How to Make People HATE Your Website
Losing The Internet Leads Game, Even When You Think You’re Winning
Forget What All Those “Experts” Tell You–Unless Your Website Brings Real Leads That Actually Buy Stuff, Your Internet Marketing Is Failing
At first, I couldn’t figure out why Randy, the company owner on the other end of my phone, sounded so depressed.
Randy: My new website comes up first in Google search and my unique visitors are at an all-time high.
Me: So why are you calling me?
Randy: My old website never came up in search results, but it pulled in 50 to 100 leads a month. Now I’m getting basically ZERO.
Me (looking at his website): That’s not surprising. How much did you spend on this new site?
Randy: $17,000 for the site and one year of SEO services.
Me: Can you get your money back?
Randy: (silence; possibly tears)
I changed his name, but Randy’s story is not only absolutely true, it’s also, sadly, very common.
Business owners all over the world are being fleeced by slick web development and SEO companies, and they don’t even know it. But, as they say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Let me help you take a peek below the surface so you can detect—and avoid—some of the most common internet marketing mistakes businesses make:
Mistake: Wooing Google Over Humans:
Everyone knows that your site has to be optimized so Google will find it and rank it high in the search results. But most SEO companies focus so much attention on Google that they forget that HUMANS are the ones who actually, you know, buy stuff. As a result, they unnaturally STUFF keywords into the website—to the extent that they murder your chances of enticing real humans to read it.
Look at the headlines on the home page of your website and imagine saying what’s on it to a prospect, especially if it’s keyword loaded
Think about it: would you EVER imagine saying that FIRST when you meet a prospect in person? Of course not. It’s stupid. When people read this kind of Google-chasing drivel on the first page they see, they immediately click away to find something that answers their REAL question they have when searching: “I need to buy (fill in the blank), why should I pick THIS company instead of all the others?”
Mistake: “Hey Baby, My Apartment’s Around the Corner. Wanna See It?”
Seriously, can you imagine some moron trying that pickup line in a bar? It would never work in a million years. And trust me, you wouldn’t want any part of the woman who took that rancid bait.
So then why are the “web experts” so determined to litter your website with all the little buttons, forms, and offers that say “Get A Price,” “View Our Special Offers,” “Download Our Brochure” and “Sign Up For Our Newsletter”?
Randy’s website is cluttered with exactly SIX of these kinds of offers (including TWO that say “Get A Price”) on the top half of the home page of his site alone. The pseudo-gurus’ logic is simple: Give people a form to fill out for something then when they do, pounce and sell. You’re going to have to trust me on this one: “bait and pounce” is not a good way to sell in 2017.
Think about it: why on earth would somebody want to give you their precious contact information before they even have any FREAKING CLUE who you are, what you’re all about, how you’re different and/or better, or what they can expect when doing business with you? Why would they do that? For the most part, they wouldn’t. Hence, zero home leads, Randy.
If your website actually takes the time to explain all those things (how and why you’re different and better), then people draw a natural conclusion that they should call you—assuming your reasons are compelling—because they trust you. There’s no manipulation needed. No “bait.” And for Pete’s sake, no pouncing. And yes, it’s okay to have a “Get A Price” button form on your website. Just don’t make these kinds of forms the MAIN/ONLY thing people see right when they find your site. Trust me, it’s a HUGE turn-off.
In Summary: Just Say No to Nerds
There are literally thousands of web and search gurus out there and most of them are run by nerds (i.e., technical people), not MARKETING people. And the nerds tend to measure success by misguided standards. Standards that are short-sighted, wrong, and very costly to YOU. Websites should be designed and written with the goal of converting lookers into buyers—not just looking pretty. Search strategies should be focused on generating high quality leads, not just ranking high on Google.
In the end, remember that internet marketing is still just marketing. The goal is to persuade people to buy from you. And if your website fails to persuade, you lose.
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