What's wrong with your website?

Get a website, they said. You’ll get loads of new leads, they said. It will help you win more business, they said. No more cold-calling, no more waiting for referrals from friends, no need to depend on that one solid client for 80% of your work.

So you took their advice.

You got a fancy new website – it cost you a small fortune and took weeks to get right, but it looks amazing.

And you waited for the business to come rolling in. But it didn’t. So what on earth is the problem?

Well, if you’ve got a website that isn’t working for you, then it’s probably down to one of two things.

  1. You aren’t getting enough visitors to your site
  2. Your visitors aren’t converting into customers

In this short post, we’ll look at both these issues in a little more detail. And I’ll show you how you can fix the problems, so that your website gets you the results you deserve.

Table of Contents

How to improve website traffic

Simply putting your website online and hoping people will find it isn’t enough. You’ve got to let them know it’s there. Otherwise, it’s like building a shop in the middle of a field and not putting a sign up or telling anyone it exists.

Check your Google Analytics to see what kind of traffic you are getting – if the numbers are low, then this is where you need to focus your attention.

The good news is there are several ways of driving more traffic to your site:

Paid advertising

If you have the budget for it, paid advertising, using tools such as Google AdWords, can be a quick and effective way of getting visitors to your site. Just make sure you do your keyword research properly, so you maximise your return on investment.

Improve your SEO

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about ensuring that your site gets found in searches. There are lots of technical things you can do to your site, which any good web designer should be able to help you with, but there are some easy fixes you can make yourself too.

Creating blog posts around key search terms will help you get found. And getting quality links back to your site will also help improve your rankings.

This article covers the basics of SEO:

Beginner’s guide to SEO success (Ahrefs)

Blogger outreach

Blogger outreach is about finding bloggers (or journalists) who share a similar audience to you and asking them to link back to your content.

Getting quality backlinks to your website not only helps with SEO, but it also drives extra visitors to your site. After all, if a site they trust is recommending you, then you must be good, right?

Look for blog posts that would logically link to your content, or create content that complements existing articles. The more value-adding your content, the more likely it is that people will agree to link back to it.

For more in-depth articles on how to do blogger outreach effectively, check out these articles:

Attract traffic from social media

Use social media to build up a following and then share links to blogs, vlogs or other content on your site. Think of your website like a shop, your blog like a shop window and social media as the high street. A good shop window will attract high street shoppers and draw them into your shop.

Monitor which content gets the most clicks, likes, shares and comments and then create more content along these lines.

Content marketing

Creating valuable content is an excellent way of generating traffic – as long as you are sharing that content. If it’s keyword-focused, it helps you get found in searches. If you share on social media, via email newsletters, and get others to link back to it, you’ll start to see an increase in visitors to your site.

Check out these articles for more guidance on content marketing:

How to convert more visitors into customers

If you’re already getting lots of visitors to your site, but your conversions are low, then the problem is probably your site itself. Issues could include:

  • Slow to load
  • Links not working
  • Contact forms not working
  • Not optimised for mobile
  • Not clear about what you do
  • No call to actions or contact information
  • Poor content

Check that every page functions as it should, that all the links work and that any contact forms send information to the right place. If everything is working properly, then it’s time to take a look at your content.

If your website copy doesn’t do its job, then it doesn’t matter how well-built your site is or how amazing it looks, you won’t get those conversions.

Your website copy is your sales pitch and it should:

  • Tell the visitor they are in the right place
  • Explain how your products or services will benefit them
  • Give them confidence in your business
  • Make them want to work with you
  • Convince them to take action

Read through your copy as if you are a new visitor that knows nothing about your company. Would your copy convince you to buy? Does it answer all the questions you would have? Is the information relevant and presented clearly?

10 tips for better website copy

1. Tell the reader they are in the right place

When a reader clicks on your website, they will decide within seconds whether you are offering what they need. If they can’t work out quickly whether they are in the right place, they’ll click off and you may never get them back. Get straight to the point and let readers know that you have what they want. Don’t overcomplicate what you do with fancy words and phrases. 

2. Make it personal

Talk directly to your reader. Use “you” as much as possible to make your copy feel more personal.

Instead of; “we are excellent at customer service,” say, “you will benefit from excellent customer service.”

Instead of; “all our clients get a special welcome gift,” say, “you will receive our special welcome gift.”

3. Build a relationship

You wouldn’t walk into a sales pitch and try closing the sale straight away; you’d take the time to build rapport and earn the prospect’s trust. It should be the same with your copy. Show your reader that you understand them, explain the problems you can solve for them and demonstrate how you will do it.

4. Establish credibility

Building trust is vital and establishing your credibility goes a long way towards doing this. There are numerous ways you can do this on your website:

  • Use feedback, reviews, case studies, testimonials or survey results to show readers that you deliver 
  • Write informative blog posts to demonstrate your expertise
  • Offer guarantees, free samples or trial periods to show how confident you are in your products or services
  • Include accreditations, awards, recommendations, accolades or specialist certifications to prove competency

5. Focus on the benefits

People don’t just want to know what your product does, they want to know how it will benefit them or improve their life. As well as giving information about the features, explain what they mean for the customer.

