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March 1, 2017
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Making your website work harder

As a PR specialist, I like to have an overview of a company’s whole marketing strategy. Every aspect of how a company comes into contact with its customers/competitors/staff/neighbours etc affects its reputation. Which is why I was recently at a website seminar, hosted by Regenerate Pennine Lancashire in Blackburn, looking at some top tips on creating great websites.

Happily, the session was run by B2B internet marketing coach, Andrew Lloyd Gordon who had kindly condensed his 2 day course into a 90-minute training session.  And the parts which resonated most with me, I’ve included here.

Getting more from your website

The basic premise is that all websites CAN convert more, with a few changes here and there. We all need to be aspiring to do this, otherwise what is the point of having a website if it’s not doing as well as it could?

Firstly, are you clear about what your site is actually for? You really REALLY need to know what it does for your business.

There is always a tension between:

what YOU want a customer to do whilst on your website VS what the customer actually want to do. Do you understand what they are looking for from your site?

Tips:

  • Phone them up and ask
  • Do some market research
  • Run focus groups

Check out this book: Rocket Surgery made easy

What is your website actually like?

Before you decide, be aware of something called ‘the curse of knowledge’. We all suffer from this to some extent. Once we know something, it’s difficult to imagine what it’s like not knowing it. So if you know that ‘security solutions’ really means ‘locks, security gates and bollards’ how could you ever imagine someone else might think it meant ‘stair-gate, night-light and comfort blanket’?

Try to find someone outside your company to review your website. Don’t even use a friend because they’ll say usually nice things about it.

Whatever you do, beware of the HIPPO factor. (Highest paid person’s opinion).

Don’t let your website stagnate

Andrew suggests its a really good idea to continually modify a website, checking whether changes work or not by using a free tool: Google website optimiser, and to always bear in mind how people can be influenced (from work done by Robert B Cialdini)

6 triggers to influence

  • Reciprocation – you give someone something, and they give something back in return
  • Commitment – a sales trick is to get people to buy something small – and then they are more likely to buy again
  • Social proof – we do what other people do (try looking up in a crowd, and see how others follow your lead)
  • Authority – establish that your opinion is worth listening to
  • Like us – we are more influenced by people who are like us
  • Scarcity – encourage people to buy now because it won’t be there later.

Ooh, there’s some great stuff that this man knows, and this seminar was only scratching the surface!

Here are 14 ways to make better websites:

  • use more images, particularly of faces
  • simplify messages
  • everything should be clickable (we want something to do on a website)
  • people respond to movement (some, not masses) and colour
  • novelty grabs attention
  • Try using callouts – like a ‘phone now’ button
  • use video/audio
  • use lots of testimonials – and make them real with photos, quotes, named people
  • take inspiration from the Amazon website – lots of buttons, buy now, ‘people also bought..’ ideas. And keep an eye on their site – they keep making changes
  • change font size
  • try different backgrounds
  • give something away (we all respond well to reciprocation) ie. an ebook/gift/voucher
  • create a degree of urgency (buy now…, offer ends…, last few remaining…)
  • encourage feedback

And all these things are very do-able. So, why am I spending my time just writing a blog? Clearly I’ve got a website to review.. and change… and test… and change…

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