Is Your Website Driving Customers Away?

When a visitor reaches your website - either through organic search, clicking on an ad, or via a referring link from another site - are you making sure they're finding what they're looking for as soon as possible?

My guess is: More than likely, No.

But don't take my word for it. Look at your web analytics; are your top landing pages also your top "bounce-away" pages? If you answered yes, don't feel bad - you're in good company. Most companies today are beginning to understand that their website is more than just a "billboard" advertisement, and have started viewing it as a marketing tool - which is why SEO and Internet Advertising has grown like wildfire over the last few years. Everyone wants more visitors to their site, because more visitors = more business. Right? Wrong.

It's all about what your audience wants.

It is the rare company that really stops to analyze how their visitors are behaving once they reach the site. This is a shame, because you'll never know how much business you COULD be getting, until you start put yourself in your customer's mind.

I could ramble on for hours (literally!) about the importance of designing a site for the customer instead of your business.

A typical web search example:

You're looking for a company to come to your house, clean out your garage and haul your junk away. You search for "junk removal companies" on Google and get a nice list of possible providers and some local review sites - unfortunately none of them have any reviews yet, so you're stuck visiting their sites for the info.

Site A looks nice and professional, and it has lots of information on how long the business has been in business, how they're the best junk removers around, with links to a photo gallery that shows them moving junk and their nice professional looking vehicles.

After 3 or 4 clicks, you finally find the contact page - only to discover you have to fill out a form and wait for them to call you back before you get the quote. This is a bummer, because your wife wanted this done by tomorrow.

Site B, further down on the results page - attracts your attention because the title says "Junk Removal within 24 Hours", so you click on it. As soon as you land on the home page, you see another headline stating - "Junk Removal within 24 hours!", with some supporting information on how they'll come to your home or business and get rid of all your junk, trash, bodies, etc., and even clean up the area after they're done - just pick up the phone and call our number!(which happens to be in nice bold print with big contrasting colors so that it readily visible.) There are some other links on the page that say things like "learn more about our bonded, insured company" and "how much will this cost me?", that lead to content that actually answers those questions. The website isn't nearly as attractive, but it is immensely more effective at giving us what we're looking for.

Which one are you going to call?

Be warned. Once you start traveling down the rabbit hole known as "conversion optimization", you'll have to take a long, hard look at your business strategy on the internet, determine what your unique selling proposition is, who your target customer is, and how to provide them what they're looking for - before they bounce away to your competition.

Yes, it's a lot of work. And it takes time. But the payoff could mean thousands, or millions, in additional revenue.

Maybe it's time to drive your website from the mind of your visitor - would you be able to make a decision or find the information you're looking for?

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