The article was originally published on Facebook in Novermber 2018 by
Artur Smolicki in Polish.
Based only on subjective feelings, I can confidently say that a well-conducted Google Ads or Facebook Ads campaign is only 20% of success. If, however, something fails, this percentage decreases considerably. So what elements are really responsible for increasing sales and for the success of an advertising campaign? The key to getting paid customers is, first and foremost, your company webpage.
In this matter, a number of mistakes are still being made, and I can blame most of them on… people creating websites for entrepreneurs. A potential client comes with a query, the site has to be pretty, modern, aesthetic and that’s it. Most agencies have no idea about optimizing conversion, building sales funnels, and so – they do not introduce these elements into the projects which they implement for their clients.
A few months ago I started implementing a Google Ads campaign for a real estate client. Before it began, they had been informed about a lot of issues regarding usability of their website and its impact on efficiency. The aim was to get contacts for people looking for a flat. Nonetheless, they decided not to implement any changes and after a month the customer gave up on the campaign claiming that it had no good effect, that Google Ads don’t work in his industry. What were the suggestions about?
First of all, the site was a decade behind in terms of design or usability, it wasn’t responsive, the offer contained only rudimentary information and photos of some blueprints, not the finished project. Its task was to obtain leads, but this option was strongly hidden. The structure of the site was absolutely disappointing. Changing the site was not an option because … it had just been prepared at a considerable expense. Such a business will not convert for several years.
Before I started creating the landing page myself, I commissioned it to many agencies or freelancers. Despite clear instructions, I usually received a nice, eye-catching and.. totally ineffective project. Unfortunately, most customers consider only the first two factors. Today even students are involved in creating websites for businesses. It’s a great thing, after providing such website to a customer, there is no responsibility for any of the results which are later achieved.
And there should be because your company website is the most important element of the online part of your business. If it is inefficient, your business is also ineffective, and even the best campaign will not fix it.
Usually, we expect the user to find interesting information, get interested in the offer, search for a contact tab and leave their details. Most websites do not guide customers by their hand. The most important contact option in services is usually a form placed at the bottom of a separate tab. It’s a wild-goose chase.
Enough is enough … I do not understand corporate websites that expect the user to really read 10 pages of text about how professionally you approach the subject, how attractive your prices are and what an experienced team will take care of my project. Run-of-the-mill, cliché, boredom. The content on the page should trigger the “wow effect” and at this point hit me with the price, contact form, and phone number. This also includes unnecessary bookmarks and sub-pages. They frequently contain completely redundant information, thus wasting my time on the site.
Repeating this is already boring, it should have ended around 2010, and yet most companies still cannot tell me why I should choose their offer. It really works. Turn thousands of senseless characters into something really meaningful.
Usually, they are so bad that they hurt your eyes. If you put least effort in creating the content which I have to read, I’ll treat you in the same way.
Usually, before I start advertising, I send a list of obvious changes, corrections, and suggestions for the site. In return, I hear that either the site cannot be changed, the agency did not give access to it and you have to pay for modifications, or “the boss likes it, I’d rather leave it as it is”. The advertising campaign and the data collected throughout, even if they do not bring immediate effect, are the basis for improving the non-functioning elements. I hear way too often that there will be no changes, “please work with what is there”. And in the end . . . “thank you for your cooperation, the campaign has brought no results”.
You do not know what their real problem is. Everyone sells educational toys today. However, when analyzing a dozen or so online stores, I did not find descriptions about what abilities and skills these toys develop in a child. Well, they’re educating, that’s enough.
Michał Sadowski once talked about giving details instead of boasting general numbers. Do not write about thousands of customers, provide specific data. Do you know what else works? Opinions. The so nicely called “social proof”. I sometimes hear from clients that they do not trust these opinions, so they will not be on the site. Remember that there is such a thing as subliminal perception. Even if it happens subconsciously, even the smallest element of our site affects decision making.
The product page should be the apple of your eye. It is there that the most important decisions for your business are made. This is the “to be or not to be” for your daily transactions. What does it look like in reality? Average quality photos, cliché descriptions, barely noticeable buttons and the lack of presentation of alternative products. If we add the non-intuitive purchasing process, not even the best-run campaign will bring you any results.
Generating valuable traffic is one thing, using it is a completely different story. Most businesses are losing already at the start. Everyone is able to sell “somehow”. However, if you lag behind the best, these results will never be satisfying.
Model yourself after the biggest players, they have already made the most of their mistakes, carried out most of the possible analyses and tests. If you run a local business, create a dedicated landing page instead of an extensive site. Give potential clients what they want, solve their problem, lead them along the path, until the expected action.
Only then you should run advertising campaigns. Never the other way around.
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