Is Your Website Your Best Sales Person?
January 2017 Issue (Part 2 of 5 Part Series)
*** January – SESSION 2 ***
I speak with business owners everyday about business development strategies. One of the questions I ask them is, “Are you satisfied with your website?” 40% say yes while the 60% that are not pleased have serious questions about the need, time, function and value (return-on-investment) associated with updating and maintaining their website and online strategy.
A more important question may be, “Is your Website your best sales person?” The way we connect with customers and prospects is changing very rapidly. Your website needs to be your best sales person with your content, advertising and promotional strategy targeted to address your customers’ needs and expectations at the time they are ready to buy.
The speed at which digital online marketing is replacing traditional advertising is accelerating. Search marketing, search optimization, social media, video, pay-per-click, and more offer significant opportunities along with challenges associated with time and expense management. With all the new technologies, strategies and tactics that are emerging, it can seem impossible to get a grasp on everything.
First, you need to realize that customer retention is critical in today’s information rich environment. The cost to switch HVAC service providers is low and the customer’s choices are high. The good news is that your website can and should be the foundation for connecting your online marketing components to maximize customer retention and acquisition, hence Your Best Sales Person.
For this to be successful, your website and marketing strategy will need to focus on building relationships and customer engagement, all guided by a multi-talented leader that can assemble a team made up of specialists in online marketing to engage buyers at every stage of the business development life cycle, Inbound Marketing (Part 3 of the Series).
With your website as your best sales person, you are in a position to create an integrated inbound marketing program to build your brand and provide a measurable return-on-investment (ROI) for your marketing spend by combining broad-based and account-based marketing strategies to generate leads and minimize the cost per lead.
The new formula for Successful Customer Engagement:
Inbound + Broad-based lead generation + Account-based marketing (B2B) + Paid media personalization + Direct marketing (source: Chandar Pattabhiram, CMO Marketo)
There are thousands of website designers and design templates available from a few hundred dollars to $10’s of Thousands. It’s important to pick a design that connects with your customers and prospects. I have provided three important design considerations below. You can also visit BML’s website for a seven (7) step approach on “How to select a website designer”, http://brandmanagementlabs.com/Website-Design-Development/.
Website Design Consideration
Three critical components associated with website design in order to meet customer expectations:
- Your website is the user interface with your customer and prospect. The interface needs to be attractive and consistent which means users can understand how to use certain functions intuitively and without instruction.
- Must be mobile responsive, easy reading and navigating with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling— across a wide range of devices
• readable text without requiring zoom
• adequate space for tap targets
• no horizontal scrolling
- Web page load-time significantly impacts the user experience. Over 25% of users abandon a page with 4 second load-time. Googles John Mueller indicated that a 2 second load time will disrupt crawling activity. For page speed test tools visit: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Finally, Google is now rolling out the mobile first index. In the past, Google has crawled your website as a desktop user. Now your site will be crawled as a mobile user. Mobile websites typically have a different display and linking strategy on mobile devices. What this means is that your site could lose rank if your current site is hostile to mobile devices or loads slowly. Bottom line, your website must be mobile responsive.
Look for Part 3 “HVAC customers replace the Yellow Pages with Inbound Marketing” of our 5 part series, HVAC in 2017 & beyond, Customer is King, only thing normal is change! This article will identify the components and address the importance of creating a comprehensive online business development strategy to connect and communicate with your customers and prospects. For additional information about growing your HVAC dealer business, visit www.bmlabs.com/hvac-marketing, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-300-4649.
Gregg Anderson is the owner of Brand Management Labs (BML), a business development and brand management consulting company. With over thirty (30) years of business turn-around experience, twenty (20) years of search engine/website and online business development, and a strong marketing, advertising and sales background, BML has helped a number of HVAC dealers grow their business. Visit www.bmlabs.com/hvac-marketing for more information.