If you consider your business’s website simply as a static business card on the web, irrelevant to revenue and not an element in your ‘sales pathway’ or ‘sales funnel’ then you will very likely be missing out by not optimizing the website for its role in revenue generation.
If you consider a ‘sale’ and look at it closely, you will see that it roughly follows a particular sequence of actions. You can work backwards from the completed ‘sale’, where you and the customer exchange money for goods and services, and backtrack it all the way to the beginning. By doing this you gain an understanding of what types of actions you need to be doing in order to get that final action of the sale.
Let’s work backwards.
1) Consumer gives you his cash, or inputs his credit card data
2) Consumer decides to buy your product
3) Consumer is interested/likes/wants/needs your product
4) Consumer finds your product and learns about it
You can take a look at these four points and notice that they could be summarized by:
This is a classic sales funnel; starting from awareness and ending in action (payment).
A person may become aware of something and never end up buying it, this is obvious. He has to keep being made aware of it until he is either interested or disinterested, in which case he would ignore it. Think of all those ads you see on Youtube over and over again for things you don’t want. You’ve become EXTREMELY aware of their product, but it does not interest you (or you don’t need it), so you never move further through the sales funnel. Or, if you listen to music on Spotify, and you’ve heard the same commercial 15 times in one day.
It does not take just one ‘awareness’ occurrence to take the consumer into ‘interest’ and then a buyer! That is a fallacy. This CAN happen, where you find something, and you just love it, and you buy it right then and there. However, the usual pattern is you have several encounters with something and then you finally get a bit curious about it.
How to gain awareness?
There are a few ways you can get people to the ‘awareness’ part of the sales funnel:
1) Paid ads
2) Free content, such as articles, PDFs, downloads, etc. (Found by searching or found on social media)
Content is indeed your best ambassador. It creates a far more meaningful relationship with the consumer than the ‘sell sell sell’ that a paid ad would. Content starts with value up front. However, it can be slow because you are not directing the consumer to buy, therefore paid ads still have their place by giving people who are searching for your products/services to buy them.