25 Website Must-Haves
How To Use Your Website To Drive Leads & Sales
4. Analyze The Competition In Your Industry
While we don’t recommend obsessing over your competitors, it helps to know how you stack up.
- Get a Digital Health Check to get a report card of how your website and marketing is performing today.
- Research your competitors so you are aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
- Take a look at their websites, note what you like and what you don’t. BUT, this is not meant to copy them. That’s the last thing you want to do. Instead, you’ll uncover what you can do better.
HubSpot also makes it easy to set goals and see where you stand on traffic, inbound links, conversion rates, lead generation and other important metrics. Once you run the analysis, put together an action list of what areas you can improve and what you can do differently than your competitors.
5. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition
Before you begin crafting your content, be clear about your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) so that it is consistent across your entire website. If you attract a high number of unique visitors, or you’re a new business, your visitors might not be very familiar with you and what you do. You need to demonstrate that what you do is right for them, and why they should stay on your website and buy from you.
Not creating a unique selling proposition is one of the most common mistakes we see manufacturers and industrial companies make.
6. Create Buyer Personas
Your website is not just about you. Your visitors ask, “What’s in it for me?” Speak to them in their language by creating content specifically for your buyer personas.
A buyer persona is when you slice your marketplace into individual groups of people. They are fictional representations of your ideal customers, based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior, along with educated speculation about their personal histories, motivations, and concerns.
Here's how you can begin to create buyer personas and utilize persona targeting effectively:
- Segment by Demographics: Start developing personas by researching your existing customer base to identify the most common buyers of your products and services. You may have several different types of buyers, so give each one a detailed description, including a name, job title or role, industry or company info, and demographic info.
- Identify Their Needs: What are the biggest problems they are trying to solve? What do they need most? What information are they typically searching for? What trends are influencing their business or personal success?
- Develop Behavior-Based Profiles: What do they do online? Are they active on Twitter, Facebook, or other social networks? What kind of search terms do they use? What kind of information do they tend to consume online? Which of your products do they spend the most time researching? How do they use those products?
Use your website to match your messaging to the needs of different buyer personas. Build your pages into categories to fit these personas, or offer content in a way that your prospects can easily find what’s relevant for them. To learn more about the the top 3 individuals that influence the industrial buying process, download our guide, Persona Targeting For Manufacturing Companies.
7. Implement An SEO Strategy
Getting found online is essential to improving the rest of your site metrics. If no one is coming to your site, how can you increase leads, downloads, or sales?
Here are some tips to designing your site for search engine optimization (SEO):
- Document Your Most Search-Valued Pages: As mentioned in step three, know what pages have the strongest SEO juice, the most traffic, inbound links, and keywords rankings. If you plan to move highly ranked pages, create proper 301 redirects so you don’t lose any of that value.
- Create A 301 Redirect Strategy: This may be THE most important step in terms of retaining traffic and rankings. Simply create a spreadsheet to record and map out your 301 redirects. You may also have heard or seen 404 page errors. Check out how they relate to a 301 redirect in our blog, What Does A 404 Error Mean?
- Do Your Keyword Research: For every page, pick one to two keywords that the page will focus on. Once you determine the keyword(s), use on-page SEO tactics, such as internal link building and optimizing your header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.)
Learn more about SEO with the eBook How To Increase Your SEO Traffic In Just 30 Days
8. Identify Calls-To-Action
Calls-to-action are the elements on your website that drive visitors to take an action, whether it’s a whitepaper download, contacting sales, or product purchase. Your website shouldn’t be a static brochure but should prompt your visitors to do something that further engages them with your brand.
When you’re planning for the redesign, think about all the potential opportunities for conversion. For example:
- Ebooks and whitepapers
- Contests and promotions
- Product purchases
- Email newsletter subscription
- Free trial
- Contact us / consultation / demonstration / etc.
While the “design” of your website is important, focus on functional. Make sure there are plenty of calls-to-action so you don’t lose visitors and check out 30 Industrial Lead Generation Tips, Tricks, and Ideas to see how to put your CTAs in action.
9. Create An Ongoing Content Strategy
If you have more content, on average you will have more website visitors and grow your business faster. A 100-page website will beat a 10-page website 99% of the time. And a 500-page website is even better, especially when it includes a constant flow of fresh content. Develop a content marketing strategy and continue to add more and more material to your website over time.
Here are some suggestions to get started with content marketing.
10. Choose A Strong Content Management System
There are endless things you can update on your website, but what's crucial is the foundation of your website — the content management system (CMS). Don't worry, using a CMS doesn't have to be daunting. Many small businesses create their first website using Wix. It's an easy drag-and-drop website builder, but as their business grows more web pages need to get created.
That's why we recommend using Wordpress for your industrial site — 30% of all websites are powered by it! Wordpress offers plugins for testimonials, a powerful selling tool, and it's mobile-friendly — a must to provide an optimal user experience for your leads and your growing business.
More Advice To Increase The Quality Of Your Leads
Any website built today should include these basics: a homepage, product pages, industry resources and a Contact Us/About Us pages. But there’s more to the basics that can really make your website awesome, including:
- Landing Pages: Landing pages with calls-to-action are critical lead generation components. Create awesome landing pages as part of the redesign for your offers and assets, like whitepapers and guides.
- RSS Subscription: RSS allows some content from your website to be automatically pushed out to other websites and people, increasing the reach of your content.
- Social media icons: Add social media sharing buttons/links to all your pages so your readers can share your expertise to their networks. You can use tools like ShareThis or AddThis.
Check out 25 Website Must-Haves That Drive Leads and Sales for more examples. These extra tips take a lot more planning and technical work — remember, a website is not a silo. Its integration with other functions, such as social media and email marketing is critical. There's still a lot more work involved keeping your marketing strategies are aligned, continuously optimizing your website, and reporting on the results (yes, the work doesn't end!) so if you need a partner to help out, get in touch with our team.
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