When was the last time you took time to analyze your customers and understand how they're interacting with your (or your client's) website?

For those of you who have never done this, tread carefully. It's an incredibly overwhelming world that can suck you in and never let you go. It's a wondrously nerdy world of A/B testing, funnel tweaking, persona developing, copy tweaking and revenue obsessing craziness. (Or maybe it's just me that gets obsessed about that stuff)

One of the most amazing things we do here is really understand who our client's customers are and how they buy. We have all sorts of tools that let us kick serious butt in that area so what I'd like to do is share the 10 fundamental areas that I come across the most.

Are You Making These Mistakes?

  1. Your value message isn't consistent - This is the one we see the most.Is your ad copy message consistent with your landing page? Make sure your offer is in perfect alignment with your landing page copy. Too often we'll see an ad say something like "Free Shipping in Canada", only to lead to a general product landing page that prompts the customer to pick a paid shipping option (whoops! forgot to mention what coupon they need to use).

    Are your remarketing ads really remarketing ads? If you're remarketing, consider sending your customer to a page that's specifically designed to welcome customers back to your site. Test your audience lists - if you've cookied someone who previously purchased a specific product, remarket a complementary product back to them, to a landing page that has a time sensitive promotion on it:Welcome back! We've missed you. Tell you what, since you bought from us and we love you, get an extra 5% off if you buy PRODUCT today.

  2. Poor site design - Sigh, this one's always a touchy subject. Ok, no one likes to hear that their car, house, company logo, suit or dress is ugly. But hey, all those things can be improved with a little bit of trust in someone else's advice and good old fashioned action-taking.The good news is that it's no different for a website.Your website should be your best looking, most charismatic sales person on the internet floor. Make it impress and delight any potential buyer that comes in contact with it.

    Don't put a sleepy, grumpy salesperson on your floor dressed in pyjamas. No one buys from people wearing pyjamas.

  3. Your website isn't earning the right amount of trust - Hey, I'm Billy. Can I have $500? It'll be worth it.Would you give me that $500 if I said that the first time we met? Ok maybe you would since I have that effect on people, but.... point is most people wouldn't do it.

    This principle is no different with converting your visitors into leads or sales. Don't ask for email addresses, the big sale or tell people to click anywhere without making CERTAIN that they're educated on:

    • What you're offering
    • Where you're located (especially important for local, small businesses)
    • Why you should be trusted (certifications, partnerships, testimonials)

    Make sure you have content on your site that addresses these areas. Understand that your clients are getting to know you, your brand and your business when they step foot into your website.The best salespeople at dealerships don't attack you at the front door, hand you keys and ask for $30,000. They woo you, engage you, know what you want, work with you, give great service and earn your trust before earning the sale. Do the same with your site.

  4. They don't know what the heck to do - Earn trust, but make sure you guide your customer through your site.Make sure your website tells people exactly what they need to do next. Read more information? Click to call? Phone in for a free consultation? Email for more information?

    What's the one action you want your customers to do when they enter your website? Make sure that's known.

    On the flip side, don't ask them to do 8 things at once. No one likes to be told to sign up for a newsletter, make a purchase, browse for more products AND call for a free consultation before they even have a chance to get to know you.

  5. You're looking for love from the wrong customer - Understand your ideal customer's persona.Make sure you know the different buying habits and customer types for your particular product or service. Take that a step further and write out a fictitious person that is your ideal customer.

    For example, if you're selling home renovation services then here's someone you may want to work with and shape your marketing material around. TOM: Family man who understands the importance of improving home value and comfort for his family. Works a decent job with a good chunk of disposable income available. Avid golfer. Takes care of his personal belongings.

    A few more tidbits of advice:

    Are you selling discount clothing? DO: Highlight your best selling items in season. DON'T: Put 15 paragraphs of why your company is so great on the homepage.Are you offering third party logistics to Fortune 500 companies? DO: Show credentials, highlight profit growing tactics & lean tactics. DON'T: Have a website built in the 90s.

  6. You're looking for love on the first date - Understand your buying cycle and make sure you deliver the right message at the right stage of that cycle.This is a bit of a spinoff of point #3. For example, if you have a customer that's given you their email address in return for a PDF on App Development then don't send them messages about company growth, general announcements or press releases. Send them a strategic set of emails all based on questions clients ask during the sales process. Give big time value. Then put yourself out there for a free consultation.

    Think about what messages you're sending to website visitors, and whether you're doing enough to earn their trust or educate them before asking for the sale.Gary Vaynerchuk said it well: "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook."

  7. You're looking for love at the wrong time - You know what they say; Time is money. So, put other's money where your time is.This applies especially to paid digital advertising campaigns. Does the time of the day when your campaigns run compare with when your customers are actually converting and/or buying? Almost all of the (worthwhile) ad networks allow for proper time targeting, so make sure to speak to your clients and/or digital marketing agency about this.
  8. You're looking for love in the wrong place - Location, location, location. Yes, it applies to digital marketing too. Make sure that you're advertising on the appropriate platforms that house your target persona (remember point #5?). Understand where your clients are researching your product/service, and make sure you're present.For example, automotive discussion forums are a great advertising venue if you're selling car parts. If you're a travel agent selling luxury vacations, consider targeting business owners and high level executives on LinkedIn. Be smart and diligent about where you're putting your brand and/or clients' presence.Don't chase the crowd of customers, just stand in front of where they're going.

So, there you have it. Some simple tidbits that you may or may not know already. Print them out, stick them on your desk, and make sure any of these pain points are touched on in the next conference call.