Does your website deliver a consistent flow of hot prospects to your business on a weekly basis?
Are you able to convert those prospects into new clients within a period of days or weeks?
If the answer is “No” to either of those questions, then you don’t have a Sales Driven Website (SDW)
Your website should be your #1 sales rep. It can work 24 hours a day, doesn’t expect a huge salary and doesn’t take part in office politics. Too many businesses accept their website is just an electronic sales brochure. But that just doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s fast moving digital age.
The internet has changed marketing drastically over the last few years. Smart businesses understand their website must attract, nurture and convert visitors into paying clients.
In this article, I am going to show you the 6 components of a Sales Driven Website. These are 6 ways to turn your website a critical part of your client acquisition process.
Here we go…
Web designers are the key people on most website development projects. But I think they are the least qualified people to build a Sales Driven Website. The most important part of the project is not design but strategy.
Get the strategy wrong and your website will be relegated to the outskirts of the internet it will never be found.
Get strategy right and you will have the beginnings of a lean mean sales machine.
Find Your Perfect Prospect
The first step to the right strategy is to find your Perfect Prospect. This process is also known as creating personas. Find what your #1 client looks like by asking:
- What do they buy from you?
- What their fears and desires around your product or service?
- What is their demographic information, so you can target them on services like Facebook and LinkedIn?
If you don’t specifically target your perfect prospect you will struggle to attract them. Unless your marketing and website are crystal clear about who they are and why they will buy from you, your message will be weak. And a weak message is ineffective.
When your perfect prospect arrives on your website for the first time they must feel like all the information on it is written just for them.
Hubspot has a tool to help you create your Avatar.
Find Their Pain
Once you have identified your perfect prospect you then need to identify their #1 pain point. Again, being general doesn’t help your website sell.
It’s critical to identify your perfect prospects #1 pain point throughout your website. Once you have defined the #1 pain you need to present the solution to that pain.
If you do, your prospects will feel like not only understand their challenges but have the solution.
Wyatt Whitemore says it perfectly:
[mk_blockquote style=”quote-style” font_family=”none” text_size=”16″ align=”center”]“When you can articulate another person’s problem better than they can they automatically and unconsciously credit you with knowing the solution.”[/mk_blockquote]
Pick Your Product
Find their pain and present them with the solution wrapped up in your product. The product is a product or service that you provide. You should always start with your #1 product that is the most profitable or the one you want to promote the most.
Present the product as the solution to the pain. If you can craft a product this way then you don’t have to ever sell. Prospects will self-select. Everyone wants to remove their pain.
Doctors don’t have to sell you the medicine they prescribe for your illness. You just take it. Why? Because you will do whatever it takes to remove the pain. Consumers are the same.
Stop trying to push your agenda on your prospects. They don’t care about you or your product. What they care about is solving their pain.
Pick Your Conversion Tool
A conversion tool is the last interaction a prospect has before they purchase your offer. It could be a phone call, an in-person meeting, a webinar, a video, a live event or a landing page.
You will optimize this conversion tool to a point where you will know how many sales you convert for every 10 people who opt-in.
A business coach might hold a 1-hour webinar where he presents his methodology. He will sign new clients at the end of the webinar. All the prospects interactions on the website will push them towards this webinar. The coach will continually optimize this webinar to increases his conversion rate.
An orthodontist might move all his prospects (mothers) towards a free initial consultant for braces with their child. He knows that for every 5 people who attend this free initial meeting 2 become clients. So all the content on his website is focused on moving prospects into this free appointment.
2. Sales Funnels
Sales funnels are series of steps your prospects move through once you capture their email address.
Typically, most of the steps are automated emails. Phone calls are also effective and some even use SMS for reminders.
Sales funnels are often forgotten during a website development project. This is a big mistake. An effective website should attract and capture the email addresses of visitors.
But once you have the email address you need to communicate with the new lead while they are hot. If you don’t they will become cold and uninterested.
