By now you know that your website is one of the best and most economical ways to market your business.
If you’re serious about your site (and you should be), you’ve researched up-to-the-minute SEO best practices, defined your audience, and chosen an effective layout.
And now it’s smooth sailing, right?
Not so fast. Even when you’re doing things right, you can make common mistakes that can cost you sales, repeat customers, and followers.
You want to get the most out of your site — don’t miss out by dropping the ball on these four important website features:
An Email Signup/Website Membership Signup That Isn’t Super Easy to Find
The most valuable thing your website does for you is generate leads. Every person who visits your website should see either a quick form or a link to sign up for your email newsletter, or, even better, membership to your website.
Website membership (which, in most cases on a business website, is free) is like email signup PLUS.
You should offer something more than your newsletter and/or promotional emails, such as a short eBook or PDF containing valuable information, exclusive coupons, invites to online seminars, or access to bonus content on your site (for example, selected posts on this blog are only available to members — to see them in full visitors must join the site.
Website membership increases the number of signups, because it’s more than an email list (which some people are hesitant to sign up for out of fear of being bombarded with excessive unwanted emails).
Promise your potential members that you will only offer them content of value by email (and stick to it!), and deliver the perks instantly.
There should be a way to easily sign up on every page of your website. We put a Join Now link at the top of every page, as well as buttons in relevant areas of the site, such as the home page, as a call-to-action.
If you simply put an email signup box at the bottom of your main page, you’re literally losing leads, every day. Take the number of signups you get per day and multiply it by four — that’s around where you should be.
And if your daily average is zero, you really need to pay more attention to how accessible your signup options are.
Foregoing Landing Pages
Landing pages can be a lot of work, it’s true. You’ll need a nice design, effective copy, and a format that doesn’t scream “popup advertising.”
You’ll probably need to pay someone for at least one or two of those things (think outsourcing those projects to save you time and money). It can be tempting to just not do landing pages, but it’s a mistake.
Landing pages, especially those that greet blog visitors, lead to conversions.
It’s important to remember, though, that not all landing pages work well. Some come off like bad infomercials, and those will turn off your potential readers quickly.
Your blog visitors are savvy, and don’t want a lot of exclamations and bloated promises.
So, while you DO want to utilize landing pages, here are some DON’Ts for creating them:
- Avoid buzzword overload. “Instant” “Effective,” “Limited,” “Hot” — some of the words are fine when used sparingly, but if every other word is meant to grab the reader’s’ attention, none of them will.
- Good headlines are important. Use a good, strong headline that communicates.
- Be clear and concise. Whatever your call-to-action is, don’t make it vague. Will they receive special access? A discount? Will they be signing up for a trial or purchasing something? The clearer you are, the happier your visitors will be (and the more likely they’ll be to enter their information).
- Don’t ask for information you don’t really need on the landing page. You want a name and an email address. Ask for a physical address only if it’s truly needed (as in, you’re planning to actually send them something). If you need to know their general location, only ask for the city and country. Don’t ask for a phone number on a landing page unless you want people to hit the back button.
Not Marketing Enough
When you’re creating content for your website, especially your dynamic, frequently updated blog content, it’s easy to focus entirely on the act of creating the content itself — the planning, researching, and writing — instead of actually getting the content out there.
This is a mistake. If you’re spending more time creating content than marketing it, you’re doing it wrong.
That doesn’t mean you should dash out sloppy content. You do need to put time into your writing.
But for every minute you put toward content creation, you need to put a minute into promotion.
Some things you should be spending time on along with content creation include building up a network of people who know your industry and business who you can rely on to read and share your posts.
This kind of friendly word-of-mouth outreach can be far more effective than simply sharing your posts on your social media platforms (though, of course, you should do that too).
Not Updating Enough
This one’s a biggie. In the days before Twitter, it wasn’t uncommon for a blog to update a couple of times a month, and that was it. And it could still retain a following.
You might find yourself working with people who haven’t yet phased out of that mindset, who think it’s completely unrealistic to update your blog daily.
Don’t listen to those people. If you want to be relevant, and, more importantly, if you don’t want your followers, customers, or clients to forget about you you have to update your blog frequently.
You don’t necessarily have to update your blog every single day (though you should at least Tweet, Facebook, or Instagram daily). But if you’re only blogging once a week, you need to increase to at least two or three days a week.
This can be challenging, but you have to do it, whether you have to assign employees to rotate blog posts or contract writers.
Blogs that aren’t dynamic aren’t viable. You can create the most amazing content on Monday, by Wednesday your readers have moved on. Keep them engaged, keep them looking forward to what you have to say next.
If you happen to be making any of these four mistakes right now, make a change now and see what a difference it can make. Even just one of these mistakes can mean a loss of leads, customers, and revenue.
Have you fallen into any of these mistakes, or are there other website mistakes that you’ve found damaging as a business owner? Let us know in the comments!
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