Our Marketing 2.0 team, which offers innovative digital marketing services, conducted a simple yet unique survey of websites belonging to our clients. All clients surveyed are from the B2B Tech ecosystem, and 80% are head-quartered in India. Here are common mistakes we observed, many of which will result in loss of B2B inquiries…
If you speak to a typical digital marketing agency about how to improve your website, most end up throwing a lot of tech jargon at you. Rather than discuss business related issues like brand awareness, list building and lead generation, they end up discussing topics like SEO, keywords, CPC, CPM, robot.txt files, etc.
What’s worse, many times we find that agencies focus more on driving visitors to your website (sometimes clients force them to), and forget to work on the basics that your website must fulfil, before you start attracting more visitors to your website.
This unique survey by our Marketing 2.0 team provides you with the current state-of-affairs in India, and it’s also a checklist for you to check, how your website fairs as compared to your peers.
Your Website: A Smart Brochure cum Sales Personnel
We have realised that many leaders are still not clear about the role their website should play, for their business. While websites have been there since 1996 in India (25 years!) their use for B2B businesses is still unclear. As per EFY’s Marketing 2.0 team, the least your website should be is your digital brochure–for your organisation, and your products or services.
Simply put, whatever a traditional brochure would do for you, your website should do it too. If your website is already acting like a good e-brochure, then you should look if it can act as a smart sales representative too. Yes, with simple features like contact forms, chat assistants, etc–your website can make it easier for your prospects and customers to contact you, and give you business. There are subsequent stages too, where your website becomes a demand generation machine by using some interesting content marketing strategies–but that’s a highly detailed topic, which we will cover in the near future.
THE BASIC BLUNDERS
Errors listed here have been named “basic blunders” because that’s exactly what they are. These are mistakes that you just can’t afford to make…
- No Contact Information
What’s the point of having a website without providing your contact details? But, still we found 23% of websites had not provided their contact details, or had put them in some discrete section, where only those wanting to sell to you would reach–but not your customers. In other words, you have created a sales brochure, but you forgot to put your contact details on it.
- Wrong or Outdated Contact Information
More than 50% of websites, which had listed their contact details, suffered from this problem! Either the telephone number or the email ID, and in some cases both, turned out to be wrong. Calls made by our team landed on “this number no longer exists”, and emails simply bounced. In other words, prospects and customers who try to contact you–can’t!
- Too Many Contact Details
About 37% of websites audited had a completely different problem. They listed multiple email IDs and phone numbers on their websites. This resulted in many numbers and email IDs bouncing. Plus, as a customer, it leads to additional confusion–as to which one to use to contact you. In other words, your customer wants to contact you but does not know which one is the right contact point.
- No Contact Form
Check out any good B2B website, and you will notice that they will have a form to motivate (prospective) customers to submit their details. These forms save the customers from having to contact you, and demonstrate that you as an organisation are ready and eager to reach out to customers who want to be contacted. Shockingly, 55% of websites did not have the contact form. In other words, you are telling your prospects and customers: if you want to do business with us, call us or email us. (We don’t want to call you.)
- Contact Form Not Working
One-third of the websites that did have a contact form, suffered from this issue. In other words, your prospects and customers might be reaching out to you, but your website deletes them!
- No One Attends to Emails or Contact Form submissions
This seems to be a very common problem. 63 percent of websites, which either had an email ID list or provided a contact form, did not respond to our messages, despite us waiting for 4 working days! In other words, even if your prospects and customers manage to send you a message, no one attends to them!
- Not a Mobile Friendly Website
More than 50 percent of B2B customers visit websites of suppliers using their mobile phones. Yet, 47 percent of websites surveyed were not mobile-friendly. In fact, some were very difficult to view on mobile devices. In other words, you have put a DO NOT ENTER sign for half of your prospects and customers, who visit your website.
IS IT A GOOD BROCHURE? DOES IT BUILD YOUR REPUTATION?
If your website has no blunders, then it’s time to check whether it provides information that will provide the right information to your prospects and customers…
- Your Email ID is not “[email protected]”
We could not believe that more than 40% of the clients, despite having websites on their own domain names, had listed email IDs of gmail.com or other free-to-use email platforms! This is a mistake that hints to the subconscious mind of your customer that you’re not a professional organisation. In other words, your website signals to your prospects and customers, “We use shortcuts. We are not very particular about processes and systems!”
- Copyright Year Not Updated
28 percent of websites had this error. Instead of the current year, their websites featured past years. Two websites had copyright years as old as 2015! This not only makes your website (and business) seem unprofessional, but also raises doubt in minds of visitors–whether information on your website (products, price list, etc) are up to date or not. In other words, your visitors are left in doubt on whether they can act based on your website.
- Products or Services Not Listed
Yes! About 17 percent of the websites did not list their products or services clearly. Many of those who erred here, focused mainly on the company profile and its history and team members, etc. But, why should the visitors contact you? What products or services do you offer? Those questions were left unanswered or were ambiguous. In other words, even if your customers visited your website, they would not know that you have a solution for them.