This is where sales funnels are important. The success of your sales driven website will be heavily weighted towards the effectiveness of your sales funnels.
A sales funnel will take cold prospects and turn them into hot prospects ready for your sales people or sales pages to convert them into paying clients.
Sales funnels usually include a series of predefined emails, phone calls or events which move prospects closer to a buying decision.
A great sales funnel will treat prospects differently based on their actions. To do this you will need a powerful marketing automation tool, not just an email marketing tool. The top marketing automation tools are:
Your sales funnels need to be effective to convert your new leads into sales. It is important that you optimize your sales funnels and measure the results.
For example, if you add 10 new leads into your sales funnel, do you know how many will become clients? Let’s say for every 10 people that enter your follow up campaign 10% become clients. Each client is worth $1000. If it costs you $200 to get 10 new leads into your funnel then you know if costs you $200 per sale.
So, if you spend $400 on lead generation then you should make $2000. Pretty simple math, but a rock solid way to grow your business. Know the numbers and have an optimized sales funnel.
3. Irresistible Content
Content is the fuel that drives your website. The website is a platform and the content is what does the selling. Your content should tell a story and move your prospects towards a decision to purchase your product.
This content is used to:
- Attract – If you create your content focused on your prospect pain points, they will seek it out on Google and be attracted to it via social media. The best content is in the form of blog posts, videos, webinars and ebooks. This content will draw them to your website where you will be able to capture their details
- Nurture – Once you have their email address you will send them highly relevant content to move them along the buyer’s journey
- Convert – Webinars and videos are great tools to help your business close the sale. For example, a webinar can be the last step in the sales funnel. Prospects can be warmed up using blog posts and eBooks. Once they are sales ready they may attend a webinar where they hear a presentation and have their questions answered. At the end of the webinar, you can present a clear call to action to purchase your product.
There are many different content types which are effective in different situations. The most important content types are:
- Blog posts
- Email and Video courses
- White papers
- Case studies
Choosing Your Topics
Choosing the topics for your content another critical process to get right. The key is to create content your prospects are searching for in Google. There is no point in creating content around topics you like but no one is searching.
I can’t emphasize this point enough. So many businesses start blogging and give up after a few months because they feel like blogging doesn’t work. It Isn’t working because you’re creating content around topics your prospects don’t care about.
Finding the right topic to write a blog post around is so important. Get this right and you will attract an avalanche of new prospects. Get it wrong and your website will only ever see tumbleweed.
The top three ways to research the topics for your content are:
- Sales questions – Make a list of all the questions your prospects ask in the sales process or sales meetings. Once you have this list, starting creating a blog post to answer each question. This process works so well because these are the same question your prospects are likely to type into Google
- Google Adwords Tool – The Google Adwords Tool allows you to find out which keywords people are typing into Google. You should find the most popular keywords for your topic and write blog posts on these topics
- BuzzSumo.com – BuzzSumo is a service where you can type in a keyword and it will show you the top links that have been shared on social media in a certain period. It is a great tool to find out what the hot topics online are at the moment.
Of course, there are many more but start with these three in this order. You will find months worth of content in sales questions alone.
Call To Actions (CTA)
Every piece of content must have a Call To Action. A CTA is where you have your first exchange with your prospect. An example of a call to action is when you offer an eBook in exchange for an email address. It also might be to book in an appointment with a salesperson or even a call to buy a product.
If capturing the email address of your website visitor is the #1 priority of your website then it makes sense that you have a CTA for every blog post. The best way to ask is by offering something of even more value than the blog post they are reading.
For example, if they are reading a blog post, your CTA might be for them to signup to a 1-hour webinar where you go into detail on the same topic. There may even be time for a Q&A.
If you are an orthodontist and your visitor is reading about braces for their child’s teeth, your CTA might be a free 30-minute consultation to see if braces are the best option.
Call To Actions should be directly related to the content they are reading. It should be a natural next step, a no brainer for the visitor.
