Attracting More Visitors To Your Site


Table Of Contents


Meet Andy: The Website Wizard

Not all sites are the same! Of course, some may look better or perform better. Some may be more exciting. Some may lead to more visitors or conversions.

Now, of course, we all want a website that looks awesome—who wouldn't? But, if you're an agency or brand owner, you're probably more concerned with the latter two. So, we sat down with an expert to get the details. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares how to attract more visitors to your site from the expertise of Andy Crestodina who is the Co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media.

EP289  Attracting More Visitors To Your Site  Andy Crestodina

A Little More About Andy

Andy Crestodina is the Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Orbit Media, an award-winning digital agency in Chicago. Over the past 20 years, Andy has provided digital marketing advice to over a thousand businesses and spoken at many of the top national marketing conferences around the globe, including Content Marketing World and Marketing Props B2B Forum. He is a frequent contributor of a number of highly recognized marketing blogs, having written over 500 articles on topics such as search engine optimization analysis and visitor psychology. He's also the author of Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.

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Interview Transcript Highlights

Question: What I'd love to do is start off by diving into what got you here today. What progressed your career where you ended up as the founder of an agency?

Answer: Okay. Late nineties. IT recruiter. Great time to be an IT recruiter, right? Tech bubbles getting bigger, Y2K, lots of demand for lots of programmers. Boring. Very bored because I didn't get to make anything. It wasn't creative. You can't really point at something and say, "I did that," as a recruiter. So I had personal projects I was doing at night with a friend, actually my roommate from college and my friend from high school...He and I were doing interactive comic books and CD ROM stuff...This was in the era of flash... I'm obviously Gen X.

It was fun. It was really fun. Interactive comics—super fun. And in fact, we incorporated as Orbit Media Studios at that time—it bombed. Yeah, not a good business model. No problem at all, because we just... Well, he was already doing websites, but I just began to apply some of those things that I'd learned on the digital production side and started building websites with him. And April of 2001, formed his Orbit Media. It's one of those two person web design companies, there are still so many of today. And then just kept going, Stacy. Never pivoted. Added team members, kept taking off hats, kept delegating, kept growing, got good at marketing, got good at lead generation, got good at servicing clients, and setting expectations, and quoting, and delivering without over promising. And so today, this is it. There's 48 of us. We still are web design and development company, we're still totally focused on that one deliverable. And we love it....

Question: So you do all things digital marketing with a very big focus on a website design, and that's been your specialty, your niche. In your sleep, you can design unbelievable websites at this point, I am sure. What are some of the first things that you do in working with a new client to dial in on what they need?

Answer: Two key inputs for web design are lots of interviews, with the end users of the websites and potential prospects, top sales reps, important stakeholders, to understand what are the information needs of these visitors. What do people need to know before they'll buy, before they'll become a lead? What objections need to be addressed? What are our strongest proof points to support the assertions we're making so our websites aren't just big piles of unsupported marketing claims?

The other input is to audit the current site to see if it's performing for something already. We build sites for mid-market companies, some of which have high rankings and good keyboard performance. So aside, that fails to preserve the organic traffic from search, just has instant negative ROI and in some cases, the brand would've been better without redesigning their website. Websites that fail to do good, I call it data-driven empathy, and research, and interviews with potential prospects, tend not to have high conversion rates. They don't turn visitors into leads, and so, those sites fail because there's an information gap and they don't really build confidence,, and clarity with the visitor. So those are the two most important starting points for web design, stakeholder interviews, and keyword research.

Question: How [do you get people to get over] themselves and willing to actually do these deep dives that they don't necessarily see as essential and they're like, "Oh, there's a dime, a dozen website designers out there. I can go to Fiverr and get someone. What's this hokey that he's telling us?"?

Answer: Yeah. I mean, if for those people, I would encourage them to just go to Fiverr and forget about what I'm saying because...that's not really what the game is about. But if your goal is to simply have a new website, you can get a new website for a very low cost...even free.

So people who say like, "Oh, I can't believe a website would cost very much money. I can build a website right now with one hand while drinking a beer." I have built a website with one hand while drinking a beer, it wasn't a website anyone will ever visit or has much reason to exist. So what is the magic that causes websites to win in those two regards, cheese and mouse trap, as in they attract visitors and they convince visitors to take action. The game is really about how the design and the content marry each other, how they work together to create a visual hierarchy that guides the visitor's eyes through a series of prioritized messages during which they get their questions answered and they see evidence to support those answers. That's visitor psychology.

That's why we all take action and convert, or don't, on any website is whether or not it ranked for the phrase we searched for. And when the person was there, they got trust and excitement, and they got comfortable and clear on what this company does just enough so that they click that little, visually compelling, super specific call to action and fill out the contact form, that is a bit of magic. And to do it well takes six experts, 400 hours of work, I'm not even kidding. It's not a simple thing.

And then how does all of this figure in, because there's a big difference between developing a website for a general consumer push versus a B2B push?

Answer: Well, B2B offers tend to be more high consideration, so the visitor needs more information. There might be more than one decision-maker. There might be taking several weeks or months to decide who to hire, sometimes longer. Web design is one of those things, it's a high consideration decision.

So that's a consultative sales process, there it's more important to put answers to sales questions onto web pages and it's the stuff where trust is ever more important. A more B2C thing, it tends to be more transactional where the person just has to see enough. They're acting more quickly. They're not as afraid of making a mistake, that's a big, big thing you have to do on web copy is to overcome the person's fears. Why wouldn't this company hire us? You're not ready to write a website, and we should probably use that term instead of design, you're not ready to write a website until you know why someone wouldn't hire you. And if you haven't addressed that, good luck, your conversion rates from visitor into lead will likely be low.

Yeah. So if it's a transactional thing, it's low considerations, see some reviews, add to cart, you're good. If it's a consultative thing, high consideration, long sales cycle, multiple decision-makers, then you need to really go deeper into things like case studies, testimonials, thought leadership content, original research, carefully managed visual hierarchy, maybe some lead magnets, try to get the person to stay in your middle of your funnel for longer. It's a very different, much longer game, way more fun, way more fun, I think.

Question: What are some of the mistakes that happen along the way?

Answer: Well, a lot of people have website navigation labels that sound like this, "Products or services, solutions, blog, about, contact." Why would you do that?...So try to answer this question, why not be specific? Why not be descriptive in our navigation labels? Why not tell the search engine and the visitor what this company does in a split second glance? Just do that. Just do that. That's an easy one.

Check Out The Podcast!

Andy has so much great information from his experience building websites. Check out the podcast below to learn more about attracting more visitors to your site!

Every week we have a marketing professional on our show to share their tips, tricks and lessons learned from their professional experience. Check out some of our other podcast blogs from earlier this year: 

Every week we release a new podcast featuring guest's with so much knowledge about marketing, you don't want to miss one!  How can you make sure you don't miss an episode? Click below to subscribe!

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