Every month, I talk to several building materials companies who have the same goal. They want to grow their sales and they’re looking for an impartial third party to tell them what they’re missing.
Before I get on one of those calls, I always take a look through the company’s website. That’s because a well designed website is an asset that can boost sales, but a poorly thought out website will make it much harder to convert new customers.
By well designed, I don’t mean a site that looks slick and professional. Almost every building materials company puts money behind their website and it shows. It’ may be eye-catching, full of hi-res images and looks so good you might think it belongs to a tech or fashion company.
That’s just the problem, however. No one should assume they’re looking at a tech or fashion company’s website, even for half a second. It should be obvious from the moment you land on the homepage what the company is selling and why a new customer should be interested in buying from them. That’s what a well designed website does – it conveys that message immediately.
After looking at the site, I’ll get on the call and ask them to tell me about their products and their company. I ask them why they’re the better choice for the type of customer they’re targeting. Without fail, they give me all that information without hesitation.
It’s like night and day.
They have a clear idea of what they’re selling and what value it can deliver. They can show me exactly why a new customer should be interested.
So, why can’t their website do the same?
Your website is the most important sales tool you have. It works for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It never sleeps, calls in sick, or takes a vacation. It’s affordable, too. Once you build it, it practically works for free.
That’s why you need to review your website and make sure you’re getting the most out of it. It’s selling your products, but is it selling them well?
Given what I’ve seen, I think it’s safe to say your website could probably use some work. Most building materials sites do.
So, let’s take a look at why your website isn’t selling as well as it should and what you can do to fix it and boost your sales.
5 Reasons Your Website Isn’t Telling Your Story
1. You assume everyone knows who you are and what you sell
They don’t. Most of the people who find your landing page haven’t heard of you. If they have, they only vaguely know what you sell.
Most visitors won’t bother scrolling far or clicking on links if they don’t immediately see that you’re selling the solutions they need. If your site – and especially your homepage – doesn’t communicate this clearly and quickly, you will struggle to translate your website traffic into new customers.
2. Your website is designed for both current and new customers
Your homepage should be aimed exclusively at new customers. Your existing customers will need to access your technical information, get in touch with a sales rep, or find your contact info, but they won’t need your front page. Why would they? They already know who you are.
If you want to increase your sales, make sure the messaging on your homepage is geared entirely to potential customers, not the ones who are current customers.
3. Your homepage is too generic
Many companies make this mistake when they’re struggling to grow. They’re scared of missing out on any potential sale, so they try to appeal to everyone. The result is an unfocused message that is supposed to speak to everybody, but actually speaks to nobody in particular.
Without a clear, focused message, your homepage will look the same as everyone else’s homepage. It will look like a building materials site, but won’t have a clear value proposition. Nothing about it will stand out and the visitors to your site won’t be able to tell if your product is right for them.
4. Your message is more about you than the customer’s needs
Are you the most successful company in your category? Do you sell an award-winning product? Is your team obsessed with excellence?
That’s great. But the visitors to your website don’t really care about any of those things.
They don’t want to know that you’re successful or that you have a high-quality product. They have problems that need fixing and challenges they need to overcome. That’s how they found your website to begin with – they were looking for a solution. But if your homepage is mainly focused on you, they won’t get a sense of how you can help them.
5. You make the customers dig through your site
As soon as a customer lands on your page, they’re looking for hints that you might be a good fit for them.
You sell flooring products, but are they suitable for commercial use? They want their projects to meet new building codes, can you help them? Energy efficiency is a big deal for them, are you focused on making green products?
That kind of information should be front and center. If you make customers dig through your website to find it, they’ll simply click away. That’s too much work to put on new customers, especially when there are other websites they could click on instead.
If you don’t make it quick and easy for your customer, they’ll leave and your site will just be another link in their browser history.
How to Fix Your Website
There are many ways your website can go wrong. Thankfully, there’s a simple, low-effort way to fix it.
Your website may not be great at selling your products, but you are. You need a way to take the clarity and focus you have about your company and infuse it into your homepage.
To do that, find your best salesperson (who may be the President or Owner) and record a 60-second video of them explaining what you sell, who it’s for and why it’s the better choice. Send it to your website designer and challenge them to communicate that message more effectively than the video does.
Until they can do that, that video will be your homepage. Because if your website can’t sell your product as well as you can, it’s simply not doing its job.