Having a person come to your B2B website is like having them view your house that’s on the market.
They know what they want (at least kind of) and might possibly make an offer (on a house) or you might even close a sale (on a B2B website). And a website is the home of your company online. It’s where people visit if they want to learn more about you and your company.
That being said, there are a number of places you can lose both of these potential customers as they make their way through your website. The key to making the sale – in both cases – is to make the offer as appealing as you can to your potential customers.
From this perspective, you can tell if the house has been cared for adequately. You can equate “street view” on a website as the preview pane from any search engine or social media site. This contains the name of the website and a bit of preview text and maybe the links that take you to more specific areas of the site. You also must remember that these small blocks of text are critical to getting people to come to your website. Imagine walking up to house that you were thinking of buying and the lawn hasn’t been mowed. Right away, would you be wearier of the house? Those are likely the same sorts of alarm bells that would go off if, instead of engaging text that draws in a reader to click onto your website, they might see a typo or a broken image. Red flag? You bet. Keep your website running properly to avoid these mishaps or it will look like you didn’t take care of your house.
Coming Up the Front Walk and Entering the Front Door
This is akin to when people are entering your website for the first time. They are getting a closer look at the website and are coming to their own first impressions about it. The first concern is load speed. If your website takes too long or there is an error, chances are you will have already lost your potential buyer. You also need the design to be clean and professional-looking and you need to make sure that all of your headlines on are not only free of typos but are visually appealing. The same goes for your pictures. Well-places pictures will break up large amounts of text, which is also a no-no.
These are like the flower in your front garden and the decorations on the porch. They need to be attractive and well-placed.
Now that you have the prospective buyer at your house (on your website), you are expected to lead them in and show them all the rooms.
These rooms are like the different areas that people can visit on your website. They should be easy to find. Have you ever gotten to a website and just… not known where to go? You scroll around and just can’t figure out where to go. This will frustrate many people and often they will simply leave.
This is like if someone tried to come view a house and the realtor or the homeowner wasn’t there. They can peer through the windows, but they can’t get inside. This is what a difficult-to-navigate website does to a prospective buyer. They know you might have the product they are looking for, but they can’t get in and so they will likely just leave. Make it easy for them to learn more about your products, then inevitably buy them.
As they move through your website, make sure everything they see is good. Well-maintained and clutter-free are the key. You don’t want a lot of nonsense to hold them back.
It is also important to be reliable. Make sure your website looks legitimate and honest. I had a relative once tell me about how they were selling their house and used spackle and paint to patch a hole in their front steps. Imagine the buyers dismay when they discovered that one.
That’s what happens when people look on your website and discover that you are lying about your sales figures. It would be like the inspector falling through the concrete step because it was spackle (that didn’t happen in the above case).
The Value of Being Up-to-Date
If you’ve ever watched any of those home-buying shows, then you know that the deal-breaker is usually in a dingy old kitchen or bathroom.
If your website looks like it came from the early 2000’s and you’re trying to sell something tech-related, you can bet no one will buy from you.
Get It Inspected
When someone is considering purchasing a home, they get it inspected. This reveals flaws in the house that may be unsafe or costly to fix. It is your job on your website to do this to see what works on your website and what doesn’t. This involves using metrics and analytics, like Google Analytics. Figure out what works and what doesn’t on your website. Then comes the next part.
After you’ve figured out what needs repairing, make efforts to better tailor your website to your customer’s needs. Maybe you were targeting the wrong set of people because you didn’t know your audience as well as you thought you did. It’s like a really nice house being placed in a really bad neighborhood. It will have to be priced accordingly and it will be harder to sell because the audience will either not match the house or the location.
Fix your house according to what your potential customers like and want and you’ll have no problem converting them.
The thing to remember is don’t make it hard to make the sale. If you are trying to sell anything, be it a house or a product on a website, it is critical to make the customer journey as easy and pleasant as possible. The key for doing this online is making your customer experience on your website as smooth as possible. Make it easy for them to progress down the funnel or they’ll go elsewhere.
What do you think of this metaphor? Does it work? What comparison would you make instead? Tell us in the comments section.