“It has extra padding to provide greater comfort

“The 12-megapixel camera ensures a high-quality picture

“Made from lightweight material for easier transportation

6. Answer questions

Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. What would they want to know about your company, products and services? What questions would they want you to answer? Give the reader all the information they need to feel confident investing in you.

7. Use emotion

Emotion has been used as a selling tool since sales began; a desire to belong, fear of missing out, vanity, greed, doubt, lust, curiosity, impatience, intrigue. Words such as ‘free’, ‘discount’, ‘exclusive’, ‘limited’, ‘easy’, ‘quick’,’ luxury’ and ‘unique’ all invoke emotions that inspire people to buy.

8. Reassure your reader

People will have doubts about buying from you, so you need to address these. Price may be one of the biggest deciding factors but if you can convince someone of the value you provide then the price won’t matter. Reassure your reader that they are getting value for money.

Nobody wants to make a bad decision. Offering a money-back guarantee, free trial or extended warranty makes the purchase less of a risk to the customer.

9. Highlight key information

You never know which page of your website a reader will start at or which pages they will visit. Make sure you repeat key information such as your unique selling point, special offers or the main benefits of what you provide on each relevant page.

Even if you only have a one-page website, the reader may only skim the copy; make sure the key points stand out.

Use bullet points, sub-headings or bold text to make it easy for your reader to identify important information.

10. Include a call to action

Every page should include at least one call to action; ‘buy now’, ‘add to basket’, ‘donate’, ‘sign-up’, ‘join now’, ‘register today’, ‘request a quote’. ‘contact us’. Whatever action you want the reader to take, make it clear to them what you want them to do next. Include clickable links, share buttons, booking forms or payment facilities. The easier you make it for the reader to take action, the more likely they are to take it.

One last thing…

Write in a tone that is suited to your business and use language your audience will understand. Always remember that your website copy is not written for you, it is written for your visitors.

5 easy ways to update your website

Once your website is up and running, it’s easy to forget about it. Unless you are adding content regularly or changing your product range, you probably don’t look at your site much at all.

Even if you are regularly adding content, it’s unlikely you spend much time reviewing the sales pages. But if you don’t read through your copy often, it can easily become outdated, and that won’t give visitors a good impression of your company.  

The good news is you can quickly freshen up your copy without having to give it a complete overhaul. Here are 5 easy ways to update your website copy…

1.Update testimonials & case studies

You can tell the world how great you are at what you do, but they are more likely to believe it when they hear it from someone else. That’s why testimonials, reviews and case studies are so beneficial. They give you credibility and show that you can actually deliver what you promise.

When you first built your website, you probably added all your best testimonials and case studies, but how many other projects have you completed since then?

Ask clients that you’ve worked with recently to provide a testimonial. Write up the details of your latest projects and use the case studies to showcase your services. Remove any testimonials or case studies that are no longer relevant, for example, those that mention any services that you no longer provide.

Keeping your testimonials and case studies up to date shows potential clients that your work now is still as good as it’s always been (if not better).

2. Check the relevance of date references, accreditations and awards

Skim through your copy looking for phrases such as “last year we…”, “in the last 12 months we…” or “we started our company X years ago”. These type of phrases quickly go out of date.

Pay particular attention to any awards or accreditations that you have mentioned. Is it really going to impress a potential client if you are still talking about an award you were nominated for five years ago (especially if you’ve won even more since then)?

If you are showing accreditation or certification logos on your site, check you are using the most up to date logos and that you are still accredited. You don’t want to get caught out listing a certification that you no longer have, or claim to be a member of an association that no longer exists.

Ensure that any awards, certifications, accreditations and associations you are referencing are up to date and relevant.

3. Update your services

One of the most important things to check is your services pages. Many businesses change, even over a period as short as six months. Maybe you’ve started offering new services, or perhaps you’ve recently stopped offering a service that wasn’t very popular or profitable.

If you have packages, make sure these are listed correctly, and if you are advertising your prices, ensure you have the most up to date prices on your site. If you are still promoting last year’s rates on your site, you could be misleading your customers which won’t impress them.

4. Check your links work properly

It’s a tedious job but going through your content and ensuring that all the links still work is important. Not only does it prevent readers getting frustrated by broken links, but it can damage your SEO if you are linking to any dodgy or expired websites.

Go through all your pages and blog posts, and make sure both the internal and external links work as they should.

It’s also a good idea to test out any enquiry or contact forms to ensure that messages are getting through to the right email address. Otherwise, you might be missing out on lots of new enquiries.

5. Update your blog

I’ve lost count of the number of websites that haven’t updated their blog since their site went live. It’s disappointing to click on a blog and find one post promising loads of interesting content, top tips and updates that have never materialised. If your blog has not been updated in the last 12 months, then visitors might wonder if you are even still in business.

If you have a blog page on your website (many web designers add these in as standard), then either ask for it to be removed or make sure you add content regularly.

Of course, our recommendation would be to maintain your blog and fill it full of valuable content. Blogging regularly can help improve SEO, generate more website traffic and win more business.

Is it really that easy?

Many marketers will tell you that it takes more than a good blog and decent website copy to win business, but nobody will deny that these two things will help. There’s loads you can do to generate leads and improve your marketing, but working on your copy is a great place to start.

There’s no point sending loads of people to your website if the copy is dull and uninspiring. And an engaging blog, packed with advice, tips and useful information will help you attract more readers.

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