- Clients Not Mentioned
54 percent of websites failed on this front. We understand that for some firms their customers sign NDAs and hence it’s challenging for them to list their customers. But, more than half of those surveyed did not mention their clients. Perhaps, they are afraid that their customers will poach them. But, for prospects visiting your website to gauge your reputation, absence of this information may be unsettling. In other words, you are providing no proof to your prospects that you are a genuine business which is serving customers. You could be dismissed as a fly-by-night operator too!
- No Testimonials
We realise that getting customers to share their positive feedback of testimonials can be a challenge, especially in India. That’s why we were not surprised to see only 23% of websites having testimonials or feedback from customers. In other words, while you know that in the online world, customers look at reviews and testimonials, you are not providing any supporting information for them to trust your expertise.
- No Chat Facility
One of the easiest ways to generate inquiries and build lists of prospects is to use simple chat engines like Tawk.to or ArtBot.Ai and get them to seek details of visitors before they pass the query to a member of your team. They can also alert visitors when your team is offline, so that visitors know that their queries will be answered later. However, 88 percent of websites surveyed did not have a chat service. In other words, you are missing the opportunity to engage with your customers or prospects, or even collect their contact info.
- No One to Chat With?
All chat tools come with a feature to inform your visitors when your team is offline, and hence can’t address their queries. But, for those 12 percent websites with chat agents, not a single website had a LIVE agent. What’s worse–they had not marked themselves as Offline. In other words, it’s like having the “Open” card displayed on your shop, but no one to attend to visitors who enter your shop.
IMPORTANT TECHNICAL ISSUES
So far, we have tried to stay away from technical issues. But, there are a couple that certainly need your attention, for your website to deliver the basics…
- Google Analytics
This was another shocking discovery! 62 percent of websites surveyed did not seem to have Google Analytics (or any other industry-standard analytics) installed. Google Analytics is a simple reporting tool, which enables you to know and measure the performance of your website. How many visitors? How engaged are they? Which pages they visited? Where are they coming from? And much, much more. In other words, without Google Analytics, you don’t have a clue whether visitors to your websites are increasing or decreasing. And, whether they are the type of visitors who you are targeting or not.
- No SSL Certificate?
32 percent of websites were lacking on this front. SSL certificate is now a must for all websites, as it indicates to the web browsers that your website is secure. When it’s missing, browsers of your visitors will alert them that your website is a security risk. In other words, visitors who visit your website will be alerted that you are neither a professional firm nor web-savvy.
A COMMON PROBLEM: YOUR WEBSITE IS NOT ON WORDPRESS!
At EFY, we typically refrain from suggesting our preferences. We believe that the needs of our customers are different, and hence we should provide them with info about different options and let them make an “informed decision”.
However, we beg to make an exception here, because we are totally convinced about our suggestion.
And, here it is…
Digital agencies love to confuse customers and talk about lack of personalisation or customisation on WordPress, which is correct–but for very specific needs. For the majority of the websites surveyed, WordPress would have been the perfect platform.
Why? Because, WordPress allows you, and your team, to update content and modify your website without having to hire or depend on a software developer (or your digital agency). You can add new products, publish new announcements, update your home page, add new sections, change menus, add a chat agent, and more. Even if you have an agency to handle these, their cost of efforts are greatly reduced if they use WordPress.
Unfortunately, only 35 percent of websites were on WordPress. We can only empathize with those who have .NET, .ASP or .PHP or other fancy websites, and hope that your agency or IT team is a good one.
Most websites of EFY are now on WordPress. We have tried different options and suffered. Hence, the conviction.
Let’s Get the Basics Right
The world of digital marketing and website development has many more aspects to look into and grow your traffic, but that would be like promoting your newly opened retail outlet via advertisements and road-shows, while your outlet is not ready to handle the walk-ins.
Hence, we have provided you with a quick checklist to review your website against. If your website checks out against all these basic points, do let us know at [email protected]. We will share with you, an advanced report on the next checklist to review, to make your website better,
Here’s a quick checklist for you to assess your website…
|ITEMS TO CHECK||YES / NO|
|Have you provided contact info on your website?|
|Is the Contact Info correct and up-to-date?|
|Have you provided the main phone number and email ID–max, 2 of each? And, not too many options?|
|Have you provided a Contact Form on your website?|
|Is the Contact Form working? Did you check it in the last 30 days?|
|Is your Contact Form visible from all or most pages of your website?|
|Have you designated who will receive the email when someone fills the Contact Form and who and by when is expected to reply?|
|Have you tested the response to Contact Form submission in the last 30 days, via a dummy submission?|
|Is your website responsive, which means it shows nicely on mobile phones too?|
|Are email IDs listed on your website (and your business cards) with your domain-name, and not gmail, hotmail, etc?|
|Has the copyright year been updated for your website?|
|Are your products, and the latest products listed on your website?|
|Have you listed some of your prestigious clients on your website to build trust?|
|Have you published feedback or testimonials of your customers, to further strengthen the trust?|
|Do you have a Chat facility to engage with visitors and seek their contact details?|
|If you do have a Chat facility, does your team make sure to mark themselves offline, when not attending to chat?|
|Has anyone been designated to be online during working hours to welcome and handle customers who come to your website?|
|Has Google Analytics been installed on your website and is it functional?|
|Are you getting monthly reports (Google Analytics) that enable you to understand how your website is doing?|
|Does your website have an SSL certificate?|