Whilst the majority of businesses are now fully on-board with the idea of having a website, they still struggle with making websites work hard enough for them. They are sticking with the literal interpretation of ‘web page’ – a page of a brochure designed for the web. A ‘brochure’ won’t get you the sales you need to grow, however. Why? Here are the 4 reasons your online brochure website could be selling you short.
What is a ‘brochure’ website?
Online brochure websites typically have very few pages. They are literally the online equivalents of a sales brochure – sales-y and targeted at those who want to buy. They also tend not to change very often and they are usually a direct reproduction of a physical brochure. Many companies think of them as a way to cut the costs of producing and printing a brochure and the resulting website provides a very poor user experience.
Reason 1 – Brochure websites are narcissistic
Brochures are typically used in sales once you have already met with a sales professional – they are for those who are already interested in your offering and have been ‘warmed up’. Brochures therefore tend to talk rather a lot about your company, who you are and the services you provide. Ultimately, clients care little about how long you have been established and the history of your company when it has little bearing on their experience with your brand and the service they receive. Your clients are more interested in the benefits of what they’re receiving – as a wise American economist once said – “they don’t want quarter-inch drill bits, they want quarter-inch holes!”.
Reason 2 – Brochure websites only cater for those already ‘in-the-know’
As Brochures tend to be handed over as part of a face-to-face meeting, they are catering for people who already understand quite a bit about a company and what they offer. Brochures are focused at people already some way into the buying journey, whereas websites focused on lead generation are designed for people who have just started looking at their options and defining their problem. Good design for a lead generation website relies on understanding the customer and providing for the 99% of people who are not yet ready to buy.
Reason 3 – Brochure websites have a high bounce rate and a low returning visitor rate
Websites created from brochures tend to lack the kind of useful information that today’s demanding clients require and, since they have very few pages, the time a client might spend on sites like this is very low. Since they lack the dynamic features and regular updates, clients tend to leave very quickly (bouncing away from the the site), making for a high bounce rate. Users are unlikely to return to sites that don’t update their information and will therefore spend more time searching for alternatives, potentially landing on your competitors’ site.
Reason 4 – Brochure websites aren’t search engine optimised
Search engines love websites that are updated on a regular basis – the more content the better! Brochure websites are generally crawled once and rarely feature highly in search rankings because they are considered as stale and irrelevant for website users who want helpful content. Most brochure websites will receive very low hit rates and will fail to generate the number of leads you need for healthy business growth.
If you want to know more about what you should do to generate leads through your website, take a look through my lead generation handbook in the Resources section, which provides detailed advice and information about improving your lead generation results.