The Role of the Website in an Increasingly Digital World

GUEST: Ray van Hilst, Director of Client Results at Yoko Consulting


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Everybody’s got one. Maybe you spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on yours. Or maybe your son built it for free.

Whatever the case, one thing has become abundantly clear, especially in this COVID-19 pandemic when the majority of all business is digital.

Your website is more important now than ever before.

But how should you view your site? What is it for? Is it just there to give information? Is it there to connect your potential customers? Can they get the answers they need from your site?

On this episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we sit down with Ray van Hilst, Director of Client Results at Yoko Consulting to talk all about lead generation, branding, and the focus of this post, expanded web presence in a world that is more digital than ever before.

The website has always been a constant source of conversation between sales and marketing, and nobody can quite agree on what the purpose of it is. Is it to attract customers? Or is it to market your product?

Websites: We’ve All Got ‘Em

Far too many businesses look at their website as a brochure. As a thing you need to have to say that you’re a real company.”

RAY VAN HILST at Yoko Consulting

Pretty much every business has a website. And some even have really good looking websites to make you think that they’re an even better business than their competitors.

And while there are some traffic trends that are down, engagement on websites across the board is WAY up in the past few months. Everybody’s at home, and everybody needs their problems solved.

If you’re not utilizing your website to its fullest potential, you’re missing the boat.

Your website is the first salesperson your customers will see. It’s your BDR that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, never gets sick, and never needs a vacation day. It’s your workhorse, so put it to work.

When thinking about your website, it makes sense to approach it from 3 different angles.

The Buyer’s Journey

At Yoko, they actually categorize the buyer journey into 5 stages of what they call the “conversation spectrum.”

  1. Oblivious
    These visitors usually arrive from a google search. They aren’t sure about your company. They just know that they have a problem and don’t know how to solve it, so they’re on the hunt for someone to help.
  2. Curious
    At the curious stage, they’re at least interested enough in your company to think to themselves, “there could be a solution here.” They’re not sold, they’re not even sure they’re interested, but they’re open.
  3. Intrigued
    If they make it this far, this is where they’ll usually ask the question “How does this work? Tell me more.”
    This is your chance to make your pitch. Put your sales team to work and let them know how YOU are uniquely set up to solve their problem.
  4. Invested
    They’re almost ready. They just need to know why they should buy from you. And if you can give them a good enough reason, you’ll get them to the final stage.
  5. Converted
    They’ve bought, they’re a customer, and now you’ve got a relationship with them. Now you’ve got the monumental task ahead of you of actually keeping them as a customer.

The Buyer’s Desire for Information

Every buyer who comes to your company is at a different phase in the journey, and as such, has a different desire for information.

Imagine that your dryer at home is broken.

So you unplug it, fire up YouTube, and decide that you’re going to teach yourself how to fix it. You find good videos, get the tools that you need, and set off on your journey. You’re early in the process.

But after about 30 minutes, you’ve banged your knuckles enough times that you decide that it’s just not worth it, and you would be better off just calling someone.

“I’m sure we’ve all had this experience of like, ‘Oh, I can fix this. I’m handy. I have tools. I’m going to watch a few videos. I’m going to pull the whole thing apart and in half an hour, I’m going to bang my knuckles and say ‘F it I’m calling someone to fix it.’”

RAY VAN HILST at Yoko Consulting

Those are two very different stages in the information journey.

In phase one, you need someone to tell you, “This is how you do the thing. Watch me while I show you.”

In phase two, you’ve jumped in and decided to let someone else come in and do the job for you. And the repair person will know where you are in the journey when they arrive.

Any decent marketing tool, whether it’s Hubspot, Marketo, or one of the others, will tell you where the buyer is on their journey.

It helps the first conversation be more authentic because you understand the buyer’s pain points, where they’ve been, and what information they already have. Maybe they came ready to solve a problem and you can just jump right in.

What About SEO?

Should you design your site for Google first? Since that’s the search engine that is more prominent?

Ray and his team at Yoko do things differently.

“I design for the people first and make sure that that’s real. And then go back and say, ‘what is Google doing? How are things looking?’ Maybe we move some things around, because the reality is, all of Google’s changes in their algorithms are geared towards making Google act more like a human.

So if you engineer for what Google is doing today and they change the algorithm in two months, you’re going to have to go back and do that again.”

Until next time!

This post is based on a podcast interview with Ray van Hilst from Yoko Consulting.

Subscribe to hear this episode and many more like it. For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.