In conversations with different type of businesses, from small to large, we usually encounter at some point, the evaluation of how their company website is being used to educate, promote, and start a conversation with new prospects.
I’ve noticed an interesting trend however, that many people are obsessed with the idea of having their website rank #1 on Google (search engines). Is this always a good strategy? Not really. The following is why.
Ranking high on search engines never “guarantees” new business leads
Little side disclaimer here: One of my ‘sweet spots’ is being able to help clients rank very high on search engines, particular when we concentrate on the ‘low hanging fruit’ that their competitors are overlooking. So ranking high on search engines, is a viable strategy, when used correctly.
What happens when someone does a search and clicks on one of the first few results (usually in the top 5)? They are looking for something very specific and if what they are looking for isn’t there they hit the back button.
I’ve seen it happen where people focus on ranking high for very general search terms and the pages where their searchers land are on very generic and general landing pages. Nuh uh, doesn’t work. Watch the bounce rates, which indicate how quickly the visitor is apt to back out, sky rocket.
What is the goal then, sir?
The goal is relevancy. If you can “get into the mind” of your future client and think like they do, imagine yourself sitting there looking for an answer to your problem. After all, your prospects have a real business problem they are trying to solve, right? If your content, images, and layout speak to them in a simple and impactful way, you have their attention. Now it’s their turn to tell you if they are truly interested or not in learning more and perhaps getting more information from you: a new sales & marketing lead.
Take a step back for a minute, really evaluate
Are you getting way lower results than you were expecting from your website? If so, there is a reason. Usually its right there before you.
Here are three ways to evaluate, rather quickly what step to take next to improve it so you can start generating the kind of results you need:
- Take a step back and look away from your screen – get out a whiteboard or piece of blank paper and right out what your ideal prospect is likely to look for. You probably even know some of the exact things since you have had conversations with past clients before they became a client.
- Ask for an objective perspective – you probably aren’t a genius with everything right? Why the heck then would you expect yourself to know everything about sales and marketing? Ask a 3rd party for their opinion.
- Survey your community – Your community consists of your social reach, being social media followers, blog subscribers, email newsletter readers, leads and more. Ask them as well for their opinions. They know and can help. People like to be asked their opinions. Call them on the phone too for a personal touch.
Stop thinking and start doing, but don’t be reacting
I am the king of over thinking at times. When you consistently over-evaluate a situation, or try to overly-perfect something to the point it’s starting to blur, that is when you need to be doing.
Sales and marketing results don’t happen with in-action. Especially in the real time, Internet speed PR world we live in. David Meerman Scott could tell you all about the fast paced way news and public relations (blogging, social media, press) happen. Oh wait, he wrote a book on this I think.
There are times to be cautious, but try to be a little more daring, more human, less corporate, less ‘big business’. Heck most of the conversations I have with managers at large businesses, they are trying to figure out how to make their messages more personal and less ‘boring’.
Most of all question the status quo. If something online isn’t giving you results, look at it and do something that will work. Keep trying, but keep measuring.
Learn to love the data that is available to you. Breathe it in. Use it to your advantage.