Websites are often thoroughly confused about their purpose. This often happens because their owners want them to present multiple products or services to the visitors that find them. When this happens, visitor confusion often occurs and a defined business personality is missed.
The search engines are confused, too. The most popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing will not rank a site as high if the message is not focused. This also will result in a website being lost on page two, three, or worse, if it's not clearly understood. A website does not receive a reward for being out of order with its message.
When a visitor wants to learn about a company's product or service they are usually specific about their needs. Example: Teeth Brightening Ahwatukee. The visitor does not necessarily want to read a brochure about a multitude of dental matters. The visitor wants to find out about one particular need. This participation from the visitor has resulted in the remodeling of websites that used to be multiple page company brochures. Currently, there are more engaging sales websites about one topic because clarity makes the visitor more apt to partake in the initial sales process.
To find out if a website is suffering from a confusing personality disorder take this test. If you answer "true" to three out of five questions go back to the website and help define itself in a simple, one-purpose process. This will make it rank better and it will help you develop more sales leads:
1. Does the website mention more than one product or service?
2. Does the home page have a clear headline about your products or services?
3. Does the website ask the visitor to make a purchase?
4. Do you offer your prospect a "special offer" or "special report" in exchange for their contact information?
5. After viewing the website site for two seconds, close your eyes and tell me what you remember.
If you want more online leads or calls to the office keep it simple. Providing engaging lead generating information is accomplished in one of three different ways:
• Sell your products or services directly to your prospects.
• Encourage your prospects to call your office for more information or to place their order.
• Cause them to register online for a special offer or a special report.
Some will argue that it's OK to cover multiple things on one website, especially if the information is compartmentalized. Know that SEO ranking is lessened when this occurs. Each of the products must have a separate web page, which has to be properly optimized.
A website is a business asset and, therefore, it must be treated as such. A websites job is to help the company make as much money as possible with very little human intervention. Once a website is set up it should either make sales or generate fresh leads that salespeople can follow up with 24/7. Understand that "simple is better" and you won't have to name your site "Sybil." The website will be found easily and become the best sales person ever, one that never calls in sick, comes back late from lunch or is cranky.
• Christine Marek is president of Bushido Marketing in Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach her at (480) 456-4700 or visit www.BushidoMarketing.com.