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Integrated websites – What are we talking about here?

If you’re not integrating your website with a CRM or automated marketing system you’re losing out!

Want your website to do more? Want to take people’s details straight into a CRM and begin talking to them without having to lift a finger? Well then you need Integrated websites.

We are going to delve into what a CRM is and how integrating your CRM with your website gives you the power to do so much more…

CRM

What is a CRM? Well firstly it stands for Customer Relationship Management. This is normally a system where you store and manage your database. From sending emails and sms’ to tracking communication and sales via pipelines to setting up reminders and notifications. This can all be done within a CRM depending on which software you choose.

How many businesses have a list of their clients either in an excel spreadsheet or their accounting software? I personally have come across too many. Having a CRM for a business is non negotiable. You have to keep track of all your prospects and clients and talk to them. If you are not talking to them how can you expect to grow your business? A CRM lets you keep all your contacts safe in the cloud so you don’t have to worry about if you lose your spreadsheet or your accounting software expires.

Marketing Automation

One step better would be having a marketing automation platform where your CRM is just one component of that.

For now just having a CRM would be a great step. Get your database into the cloud and start monitoring communication and activity. Start speaking to people on a regular basis. This is normally the easiest and cheapest way to grow your business as your best customer is a past customer!

Our favourite and recommended CRM and Marketing Automation platform is SharpSpring and the more affordable SharpSpring Mail+. We are a SharpSpring partner and can thereby not only offer you the platforms for less but offer great support and advice. Be sure to check them out and speak to us to learn more about the differences and why you need them.

What we are talking about today is integrating your CRM with your website and having the ability to do so much more.

Complete Social Media Management

Integrated websites

The first step might be something so simple but can make a world of difference.

Firstly we take all your current forms on your website and integrate them with your CRM.

This enables you to pass someones details straight from the website straight to your CRM. You are then able to send people an immediate personalised response thanking them for contacting you and send a notification to you so that you know you need to contact this person. The person contacting you now has the peace of mind knowing that you have received their enquiry and you have a record of their enquiry. No more lost leads. No more delays in  responses. Only a first class user experience.

Once that person is in your CRM or Marketing Automation platform you are then able to send them on various educational or buyer journeys you might have developed over time(based on functionality). Saving you time and ensuring your business is running 24/7 without you having to do be there!

The next step would to place tracking code on your website so that you can monitor what your visitors are doing.

Now if you have a sophisticated CRM or Marketing Automation platform, like SharpSpring, you are able to monitor what each of your contacts does on the website. Set triggers that when a contact visits a certain page you are notified so that you can strike while the lead is hot. Start wowing your customers by knowing exactly what they were looking at giving them solutions that they were looking for.

No more asking what you can help with but rather give answers to the questions they wanted to ask. An example is right now while you are reading this I am tracking your progress and if you ever contacted us I would know that you were interested in Integrated websites.

A little bit scarey? It is, but this is not new technology. This technology has been reserved for the big players but in recent years it has now become more affordable. Start understanding more about your website visitors and put measures in place to optimise conversion and create a great user experience.

eCommerce Platforms

Keep track of your online store

If you had a eCommerce store you are able to integrate your CRM and Marketing automation platform with your website to keep track of sales and also know if people abandon their cart. Know what each person is interested in and when you need to contact someone. Ensure that people abandon their carts are sent communication asking if you can assist and ask why they didn’t complete their purchase. Customise your users experience based on this and increase your conversion rates.

Conclusion

We have just touched on some of the most simple ways to integrate your website and the immediate benefits of doing so. There is still so much to do but just doing the basics can change the way your business operates. I often say to clients that if you don’t have a CRM integrated with your website then you have something that looks great but can’t do much.

If you are going through the effort of building a website then make sure you integrate it with a CRM as a starting point. You will thank me later when you do.

Life-Planner-Website

The myth that is “above the fold”

So you’ve heard the line you should have a call-to-action “above the fold” right?

In the past it was a almost a rule that you had to have what we call a call-to-action(CTA) above the fold. What if I told you that some research shows us that placing your CTA below the fold actually allows for a higher conversion rate? Got your attention now? Well how about this. What if I was to tell you that conversion rates aren’t affected by where you place your CTA? Let me tell you why…

What is above the fold firstly?

For those of you who might not know “above the fold” refers to the section of your website that you first see when a page loads. Essentially the visible part of your website when someone lands on it. Now as a rule web designers and marketers would insist that a CTA would be placed in this section for a visitor to act upon. The concept of “well you’ve got the person to your website make sure they do what you want them to do”.

In the past this Call to Action would normally be a form which someone would somehow feel the need to fill out to receive something in return. Be it a call back, a eBook or something like a free quote. This was down to solicit your details immediately without really explaining your service or product just yet. The trend these days are CTA buttons that prompt you to go to sections that apply to what you are looking for. Some websites just have impactful images that make you want to read on.

Here are a few pictures to show you what we are talking about. and the various options.

Apples version is to showcase their featured product with large impactful images.

Samsung current website has the buttons to prompt you top view or purchase their product.

Here smartsheets has a signup via email field to receive something for free in return.

Here is the traditional 50/50 split screen with a signup CTA from Evernotes website.

So where where should I place my CTA?

Marketingexperiments showcased an example where they had a 20% increase in conversion when they moved the CTA below the fold. So I should move my CTA below the fold then? No I didn’t say that! What we are doing is creating the argument that a CTA doesn’t always have to be above the fold. There are several examples where companies experimented with above and below the fold CTA which resulted in a variety of results.

