Nowadays, 67% of the buyer’s journey is digital (SiriusDecisions). That means your customers' decision making process is over two thirds of the way done before they ever reach out or talk to your sales team. Even as a marketer who’s passionate about digital marketing, I was surprised when I first heard that statistic. It made me stop and think about a few of my personal shopping experiences and realize how accurate it was for me.
For example, when I bought my car I can confidently say the various websites I visited were the real salespeople. All the information I needed on cars for sale was online. I looked at Carfax, reviews for the make and model I was interested in, and checked out the Kelly Bluebook price estimate. By the time I made it to the car lot, I already knew what specific cars I wanted to see. All the salesperson had to do was let me take them for a test drive and then negotiate the sale because I was already at the decision stage by the time I arrived.
The same is true for many other larger purchases I’ve made. I did the research online ahead of time and was confident in what wanted before I ever stepped foot in a store or talked to a sales rep. That means it's a safe bet that if your potential customers need a large technology or Hardware as a Service purchase, they're going to start their search online.
Why Your Website is Your Top Salesperson
Although your website isn’t responsible for the full 67% of the buyer’s journey, it is responsible for most of it. I visited various websites when car shopping, and your customers will do the same. That is why your website is your most important salesperson. It can be the determining factor in whether they reach out to you or the competition. Think about it. Your website is working for you 24/7 and it touches almost every customer and prospect. Every. Single. One. Are you treating it that way?
How to Optimize Your Website
Refresh and Update Your Website Frequently
Frequent updates and fresh content are critical. Don’t just set it and forget it. Outdated content that’s no longer correct or valid is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility and drive your website visitors away. Not only will it make customers wonder if your business is still active and operating, it will make them wonder if your products, services, and technology are all outdated too.
Make Sure Your Website Has Substance
Your website needs to be more than a homepage and a contact us page. If it is supposed to help your customer go all the way from initial contact with your company and products or services to getting ready to purchase, it needs to have more information than just an about us and a "contact us" page. I'm still surprised by the number of business websites I see that I can't figure out what it is they actually do.
Your website should also offer simple navigation for the customer to fully educate themselves on your company and your offerings. If they can’t get the answers to the questions they’re looking for from your website, chances are they won’t pick up the phone and call you to ask. Instead, they’ll visit your competitor’s website and see if they can find answers there.
Have a Variety of Content Available on Your Website
One way to build up the substance of your website is to have a good library of materials available. From downloadable PDFs to videos, your website will excel if it contains more than just text. The more variety and images you can include, the better! But don’t substitute quantity over quality. Your assets should uncover prospects’ pain points, address their challenges, and answer their questions about your offerings. When you combine good content with SEO tactics like weaving keywords into the copy and headlines, you’ll rise to the top in what is often a highly-competitive market.
If you're looking for specific help with content for your Hardware as a Service solution, our marketing toolkit has resources you can use.
One of the most popular sections of any website is testimonials. Visitors prefer testimonials because they can usually relate to their stories and prefer to hear about your services and products from someone in their own shoes. If you don’t have any testimonials, I strongly recommend reaching out to a few of your best clients and getting quotes.
Make the Time or Outsource Your Website Optimization
Your website is one area worth your investment. If you don’t have the skills or bandwidth to make these changes, I would recommend finding a reliable digital marketing expert or firm to partner with to optimize your website as your best sales resources.
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