10 reasons your website is not generating new clients.
Are you disappointed with the results of online marketing efforts? Perhaps you invested a fair amount of money only to see zero or few results. Rest assured you are not alone.
In this article we’ll go over 10 thing that could hold you back from generating new clients. This will be based on what I (Steven) have learned over the last 10+ years doing online marketing for myself and later for some clients. Some of these points may surprise you, and have to do more with business in general than just online marketing.
I hope this article helps you to identify what could help you to make your campaigns more successful and do more business. If you feel this article has helped you, please share it with your friends.
Alright, let’s get to the first reason why your website may not be generating new clients.
1. You are not actually solving a problem.
This one has more to do with your business, rather than just marketing. Doing business is all about solving problems for people. In many cases, the bigger the problem you solve, the easier it gets to attract clients. So If you are not solving a problem, you may make things difficult for yourself.
This is important to keep in mind because as business owners, at times we can get too caught up with our own ideas. Or maybe it’s just me. In any case, especially when we launch a new type of service we want to consider if this idea fulfills a genuine need. If the answer is no, you may want to go back to the drawing board before moving on to step two.
2. People are not able to find you online.
Ok, so you have a service that solves problems for your clients. Next you have a website made to promote your service or product. That’s great. However, having a website is not going to do much by itself unless you are in a niche with little competition. Most of us (especially those reading this article) are in a market with plenty of competition, and getting your message in front of people online may not be easy.
So we can’t sit back and relax but need to take action. So where do we start?
First of all let’s not think of Google or Facebook as silver bullets that automatically fill our inbox with leads. The internet simply provides some interesting ways to connect your message with your target audience.
Just like with off-line advertising, you’d have to think about where your audience resides. The same is true online. If you are selling shoes, where does your target audience spend time online?”. Is it Google, Facebook, or even some other (less competitive) platform that you could use to your advantage? For example, there may be nice platforms or marketplaces that allow you to promote your business for free.
Platforms like Youtube or other video platforms can also help you connect with your audience and really convey trust. Nowadays people do a lot of research and investigation by watching videos. So where on the internet does your audience spend time and even better yet, look for solutions?
Admittedly, Google is a big one. Many people use the search giant to find solutions to their problems.
And is that not exactly what we are providing?
One of the reasons Google works so well is because search engines make it possible to assess the searcher’s intent based on what he/she is looking for.
For example, What is the intent of someone scrolling through his Instagram feed? Its hard to say right? He could be looking for something, or he might just be trying to kill some time doing a number two. However what is the Intent of someone doing a Google search for “bookkeeper in Los Angeles”? It’s very clear.
This person is very likely looking for a bookkeeper in Los Angeles. You can imagine that showing your ad right then and there can be valuable for your business. That is, if you are in fact a bookkeeper in Los Angeles.
So how do we make sure people will be able to find our product or service? Again you will have to think about you audience and select a platform. Then decide if you want to advertise, or try to engage with users “organically”.
In this article we are going to assume we are targeting an audience starting with Google Ads. For many businesses this is a good starting point 1. Because you can get results almost immediately and 2. Because it allows to target very specifically. However, the principles throughout this article can help you avoid pitfalls in whatever platform or methods you decide to use for your future online campaigns.
3. You're targeting the wrong people.
As mentioned, Google Ads can be a a nice place to start getting the word out as it allows us to handpick specific searches we want to show up for. That’s perfect. However you might still be targeting the wrong audience. How? Well Google Ads allows us to bid on practically any keyword we like. That sounds great! But as an entrepreneur we could feel like a kid in a candy store. We start bidding on all the keywords that even roughly have to do with our market. The result? A Lot of money spent and little results. Here’s why:
When not being very selective with bidding on keywords, you are going to spend money on clicks from people that are not looking exactly for the product or service you are offering. So even when these people do click on your ad, they will likely click away shortly after reaching your website.
Here is something I learned the hard way: Behind every click is a human being, and we can’t fool them to buy from us by putting an ad in front of them.
So when selecting each keyword to bid on, carefully think about user intent. Ask yourself, what is the intention of someone who would search for this exact keyword. If there is a good chance it could be something even slightly different from what you are offering, be brave and let it go. Personally I’ve had campaigns running with just one simple keyword. Relevance is key! As a side note; don’t forget to properly set the broad or exact match keyword settings in Google Ads. But we won’t get into that here.
Another thing I personally try to avoid is sugarcoating my ad copy. Sure we want to make our ads seem appealing, but when paying per click, making things look better then they truly are may not help you. Why? Again because people will click away once they find out it’s not what they were looking for. So why not be open and honest in your ad wording. Personally I even like to mention pricing upfront so that people who may not be interested will not click.
Also when doing SEO, user intent is very important to consider. Perhaps even more so. Remember that Google is in the business of providing relevant search results for each search. And they have become very good at it. So if you make sure your web page has exactly what a person is looking for. (for a specific key phrase) then that is going to help you rank organically. Of course there are a lot more SEO ranking factors, but we won’t get into that now.