Get this right and you are well one your way to making a sale.
New visitors to your website is the lifeblood to your sales engine. Without traffic, you won’t capture email addresses and your sales funnels will remain empty.
You can secure traffic from three different sources:
- New prospects
- Prospects already in your pipeline
- Existing clients
In this section, I will focus on New Prospects, not because they are the most profitable, but because most businesses struggle in this area the most.
So if you focus on New prospects, there are 4 main ways to generate traffic:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The “cheapest” way to get traffic to your website is via Google search. Search Engine Optimization is the art of making a website rank high in Google. It is technically free, but it takes a lot of time to achieve good results. So if you don’t have time you can hire a consultant to do it for you.
There are good and bad consultants out there. If you choose a good consultant you will charge up the Google rankings. If you choose a bad consultant the risk isn’t just getting ripped off, but having your site removed from the Google search results page.
Your website must appear in the top 3 positions in Google to receive lots of daily traffic.
To receive lots of daily traffic from Google, your page must rank in the top 3 positions. If you are not, you won’t receive much traffic.
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So everyone wants to be in the top 3 as these three positions pretty much get all the clicks. If you are a small business with a small budget then it is likely that you won’t achieve the first 3 positions. The competition is just so large.
An alternative way still receive traffic to your website is by Pay Per Click advertising.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is one of the best traffic sources around. You pay when someone clicks on a link to go to your website. If they don’t click you don’t pay. Sounds fair? Well it is, but to make it profitable you have to know how to convert a click into a sale or lead. Because if this doesn’t happen before the visitor leaves then you have just wasted your money.
The 4 most popular PPC platforms are below:
Google AdWords allows business who can’t rank organically on Google to still show up near the top 3. Ads through Google AdWords show up above and to the right of the top 3 search results. You just have to pay every time someone clicks on your ad.
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Google AdWords are popular and extremely effective. Many businesses just wouldn’t exist today without it because it is so critical to their marketing.
When a searcher types a search term into Google they are actively looking for information on a topic. The searcher is actually seeking out a solution to a problem.
All you have to do it place your business in front of them and they will buy, call, book in a meeting or give you their details.
A high percentage of traffic from Google AdWords is sales ready. Your job is to capitalize on the opportunities it presents.
Google AdWords is perfect for targeting visitors actively searching for your product or service.
Facebook Ads are totally different to Google AdWords. Facebook Ads are more like interruption marketing. You are interrupting Facebook users as they are browsing their new feed.
Facebook users are on the platform to be entertained, meet with friends or learn something.
When you place an ad in their news feed you are interrupting them. I know this sounds like a negative experience for the user, and it is if you do it wrong. But if you do it right, it can be one of the best ways to put your business in front of your ideal audience.
By following the Cold/Warm/Hot Facebook campaign formula, you will drive low-cost, high-quality prospects to your website.
Facebook Ads are currently the most cost-effective advertising platform online. Many businesses are moving all their ad spend from Google AdWords to Facebook Ads.
Whether you are a small business or a multinational Facebook Ads is the #1 way to drive traffic to your website. It doesn’t matter if your business is B2B or B2C, use the right strategy and Facebook Ads will work for you.
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LinkedIn Ads have a lot of promise because you can target people by their role. Unfortunately, that is as good as targeting gets. Without the other targeting features of Facebook, the platform falls short.
The Ads platform is primitive and not well established. The ads are tiny and hard to find on the page. I believe the future can be bright for LinkedIn Ads if they can find a way to engage their user. Facebook has better engagement with 70% of users visiting the site daily while only 13% of LinkedIn users visit daily.
Again, Twitter’s Ad platform is new and not strong on features or targeting. I have had mixed results with Twitter Ads. My initial ads had a cost per conversion 10 times higher than the same ads on Facebook.
I was able to bring that cost down to roughly the same as Facebook. What I couldn’t do was retarget the people who converted on Twitter to show them another offer. This is something that is easy to do on Facebook and also critical to developing a sales funnel on any platform.
