Is Your Lazy Oil and Gas Website Costing You Money?
7 Reasons Why You Need a Website Audit Now
If you aren’t profiting with prolific leads from your online presence, you may have a lazy website. Here’s how to make your website work as hard as you do.
Every business website needs key elements:
- to do its job with the search engines and
- to do its job with its readers
- to actively convert web visitors to clients or prospects
A website that isn’t doing this conversion is accomplishing nothing.
Like a shoebox of papers and pictures.
Your website should bring you responses, opportunities, contacts, and connections. It’s your star salesman and its territory is the world … that is, the world wide web. Every sentence on every page should have a dynamic purpose to draw, attract, captivate, and compel.
Let’s talk about some reasons why this might not be happening.
I. Weak headlines and page titles
A fisherman that sits in his deck chair on the pier watching the water isn’t going to catch any fish unless he actually puts his line in the water.
Headlines and page titles that lack key words, or reader-focused, reader-benefit-oriented messages, are no more than simple labels for pages rather than bait to draw in readers. Each element of your website should be actively drawing interest.
Whether it’s drawing interest from the search engines for high ranking, or from those using the search engines to find information, or from your readers and prospects, there should be a constant energy at work in your website to attract.
With the use of best practice search engine optimization and diligent maintenance, your website can be in the top three pages of the search results, and hopefully on number one. This is vital for your readers and prospects to find you.
Once they’ve found you, the content on your site needs to be focused directly on them. To attract, to interest, to captivate and draw them in. And that leads us to the second reason your site may need to be audited.
II. Confusing navigation
If your website is confusing to navigate, with too many menus in obscure locations or counter-intuitive organization, your reader will spend too much time trying to find his way around … and give up.
Statistics say your site has somewhere between 1-5 seconds to engage your reader before he loses interest or gives up in frustration and clicks away to search another website. To prevent this, it’s important that you build your website with a very direct and clean navigation approach.
Make sure the Home page is visually appealing and draws the interest of the visitor immediately, grabs his interest with potent headlines that are directed around his needs and interests, and engages him in the content by whetting his appetite to learn more.
Provide an easily identified “About Us” page that tells who you are, your experience and credentials, and why you do what you do.
Create a Services page that’s focused on your prospect’s needs, and what you can do for him. A simple of list of services is only one step of this task. Remember, your prospect is asking himself, “what’s in this for me??” Show him.
Create an order in your navigation menu that’s intuitive. Your “Contact Us” page link should be at the far right or the bottom of your menu. This is where the average reader will look for it, so make it easy to find.
Your Home page intuitively is expected on the far left or at the top. Getting too creative with your navigation can cost you revenue.
Also, include a link to the contact information page on every page of your website. And label the Home page so visitors can find their way back.
Use an appealing design that’s instantly captivating. With pictures, headlines, and subheads, make it easy for busy professionals to quickly scan through your site to find what they need.
III. Vague, dry content that loses the reader’s interest
You may need investors, buyers, or clients… but if they can’t understand your website they may find another company to do business with … not exactly what you want, right? To get leads from viable prospects, you’ll need to pull them into your website with an appealing design and captivating reader-benefit-oriented headlines.
Once they stop to look, be sure they know what you’re about. They’re first questions will be, “Where am I?” “Why am I here?”
Provide an ‘at-a-glance’ answer… not something to fill the Home page. If Mason’s Rig Erector is in the header at the top of the page, with a tagline “We set it up and tear it down” …. it’s pretty clear where I am and why I’m here.
On the other hand, if the header has a business name like, “JCT, Inc” and nothing but a phone number in the header… what do I know about where I am and what they can do for me? A visitor to your website should not have to click through several pages to find out what you do. If he does, he just may click away to another site that tells him right off the bat.
Give them clear information about how you can give them what they need, how you can do it better than the next guy, why you are doing it, and who you do it for. Then, when they are ready to learn more, they should be able to look at your menu and easily navigate to the next page that has more about what they want to know.
Use the language of “every man.” Your most desired prospect may not have a PhD in physics or geology or petroleum engineering. Leave the highly technical language for the highly technical papers.
Use the language on your Home page that you’d use to talk to the guy next to you in a bar, or at dinner. Just talk. Engage him. Interest him. Show that you’re listening.
Again, if they want to learn who you are, and can’t find the “About Us” page, they may leave your website altogether. If they want to contact you and can’t find a way to do it, again, you’ve lost them when you almost had them. Keep your menu clear and easy to navigate.
If you’d like them to sign up for a newsletter or email you for information, or request an information packet, make absolutely sure there is a way to do that on every page. Keep the pages uncluttered, easy to follow, and make it effortless to contact you in the way you want to be contacted.