Understanding the importance of user intent and relevance can also help you to avoid (dodgy) services that promise loads of traffic to our site.
There are many websites offering “clicks” or “traffic” to your website at seemingly interesting rates. Using these services could be tempting because at first sight it seems cheaper than paying for Google Ads or doing a serious SEO campaign. But here’s the problem. Again, “clicks” are not mystical little online creatures that come to your website and buy your service. No, only real people that need you to solve their problem will do that. So driving large amounts of random “traffic” or “clicks” to your website is not going to bring much results.
But, I hear some of you thinking… But what if it’s a lot of traffic! Would there not be at least some people that show interest? In my experience.. No. even if the volume is high, it’s often really the intent that counts. In addition: Some of those services might even use bots (not real people) to drive traffic to your site.
This doesn’t mean that every alternative advertising platform is dodgy or has zero value. But understanding the importance of intent can help you make better decisions on where to invest your money. For most small businesses, I’d say, only invest in methods that get your product or service in front of people that you know are truly relevant for your business.is o
4. Your website does not load fast enough.
Didn’t we almost have it all! We started with a product that solves a problem, then we were able to connect to our audience online. And now someone clicked our ad or link. A moment of pure online marketing joy! But now this person has to wait seven seconds for your website page to load… What does he do? You guessed it, he/she clicks away. Not only have we wasted money on a click (in case of advertising), but you may have missed potential revenue for your business.
Aside from users clicking away, website load speed is also considered a Google ranking factor. So why not try to make your website load in under two to three seconds. Tools that help you to measure your current load speed are.
Yes, website speed is important to consider and a relatively cheap fix.
It can be improved by:
1. Picking the right hosting company.
2. Using a good caching plugin, and setting it up properly.
3. Making the website as “light” as possible.
4. Using a CDN like cloudflare for example.
5. Bad communication on your website
Once a person lands on your (now fast loading) website, you have a few seconds to grab their interest. If it’s unclear how you solve their problem within seconds, the person may very well click away. This is both bad and good news. Because by simply changing the wording on your website you could be generating more business. It is effective and it’s cheap.
So how do you go about it? Let’s say you are editing the main heading on your landing page. (The page people land on after clicking your ad or link). Instead of using vague terms about your business, communicate very clearly in one to three sentences:
1. What their problem is.
2. How you solve it.
3. How they benefit from that.
“Online marketing can be tricky and expensive. Deepjar helps you efficiently reach your audience online.
This helps you grow your business without breaking the bank”
Allright, your turn, try it for your business. It may not be easy, but it forces you to think about what problem you are solving for your clients. Understanding that can also help you when on the phone or in a meeting with a client.
Donald Miller from Storybrand is very good at explaining the importance of communicating with clarity. His video’s were an eye opener for me.
Another thing to keep in mind is the so-called “curse of knowledge”. You know your business and market very well. But your potential clients may not understand certain terms as well as you think they do. So avoid using terms that could confuse people or have little meaning towards the intent and needs of these potential clients.
Not only do you want to provide clarity with your wording, but you also want to make sure the structure of your website seems logical and easy to navigate. If you confuse, you lose. Again a phrase used by Donald Miller. Also use a clear “call to action” to educate your website users on what to do next in their journey to solve their problem, but more on that later.
So why not have another close look at your site’s web pages (as if you were seeing them for the first time) and see what you can improve communication wise.
6. You have not generated enough trust.
Trust might be one of the most important things when doing business in general.
If someone trusts you, you probably will not have to do much “selling”. So too, if your website or other content like videos convey trust, this can help your business.
When a user is interacting with your website, you want to establish confidence that you are reliable and in fact able to solve their problem.
A few ideas that can help to convey trust.
1. Always be genuinely trustworthy, (honest, transparent and punctual etc)
2. Make sure your website has a professional design.
3. If possible, have reviews on your website or even in your ads.
4. Use images of real people of your business instead of stock photos.
5. Publish videos that show you are talking about how you solve your clients problems.
6. Display logos from your clients on your website. (with their approval)
7. Display any quality marks your business has received.
8. Offer guarantees.
Your offer could be incredible, but if people do not trust you, they probably will not buy from you. Keeping in mind the importance of trust can help you not only with online marketing, but with doing business in general.
7. Your offer is (still) not compelling enough
Website users are going to make a benefit/risk evaluation of everything combined that we discussed so far, and more.One thing that might help is to change your initial call to action. For example: You offer CRM software and your call to action is: Sign up now for $30 a month.
You have a great product and your pricing may be reasonable. However there is much competition in your market. Also let’s not forget that a website user may have landed on your website about two minutes ago. Did you convey enough value and trust within those seconds to make someone commit to a $30 dollar plan? Maybe. Maybe not.
This is why many software companies offer free trials, namely to lower the initial risk for those interested. The call to action becomes something like “Try free for 15 days”.
