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What is a sales funnel and how do they work?

What is a sales funnel and how do they work?

What is a sales funnel and how do they work?

What is a sales funnel?

Quite simply, a sales funnel encompasses the steps your customer will go through before they end up making a purchase from you. 

For example, if we’re looking at an online business, someone finding your website be that via Google, social media or elsewhere, is the first step of the funnel.

Clicking on and visiting your website is step two.

You may then choose to have a pop up appear, inviting the visitor to subscribe to your mailing list, or perhaps you leave them to browse your products.

Sales funnels have many different options and it’s up to you to choose the funnel which works best for your business.

Optimising your sales funnel can turn people from prospects into purchasers, but you first need to understand the steps people take and their mindset at each one.

This allows you to target your messaging appropriately to maximise the chances of them moving on to the next step.

sales funnels

The four stages of a sales funnel

It’s widely accepted that sales funnels have four primary stages. Some choose to break these down even further, but to avoid over-complicating matters, we’ll stick with the main four here:

 

1. Awareness

The very first stage of a sales funnel is someone becoming aware that your business exists.

It may be through word of mouth, advertising, Google or social media.

You can increase the chances of someone reaching the ‘awareness’ stage by nailing your marketing in one or more of the above areas.

 

2. Interest

So, a potential customer has found you – now they’re going to evaluate your business to establish their own level of interest.

They’ll do a bit of reading here about you, your business and what you offer to see if you’ve got what it is they’re looking for.

 

3. Decision

Now they’ve decided they’re interested, it’s decision time.

Do you offer the best value for money compared to your competitors? Is there someone else in the market doing what you do better? If not, chances are you’re on to a winner.

This stage potentially involves sales pages, calls and anything else which could sway someone to buy your product/service.

 

4. Action

All the above stages come down to this. If your sales funnel has worked effectively then the potential customer should look to purchase or book at this stage.

Here is where you need to use the power of persuasion, be that at checkout (yep, many sales are lost at this stage!) or on your booking page.

 

Creating a sales funnel

Now you know the ins and outs of what a sales funnel is and how it works, the next step is creating one!

This takes time, and you need to really understand your target audience and their behaviours effectively.

However your sales funnel looks, one thing we recommend is to test, test, test.

Good luck!

Not sure where to begin?

Essential elements for the homepage

Essential elements for the homepage

Your homepage is your online shop front and needs to instantly capture the potential customer’s interest. We all know from experience ourselves, if a homepage looks confusing or messy we switch off and look elsewhere for the product or service we were researching.

As such, the homepage of your website needs to be attractive to look at and give a clear message about what your business does. Below are top tips for the elements you require to get customers engaging with your brand.

Below are 7 essential elements for every website homepage

1: Clear Call To Action (CTA)

When a visitor has managed to find your website amongst a vast array of others, what happens next? Make their journey easy to your goal, whether that’s buying a product, inquiring about a service or downloading a document. Add clear CTA’s across your homepage, guiding the visitor along your sales funnel. Keep the CTA simple, making it obvious to the visitor what the next action for them is and don’t try putting in too many CTA with different requests, as this will confuse the visitor. For example, if your goal is to get them to subscribe to an e-newsletter, have a signup box at the top of the page and repeat the message halfway down or near the bottom so it’s still in their minds once they’ve consumed other information on the page.

2: Clear Navigation

Clear navigation helps your visitors have a simpler experience on your website causing them less frustration and making your chances of a sale or enquiry higher. Your navigation bar is generally the area of the website which gets the most traffic, so it needs to highlight the key areas of your website clearly. If you’re confused which pages warrant being the main focus, take a look at your Google Analytics (GA) and determine which pages get the most traffic. If appropriate, have the pages with the most traffic visible in the navigation bar. Sub-menus from the main navigation bar can be a great way of increasing traffic to pages of importance to your brand that visitors may not have considered.

3:  Engaging Visuals

Rustique-fine-dining

People process visuals 600,000 times faster than text.* This goes a long way to explaining why engaging visuals are so important on a homepage. The use of high-quality stock photos take a look at my 7 sites for free images for commercial use here, explainer videos, product images, infographics or even a creative colour scheme can break up the text information on your homepage, and give a new dimension to get the visitor engaged. Remember too that Google encourages embedding YouTube videos to help with SEO. 

