In the past week I had a great opportunity to talk to dozens and dozens of small business owners about internet marketing and, in particular, their websites.
One of the most common things I would hear is, “I like this website” or “I don’t like that website.”
When I’d ask a business owner about his own website and whether he was happy with it, the majority of the time the response was, “Yeah, I like it, it looks pretty good.” Or, “I like it but it could use some updating. It looks outdated.”
My question was actually a setup because his opinion about his own website is irrelevant.
That’s kind of harsh for me to say, right?
After he would tell me his opinion on his own or another website I’d ask, “Do your customer’s or prospects care about what you think looks good?”
It was kind of a verbal punch in the nose so I had to repeat the question almost every single time.
In case you think that’s a trick question, let me make it simple.
NO – Your customers don’t give a hoot about your opinion of your own website.
Your opinion or preference or feelings about your website don’t matter a lick to the visitors who come to your site. You know what does matter? Their own opinions. All they care about is themselves and quite frankly, you’re the same way.
The problem is actually worse then that… Your opinion is not only not important, it could be outright harmful to your website’s performance.
Because you know too much and yet you don’t know enough.
You have the “curse of knowledge” so you already know all the jargon and slang and vernacular of your business. When you look at your website you understand exactly what each button and drop-down and description means. To you it makes perfect sense.
Beyond that you may not even be the target consumer. In other words, if you’re a 55-year old married male and your target market is 30-45 year old mothers, no matter how hard you try, you can’t see the world exactly through the eyes of those mothers.
So you know too much about your own product, but don’t know enough about your target customer to put yourself in her shoes.
So how do I know if it’s a good website?
There are only 2 ways to determine a great website.
- The conversion rate. Conversion can be defined in a number of ways but is generally local contacts divided by local visitors. In other words if you had 100 visitors and 5 contacted you, then the conversion rate would be 5%.
- Test and optimize the site. If you want to improve your conversion rate, you need to setup tests throughout your website to determine exactly what will catch your visitors’ attention and get them to take action.
So the next time someone asks you if you like your website, feel free to say, “I love it!”
Then when they ask you why, be sure to say, “because we have a conversion rate nearly double the industry average.”
By-the-way, this is entirely true of all marketing. Unfortunately, testing which TV or Radio ad is resonating better with your target market is hard to do. So test out your marketing concepts and ideas online first, then take them offline.
It will save you a lot of time and money and will absolutely get you better results.
To your success in learning what really matters to your customers, Bryan
P.S. If you need help using your website to learn what motivates your customers, contact us at Optimized-Marketing.com and we’ll either take over your current site or create a new one for you. Either way, your conversion rate will consistently improve.