There is no risk involved and more users may be inclined to give it a go.
I know, offering free trials can be easy for software companies but prove to be a lot more challenging in your market. But why not get creative with your call to action and make sure it is in line with the “risk” a website visitor is willing to take at that moment.
This not only goes for monetary risk but also for the amount of effort we are asking people to exert. For example, Your call to action invites to fill out a contact form. Very well. But will someone take 5 minutes to fill out a long form where he is asked all kinds of details, after spending just a few minutes on your website? Of course this depends on your market and on how big of a problem you are solving. But changes are that at this stage we have not generated enough interest/trust for someone to apply that amount of effort. A good reason to keep your forms short and tidy!
However, what we do not want is to become too indirect with our call to actions. This can cause someone to lose interest and possibly even trust. Let’s say you are a web-designer with the call to action “Let’s have coffee!”. Sure having coffee is relatively low risk, but it doesn’t really feel like that’s what I want to do. My goal is to get a website made.
Changing your call to action is just one thing you could do to make your offer more compelling.
Another idea would be to adjust your pricing structure. This does not always mean you have to lower your prices. For example you could lower the risk by not asking 100% upfront. It really comes down to your market what would work, and what could trigger a potential client. Maybe there are additional things you could do to increase trust, value while lowering risk to make your offer more compelling. (A word of caution here. If we make an incredible offer but actually seems too good to be true, it might actually cause a loss of trust.) Why not visit your own website and make an honest assessment if what you are offering indeed feels compelling?
8. You are not learning and optimizing.
We all want to hit a homerun on our first online campaign. But it doesn’t always work that way. Let’s say you just spend € 500 on Google Advertising with zero results. That’s a bummer. But wait a minute, are you sure we really got zero results?
The statistics from your Google ads (or other ad platform) account can give you essential insights on how to move forward. For example you could find out that you are paying way too much per click and have to lower your bid. The ad’s CTR (Click through rate) can help you to get a sense of how hungry people are for your solution for any specific search term. These and many more metrics can help you improve your campaign.
In addition, using tools like Hotjar,(it’s free) allows you to record a video of each session that a user spends on your website. That’s right, you can actually watch how an (anonymous) website visitor browsed your site and what they clicked on.
These videos can really help you to understand your website users. You can almost hear them think as you see them navigating the site. After watching say 20 sessions, I’m sure you could come up with some nice improvements for your site.
Yes, making sure to use the available data to optimize your campaigns can help to better online.
9. You are not properly budgeting.
After spending a good amount of money on advertising without much results, we could feel it’s not worth it. But keeping a realistic budget can help you not to give up too soon, or too late. You may want to know:
1. The average lifetime value of a new client.
2. The advertising cost of acquiring a new client.
An example: From your Google Ads campaign you found out that for every $500 you spend, you receive 200 clicks. Those 200 clicks result in four leads on average. From those four leads, you get one new customer. So how much do we pay per acquired customer? Right, $500. I’m not yet including the time spend to onboard this client.
Let’s assume your average profit margin on the first order is also $500.
Hmm, It might feel like it’s not really worth it. Right? However the lifetime value of a
customers could be a lot more. For some businesses even five or tenfold. Then paying $500 for a client that is worth $5000 over time may not seem like a bad idea.
That all sounds great, but many of us small business owners do not have an infinite amount of money to spend on marketing even if we know it’s worth it in the long run.
Then just like we would consider other expenses when setting the price for our product or service, we may want to account for advertising cost when determining the price for our service.
With SEO you may need a bit more money upfront before seeing some results. It could be well worth it, just something to keep in mind when considering the strategy that works for you.
So think realistically about your budget and the results you are getting so you are guided by data, and not just emotions.
10. You are not following up correctly.
Wow, you made it all the way to this final point. And because you did, let’s assume you are now generating some leads in your inbox. Nice!
But even when users fill out the form and enter your inbox as a lead, there is something important to keep in mind. These people may not have already decided that they want to do business with you. Sure, this depends on your market, but it could be the case that you generated just enough interest to have them fill out a form. And not much more.
So would that be a good time to reply with a standardized email containing a bunch of additional questions for them to fill out? Again it depends on the demand in your market, but instead of assuming these people have already decided to do business with us, we could think of it as an opportunity to demonstrate further trust and value while helping the person to the best of our abilities. We could establish trust for example during a phone call, a meeting or possibly even going back and forth with email.
Keeping this final point in mind can help you or your sales team to approach these leads, that we worked so hard for, in the right way.
Thank you for making it all the way to the end of this article. Those were 10 reasons that could potentially hold your business back from doing better. Do you already have an idea which of these item(s) could help your business improve?
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful. If you did, please share it with your friends or others who could benefit from it. Also if you have any feedback, feel free to share it.
Finally, in case you’d like some help with any of the above, Deepjar can assist at a rate of $40 per hour. Just request a call back or send us a message.