4: Contact Information

This is important, don’t make your visitors go through to your contact page to get the essential contact information. This may just be a phone number or email address with a link through to contact page for more information or potentially your address will be needed on the homepage if you’re encouraging people to a physical location.

5: Reviews & Testimonials

Having honest reviews on your homepage provides a level of trust to the visitor. You can either add these yourself or use widgets from sites like TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot or Feefo. Ask previous clients to send testimonials and include pictures or visuals or them using the product or response to the service. Include any recent positive media you may have received.

6: Accreditations & Awards

If you are apart of an official organisation or governing body for your industry, make sure you highlight this on your homepage using the logo. This once again builds trust with the visitor that you are a reputable business. The same goes for awards, always highlight your achievements.

 

7: What Differentiates You?

Lastly, but certainly not least; make sure your content, both text and visuals, express what makes your brand/product stand out from the competition. For example, explain what your service or product does to solve an issue, or how your awards and experience make you an industry leader.

If you have any questions book your free 30-minute consultation and let’s get your website attracting maximum customers for you.

*Source – https://www.ragan.com/

Free msterclass on websites
7 ways to determine if it’s time to update your website

7 ways to determine if it’s time to update your website

7 ways to determine if it’s time to update your website

1: Is your website secure?

Website security should be a top priority for all businesses.

It was previously thought if your website didn’t collect sensitive data, like credit cards numbers, date of births, etc., you wouldn’t need an SSL certificate. However, with updates to browsers over the years, it’s now very important to ensure you always have an SSL certificate for your website and it is loaded via HTTPS. This will make your website more trustworthy to search engines and visitors and stop your website getting flagged.

You can check if your website has an SSL certificate using simple tools like DigiCert which can identify if a website is compliant.

Don’t overlook the security of your website. If your website is hacked and client information is compromised, this will lead to a lack of trust that will harm your businesses reputation and could lead to fines under GDPR.

If it’s time to revisit the framework and platform contact me today here 

Is your website visually appealing?

Your website is your online shop, and as such your homepage is your shopfront and your pages are your aisles. For some companies, a website is the only interaction their customers will have with them and for others, it can be the first impression of their brand.

This means it’s extremely important to keep the website looking current and appealing. Like clothing changes styles rapidly, what was trendy for websites a couple of years ago could be out of date today.

There are constant improvements to functionality for websites and theme styles with significant changes roughly every 2 – 3 years. If you’re visiting others websites and feel yours doesn’t compare in style, it’s time to update.

Is your website mobile friendly?

You’ll most likely have noticed from your website’s analytics, more and more people are accessing your website via smartphones. If you think about the way you access websites, you’ll also probably find you’re spending more and more time researching via mobile.

The impact for you is that you need to make sure your website is optimised for mobile. If not, you risk causing your visitors frustration and potentially losing them to a competitor with a better, easier to view the website.

We expect websites to be fast loading and easy to navigate no matter what platform it’s on, if yours isn’t, it’s time to upgrade.

naples estero real estate

Is your SEO working to its full potential?

If you’ve not been updating your website for quite some time, it’s likely you’ll have noticed you’re starting to become less visible on search engines.

With continuous advancements in SEO on search engines, it’s very important to make sure you are aware of the correct keywords to be used, how to use them within your content and make use of not only keywords but searched phrases too.

Also if you haven’t started, begin using a blog, this is a fantastic way to keep adding new content to your website as well as incorporating keywords.

If you’re struggling to understand how to improve your SEO, send me a message (link to contact page) and let’s get your website ranking highly on search engines.

Does your website take too long to load?

You’ll know the frustration of going on to a website which takes a while to load, did you know that anything over 5 seconds is considered a long time?

If your website is slow to load it could be due to a number of different reasons including images with large file size, and out of date theme, etc. Sometimes it can be a very quick fix, like reduce the image file size, this will automatically enhance your user’s experience.

You can use free tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to analyse ways to improve your websites speed.

Is your website difficult to navigate?

It’s very important to make sure your user has the best experience they can on your website and this is partially affected by how easy they are able to find what they’ve been looking for when visiting your site.

