If you’re a natural hare, inclined to race off on the next exciting project, stop! Here’s why we all need to find our inner tortoise.
In our dopamine-addicted digital world, who doesn’t love the instant gratification of a quick win? Shove some cash into pay-per-click (PPC) and sit back while your website analytics clock up the extra visitors. Job done.
Or is it?
The answer is, it depends.
There’s no point sending traffic to your site if what they find there is going to send them scurrying straight back off it again.
We see lots of businesses proudly boasting about how many people have landed on their website. And that’s great. But what happens when those eager folk get there? If they’re not booking or buying – or at least clicking around a bit and reading – why not?
Remember, that on a laptop, you have (on average) three seconds to make a good impression, before they’ll click away. And on a phone? Just one second.
If your ads are getting good click through rates but your conversions are lacklustre, there’s a gap somewhere. And that gap is on your website.
Our purpose is to communicate. It’s as simple as that.
Let’s take a look at eight of the most common ways your site could be letting you down.
- Irksome irrelevance
If it’s not relevant to what your audience is looking for, they’re not interested. Don’t lure them in and then dump them in the wilderness of your home page. Make sure you plop them gently and thoughtfully on a relevant landing page. The easier you make it, the more likely they’ll convert.
- Paltry product
Does your target audience actually want what you’re selling? Whether it’s an actual product or a service, have you got it spot on? If your pricing or performance aren’t right, they’ll be gone in a flash.
- Vile visuals
A bad brand will scupper your efforts as soon as it hits your poor user’s eyes. And remember – a brand is much, much more than a logo. We’re talking about getting the whole shebang right (imagery, colours etc) to make that emotional connection with your audience.
Getting the visuals wrong could include ugly or unreadable typefaces, cheesy stock images, confusing layout or outdated colours.
- Mundane messaging
Boring, inappropriate, overly complicated, too simple or just plain wrong. If your brand is all about being friendly and accessible, a formal tone will jar with your reader. And vice versa; if you need to establish trust and authority, a page peppered with slang will undermine you. Slogans and captions too, need to speak the same language as your audiences.
- Unpleasant UX
Your user journey is everything. Whether visitors are arriving via your home page, a landing page, a product, article, or any other doorway into your digital world, the journey must make sense from there. Fail to plan each journey and you’ll lose sales.
- Shoddy signposting
Closely linked to your user journey, the way visitors move around your site must be smooth and intuitive. Think about the places they might want to go (shipping information, physical address) and always make it easy for them to get there. Forget clever navigation or putting buttons where you wouldn’t expect them: they’re the digital equivalent of being desperate for the loo, only to discover doors marked ‘Bucks’ and ‘Does’, leaving you wondering which is the gents – or whether you’re in a bar that’s moved beyond gender altogether.
- Poor processes
Whether you think the endless news about Jeff Bezos’s extra-terrestrial jaunts and employee experience efforts amount to unfair slurs or righteous exposes, we live in an Amazon age. If it’s going to take three weeks, four couriers and a small fortune to deliver your product, many customers will swerve. The same goes for any other sign up, query or other process.
- Absent actions
Unleash your inner bossy boots and tell them what to do. Your website is alien territory to new users and research proves that they welcome clear, purposeful instructions.
How to fix it
In other words, you can drive every internet user in the world to your site but if it’s not up to scratch, you won’t see a corresponding rise in sales. You have to put in good foundations before building your palace.
Putting in those foundations, though, takes time, money and effort. And when you need money in the bank, who can afford the luxury of getting everything perfect?
Our solution is simple: a tactical blend of strategic thinking and quick, effective action.
Our top tips for winning the race
Chunk it down
If you’re a natural hare, inclined to race excitedly off towards the finish line, strategic thinking can feel painful. But kick off your running shoes and sit tight, because you absolutely must get your head into the bigger picture. Get help – take a look at how we did this for United Education – and get clear. But don’t let your big vision overwhelm you – break it down into manageable chunks and take it one step at a time.
Do what’s right for right now
What do you need to tackle first? Yes, you want to drive sales. But sales of what? What’s your most popular or promising product or service? Let’s focus on that first, so you can start seeing that uplift in your bank balance.
Whatever you’ve chosen as your focus, make a list of what you need to do. Then get ruthless. Chop the list down until you have a manageable list of absolute must-dos, plus a selection of nice-to-haves. Do the must-dos first – and don’t let anything distract you.
Once you know where you’re going – and why your focus needs to be on a particular issue, it’s much easier to stick to a clear, thoughtful action plan that will reap rewards.
If you’d like to chat strategy – or quick wins – get in touch. We’d love to help.