You’ve got the qualifications, the skills and the experience – congratulations, you’re obviously an expert in your field.
- Is the work you are getting via referrals actually the sort you want?
- Do you get to cherry-pick projects and work with great people who value what you do?
- Are your revenues increasing, with healthy margins on the services you sell?
- Are your clients a joy to work with?
- Do they have the type of projects that are perfect for your expertise and which enhance your reputation?
- Is your online presence is conveying your true level of expertise?
You can Tweet, blog, post on Facebook or LinkedIn and comment on forums as much as you like, but if visitors to your website can’t easily work out how you can help them and how to buy, you could well be missing out on the best projects.
According to Google, 89% of B2B buyers use the internet in their research process and typically conduct 12 searches before they make a buying decision. So if they don’t like what they see on your site at this stage of the process, you will never get the chance to discover if they could have been your perfect client.
Walk in Your Customers’ Shoes
With this in mind, have a fresh look at your site and imagine you are a prospective customer who either doesn’t know your business at all or who has vaguely heard of you via a referral.
- Can they see that you have experience of their problems and understand how to solve them?
- Does it illustrate how you’ve solved problems for people with challenges similar to theirs in the past?
- Is there evidence of your expertise in the form of recent testimonials and case studies?
- Is there interesting, educational information for them to read to help with their decision-making?
- Does it have a valuable free offer that is interesting enough for them to give you their email address?
If your site doesn’t tick all these boxes, your prospect is quickly going to head off to a website that does.
Today’s B2B buyers progress more than 70% of the way through the decision-making process before ever engaging with a sales representative. This means that unless you have a website that can be easily found and which clearly gives people the information they are looking for instantly, you will struggle to turn browsers into buyers.
The Top Six Things to Include on Your Website
So how can you get a bigger slice of the action?
Here is our list of the top things you need to include on your website to help claim your rightful position as the go-to expert in your industry:
1. Proof that you understand your customers’ problems
People work with experts because they can solve very real problems that are affecting their lives or businesses. These problems are your customers’ ‘pain points’.
One of our clients designs, manufactures and installs architectural glazing. They make commercial buildings look fabulous, stay warmer and cost less to run. But guess which page is near the top of visitor rankings? Leak repairs. Not the sexiest part of the business, but it offers a clear solution to an urgent and very real pain. If the roof is leaking on your 10,000sq ft office, you are going to make a buying decision a lot more quickly than if you are considering installing a gorgeous atrium (they build a lot of those too, by the way).
You need to show that you understand your customers’ pain points, then clearly demonstrate that you have experience of solving them using a proven system.
2. Reviews and Testimonials
These give prospective clients evidence that you do what you say you can do.
There is no point saying that you can help customers save money or solve a problem if you don’t have the proof. Reviews and testimonials on your website give visitors instant reassurance that real people like them have benefited from working with your business.
The great thing about testimonials and reviews is that they only take a few minutes to give. Catch a customer when you have just delivered a really fabulous piece of work and ask them for a few words or – better still – a short video testimonial describing how your service helped them. You will get a really spontaneous piece of genuine feedback that you can use across all your online channels and printed marketing materials.
It’s also important to get social proof through reviews on Google, LinkedIn and via any specialist review sites for your market sector. But you do need to make sure that you include them on your website too.
3. Case Studies
Case studies take a lot more effort but are the crème de la crème of evidence. Where you can, arrange case study interviews with a client face to face as this will enable you to glean nuggets of valuable information about their buying decisions that could help with future sales. This can either be done by you or a professional copywriter, which shows the client how much you value the information they are giving you. A case study with the client’s name and company name and their company, illustrated with images of them and the project helps build trust by giving visitors to your website reassurance about how you work and what you can deliver.
Sometimes it’s not possible to get a full case study – there may be legal reasons, the work may be confidential or the client company could have restrictive policies around giving permission for their name to be used. In this case, you can write a ‘case scenario’ which describes the project and the outcomes from your point of view, and refers to the client without using their actual name. It’s not as powerful as a named case study, but most people in your industry will know who you are talking about and you’ve respected the client’s wish not to have their name published.
4. A Valuable Free Offer to Capture Leads
Getting lots of traffic to your website is great, but being able to find out who is viewing it is better. Getting their name and details turns visitors from casual browsers into valuable warm leads.
We are all pretty wary of giving out our email addresses these days as nobody wants their inbox cluttered up with stuff or to be sold at excessively. But if you see a piece of content such as advice, tips or some research that can help you in your day-to-day business, you will give your email without even thinking about it.
As an expert, you already have the information that people want – it’s just a case of getting it out of your head and into valuable free offer in the form of a beautifully presented document, infographic or video that for people to download.
5. An Introductory Product
If you sell services that involve working with clients over a long period of time, the buying decision will probably be pretty complex and involve multiple decision-makers and influencers.
This is where a light-touch, high-value introductory product that showcases how you work can help. If people can ‘road test’ your service with very little risk or effort, at a price point that means that they can make the buying decision easily, they are more likely to choose to work with you in the longer-term.
Your introductory product needs to be featured on your website, with a clear explanation of what it includes and the value it provides.
Give it a name and set out the features and – crucially – the benefits it offers. Then fix the price at a level that makes the decision to buy it easy, without diluting or devaluing your core offer.
6. A Clear Call to Action
This sounds incredibly obvious, but have a look around some of the websites of companies in your market sector and you will be amazed how few actually tell people what they want them to do.
People now enter websites via many different routes, so the chances of someone seeing your homepage before they visit specific product pages are slim. When we scope new sites, we always make sure that ‘no door is the wrong door’. This means that visitors need to be able to clearly understand what you do and how to contact you, irrespective of which page they land on first.
You also need to make sure people can find and download your valuable free content from behind an email wall from a variety of relevant pages.
Making It All Happen
Digital generation experts DemandGen say that when asked buyers why they selected a winning vendor over others, 75% said that the company’s content had a significant impact on their buying decisions, so there is no question that you need good, engaging content on your site.
If you have a site with a content management system, then you should be able to add content, email capture forms and a downloadable offer to your website yourself.
But if all this has you thinking ‘Yikes!’, then you probably need to work with a professional marketing partner who can take care of it all for you so that you can focus on doing what you do best.
When you’re looking into who you might want to work with to help with your marketing, make sure you ask yourself these questions:
- Will they help gather, create and edit content, images and graphics to make your website stand out?
- Have they got the skills to hone your message so that it resonates with your ideal clients?
- Will they look after the technology side of things, so you don’t have to?
- Will they create a plan to help you communicate with your ideal prospects, regularly, with your voice and your value proposition?
- Will they polish and perfect your brand so you can stand head and shoulders above your competitors?
Or will they say the dreaded words: “Just send us your content!”, leaving you back at square one.
We’re here to make your website a lean, mean, lead-generating machine by helping you write, build and organise content that will position you as an expert in your field.
If that’s something you’d like some help with, give us a call and book in a free 30-minute consultation on: