I had a client meeting that took the whole morning and I stopped off at a local fish and chip place for lunch. It was a small spot and a pretty casual atmosphere. A well dressed chap, in his mid-forties, came in and I noticed he was wearing a tie clip. I can’t remember the last time I wore one or even saw somebody with one on. I passed that comment on to him and he mentioned how cufflinks were back in style now too. I asked him what business he was in and I got a quick but brief response, “sales”.
Somewhat ironic I thought, that a professional sales person would not have expanded on that answer. What if he was in the business of selling something I or someone in my family or business network might need? Was he embarrassed about what he sells for a living? The conversation ended. And so did a possible sales opportunity.
I had a similar feeling when a transportation client told me (that same morning) that their website was fine. It was all they needed. One of their employees designed it 5 or 6 years ago and he was happy enough with it. I mentioned to him about 5 or 6 ways it could be improved but he wasn’t all that interested. By not addressing these details, will he be out of business? Probably not, but will he lose possible sales opportunities? Absolutely yes!
The carrier in question made a few mistakes that are easily corrected. And from our research, he is not alone. These are a few things that we see often and most likely need to be addressed on your site if it was designed 4-5 years ago.
1/ If you have a 2 language site you don’t need a splash page anymore to select languages. It can all be done with programming. The same goes for a separate splash or flash opening of any kind. Get the visitor to your home page, as soon as possible.
2/ Don’t make your customer click extra buttons to get to the secure log-in area, or rate request forms on your site.
3/ If you’re like most companies with an older site, you probably have out of date information that needs to be updated. Don’t delay, it is easily rectified.
4/ Have relevant information about your core services front and center on the home page with quick links to access additional data. It’s your best opportunity to cross sell other services to existing customers and capture the interests of potential customers.
5/ Make it easy to contact you. That is what the majority of people coming to your site are trying to do.
6/ Don’t have any text explaining your company services as an image as it cannot get picked up by the search engines and therefore, will not move you up in the rankings when people search for your service.
7/ Understand what key words are searched for in your industry and optimize your site accordingly.
8/ If the equipment pictures on your site were taken a number of years ago and they were a few years old then, you could be promoting a 7-8 year old fleet on your site.
9/ Design trends change. Sites are not left justified anymore and they take advantage of the background area to expand the graphic treatment and overall visual effect.
10/ You may have spent a lot of time and energy achieving various certifications, green initiatives, awards…are they promoted on your site and is your last posted news item current?
Lee’s quote for the day
The correlation, between marketing your company to a potential customer and dating someone for the first time, is very similar. In both cases, you need to present the best version of yourself, do something to capture their interest, do things to maintain their interests and if you want the relationship to be long term, never take them for granted.”