IV. It’s all about you.
When a visitor lands on your website, the question foremost in his mind is, “What’s in this for me?” From the third grader doing a book report to the billionaire in Europe looking for investments, he’s not on the internet for his health.
He’s there to find what’s in it for him. He wants what he wants. Your job is to figure out what he wants and present it to him in a way he receives as the answer to his needs.
For this reason, don’t fill your Home page with all sorts of pompous declarations of your accomplishments. Reach out to him. Show that you get his need and you’re fully equipped to help him resolve it. Get his interest first.
As a supplier in this industry, you know the needs of your prospects. Show them you do on your Home page. Say things they can relate to about their challenges. Then show them you have the solutions to resolve their problems.
Your website’s home page is the front door to your business. Are they going to come in, or keep walking? Make it inviting, show them ways to connect with you. Start the relationship right there.
V. Wasteful words like “welcome” filling the prime spots
The headline areas and page title areas of your website are prime real estate in cyber world. Use that space to its best and most profitable advantage.
While such greetings as “Hi” or “Welcome” sound friendly, they do nothing to show your reader that he’s found the right spot, that there are solutions to his problems to be found here, and that continuing to read will be profitable for him.
Remember, you have 1-5 seconds to capture his interest before he clicks away. Time yourself. How long does it take you to say the word “Welcome” … ? Probably about 2 seconds.
You’ve already lost him.
Instead, use a reader-benefit-oriented tagline in the top of your site where his eye lands first… then at the top of the content area, use a powerful reader-benefit-oriented headline. GRAB his interest…snare him right there – BAM!
Then, as he jumps into the content to find out what the headline is about, snare him again. And again. And again. Keep him reading from sentence to sentence to sentence until he’s completely engaged in who you are and what you’re doing to help him resolve his most troubling problems.
Take him from page to page, linking him from problem to solution, until he is so convinced that you’re the supplier of his solution, he finds the Contact page and clicks to send that email or dials the phone to talk to you.
Never waste a moment on tepid or anemic words like welcome…. Always snag your reader’s interest in a split second then never let go!
VI. Endless blocks of technical, dense paragraphs and words that are five blocks long.
Admit it. You love the jargon and the technical complexity of this industry. But I have news for you. Not everyone in your industry is as savvy as you are. Showing your knowledge is not making you any more popular.
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t say it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Ouch. Stings a bit, doesn’t it?
Of course you use your technical jargon to communicate with each other, but don’t plaster that language all over the front door of your website! You just could run off some of the very people you want to talk to.
Your Home page is your front door and foyer. It’s the place you welcome visitors, listen to them…show them you’re interested in their concerns. Find them a comfortable place to sit, get them a cup of coffee. Save the intense stuff for later in the website. Use your Home page to get them engaged.
Next, never write anything with paragraphs of more than four lines. Not sentences… Lines. Believe it or not, there are lots of very intelligent people in this world who read more comfortably when there is plenty of white space on a page. So give it to them.
Four lines and a space.
Two lines and a space.
Give them moments of rest as they read your content. Just as you would give your guest moments of silence to think about what you’ve said, and then speak themselves, give moments of rest on each page.
Remember, you don’t ever want to frustrate or overwhelm your website visitor. The more comfortable he is, the longer he’ll stay. The more interested he is, the farther he’ll read.
The farther he reads, the more likely he’ll opt-in to your plan and become your client, partner, customer.
VII. Poorly written meta data
The meta data, and especially the title element, need to be written for both the search engines and for human readers. Especially those looking for websites like yours. Technical people can build a great website but may not realize that the title element isn’t the label for the page.
“About Us” is not a title element. It says nothing to the search engines and nothing to someone searching on the search results page. On the other hand, take a look at this title and see if you can see the difference.
“70 years means confidence for your project success – Mason Rig Erectors.” or written as the title element:
<title>70 years means confidence for your project success – Mason Rig Erectors</title>
In this case, we have the business name: Mason Rig Erectors
We have key words: rig erectors
And we have a reader benefit: confidence.
To attract search engines and human readers, meta data need the business name or brand, key phrases, and reader benefits.
The vast majority of websites lack these important elements for success in their meta data.
While there are more elements that should be included in your site, these are seven of the most important.
Your website should be your most productive employee, your star salesman. If it’s not performing at its potential, consider a website audit and bring it up to speed. Get it working as hard as you do.
Like to discuss this further?
Email me. I’m here to help.
Oil Patch Copywriter – OilPatchCopywriter.com – Dallas – Houston – Alberta – email@example.com – Contact Us