Before we get started, open your business’s website in another browser tab. Take a good, hard look at it and answer the question, “Does my website look more like a brochure or a lead generating, marketing powerhouse?”
There’s a strong chance it looks and functions more like a brochure… and that’s okay, because it can be fixed.
What is a “brochure” website?
A “brochure” website, like a traditional brochure, delivers information about a company’s product or services. Even digital brochures are heavily focused on information.
Brochures have a time and a place, but your website needs to do more. Websites can become powerful tools for business growth. If you want to turn your website into a marketing engine that generates leads while you sleep, you need to guide the visitor toward action (and then collect data about those actions.)
Turning your website into a marketing engine
The most effective websites communicate the brand’s message while supporting data collection. Collecting and analyzing the metrics behind user behaviors allows you to get a deep look at your audience. Once you understand exactly how people interact with your website, you can optimize your website to capture their attention while encouraging them to move further down your sales funnel.
Acquiring and analyzing these metrics can be a complicated process, but you can also take some simple first steps toward making your website more powerful and effective:
1. Understand your audience
The first step towards creating a customer-centric website is understanding what drives your potential visitors (and who those visitors are.) You should determine:
- Who your audience is. In the marketing world, we often refer to this part as “creating personas.” Describe your ideal customers, from the basics to the details. Where do they live and work? What problems do they have?
- What keywords your audience is searching for. Once you understand who your customers are, you can think about the keywords they’d use to find your business online. Use this information to guide the content strategy on your site. This includes your website copy, blog posts, and social media content.
- What the customer journey looks like. A sales funnel describes how people interact with your business as they go from awareness to a purchase. Use this information to design your website and nudge visitors toward that final sale.
2. Include calls to action on every page
Before you dive into a full website redesign, keep it simple: Add a call to action (CTA) on every page of your website. A CTA takes the guesswork out of what the visitor should do next — they’ll know to fill out a contact form, enter their email address, follow you on social media, download a PDF, or whatever the next step is in your sales funnel.
Don’t forget the About page, either. Most people will visit this page, but surprisingly few websites include calls to action on their About pages.
3. Start collecting data
Now it’s time for the fun part! Collecting data will help you understand how long someone stays on your website, whether they found your site on a search engine or elsewhere, how they interact with the content, and so much more. You can look at the data to assess what is and isn’t working with your website strategy, correcting course as needed.
To start, install Google Analytics, and don’t overcomplicate things. Follow along with this beginner’s guide to the tool, and your website will become a powerful marketing engine in no time.