Picture the scene. You're staring at your website wondering why it gets so few visitors or worse, wondering how many visitors it gets because you don't know. What you do know is it doesn't generate any enquiries. You want to fix it, you want to create a lead generation website, but you simply don't know how to start. Well now you do! In this article, I'm going to show you how to create a website that actually works for your business.
Step 1 - Create a Strategy
In our last post, we spoke about the importance of creating a strategy for your website. In simple terms, the look and feel of your website
Informed Decisions and Actions
Before you start working on your strategy you need to understand and accept it isn't about simple goal setting. A good strategy should outline what you want to achieve, supported by evidence that it's worth achieving, along with an action plan for making it happen. It involves developing a deep understanding of the competitive landscape you're operating in along with the opportunities, challenges and threats you're facing.
A Simple Example
Goal - Generate 10 enquiries per month from your website.
First a sense check. How many people search for your products and services, or, in other words, is there any demand for what you're offering. To answer this you can do what is called keyword research. Using a tool such as SEM Rush you can establish how popular or otherwise your products and services are. It's all explained in this blog post about keyword research.
Let's assume plenty of people search for what you're offering but at the moment when they do this, they're finding your competitors. Now the fun starts.
Reality Check - Who are you competing with?
Evaluate the top ten search results for some of the keywords you want to rank for. Are they businesses like yours? Are they bigger than you? Are they smaller than you? Can you create a website like theirs, only better?
Is Their Site Strong? - Some websites rank purely because they've been around for a long time, most sites rank because they've actively chased rankings. Start by establishing how many pages do they have indexed in the search engines? To establish this, type site:theirdomainname.com into Google.
If it's hundreds they are likely very serious about web based lead gen and may be formidable opponents as you set out to beat them.
Do they provide helpful content such as blogs, white papers and videos? If, for example, the top sites have hundreds of pages indexed and they have active blogs and other engaging content, it's likely your site will need to do all this and more to rank above them. Do you have the appetite for this?
The Beginnings of a Strategy
By now you'll be starting to paint a picture of what it's going to take to compete. You'll be starting to really understand what it takes in 2017 to create a website that delivers value.
To recap, you've established there's a market for what you offer, you know who you're competing with, you understand why they currently rank and hoover up all those great leads and you've starting to understand what you need to do to grab your share. How's that looking? Is it stacking up and do you have the internal resources or the budget to chase this business?
There's No Silver Bullet
At this juncture it's worth pointing out there's no silver bullet. Google™ is, in theory at least, a merit-based search engine. The best sites appear at the top of the search results and the worst at the bottom. Now, I know you may not agree with the sites that rank at the top being the best, especially if your site's not one of them, but that's how it is and you need to accept that. Sites that provide great content get shared on social media and linked to by other sites, this propels them to the top.
Sites that do nothing but sell don't, in general, get shared and as such don't pick up the trust signals Google uses to rank sites. Again, that might seem unfair but as of right now that's how it works, you need to accept that too and build a site that earns good rankings or use other ways to secure leads.
Step 2 - Implement and Adjust Your Strategy
Once your strategy is complete it's time to use to create the website your business needs. It's time to deploy the tactics or actions that will deliver the strategic goals. Because you'll be measuring the work you do, including website visits, leads, conversions, rankings, shares, links and so on, this phase of work will feed back into your strategy allowing you to adjust it. It's a constant cycle of building, evaluating, improving, innovating, adjusting and adapting until you start to see the results you need. It's hard work.
Everything you do, every page you create, every e-book you write and every blog post you craft should be feeding into your master plan to establish your website as a go-to resource in your area of expertise.
Can't You Just Fix Our SEO?
I know some people will read this and dismiss it. To them, the only reason their website doesn't appear in Google is that their SEO is broken. Well, that's just not how SEO is today. Of course, your web pages should be well optimised but that's not, on its own, going to make a massive difference. That's only going to make a difference if your market isn't competitive; in all other cases you need to follow the steps above and get yourself a website that Google thinks is great if you want to feature on page one.
We're an inbound marketing agency and we spend a lot of our time helping our clients understand the simple truths outlined in this post. If you'd like a free no obligation 30-minute chat we're ready and waiting help you.