You can take a look at your analytics to see which pages have a high bounce rate. It could be they’re coming straight through to your homepage or contact page and getting the details they require then leaving. Though it could be they simply can’t find what they’re looking for and leaving. Make sure your website has a clear call to actions to guide your visitors on your website.

Go through your website and try imagining different items your users would commonly visit your website to find. For instance, are you contact details easy to find or do you have a search bar if you run an e-commerce website? By doing this action you’ll be able to easily assess if there are any improvements you could make.

Does it contain dead links?

Otherwise known as broken links, dead links can be detrimental to your website user’s experience.

They appear on your website as normal links, but unfortunately, as the name may suggest, they send visitors to a 404 error page which isn’t where they intended. This can then result in the visitor leaving your site completely.

Don’t panic, you don’t have to go through and manually check every link on your website yourself, use Online Broken Link Checker which will be able to show you if there are dead links on your website and where they’re located. Then simply go on to your website’s admin and either correct the URL and remove the link entirely. This will greatly improve your visitor’s journey and help you with losing potential sales.

It’s now time to go put these tips into action and determine if it’s time to upgrade. If you have any questions contact me here and I’ll get your site optimised.

Not sure where to begin?

Useful free SEO tools

Useful free SEO tools

Useful free SEO tools

There are hundreds of useful free SEO tools on the internet with the goal to improve your SEO and simplify the way you review your results. Below is my guide to the best tools to use.

Analytics

Google Academy

Most will know Google Analytics is a great tool to learn about their websites performances, however many won’t really understand how to use it or what the results really mean. Use Google’s free academy to learn the basics and more advanced tips and tricks to get the most from the free analytics platform. Click here

Statcounter

StatCounter is similar to Google Analytics, but for some, it can be simpler to understand. Like Google Analytics, it’s a real-time web analytics service that helps you track, analyse and understand your visitors so you can make the best decisions to help improve your website’s performance. Click here

Keyword Hero

Have you ever seen (not provided) when looking at Google Analytics? Keyword Hero

Did somebody say (not provided)? Keyword Hero works to solve the problem of missing keyword data with lots of advanced math and machine learning. It’s not a perfect system, but for those struggling to match keywords with conversion and other on-site metrics, the data can be a valuable step in the right direction. Pricing is free up to 2000 sessions/month. Click here

Keyword Research

Keyword Explorer

This is the ultimate free bank of keyword suggestions, with over 500 million options. Join Moz’s free community to gain 10 free queries a month, which will give you up to 1000 keywords per query and SERP analysis. You’ll also receive Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Score as well as CTR data. Click here

Keyword Planner

Built by Google, Keyword Planner was originally intended for those who use Google Ads, however even for those who don’t use ads its a great tool which produces a lot of useful information for SEO Keyword planning. With the vast data Google has access to and filters such as location, its a fairly simple way to gain more knowledge of your Keywords. Click here

Local SEO

Google My Business

Your number 1 tool for local SEO. Your Business Profile appears when people are searching for your business or other businesses like yours on Google Search or Maps. It’s easy to update your profile and includes features to highlight events and news items. Click here

Local Search Results Checker

It can be hard to work out rankings for a particular location, Google also chooses to show you results from the location you’re based in adding to hard work. This website, BrightLocal, is the solution. It virtually places you in any location on earth to check the rankings for your search in that location. Click here

Google Reviews

Make it easy for your clients to review your business, use this free tool to create a simple link to share with your customers and make the journey easy for them to review you. Reviews are fantastic for any business. Click here

Mobile SEO

Mobile-Friendly Test

Is your website mobile friendly? This free tool from Google gives you the answers straight away. Click here

Online Broken Link Checker

Broken links on your website can cause customers aggravation and equate to a lost customer. You don’t need to manually trawl through your website to find 404 error pages, use this free website which will search through your website and list any broken links for you to fix. Click here

Link Explorer

This extremely accurate link tool lets you check the backlink profile and Domain Authority of any site, with over 35 trillion links. Set-up your free Moz account to access up to 10 queries and 50 rows of data per query every month. Click here

Bookmark this blog as we’ll update as we find more free tools for you to use. If you have any questions send me an email and we’ll get your site optimised. Contact Kathy

Not sure where to begin?

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