Posted 8th January 2011 | By Nick Evans, Chairman

Does your company have a "we've ticked that box" mentality towards your website? Many do, and it's one of the main reasons that websites don't perform as well as they might (although there are many more).

If you send out a direct mail piece to customers and prospects, what's the call to action? It's probably either to call a number or to visit the website. Similarly, with any online or offline media you use to generate leads, most will focus either on phone or website - and what awaits the visitor when they get there? Is it the same old same old - or is it targeted, benefits-led, customer-focused, context-relevant content that's going to make the visitor go "yes, Yes, YES!"?
When you bemoan the lack of traffic to your site (or, more often, the lack of 'sticky' visitors - ones who stay and look around and convert to sales leads), who do you blame - the website developers (obviously!) or the search engines that aren't delivering the right people? When your email marketing campaigns are less than successful and your conversion rates are low, where does the fault lie?
You may blame any number of people, but the usual problem is that the website has not been placed thoughtfully, strategically and with due care and attention at the centre of your marketing strategy. Your initial lead generation may be sensational, but if the end result when people first look through your online shop window is that "this is not for me", then something's going wrong.
So, how to solve it? Here are some thoughts:
Look at your website with fresh eyes - as if you were the prospect. What do you see? Is the website about your needs or about the company puffing itself?
Write content with a "you, our customer" focus - leading with benefits to them, not with the features of your company
Measure what's going on
Take action on your statistics and change things
Try out alternative landing pages for a while to see which work best
Most of all, don't think of the website as an adjunct. It's your revenue-generating machine.
Use it strategically.

Nick from ExtraMile Communications Ltd in Eccleshall, Staffordshire

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