Are you looking for ways to improve your existing website?
If your website is under-performing, and you find yourself struggling to get enough leads and sales, you might start thinking about scrapping it altogether and getting a new one.
Whenever I hear anyone start to talk like this, I always say ‘STOP! That won’t solve your problems!’ – In fact, a new, swankier website that doesn’t address any of the problems you’re currently having could mean you’ll just run into the same old issues again and again.
So, what should you do instead?
Well, improving the layout of your website is a much more cost-effective and efficient way of getting the results you need – and it can also help you when starting an inbound marketing campaign!
Below, I’m going to tell you how it works, so you can start getting better results from your website today.
Understanding your buyer’s journey
The first thing to do when thinking about changing your website’s layout for the better, is to take a long, hard look at how your website is currently performing – what’s working, and what isn’t.
Every one of your website visitors is at a different stage of what we call their buyer’s journey, and in order to help them get through each stage, we have to provide them with helpful content and easy-to-use navigation, so they can quickly find what they are looking for.
The buyer’s journey consists of three main stages. These are:
- Awareness stage – They might not be sure of exactly what they want
- Consideration stage – They may start considering different options available, cost etc.
- Decision stage – This is where they think about buying your product in particular
(Don’t worry, I’ll go into much more detail about this in the next section!)
In my own experience as an inbound marketer, around 99.9% of websites I see mostly cater for consideration/decision stage – not everybody else, which leads to a terrible conversion rate. It makes me frustrated, so just imagine how the actual visitors must feel! A lot of them will get bored and simply give up.
To help you understand what people want at each stage of their buyer’s journey, and how they are behaving when they first visit your website, try gathering useful data with tools such as Google Analytics and heat maps.
This will show you exactly where people are clicking, and which parts of your website they are visiting most. Which will help when it comes to the really exciting bit…
Match your content to stages
Now that you’ve gotten a good idea of your buyer’s journey, and looked at how visitors are reacting to your existing website layout, you can start to think about fitting in the missing pieces of the puzzle – the content they need to move onto the next stage of their journey.
You’re essentially going to be tailoring your website’s layout to fit each stage of your buyer’s journey, and you’re going to be doing this by providing helpful, quality content, and taking out anything that doesn’t quite fit. For instance, someone at the awareness stage of their journey probably won’t be interested in asking for a quote just yet!
Stage one: Awareness
This is probably one of the most important stage of the buyer’s journey, as it’s likely where many of your potential customers will need the most attention. Imagine when they first land on your website; they don’t know exactly what they want, or even if your solution is right for them.
To help them understand their options better, you can write helpful blog content addressing many of the questions they might have at this stage in their journey (you can find these out by asking previous customers), or creating powerful infographics which deliver lots of information in a creative way.
You can also convert them into leads by providing premium content offers such as ebooks, white papers, or checklists which they can easily download by filling in a form with their contact details. Call-to-actions (CTAs) will help them find where to go next, whether it’s downloading an ebook or subscribing to your newsletter.
Stage two: Consideration
At this stage, your visitors may be exploring their options in greater detail. They’ll want to know how much your solution is going to cost, if it is the best fit for them, and the solutions you are offering compared to those of your competitors.
They’ll probably also want to read up on some informative case studies that represent someone in a similar situation to them – not to mention how your company helped them overcome any issues they had. This helps build confidence in your brand and gives them peace of mind that your solution might work for them.
Perhaps an ebook highlighting what to expect when buying from your company would also give them the information they need to help them make a decision.
Stage three: Decision
This is without a doubt the weakest stage of your buyer’s journey, and involves CTAs such as ‘get a free quote’ or consultation. Perhaps you have a value offer or discount that they can get if they fill out their details today.
This stage is essentially the very last step before buying – although in reality, it can potentially take your visitors or leads months to complete their buyer’s journey.
The secret is…
… Understanding what you want them to do in each stage of their journey. I cannot stress this enough, and I’d really recommend going into your homepage and trying to look at it from each different perspective – as if you’re looking through fresh eyes.
While do you, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the navigation clear?
- What is the next step, and what do they have to do to get there?
- How can you make it easier for them to progress?
- Do your CTAs explain what to expect once they click on them?
- Is your content helpful, unbiased, practical and informative?
If you make your website as helpful and easy-to-use as possible for each stage of your buyer’s journey, the chances are, your visitors will make it through your website easier – and not only that, they’ll have a great experience, too!
Want more information on how to improve your website’s performance? Read my blog post ‘How to Generate More Quality Leads via Your Website’.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your current website’s performance, the layout is a good place to start, and is a much more cost-effective solution than simply getting a whole new website. Tools such as heat maps and Google Analytics will help you see what’s working and what isn’t.
Improve your website’s layout by focusing on each stage of your buyer’s journey. Create helpful, quality content, premium content offers and effective CTAs tailored to visitors who are in the awareness, consideration and decision stages of their journey.
Ensure you map everything out so that it flows in a logical and easy-to-follow route, and ask yourself: Is there is anything you can do to make it easier for your visitors to reach the next step in their journey?