Once considered an online ‘business card,’ your Partner's website is now the #1 tool for building authority online before meeting prospects in person. Do your Partners’ websites hit the mark, provide the best user experience and give their buyers the information they want? Let’s take a look at five components of a successful Channel Partner website.
Mobile friendly matters
According to studies, we spend an average of 2.8 hours per day on mobile devices, up from 20 minutes in 2008. The increase is due in large part to popularity of smartphones and tablets coupled with multitasking. There are currently about 7.2 billion mobile devices in use and 60% of those users interact with their phones or tablets while simultaneously watching about 5-hours of television each day.
With that much time spent on mobile, Google had to make a shift to please users and earlier this year, they began factoring mobile responsivity into search ranking algorithms. If your Partners’ websites are not mobile friendly, users won’t stay and Google will push their websites down in search rankings, making it harder for prospects to find them online.
Content is a megaphone
Analysts say about 70% of the buyers journey is done online. Most of a prospect’s time is spent comparing solutions and providers and then gathering social proof of both. This is true across all products and services and makes web content serious business.
There’s no lack of competition for your Partners’ buyers. So instead of helping Partners tell prospects how great they are, have them use content to show how they solve buyer's pain points. Ask Partners to answer these questions: how does doing business with you make the buyer look better, help grow their business or save them money? The answers will help make a Partner's content the one prospects want to spend time with.
The about page is critical
Buyers are largely driven by perception and emotion making the ‘about us’ page crucial to your Partners’ success. It’s also often ranked in the top four pages on a website in terms of visits and it’s the one where Partners can safely toot their own horn. Buyers use the about page to learn more about company culture, who works there and mission and interests of the Partners’ business.
Use images. Studies show engagement rates go up when photos of people are present and this is especially true on the about page. Buyers want to see your Partners and their team in order to get a ‘feel’ of what it might be like to work with them.
Add calls to action
The website is mobile friendly, the about page is humming and the content answers all the right questions for prospects. Now what? It’s time for an ask. What would your Partners like visitors to do? Sign up for a newsletter? Request a demo? Download an e-book? Share content with others? These are calls to action and putting them in sidebars, at the end of blog posts, and on landing pages help your Partners’ prospect lists grow.
Display social icon and links
Connecting with visitors on social media platforms is one more way for Channel Partners to stay connected with buyers as they move along their journey. Social icons normally appear in the upper right section above the navigation bar or down in the footer.
Visitors won’t take extra time to hunt around for missing social links and they won’t go back to the homepage just to find them. So, negating social media links altogether or including them only on the homepage results in missed opportunities to stay connected. Tell Partners to include social icon links across all pages, it's usually an easy fix.
Websites are lead generators
No longer just a suggestion or simply a calling card, websites are a mandatory component to drive demand. Taking time to provide content, visuals, information and interactive components that shorten the buyer’s journey is key for lead generation. Following these suggestions will tune-up your Channel Partners' websites and help both your businesses grow.
Photo credit: TRIBALCAFE, darkstar MEDIA