The power of social media platforms is that you can post content and updates for free. Posting for free is a great way of driving traffic to your site, but you need a large following to make this work.
On Facebook, you can use Facebook Ads to build your likes and then post content to the people who have liked your page. This is a great strategy but costs money. If you want to build the likes and follows organically then it takes a lot more effort and time.
Facebook is a great platform for any target audience. There are about 1.4 billion people on Facebook in the world. About 14 million users in Australia alone. It doesn’t matter what your ideal prospect looks like, you will find them on Facebook. I recommend starting with building a following on Facebook first.
Twitter is great for businesses in the entertainment, news and tech industries. It is a powerful platform but is harder to master for many businesses outside those industries.
LinkedIn is great for B2B type businesses. You can target professional by building your personal profile on LinkedIn. Once you have lots of connections you can ask them to introduce you to people they are connected to.
Building your own LinkedIn group for your ideal prospects is a powerful strategy. You may be a web developer who specializes in websites for real estate agents. You could build a LinkedIn group for real estate agents that helps deal with real estate agent issues. It doesn’t have to be directly related to building websites.
It could cover topics related to the marketing, website, sales, staff and business administration. The idea is to build a group that a real estate agent would actually want to belong to.
If you build the group and make it engaging you will have lots of real estate agents who join. When appropriate you will be able to send them an invitation to a webinar, event or blog post of interest to them. Because they know you from the group they will be more open to attending, reading or downloading your content.
Instagram was purchased by Facebook. It is a visual platform with awesome images as the main feature. Brands with visual products and services do well on this platform like food, sports, photography, beauty, travel and entertainment.
The strategy to turn users on Instagram into traffic to your website is a little tricky. But it is definitely worth mastering if you have that type of business
Partnerships are one of the best ways to find high-quality prospects with little effort. If you work with partners who have the same clients as you but do not compete with you, it will be easy to find a win-win scenario.
One example is a web designer who partners with an accountant. Both businesses work with small businesses and small businesses need both of their services.
A great promotion is for the web designer to hold a webinar on how to generate leads through a website. In this scenario everyone wins:
- The accountants clients should be very interested in this topic if they are small business owners and it is a free training session.
- The accountant will be able to offer a free training session to their clients.
- The web designer will be abe to spend one hour training new prospects who are in their target market. This is a great way to build credibility.
Choosing the right platform to build your website is another important decision. Choose he wrong platform and you could have many issues including:
- Not being able to update your content easily and quickly
- Your website loading too slowly
- It may be difficult and expensive to add important features to the website
There are many website platforms you can use to create your website. Many of them will do a great job. The platform you choose will be dependent on a few factors:
- The existing platform you are using
- The size and complexity of your business
- Does your website have to integrate with internal systems
- The features you need
I have been involved in countless website development projects over the last 10 years. My experience tells me in 90% of the cases WordPress is the best platform to build a sales-driven website. Yes, there are exceptions like if you run an e-commerce website, you have complex internal integrations or you are a multinational with complex requirements.
The reasons I like WordPress are:
- 25% of the websites online today are built on WordPress, so they are doing something right
- WordPress is the most optimized platform for SEO
- Plugins – WordPress has thousands of plugins which will turn your website into a sales machine. They are low cost and don’t need any custom coding
- Design themes – There is no need to have a designer create your website look and feel from scratch. You can buy a design theme for around $60
- Easy to use – If you can use Microsoft Word, then you will pick up WordPress within a few hours
- Support – There are 100,000s of developers worldwide who know the platform and can help you if you get stuck. Some platforms are so small that getting help is very difficult and expensive
- Built for Marketers – WordPress takes the complexity out of website development. Your consultant can spend their time on lead generation and conversions instead of website technical issues that don’t make money
Design themes are one of the two major reasons to use WordPress. Instead of spending a few weeks, thousand of dollars and many hours working with a web designer, you can buy a theme for around $50 – $100. Then you can configure (noncoding) the theme changes to tailor the theme to your business and you are done.
