One of the biggest reasons my first site failed was because I wrote too much content on it, making it more of an AdSense / spamsense model than a consulting website. But as far as conversions go, a site like Clientside SEM will blow my old Search Marketing website out of the water every time. When selling certain services or products filtering and qualifying leads are just as important as generating leads. What good are a million leads if you can only work on one or two a month? But you usually have to build up quite a bit of brand equity to be lucky enough to be able to be so selective with clients.
Many businesses still end up running far less efficiently than they can because they have websites that do not answer common questions. How is your product different than the competition? How much is shipping? How long will it take for me to get my product? Why should I trust you with my credit card details? Each of these pieces of uncertainty act as holes which tax your business:
- by causing people to trust and value your products and services less
- by causing fewer people to respond to your offers
- by requiring more one on one customer interaction when smart site architecture and clear messaging would have worked
Based on this site you probably wouldn't expect me to be a fan of auto-responders and email marketing, but anything that can be fairly automated and helps you drive the sales funnel is a plus. I haven't done much with those on this site yet (other than sending ebook updates), but for many sites having a quick and easy automated way to interact and build trust more than pays for itself by saving time and allowing you to charge a greater premium for your products and services.
One of the advantages to being small and having few customers is that you can pay so much attention to each one, be so close to each one, and use that interaction to streamline your sales stream. The lack of leads can be viewed as a reason to be nervous, but that isn't going to help you as much as if you are receptive to leads and keep using the feedback to convert better each time.
I used to read a ton of books, but the rate which I read has went way down because I am constantly drowning in a sea of emails, customer inquiries, and other opportunities. If you are uncertain what to do there are always more things that we can be learning, and if you are close to customers use that to make your business as efficient as possible so you can be efficient and scale it out once you start getting more exposure.
Also, so long as you are profitable and know you are making changes to streamline your business you probably shouldn't worry if editing a page is going to hurt your SEO (unless you are doing things like changing your content management system or going to introduce big problems like duplicate content issues). Even if you take a short term hit in traffic the traffic will eventually come back if you are delivering more value to site visitors. When you get more efficient that gives you more time and/or capital to put into improving customer relationships / delivering greater value / marketing and brand building.
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