Why Your New Website Isn’t Working, and How You Can Fix It

A Guest Blog Post: Jay Malcolm

So, you just finished a website redesign and, by all accounts, your team really nailed it. Indeed, it probably looks up-to-date, with all the latest design features. But without even seeing your new site, I’ll bet there’s one question you haven’t considered: How do you expect it to translate into a significant increase in sales?

Just because your new website looks great doesn’t guarantee it’s going to generate leads. To get results, the site must differentiate your business in a crowded marketplace.

For example, let’s say you run a CPA firm in the suburbs of a big city. I’d guess I could change the logo at the top and the names under your partner photos, but the content would say almost the same thing as that of your four largest competitors. Be honest; don’t you and your competitors all say, “We’re not your typical CPA firm, we have the highest integrity, a capable and experienced team, prestigious and long-standing clients, blah, blah, blah?”

Whatever your industry, by the time your potential new clients compare yours to competitors’ sites, they’ve all blended together and there is little noticeable difference.

Don’t feel bad, because you’re in good company. Nearly all the websites I visit (90 percent or more) have little or no differentiation. My question is this: Why spend money for a new website that doesn’t stand out from your competition—and, thus, fails to produce the results you’re seeking?  

We need to face facts. Website visitors have short attention spans, so you get very little time to deliver your value proposition in a compelling way. And if visitors don’t stick around, you’re unlikely to accomplish your other primary objective: capturing meaningful data about your site’s visitors. Maybe that’s why few people fill out that information form on your website, eh?

Anyway, now that I’ve criticized your new website—which I haven’t even visited—let me introduce you to a breakthrough idea. It’s called Digital Dialogue.

What if visitors to your site could enter into a conversation with one of your firm’s best ambassadors? The representative might be your founder, your marketing VP, a pleasant-speaking employee, a professional narrator, your celebrity endorser, or even your corporate mascot.

And what if you could just plug in Digital Dialogue to your existing website, without sacrificing your recent redesign?

Interesting, you say; but how exactly would it work? Suppose you’ve been considering the purchase of a goat. Unlikely, I’m sure. But check out this humorous example of how Digital Dialogue would engage visitors to a site that sells goats (be sure to click along for the full effect).  

Your application of Digital Dialogue is only limited by your imagination and budget. Imagine Hanes using Michael Jordan to welcome and qualify visitors to its website. Or the famous head football coach of a major university helping visitors navigate the school’s website. I bet the wheels are already turning inside your head.

Here’s the best part: You’ll be able to capture more visitor information because Digital Dialogue’s uniqueness doesn’t feel like filling out a traditional web form. In fact, providing your personal information would seem fun.  

With average website visitors spending two minutes or less on a site, you need to make the most of the time you have. Digital Dialogue is a novel way to clearly communicate your brand while simultaneously capturing data for informed follow-up.

Jay Malcolm is a Senior Consultant at Expand Interactive. While his main job is to improve business outcomes for franchises and restaurants, he’s usually imagining ways to leverage technology, provide online learning applications, and generally solve the world’s problems.

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