email.

Did you know that email marketing has consistently delivered an outstanding 4400% ROI for several years? While the impact of new privacy laws remains to be seen, studies indicate that email marketing boasts the highest ROI among all marketing channels.

Research by Litmus reveals that for every $1 USD spent on email marketing, you can expect an impressive $36 USD in return. This can have a profound positive effect on your bottom line.

However, it's crucial to be cautious of poorly performing contact forms that can clutter your website and disrupt the visitor experience. To identify the best-performing contact forms on your site, rely on website data and contact form submission data. You can also leverage email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Hubspot, or Zoho.

Discovering effective communication methods that resonate with your customers is a simple yet impactful improvement that can significantly enhance both satisfaction and sales.

If your current lead offer isn't yielding the desired results, consider refining it. Rather than eliminating your lead funnel entirely, explore the possibility of creating a more enticing offer or redesigning the form to better capture your audience's attention.



In Summary

Websites are meant to be a powerful marketing tool - functioning in a way to leverage all the innovations available today. But in order for them to be valuable, we must keep track of how they are performing, like any other technology. 


Most marketers spend their time seeking out new elements to add to their websites to drive higher conversions. However, taking the time to assess the applicability and success of your current elements can be a quick and easy way to boost success.


When you build a website the right way, based on a clear, cohesive brand story and simplified marketing plan, you have built a strong foundation. 





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