Many companies under-utilize their website, and life science companies are no exception. There is often a lot of marketing going on, and that’s good, but most websites seem to stop there. While good online marketing will indeed reflect well on your products / services and make customers more likely to buy, companies often fail to think about how their website can take that one step further and leverage it fully to dramatically improve lead or sale generation. In order to do this, however, you need to know how visitors are using your site and analyze why they use it like they do.
Important TipMake friends with Google Analytics. It’s free, it’s fairly easy to set up (it just requires adding a small amount of HTML to each page on your site) and for basic analysis it’s quite easy to use as well. Google Analytics will tell you how visitors to your site are getting there, what keywords they are using when finding your site via search, what pages they are looking at, etc. Put together, this is powerful information.
Chances are that some users will enter your site via virtually every page. You should, however, be able to determine what pages users enter your site from most often. Are these the pages that you’d want them to be entering your site from? If not, you may want to rearrange some content or add / change the content of the pages to make them pages you would want visitors entering from. There are other techniques for influencing what page users enter from as well. Just don’t expect all users to enter your site via your homepage – it’s never going to happen. The majority probably will, but that’s as good as you’re going to do.
Imagine you are a salesperson. You have all sorts of pitches and responses to customer inquiries and concerns. As you stand in front of a scientist, lab manager, etc., you can alter your responses to their statements in real-time. You can have a dynamic conversation. On your website, you don’t get that luxury but you still want to make the sale or get the lead. Your website, in effect, is the salesperson that talks to the most customers so make it behave as such. Since your website cannot have that fully dynamic conversation you therefore have to anticipate what the viewer is going to want to know or do after viewing a certain page and make sure that they have access to the desired information (or action) from that page.
Along those lines, you do not want any page to be a dead-end. If you get to a page where there are no good options to continue looking for more information or enter the quote / sale process, you probably found a page that a lot of viewers are exiting your website from. Even at the end of the sale or lead generation process, lead users back to the homepage to continue browsing your products / services.
Side Note from BioBM Principal Consultant Carlton HoytA tactic that I’ve seen work wonderfully in the past have been free samples of consumable products or demonstration requests of equipment. These tactics significantly reduce the barriers to getting your product in front of the customer. There are both pros and cons to this strategy, however. We’ll discuss this in more detail at a later time, so be sure to check back, or contact us if you would like to discuss it in greater depth now.
Another web faux pas is not having a way to complete the sale or lead generation process online. There are situations where companies have a reason for not implementing an e-commerce platform (for example, they do not sell directly to scientists) but there is never a reason not to at minimum capture lead information on your website. Some people will find filling out an online request for more information or performing an online purchase easier or simply preferable to calling to inquire about a product or faxing / calling in an order. You want potential customers to progress with the lead / sale process in the way they find easiest. Taking into account the preference of your customers by utilizing these relatively easy measures helps lower the barriers to purchasing and therefore increases conversion and helps you derive more value from your website.
Having a well-designed website is about more than just the look and feel. A well-designed website will ensure that maximum value is captured from your website. It is often not possible to know how to optimize this value upon the initial design of your site, but by monitoring and analyzing your site’s analytics you can determine how to best lead take your audience of scientists and researchers from site to sale.