In my work as a marketing strategist for many contractors, I have met with countless business owners struggling to grow sales. Some were larger companies with elaborate websites, and a few had simple websites. But regardless of its size, they all faced the same problem: Their websites were really not generating leads.
In talking to those business owners about their websites, they often had a misunderstanding of what a website entails. Many see websites as an asset that they must have. They look to buy a website based on price rather than as an investment that will generate year-after-year great returns. By basing a decision on price, the website’s design will go to the lowest bidder instead of a company that has experienced in creating a lead generating system that takes businesses the distance.
Having analyzed hundreds of websites, I’ve seen the same mistakes over and over again. Here are five possible reasons why your website isn’t generating leads.
1. Lack of Visibility
Perhaps the most common reason that websites don’t generate leads is a lack of search visibility or lack of traffic. If your website doesn’t rank on page one of the search engines, like Google and Bing for example, and you are not doing any kind of advertising to drive potential clients to your website, then your company is invisible. The only way people will find you or your website is if they know your company brand name or you hand them a business card.
To generate potential leads from your website, you need to be visible and you need traffic. Essentially like sales is a numbers game, so is online lead generation. When I trained real estate agents we used to say, it takes more or less 100 suspects, to get 10 prospects to generate one sale. In online marketing, it is the same. A great conversion rate on the web is 6% or higher. The average conversion rate is 1 to 2%. So, if you want to make five sales in a month, you might need to get at least 500 people to your website each month.
The quickest way to generate traffic and leads to your website is to use pay-per-click marketing. With pay-per-click marketing, ads for your company appear at the top of the search engines when customers enter keywords related to your business. When they click on your ad, you are charged a fee for every click.
Depending on the keyword, the cost per click will also vary. For instance, today the cost per click for “home builder in Colorado Springs” is $5.22. The cost for “affordable home builders in Colorado Springs” is $3.25. The cost per click is depending upon how many companies are competing with that keyword.
It is imperative to have a good mix of keywords. It is equally as important to work with someone who really understands the workings of pay-per-click marketing to manage your ad spend and work on adjusting your ads to increase your ROI.
There is a downside to pay-per-click advertising, though, and that is if you stop advertising, you stop getting traffic. The long-term strategy to drive traffic to your website is to hire an SEO Expert Company to optimize your website for the search engines. This process, called search engine optimization (SEO), is not marketing. It does not generate leads by itself. But, when your website moves to page one in Google or Bing search engine, and ideally within one of the top three organic spots for terms people are using to find companies like yours, you will surely get traffic to your site without having to pay a monthly pay-per-click ad spend.
If you’re getting traffic to your website but visitors aren’t contacting you, then the question is, what are they doing on your website? Google Analytics combined with Google Search Console is a must-have tool to help you determine what is and isn’t working with your website. Using these free tools, you can know how many visitors are coming to your website, how they got to the website, how long they stay on your site, and where they enter and exit your site.
2. Unprofessional or Lacking Portfolio Photos
Your website in many cases is the first impression where a customer gets of your business. Yet many companies skimp on photography. I analyzed a website for a commercial tile contractor that came to me recently. His website was ranking on page one for 23 keywords, but he said his website wasn’t generating any leads.
The first thing I did was look at Google Analytics to see his website’s traffic numbers. He was getting plenty of people to his website, but no one was contacting him. So, I dug deeper and looked to see where people were exiting his website.
What I found was that 45% of the people who visited his website left the site after viewing the project portfolio page. When I viewed the page, I understood why. There were two pictures that were taken by him with his cell phone, but they weren’t staged in any way. While the tile work in the photo was very nice, also you had to look over tools and pans sitting on the kitchen counter to see the work.
Your website must showcase your best work. Hire a skilled photographer. Hence, you don’t necessarily need a professional photographer, but one that knows about lighting and that will stage the photo for you.
If you are doing renovation and remodeling work, have before and after photos taken from the same vantage point so the visitor can easily see the differences. A little planning before taking your photos will go a long way in making you look great.
3. Missing Call-to-Action
In sales, we say “ABC,” always be closing. The equivalent of that in websites always has a call-to-action. I have seen many websites missing the call-to-action. Essentially, the website gives a lot of information on the company’s product or service on what can they offer and then says, “for more information contact us.”
That’s great, but website visitors need direction. Your website must very specifically tell them how to reach you and it needs to be easy.
A call-to-action on your website needs to be in two forms. The first is must be your call-to-action within the text of your site. It should say, for example, “To learn more about our custom home building offerings, fill out our convenient contact form or for immediate assistance call us today at +63 9999-555-2222.”
In this call-to-action, the phone number should be set up as click-to-call so smartphone users can click on the phone number to dial. The entire call-to-action should be in a different font and set apart from the rest of the content on the website so it is easily recognizable.
The second is a form on your website. We recently worked with a client whose site only had the call-to-action in the text of the website. Once we added a “Request a Quote” form in the left column of all the services pages, she started getting leads.
4. Misaligned Content
When visitors come to your website, they are usually looking to answer a question. Many people start researching new homes or home renovation and remodeling projects months before they are actually ready to buy. So, in preparation, they head to the web to see what does it cost, get ideas of what they might buy, and even compare offerings. From what I see time and time again is that websites are not designed to answer the questions customers are looking to answer. Instead, they give the information to the owners and salespeople that want them to know.
Take for instance a custom home builders we worked with recently. Her website had a lot of information and gorgeous examples of her work, but visitors were not requesting to meet with her. After working with her at a local home show we noticed that people in the booth first looked at the photos of her work and then they asked for floor plans. She didn’t have floor plans on her website because she said she can build whatever the customer wanted but the customers want a place to start. They want something to build on. So, we added a few of a variety of floor plans that she has built to her website.
Understanding how your customers think and what questions they always ask is really important when building or redesigning your website.
5. Lack of Attention
The biggest reason why business websites don’t generate leads is that business owners don’t understand what is the important requirements to create a powerful lead-generating machine and they don’t give their website the attention that it needs.
It seems like building a home, building a website is part art, part science. Building a website that generates a steady stream of leads takes time, testing, and analysis.
I always tell my customers, you wouldn’t put an advertisement in the newspaper for 52 weeks and leave it there if it wasn’t generating business, and so you shouldn’t let your website sit if it is not generating leads.
Your website can be a powerful sales machine in the success of your company, but as a business owner, you need to understand that this is not the Field of Dreams. They will not come just because you simply build it. A website can be your best online salesperson, but it needs to be nurtured and tended to.
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