These themes are beautiful, mobile and SEO optimized, built to web standards and highly flexible. They take the uncertainty and stress out of web design and allow you to use that energy, time and money in other areas that are more dollar productive.
Some themes built perfectly for sales driven websites are:
The other major reason to use WordPress is plugins. Plugins are pieces of code you can install into a WordPress website with a few clicks. You don’t have to be a developer to do so.
When a plugin is installed it will add extra features to your website which may have taken months to build by the developer. Many plugins are free and the paid plugins range from $10 – $200 with many being around $50. When you consider it would cost you thousands of dollars to hire a developer to build a similar feature set, they are amazing value.
Some of the plugins I use on all my sales driven websites are:
Every website needs a home. The place a website lives on the internet is on a computer (called a server) at a hosting provider. When someone visits your website their computer finds the server by a special unique IP address (like a home address). It then loads the page requested from this server.
The hosting provider you use for your sales driven website is critical to the success of the site for the following reasons:
- Speed – If a website takes too long to load visitors may just move on to another website. Today visitors expect your website to load in a second or two max. If it takes longer they will get frustrated. Cheaper shared web hosts can have issues with slow loading sites because you pay for what you get.
- Reliability – Cheaper shared hosts share your hosting with many other websites and if one website on the host is using a lot of resources it can slow your site down. So sometimes your site will work well and other times is may not load.
Google also rates your website by its speed. If your website takes a long time to load it will not favor your pages in the Search Results page.
My recommended website hosts are:
6. Execute, Test, Measure and Optimize
Once you have your sales driven website setup the fun begins. Launching the website is just the start. Every week you should be testing, measuring and optimizing the website to attract and convert more prospects into clients.
Test and Measure
There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your website. Gather as much data as you can. Never make a decision about the best way to do something based on your opinion. Always test your theory and let the data make the decision.
You should test:
- Landing pages
- Email subject lines
- Capture forms
- Blog post titles
- Facebook Ads
- Google ads
- Website copy
Review and Make Assumptions
The real skill is in interpreting the data. There have been volumes written on conversion rate optimization and split testing. It takes time to learn and develop the skill. My advice is to either totally dedicate yourself to these skills or get someone experienced to do it for you. Anywhere in the middle and you will lose money.
One of the best websites to learn about conversion rate optimization is ConversionXL.
From your assumptions, you should make changes to your landing pages, blog post titles, emails and ads.
Finally, start again by running tests on the changes made, measuring, reviewing, making assumptions and making changes.
This process should continue for the life of the website. Internet marketing tactics are continually changing with new features, tools and platforms being introduced almost daily. What works today may not work tomorrow so you need to keep testing your assumptions to ensure they are still effective.
The 5 Ones
A friend of mine Taki Moore came up with the framework for The 5 Ones to help businesses focus their marketing effort to see exponential growth. It is so simple, but so effective. I like to use it when we first start with a new client to focus and get quick results by focusing our effort.
He calls it the 5 Ones because you focus on just 5 things. You continually execute, test, measure and optimize until you have your website functioning like a lean mean sales machine.
- 1 Product – That you know will 100% solve the client’s pain
- 1 Offer – That converts visitors into prospects
- 1 Traffic Source – That you know delivers new visitors to your website on a weekly basis. It is scalable and repeatable
- 1 Conversion Tool – That you know converts a high percentage of prospects into clients.
- 1 Year – Do it all for 1 year without chopping and changing. Focus. This is the key to success. Stop playing with all the new shiny marketing tactics. Set your goal and work it for 1 yea
Follow these steps and you will create a Sales Driven Website that delivers new clients to your business on a weekly basis.
Remember there is a blueprint to success online. Follow the steps, optimize your campaigns and continue to put one step in front of the other until you reach your goal.