I’ve had a number of prospective clients come to me asking for a website because their current website is not “selling their product” or “generating enough leads.” My answer to every one of them is “no.” Why? Because contrary to popular belief, a website is not supposed to do your selling (unless the site is an online store).
Now I may have just shattered a ton of misconceptions and I may be severely upbraided for making such a bold statement – your website is not supposed to sell unless it is an online store. But this statement is born out of years of experience in online marketing and is based on the fact that my own company employs the strategy I recommend and has not made a single cold call since its inception.
My company receives hundreds of warm, qualified and interested leads every single month and has NEVER MADE A SINGLE COLD CALL. That’s a fact. So grimace if you want but few marketers of any sort can make that kind of claim, especially in a service business.
Your website should act as a sales tool. It is intended for your salespeople to use during the sales process. It should inform, educate and position your company as knowledgeable and competent. It should have information readily available that your sales staff can show prospective customers. Information such as testimonials, case studies, service descriptions, service presentations, corporate biographical info and other sales tools as may be useful in demonstrating your product or service.
In short, your website is an organized, electronic, global repository for anything and everything that can be used to showcase your company, products, and services and present them in a favorable light. It can also serve as a customer service tool for your existing customers to use in getting help with, receiving and/or continuing their service. It is your presence on the World Wide Web.
But what about selling?
Please don’t misinterpret this to mean that web pages are not for selling. Or that you cannot have a “website” that sells anything. You can.
This is done with what is generally called “landing pages” or “lead generation pages.”
A landing page is a page (or micro-website) that specifically features a single product or service and targeted toward a particular category of customer. For example: if you’re selling cars you would not promote to mothers the same as you would to 21-year-old young men. These two distinct consumers would require two different landing pages with design and copy geared toward each.
The landing page for mothers might discuss how safe your cars were with pictures of mini-vans and SUV interiors.
The landing page for the 21-year-old young men might discuss how great you’re going to look in this hot car with pictures of sporty looking cars with pretty girls fawning over them.
You could add a couple of extra pages perhaps with specifications or other targeted information for the given campaign. But basically, the main page that your prospect lands on is geared toward a specific type of consumer and product.
Additionally, the page should align with the advertising medium that brought the prospect to the page.
You can execute pay-per-click campaigns geared toward specific types of consumers that arrive at focused landing pages. You can also build focused landing pages that are search engine optimized for specific keywords. (This works for online stores too!)
In any case, the key governing factor is precision, targeted promotion. People searching the internet are looking for specific things. If your landing pages deliver on what they’re searching for, those searchers will become leads for you.