Blog

Is your website a scrolling disaster?

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I have just sent out a direct mail campaign (yes, they still work!) to selected local businesses. Before I sent the letters out, I looked at the website for every business I was writing to and made sure I felt there were things that I could help them with to improve the number of leads they generated.

There were a number of really common problems that all businesses need to be aware of but here are three of the most damaging:

1: Google is actively restricting your site’s visibility
The first is having a mobile responsive website. This means that your website will automatically adjust itself to look better on a mobile phone or tablet. More that 50% of internet search is now done on a mobile device (and growing) and so Google, which wants its search results to be as relevant as possible, now values mobile-friendly websites much more highly than traditional designs. If you haven’t updated your website to be mobile-friendly, and you rely on internet search as a source of leads, then you could find yourself rapidly disappearing from Google’s search results.

2: I don’t know what you do
Half of all website visitors make a decision on whether to stay or leave within just 8 seconds. If you haven’t captured their interest, they’ll carry on surfing, going next to one of competitors. It is therefore critical to get across why you are relevant to your visitor, different to your competitors, and get them to register their interest all within those first 8 seconds. I visited some sites where, even after a full minute, I wasn’t sure what the business actually did. Either there were large meaningless pictures or the text hadn’t been written with potential new customers in mind. Visitors would have left long before because it wasn’t obvious that your business was relevant to their needs. Pretend you know nothing about your business and go look at your website now as if you were a new prospect and see if it would convince you to take action within 8 seconds.

3: If you can’t see it straight away, it may as well not be there
The third problem is sites where the user has to scroll down to find the important information. They just won’t! And this includes the new generation of mobile-friendly websites with beautiful big artistic pictures at the top. 80% of website visitors will make a decision on whether to stay or leave a website WITHOUT scrolling down. If a visitor has to scroll down to find out what you do, 4 out of every 5 will leave without having found out what you do. If you have a box for people to signup to a newsletter or email updates and you have to scroll down to find it – you’ll only be getting a fraction of the signups you would get if it was at the top and it the right format.

Website best practice, and how visitors respond, has changed radically over the last couple of years. More than half of internet search is now mobile and more than half of internet traffic is video. Your business needs to catch up fast.

Best wishes
Simon

Start thinking now about next year’s marketing

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It’s the time of year when most businesses are starting to think about their marketing for next year.

What’s gone right or wrong this year and what are they going to change or what new things are they going to try next year?

One of the problems that many business owners suffer is that they get their ‘marketing’ done by graphic designers. Designers can produce beautiful websites, brochures and mailers but they usually have no idea how to craft a headline, how to structure the content, or how to write a call to action in a way that will generate new business. If the business does manage to generate new leads, often they come to nothing because the follow up process isn’t designed or implemented properly meaning the initial marketing investment was wasted.

Start planning now for all the things you’d like to do next year. What will be important?

  • A new product or service?
  • A tradeshow or exhibition?
  • Campaigns to build your mailing list?

Download our free guide which shows you what the essential 5 stages of marketing are so you can make sure you put together a winning and highly effective marketing plan for next year.

When planning your marketing, concentrate on the following issues:

  • What are the right messages that will attract the right prospects?
  • How do you capture their data so can follow them up properly?
  • How do you follow them up in a way that will convert them into paying customers?

Get these three things rights and you’ll be well on your way to a very successful 2016

Best wishes
Simon