How do you measure a website’s success?
Traffic? Search engine rankings? Compliments from friends and family on how great it looks?
Wrong. Wrong. And really wrong.
The one true measure of a website’s success is QUALITY LEADS.
Period. End of story. Finito.
It’s like the one time a remodeler I call “Randy” called me sounding down in the dumps.
Here was the basic conversation:
Randy: My new website is first on Google and my traffic is higher than ever.
Me: So why are you calling me?
Randy: My old website never came up in search results, but it pulled in 5 to 10 leads a month. My new website is getting practically ZERO.
Me (looking at his website): That’s not surprising. How much did you spend on this new site?
Randy: $17,000 for the site and one year of SEO services.
Me: Can you get your money back?
Randy: (silence; possibly tears)
Here’s the deal…
SEO, PPC, and all of that other stuff are required to survive and thrive in the Wild West that is the World Wide Web.
But those things just bring the horses to water. It’s your website’s job to make ’em drink (i.e., get them to contact you).
Unfortunately, 99% of internet marketing companies focus solely on slick design and SEO. They don’t actually do what’s needed to make their clients’ websites CONVERT.
Here are some of the more common blunders I see when it comes to the average contractor’s website…
Blunder: Prioritizing Google Over People
Sure, optimizing your website for search engines is crucial. Necessary, in fact.
But most internet marketing companies concentrate on creating content that is so SEO friendly that they forget living, breathing human beings are the ones actually reading it.
So when a prospect reads the keyword-stuffed word salad on your website, they can’t click away fast enough.
For example, here was the main headline of Randy’s new website: “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Randy, if you’re reading this, this photo sums up my reaction to your headline:
Sorry, my friend.
Seriously, though, would you ever say the claptrap in the headline to a prospect in person? They’d think you’re an idiot and run as far away from you as possible.
It’s the same when the prospect sees it on your website. They read this garbage and instantly click away to find a contractor whose website CAN answer the question, “Why should I pick THIS company instead of all the others?”
And when that prospect finds someone answers the question, guess who they’re gonna call?
Hint: NOT the guy who says, “Home Windows Installed By Experts In Needham, Cape Cod, Newtonville, Cambridge, Plymouth, and Throughout South Shore, North Shore, and Eastern Massachusetts.”
Blunder: The Bait And Pounce
Stuffing your website with buttons, forms, and offers (“Get A Price,” “Visit Our Showroom,” “View Our Special Offers,” etc.) is what I call the “bait and pounce.” You give the prospect something to fill out, and then you pounce and sell.
Randy’s website had six—SIX!—of these bait-and-pouncers on his homepage. No wonder his shiny new website wasn’t generating leads.
Trust me: The bait and pounce is not a good way to sell in 2016.
I mean, let’s be honest… why would Joe Blow give you his precious contact info before he knows who you are, how you can help him, and what he can expect?
But if your website takes the time to explain who you are, why you’re better, and how you can help (in powerful, persuasive language), you build trust. Mr. Joseph Steven Blow will then naturally come to his own conclusion that he should call you.
And, yes, having a “Get A Quote” form on your site is okay. Just make sure it’s not the MAIN/ONLY thing prospects see when they first click on your website.
Website traffic, search engine rankings, PPC impressions… all of those things are important to your website.
But if you truly want to measure your site’s success?
Look at how many high-quality leads it’s generating.
Because leading a horse to water is pointless if you can’t make him drink.
P.S. Tomorrow I’ll spill the nine secrets to effective billboard advertising. You might already know a couple, but I guarantee a few surprises… especially number 5. Stay tuned.
© 2016, Rich Harshaw. All rights reserved.