Your new business website ready-to-go! The design is modern and responsive, the content is optimized for search engines, your social media accounts are linked and you have a clear “Contact Us” button for potential customers to initiate contact with your business. So why isn’t your phone ringing with new and exciting opportunities? In fact, why isn’t it ringing at all?
Thinking that all potential customers arrive at your website ready to make a purchase is a common mistake that many small business owners make. In actuality, the process of a visitor getting to the purchase point is often times a long process.
You may recall the small business lead generation funnel that we shared a few months ago. To review, this funnel (pictured to the right) details the PROCESS that it takes to move a first-time visitor to a return customer.
So once you have attracted leads to your spiffy new website, how do you get them to the point of contact? Below we will pose some questions to your business, covering the crucial elements in moving the sales process forward, so that leads become loyal, repeat customers.
1. Does your website have a blog?
Your new website looks great. Congratulations!
But does it have a blog?
As simple as it may seem, blogging regularly is a key way to move potential customers through the sales process and can have major benefits for your business (see Six ways blogging can benefit your business).
Blogging is a great way to educate your readers, which not only teaches them more about your skills and services but also makes them better customers by informing them about your industry.
Regularly updating your SMB blog is also a great way to boost your SEO rankings, which will bring even more potential customers to your website.
2. Do you offer free resources?
Free, educational resources like ebooks, webinars, checklists and infographics are all excellent methods for moving customers forward in the sales process. Similarly to blogging, these resources educate your readers, making them better prepared to purchase.
Even better, this useful content shows your readers how your business can fill a void and serve a purpose for them. By showing your knowledge and skills through resources like these, you are moving your customer closer to a purchase decision AND showing them why your business is the best choice when they do decide to purchase.
3. Does your website incorporate calls-to-action?
So now you know how to move your potential customers through the sales funnel towards conversion with useful and educational content, but how do you “seal the deal?”
Many small businesses don’t realize it, but it can be as easy as incorporating calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your website.
So what are CTAs? We have discussed calls to action in detail previously, but for now, let’s focus on the basics. A CTA is anything that prompts your visitor to take action. This action can be clicking a “Download Now” button for your free e-book or filling out a form for you to contact them with further information about your products or services.
The exact action that you want your leads to take will vary, depending on your specific business model and goals.
Also, CTAs should not be limited to your “Contact Us” page, contrary to popular opinion. Instead, they should be sprinkled (naturally) throughout your website, providing multiple opportunities for your SMB to make contact with visitors.
As with most things worth having in life, you cannot rush the sales process. By assuming any new visitors to your website are ready to take the plunge and sign up for your services immediately, you are missing out on the opportunity to nurture leads and convert them to customers.
It may be time for you (and any team members that you may have) to sit down and create an SMB marketing funnel, similar to the one we mentioned above. By taking the time to walk customers through each stage of the sale, you should see an increase in conversions, and repeat business, not to mention, you might even hear your phone ring.