Where's the Beef?
Some years ago, Wendy's ran some hilarious ads where a tiny grandmother would approach a restaurant order counter, and ask loudly, "Where's the beef?" Or she would remove the top half of the hamburger bun to reveal an impossibly small hamburger patty beneath the bun, then ask the same thing.
The idea behind the ad campaign was that Wendy's provided huge patties and a great value at their restaurants, whereas the competition was selling mostly bread and a pickle.
Many websites are missing the "beef", and website visitors are quick to spot websites that just don't seem to deliver what they expected, and then quickly click away.
It's easy to find out if your website is experiencing one click in to the website and another click out by visitors.
First, Look at Your Website Stats
Website statistics can reveal a lot about how your website is being used.
All website servers keep logs of your website and what pages are accessed, and when, and most web hosting companies will provide you a link to a statistical program that will organize your stats.
Most stat programs will break down your website visitors in a way you can easily analyze how your visitors are using your website.
Visitors and Return Visitors
First, take at look the number of unique visitors to your website. Ideally, you will have a good number of monthly visits, with some increase over the course of the year. If your number of unique visitors is constant, and is a very low number, your website may not be very search engine friendly or you may have too little content for Google to consider your website very relevant.
Next, look at the number of visits per visitor. Ideally, you want visitors to be coming back to your website more than once. If this is not the case, it may be that either the design of your website or the content of your website is discouraging visitors from coming back.
You should also look at the number of pages that are viewed per visitor. If you are averaging only one per visitor, either your home page is taking too long to load, or your website design is outdated or there are other website issues causing your visitors to click away without really exploring your website.
Having 4 to 6 page views per visit is ideal, but this takes having great website content, or information that is very interesting or news worthy in order to keep the reader's interest.
Next, look at the amount of time visitors are spending on your website per session and the average amount of time per page.
While it may be possible to have many page views per visit, if the total amount of time spent on your website is less than 30 seconds, chances are your visitors are quickly skimming through your website, and are not stopping to read much actual content.
Reviewing Your Website Goals
Every business is different, and every website has a slightly different purpose, so your website goals will be different from others' websites.
If your website goals are strictly to provide background information on your company, or to provide product information, it may be that visitors to your website may be on mission and will only want to look at one or two pages before contacting you or taking the next step.
Increasing, websites are being used for lead generation or as a pre-qualifier for prospects. If this is the case for your website, you may want visitors to not only look at your website content, but actually respond by completing a form, requesting a quote or calling your office.
How to Combine Sizzle and Steak
- Redesign your website. If it has been more than three years since your last website redesign, it is probably time to consider a new design to give it a fresh new look and to make it more appealing. Getting an outside perspective from a website designer may help you to spot flaws in the navigation or lack of overall appeal that is creating a lack of credibility.
- Add relevant content. By adding client testimonials, case studies or practical articles in addition to your company information, you can give website visitors something they can sink their teeth in. Increasingly, people are using the Internet to find information about everything. Someone may stumble upon your website looking for information.
- Create a call to action. Place a prominent "call to action" within your website to get visitors motivated. This can be as simple as a "call now" or a limited time promotion, to a free white paper or another offering that is hard to refuse.
- Add a poll to your website. Showing potential customers that you value their opinion or you want feedback about your products or offering is a great ice breaker. Combining the poll with links to a promotion or a chance to be a part of a monthly drawing can also be a great motivator.
- Offer "inside information" to newsletter subscribers. Building an newsletter list is a great way to offer additional content to visitors who further qualify themselves.
Reviewing your website statistics can give you some insight into what is happening with your website. Stats may not tell exactly how to improve your website, but it will give you ongoing statistical information so you can make improvements and see what the results are.
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