In this blog post, Matthew Creswick, Global Marketing Director at Huble Digital, goes through some of the worst B2B website practices he’s seen in 2019 and highlights what businesses shouldn’t be doing. Avoid making these mistakes and avoid devaluing your website. It is worth a lot more than you think!
Buyer behaviour has changed tremendously.
Nowadays your customers, long before they even think about buying from you, go online to do a bit of research about your company, products and services.
And, unless you have been living in a cave for an awfully long time, you will know just how important your website is in the modern purchase process.
In today’s world, your website is…
Your top salesperson,
The first point of contact for customers,
Your corporate image upholder,
Your trust builder,
And your service provider.
It’s an all-in-one resource for interested parties.
If you were to think of your website as an employee and estimate how much it would be paid, it would probably get the combined salary of at least three workforces. That’s right. Three workforces.
So it’s always mind-boggling to me as to why people spend so little effort on their website. Especially as it can define the fortune and future of the company.
Speaking from experience, there have been several times where I’ve not bought something from a website due to it giving such a bad impression. Here are just a few examples of websites I’ve seen that are in desperate need of help.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 worst practices for websites in 2019:
5. Mr. John Doe
Coming in at number 5 are ‘Mr. John Doe’ websites. These websites have no identifiable information: no headings, no alt text for images and no keyword optimisation.
As a result, search engines can’t find them, let alone understand them, and nor can searchers. They are ghost websites.
Why even bother having a presence online if your website isn’t optimised for search engines? Pointless.
And you would be surprised by how many businesses have unoptimised websites and only ‘Home’, ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ web pages. No one searches for any of these pages when they are looking for products and services. No one.
4. Mr. 404
At number 4 are ‘Mr. 404’ websites (404 is the website term for Page Not Found). These websites have broken links or missing pages. If search engines were to crawl these websites, they might find between 50 and 80 broken links!
To make matters worse, some of these pages will have external links pointing to them. Backlinks are absolutely key to SEO success, so we find it criminal to have external links pointing to 404 pages!
For me, one of the most frustrating things is clicking on a link to a page and finding out it doesn’t exist anymore. Just when I think I’ve found the information I need, that’s it! Boom! The page no longer exists. It’s the highest level of killjoy.
3. Mr. 100 Words
At number 3 are ‘Mr. 100-Word’ websites. Every page on these websites has just 100 words or less and, instead of giving readers the information they want, they tell readers to contact the business for more information!
It’s so frustrating for customers that want to find out more information. In 2019, customers shouldn’t have to call up any business for more information.
And not only are these 100-word websites bad for customers, they are bad for search, too.
According to Search Engine Journal, the average content length for page 1 results is around 1,900 words. Now that’s not to say all of your web pages should have 1,900+ words on them to rank well, it’s just that these pages provide a lot more detail and therefore value. Put an emphasis on quality over quantity – but realise that 100 words won’t suffice to explain anything!
These 100-word web pages often happen as a result of business owners just not caring about or giving enough attention to their website, despite it being their main lead generator. It’s a backwards mentality that needs to be addressed immediately.
People will lose confidence in businesses that don’t provide the information they need upfront. They need information to validate decisions, so make sure it’s available to them!
2. Mr. No Idea
At number 2 are ‘Mr. No Idea’ websites. These websites have no analytics in place, so no one knows what’s going on. Strangely, there are still some businesses that overlook web analytics or, for those that rely highly on website conversions, proper lead monitoring and nurturing tools.
Without web analytics, these businesses have zero control over their website(s), and have no idea of how visitors engage with content, how content drives traffic, which pages are performing well, what keywords pages are being found for or web page conversion rates. All of which are key performance indicators (KPIs).
Having analytics in place will enable businesses to analyse visitor behaviour, identify common paths to conversion, optimise pages to generate more leads and engage potential customers at the right time.
Undoubtedly, these Mr. No Idea websites are missing out on sales opportunities, precisely because there’s no system in place to measure how far through the buyer’s journey website visitors are. They might just be a phone call or email away from buying!
1. Mr. Dullard
In first place are ‘Mr. Dullard’ websites. These websites are – in every sense of the word – traditional. They have no calls-to-action (CTAs), no live chat for customers to request help, no support systems, no social media channels, and no phone number or email if customers want to reach out.
At most, all these websites have is a “contact us” form.
Funnily enough, even in 2019, there are still businesses that have these websites. Have a guess about how well they are performing? These websites have no tools in place to enable website visitors to engage earlier in the buyer journey, as well as those who are ready to speak to a salesperson!
Can they be fixed?
So the million-dollar question here is, how can these websites be fixed?
If whilst reading you have come to the realisation that your website is just like one (or some of) the above, don’t worry – there are some things you can do.
But before you start looking at your website and panicking over what’s wrong with it, you first need to…
Define your goals!
You must always set goals to define your website’s direction. Setting goals for your website is the same as setting goals for your sales or marketing team. If your salesperson is not bringing in sales, he or she is a liability to your company. Similarly, if your website is not bringing in leads or new businesses that is measurable, it is an expense, not an asset.
The very worst thing you can do is not set up analytics to assess website performance. If you can’t determine how website traffic translates into sales, you’ll be making a loss.
Now onto the solutions. There are two options to choose from and I'll compare them both.
Install all of the functionality you need. For example, if you were to use a platform like WordPress, you’ll have all the functionality you need to build an effective website: Yoast SEO, Tawk (live chat), WP Broken Link Checker, Jotform, Google Analytics, and CRM Lead Tracking.
Some of these plugins will alert you to errors, such as:
having less than 400 words of copy on a page,
incomplete meta descriptions,
and much more.
If you implement all of the above, you’ll have a website that is full of content, optimised for search engines and visitors, easy to navigate, engaging and capable of capturing website performance data.
Furthermore, thanks to the inclusion of CTAs and lead tracking, you can convert website visitors into leads and use lead nurturing tools to move them through the buyer journey. You’ll also be able to dig into your website analytics to understand how website visitors and leads behave on your website.
The annoying thing is that you will have to keep updating your plugins to ensure they run smoothly. In some cases, you may even have to fix broken plugins yourself or replace them with another due to incompatibility with your version of WordPress. Not that great, is it?
Keep it simple. Use HubSpot. HubSpot is an all-in-one content management system that includes everything you need to optimise, manage and grow your website. Moreover, due to its modular design, you can pick and choose what functions you need.
Lead monitoring, scoring and management
Content and website management
Lead capture (CTAs, forms and landing pages)
Connect library (for third-party integrations)
And much more. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
In conclusion, don’t let your first point of contact with a potential customer disappoint them. Your customers want and expect a good experience and your website deserves the chance to impress them.
Your website is your best salesperson. If you implement it properly, equip it with the right tools and devise a concrete strategy, your website will bring in high-quality leads and new business opportunities.