So what so is the ideal place to put your CTA?

Well you won’t like the answer: It depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Now before you say that doesn’t help there’s more to that. Why I say it depends is because what research shows us is that CTA shouldn’t just be placed in certain areas, they should be placed in the right areas. These areas are where you want your visitor to take action.

Example 1:

You are a new service provider that hasn’t been established yet and want people to leave their details so you can call them and offer your services. Now what are the chances that when a visitor arrives on your site, having never heard about you, the first thing they will do is to give you their details? Not very good. So, would it not rather be a better idea to tell your audience a bit more about the service you offer and then hit them with a special offer?

I think we all know that answer! Obviously there will be exceptions but just be reasonable. Establish trust in your brand. Don’t demand it.

Example 2:

You are an established brand that sells online. You have a featured product that you want people to buy. Now most people will know about this product so when they are visiting your website they are going there for a reason. Give them the opportunity to quickly buy your product as they land. Don’t allow them to wonder your site and forget what they were there to do. Get them to make the decision, purchase then they can browse.

Again not a rule but with pre sold customers you want to keep their momentum going and force the purchase decision.

Example 3:

You have new app that nobody knows about but is free to download. So easy access to your product but you need to tell people why they need it in their lives. This is where we need strong imagery and content to back up your CTA. A few strong lines with the right images might just be enough for people to want to check out your app and act on your CTA.

Not so much establishing trust in your brand but rather intriguing people enough that they will want to act and giving them the option to do just that.

In summary

What we have learned is that it doesn’t matter where you place your CTA, but rather what motivates people to make a decision. Understand your target audience, your offering and then plan your user experience on that. Personally I will say that using buttons for shortcutting around your site to the right places is a great way of getting people to act but doesn’t always apply.

The placement of your CTA on your website has everything to do with conversion. Not just anywhere but in the “right places”. The moment you have a prospect wanting to take action your CTA better be visible! Remember though, don’t spam people with CTA’s, rather ensure they are put on a path that ensures conversion. Sometimes less is more and ensuring your users have a great experience on your website is everything.

Why do you need a website

7 reasons why you need a website

Quite a few people have been asking me whether they still need a website for their business in today’s age. Well today I am going to give you 7 reasons why you need a website for your business to succeed.

1. Credibility

In a digital age if you do not have a digital presence you don’t exist. You need a digital presence and nothing is better than a comprehensive website that showcases who you are, what you have to offer and how to contact you. As great as social media is, it will never be as great as a professionally built website. Why? Because your website is all about you and social media is all about everyone else!

I know I don’t trust a business unless they have a professional website. I also judge one business to the next by how good their website is. If I am looking for a service and I don’t know your business, am I going to trust the business that has an outdated unresponsive broken website or the one that looks modern and professional? Exactly. Websites give you credibility.

2. Gives you a platform to speak to your audience

Now some of you might jump up and say social media is the place to do this. You’re not wrong. But is my Facebook feed the place I want to be reading about your services? Not particularly. It is also highly limited in the sense that you can get lost in the noise that is social media.

Your own business website offers you a place to speak about your business as much as you want and people will only appreciate you more for it. Add a blog to your site and really start adding value to peoples lives by providing interesting and relevant information! Share this everywhere and then you really will be reaching a wide audience, one that you can hopefully convert to customers over time.

3. Lead generator

Every website should be built to fulfil a purpose. While that purpose might differ from one website to the next, producing leads in one form or another is normally the name of the game. Your website is your online brochure for all the services and products you have to offer.

Without a website it can be hard for your prospects to find you and understand what your business has to offer.

4. Increases your business’ value

If built properly and linked with the right technology your website will actually add value to your business as you now have an online presence. Link your website to a CRM and then you can start building a database that could be worth thousands if you ever decided to sell your business.

Better yet, make your website an eCommerce site and start to monetise your website and get a Return on Investment!

5. Your 24/7 salesman

No matter what superhero powers you might have, unless you have an army of salesmen you won’t be able to sell all the time everyday. Enter your 24 hours 7 days a week hero. Your website. It never sleeps and is always looking for work to do and most of the time doesn’t give you trouble.

Capturing prospects details or selling online is the name of the game and what your website was built to do.

6. Cornerstone of your digital marketing

People often tell me they don’t need a website but would rather use landing pages and social media. Great in theory but how do I find your business if I can’t remember it’s name and you don;’t want to spend money on AdWords? Creating a great website ensures long term success as over time and with the right application you can rank higher in organic results saving you money and time in trying to promote your business.

It’s also a whole lot easier to refer people to your website than a social media page as with social media people tend to get distracted…

7.  Competitive Advantage

It doesn’t matter if you are a one man band or a huge corporate. If you have a really great website that provides value to peoples lives and they can see the value in your services who are potential customers going to pick? Going digital starts to level the playing fields. No longer do you need a massive office with lots of employees to look impressive. Get an immediate competitive advantage.

A stunning modern website and a sound strategy can topple even the highest skyscrapers that might be our competitors!

So why you need a website?

Because without one you will simply struggle to compete. You will be hard to find, hard to get hold of and you will struggle to grow your brand. In today’s age you still need a modern website and if you don’t already have one you are way behind the curve.

Give yourself a competitive advantage and ensure your website is modern, up-to-date and achieves a purpose.

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