Having a great website has been recognized as a necessity for B2C businesses for quite some time. Consumers have flocked to the Internet and love to search online for their favorite things to buy. Attractive websites with easy navigation have been proven to increase traffic, revenues and sales for retail companies. And now in the era of mobile search, these companies have jumped on the bandwagon of mobile-friendly websites.
- 85% of B2B customers search the web before making a purchasing decision.
However, B2B companies have been slower to update their websites. In a nutshell, your website is a marketing tool, in many cases similar to a printed brochure but in the digital world. The job of the website is to attract visitors from search through well-written and optimized text content, and to catch the eye through aesthetically pleasing graphics and design. Websites are a crucial piece of the marketing pie, the foundation of your digital marketing campaign especially for lead generation.
6 Stats That Prove Your Website is Important
There are many reasons why an old, obsolete or bad website is hurting your B2B marketing strategy. One of those reasons is that your prospects cannot find your site on search, or cannot navigate around your site to find what they need. In short, a mediocre site does not impress business clients and could be costing you sales.
Here are some statistics to think about when considering updating your outdated website:
1. It makes you look unprofessional, gives a bad first impression.
"75% of website visitors admit to drawing conclusions about a company's credibility based on their website's design."
2. It does not maximize the potential for search traffic (not search engine optimized) or is not mobile optimized
"70% of mobile searches result in an online action within an hour of the search being conducted."
3. It may be user-unfriendly, hard to navigate for visitors.
"46% of mobile users report having difficulty interacting with a web page, and 44% complain that navigation was difficult."
4. It moves too slowly from page to page.
"A single second delay in your website loading time can result in a 7% loss in conversion, and 40% of web users will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load."
5. It is not set up to attract mobile users.
"48 percent of users believe that a business with a site that doesn't work well on mobile doesn't care about their customers."
6. It has poor or no calls-to-action
"57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog." -- but that's pretty hard to do without any conversion points.
Top Factors to Include in Your Website Update
Responsive or mobile-friendly site.
Responsive websites are specially coded to show up readable and in proper proportions no matter what screensize a visitor is using. Mobile phone, tablet, desktop, laptop -- responsive sites look good in any size. This has become increasingly important as more people use their mobile devices to browse the internet, rather than their desktop computers.
Google recently announced that their mobile algorithm will get a boost in May. This boost will place even more importance on responsive and mobile-friendly websites in mobile search. Websites that are mobile-friendly will be rewarded in search.
If you are not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, you can test it using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test.
If your website has not been updated for some time, there is a very good chance that your SEO is out of date or perhaps even violating Google's guidelines. Back in the day (ok, not so far back), there were a lot of what the marketing world calls "black hat" techniques for getting a website ranked higher in search results. These techniques including keyword stuffing in content and in URLs as well as placing or purchasing links on these huge databases to build up a link profile -- both are likely to land you in hot water with Google. In fact, many websites have been hit with the infamous Google Violation for having unnatural links or excessive link exchanges, things that just a few years ago were completely kosher.
Learn more about SEO basic necessities here.
This is a big one. If someone visiting your site can't find what they are looking for, then you're definitely losing an opportunity for a sale. The problem with many outdated sites is that what was once an organized navigation menu becomes messy overtime with pages added in here and there. A couple years go by and all the sudden people are following a path four-pages deep to get to one of your main services -- that's a problem.
During a website redesign, all your pages will likely be reorganized into a new site map so that the most important pages are upfront and easy to get to. Of course, be sure you're working with a website provider that understands how to do this properly, so you don't lose all your SEO value during the redesign. You'll want 301 redirects for pages that you change the URL for so Google doesn't kick you out of your rankings.
Another reason why many older websites are losing sales is simply that they don't have the proper lead generation mechanics put in place. Calls-to-action, buttons and images that incite a visitor to do something, like download an offer or subscribe to a website, can become burried or "break" overtime with outdated versions of WordPress.
High Quality Content.
Content (website pages or blog articles) are arguably more important than the design, though the two do go hand in hand. Website visitors need to clearly understand who you are, what you do and why they should work with you as soon as they land on your website. Quality content does that.
Working with a professional writer and graphics designer is worth the investment in the time you will save and the return you will get in conversions, leads and sales revenues. Creating marketing elements on your webpages that will help a viewer focus on your calls-to-action using your branding with a clear message will net you the conversions you need to meet your sales goals.
An effective, well-designed website will move your customers down the sales funnel and convert them at higher rate. Good SEO will help attract more visitors that are actually searching for your products or services, bringing you better qualified leads. And a well-constructed site will use all of the tools available to give you the utmost opportunity to bring in new leads.
Testing Your Effectiveness
One of the best things about websites is that most of the tools you need can measure the metrics for you, giving you a true read on how well you are doing. When you know what is succeeding and what isn't, you can tweak your strategy to get the conversion rate you need. By attaching trackers to your inbound marketing links, you can test the effectiveness of your content. Test all of the factors that are driving traffic to your site to see where you can update them.
By knowing who is arriving on your site, where they are finding you and what they visit when they are there, you can get a full picture of where you may have some weaknesses and need improvements or fixes. Sales and marketing working as a team can monitor your campaigns and measure the key statistics to determine where you need to update your content or graphics.
If you are interested in a site upgrade, download this free website checklist to see what you need to change.