If you’ve invested in having a website built for your business it should be working for you to convert traffic into leads, then into sales.
It’s a no-brainer. A website is an extension of your business, and that initial investment needs to generate returns. Not just to justify its existence, but the right strategy can make your website and online presence a solid foundation in your long-term business growth plans.
That’s why a lot of SME owners invest in a bespoke, creative inbound marketing strategy with an internet marketing company. Using a variety of channels including search marketing and social, a creative strategy will help the people who are most likely to spend and who are looking for a business like yours find you, become long-term brand advocates and boost your growth.
What about those SMEs who have been investing in their site and their marketing to attract targeted traffic and aren’t seeing any results, though? Has it all been a waste of time and money, and what are the next steps they should take?
Optimising your sales funnel to streamline conversions
That’s one of the most interesting points to raise when we talk to SME owners about internet marketing. With the right know-how, it can be quite easy to reach out to the right people who you want to target and attract them to your website.
The most difficult part is nurturing those leads and turning them into cold hard cash. If you’re looking at Google Analytics or other software and seeing large amounts of visitors visiting your website everyday then what could the problem possibly be? Why aren’t those people buying your products or services?
There isn’t one single answer, unfortunately. As well as investing in a marketing expert to give you more time to focus on your business, you’re also investing in their ability to optimise the content and the images on your website to make them more attractive to buyers, speed up page load times, become more Google-compliant, capture data in ethical ways and much more besides.
Again though, that may not be your problem. The problem may actually lie in your overall user journey; how your visitors interact with your website and are introduced to your wider sales funnel should be at the core of any creative inbound marketing campaign to streamline traffic, filter out serious buyers and direct them to the places they want to be as quickly and easily as possible.
Focusing on conversions as well as the creative
You’d be astounded at the number of SMEs who don’t have a sales funnel in place when they commission a website to be built. Their site will often look nice, have a good homepage and category pages for specific products and a checkout system.
Beyond that though a lot of them don’t give enough thought to the overall user journey and funnelling process, believing a website should be like a physical shop; pick what you want, go to the till, pay, leave.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with that train of thought, and a lot of businesses do indeed pull it off. It can be a harder process for SMEs to do that, though. They’re a small brand that not many people may have heard of and the online nature of the transaction mean more shoppers are naturally wary of where their money goes.
You need to have a clear and comprehensive sales funnel that looks beyond the financial side of things; one that introduces that traffic to who you are as a company, nurtures those leads with creative content, introduces them with easy ways to pay and few forms to fill out, and captures their data in transparent, ethical ways so you can keep in touch with them in the long-term.
Looking at some of the most common funnel problems
There’s a fantastic post over on the Kissmetrics blog that highlights some real case studies for clients that have had problems with understanding funnel behaviour and how they’ve solved the problem.
So, how do you set up a profitable online funnel that can be visualised through analytics software, can be adjusted as time goes on and streamlined to improve conversions and grow your business?
1: Know what the end goal is
For some SME owners with a website, their goal is just to sell more products. Great, of course, but setting clearer goals can help you build a better online sales funnel. How many products do you want to sell a month? Can that figure be scaled? What else can you gather from somebody who makes a purchase? Building data sets as you go, for instance, is crucial to SME growth.
2: Keep an eye on your visitor data
Google Analytics (with a bit of technical know-how) allows site owners to actually create a visualised funnel complete with goals and other data to give you a much better idea of how your sales plan is functioning. As well as being able to adjust it in real-time as your campaign goes on, it also gives you a key indicator of how your traffic is interacting with your site, which is why:
3: You shouldn’t get disheartened
‘Optimisation’ is the key word here when setting up and perfecting your funnel. If you see a lot of traffic going to a single page and not moving to the next step of your sales funnel, don’t panic. You can always go to that page and A/B test it with the right software, making small changes to it to encourage people to move to the next step of the sales process.
Where a lot of people despair too is at the final stage of the funnel. Shopping cart abandonment can be a pain. Why aren’t people taking that last step? Again, no need to panic; adding marketing automation to the mix can nurture those leads and encourage them to come back.
Not only that, but it can help you discover the personal reasons why your campaign is failing at a crucial stage, allowing you to build a highly profitable website that’s going to be the cornerstone of your business’s future growth.
If you want your website to pull its weight, attract better traffic and convert those numbers into sales, speak to a Webpresence online marketing specialist today to find out more.