After months of work and weariness, your company Web site is
designed, search-engine optimized, and packed with rich, interesting
content. The building blocks are all in place. Your next challenge is
to tweak the structure you have to attract more of the business you
want to get.
The following are five simple yet powerful ways to squeeze even more
value from the site you’ve invested in. Most can be accomplished with a
simple text editor, such as Contribute; almost all of them exploit
content you’ve already created. Yet they can all make a substantial
contribution to your site’s success.
Move out of the content ghettos
Yes, client testimonials can go a long way toward establishing your
credibility. But your prospects won’t go and read them if they’re all
cluttered on a separate page marked “Testimonials.” Instead of
corralling them onto one page, spread them out among relevant pages
where they’ll have greater relevance.
For example, you can reinforce your customer services page with a
testimonial singing the praises of your service team. Or if you promise
that your product saves time, drop the testimonial about how your
client “cut time-to-market from six months to six weeks” right under
the body copy about speed.
Same with case studies and reports. Instead of burying them in the
“Case Studies” and “Reports” content ghettos that few are willing to
visit, place them one by one in appropriate content areas. Offer the
case study that highlights a successful compliance story in the section
that shows how your software helps companies master regulations, for
It’s all about timing and reinforcement—you want to place your content where and when visitors are ready to read it.
Create descriptive navigation tabs
When thousands of corporate Web sites have navigation bars with the
same labels—”Products,” “Services,” “About Us,”
etc.—there’s no way a visitor can immediately distinguish one
“Products” label from another.
Why not make them less generic and more descriptive, more germane to
your specific business? Such as, “Excavation Tools” or “Conflict
Resolution Services.” Or “Data Mining Software” and “Distance Learning
The space restrictions that constrained Web tabs years ago no longer
apply. And the more visitors understand what lies ahead, the more
likely they are to click-through.
Make your story their story
Take a second look at your “About Us” content. It might be a plodding tale that begins something like this:
Founded in Boise, Idaho in 1987, DistroPet began as a pet store supply warehouse serving retailers in…
Still awake? If your visitors are, it’s because they’ve moved on to
another page—or a different site. In addition to being boring,
most “about us” stories also come across as narcissistic. The
alternative? Position your company as a meaningful response to a
challenge your customers share or an opportunity they’d like to
embrace. For example:
Many pet store owners face frustrating limitations in their choice
of products, often limited to what their regional distribution centers
are willing to supply. These limitations give retailers less market
flexibility—and may impose unnecessary costs.
That’s why DistroPet opened in 1987 with an entirely different kind
of inventory and distribution model. By applying the advantages of new
data management technologies and overnight freight services, DistroPet
gave, and continues to give, pet retailers a wider selection of product
offerings at more competitive prices…
Create more descriptive lists
Some items, such as press releases, naturally lend themselves to
bulleted lists. Unfortunately, too many of these lists consist of
little more than titles with hyperlinks, like this:
- September 8, 2006: BunkCo Announces New Product Release
There’s simply too little information there to encourage a visitor
to read more. Instead, annotate your lists with just enough information
to illuminate the content and whet the reader’s appetite:
- September 8, 2006: BunkCo’s new LawnMagic composting tool makes it
easier for to turn dead leaves and grass clippings into rich new soil. Read more…
No one in her right mind would send out a direct mail that consisted
only of a company description without an offer, an invitation to
respond. Yet too many Web sites present mere information without a call
to action. And without a call to action, even your most interested
prospects have little idea what to do next. Worse, you’re losing
opportunities to draw prospects deeper into your sales funnel.
Consumer and e-business Web sites make offers all the time. B2B
sites can do the same. No, you’re not going to ask people to call up to
purchase a multimillion dollar ERP system for their global network. But
you can, and should, make offers that move prospects closer to you and
your value proposition.
Offer meaningful content, such as white papers, industry reports,
how-to guides, instructional webinars, and live seminars, like so:
How are today’s leading manufacturing executives mastering
complex supply-chain demands? We surveyed thirty Fortune 500 COOs and
compiled their responses, with expert recommendations and comments, in
our new guidebook, Securing the Supply Chain: Best practices for
increasing speed and lowering costs. Download your complimentary copy here.
Caution: If you create an intermediary registration page to capture
contact information, be aware that the more you demand, the greater the
drop-out rate. Balance your need to collect information with your
desire to build credibility and good will by getting your content into
as many hands as possible. Consider eliminating the requests or
simplifying them to just a name and email address.