Your website is often the first impression of your business on a prospect — and the impression it makes can impact whether that prospect becomes a customer. How do you know whether your website is an effective marketing tool? At the 2014 Technology Marketing and IT Sales Training Boot Camp in Nashville, TN, Robin Robins, CEO and author of the Technology Marketing Toolkit, told IT solutions providers that evaluating your website is more of a data-driven process than intuition.
“Learn to set your ego aside. Novice marketers will say, “that will never work,’ or ‘this will be great,’ and they can be wrong,” she comments.
First, you have to make sure the “traffic,” or visitors to your website, is the traffic you want. You can use analytics to determine if people coming to your site are spending time there, viewing multiple pages — and, obviously, opting-in or requesting more information. You can also drive the right traffic to your site, with email promotions, social media, and using keywords your prospects would search on the Internet. Robins stresses that qualifying your traffic must be the first step: you can’t evaluate the design of your website if that evaluation is based on the wrong audience.
Once the right traffic is coming to your site, you want “conversions.” You want to get as many visitors to your website as possible to request information, opt in to receive offers or newsletters, or initiate purchases. These activities result in leads for your sales team. After analyzing data, for example, you discover that of all the visitors to your website, 1 or 2 percent become leads — not bad, according to Robins. But making your website more effective could make that statistic even better.
Determine the status of your website now — record statistics such as the number of unique visitors per month or the percentage of conversions — and make that the baseline. And then make one change.
“People tend not to tweak— they change. But if you make sweeping changes to your website, then you don’t know why it’s performing better,” Robins explains. She says to allow the website with the new feature to run for a few weeks (she suggests waiting to collect at least 100 visitors), to see if it helped your Web stats. After that test, you can try another change, but keep looking at one element at a time.
She comments that this is a tedious process, and most people never do it — but it is also what makes websites based on a deliberate, planned designs stand out from the crowd.
During one of her presentations at the boot camp, Robins provided a list of the “top web design tricks to boost conversions.” She says to evaluate the following areas of your website for possible changes or enhancements:
Robin Robins is a marketing and sales coach for managed services providers, VARs and companies selling IT services. To get a free one-on-one marketing consultation and customized marketing plan for your IT services business, go to www.toolkitlive.com/businesssolutions.