Can one thing really transform your website marketing? Yes it can.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as writing better ads, buying more clicks or changing the colour of your website.
But it helps if you redefine your opinion of the “job” that Google does for your prospect.

To do that, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes for a moment. Now think of the last time you made a decision without having any alternatives to choose from. It was probably a long time ago, if at all. It is a challenge to know you are making the right choice when there are no wrong choices available.

That’s how it is for your prospects who arrive via Google. When they have only one option, Google doesn’t feature. They go to Google looking for options, plural, not an option.

But they don’t want dozens of options – research has shown that too many options can make forming a decision nearly impossible. I’m going to guess (ie, I have no scientific proof – the number just “feels” right) that they look for around five.

Their task, then, is to whittle this list down to a small group they think are worth their most precious of resources – time. And the focus is on whittling down, rather than keeping on.

And this, my friend, is where the “one thing” lives that ensures your business remains on your prospect’s list.

Is it your many years of experience fixing their kind of problems? Or the speed at which your vans arrive. Or the cost of your solution? Or the technology you provide that your competitors can’t?

Remember Marketing 101 and your Unique Selling Proposition? I know it’s basic stuff, and we are all a lot smarter than that now, but in the rush to establish a successful business did you perhaps overlook this when creating your website’s content?

I believe all successful business are that way because they have a USP – whether the business owners understand what it is or not. So the conversation may go like this.

“Ok Jane, I can see that your business has grown like topsy over the last 10 years and has an impressive list of clients. So tell me, what makes your Accountancy Practice so different from others in the Auckland region?”

Jane then goes on to list five significant areas that make her stand out from her competitors in a way that is relevant to her prospects.

I then get out my laptop and load up her website’s home page in my browser. This is the page over 80% of her visitors see first. And we start looking for each of the five points she mentioned being highlighted on the home page. And they’re not. (Or not much.)

That’s why Jane’s home page bounce rate is so high and her conversion rates so low. It’s also why her existing online marketing support hasn’t been able to solve the problem over the last six months.

Owning a strong USP can be a magical thing in transforming your online marketing.

I have found myself willing to struggle through more than one poorly designed website with atrocious graphics that load at a snail’s pace all because the website told me this business delivered EXACTLY what I was looking for.

But present a website that tells me you offer the same as everyone else on my list and I don’t care how appealing your site looks – I’ll find a reason to bumped you off. And it won’t have to be a big reason. It might be how fast your website loads, or images I don’t love, or difficulty in reading your content on a mobile device. Dumb things that cause you to lose business because there is nothing else to engage prospects’ attention.

Now I realise that competitive markets are competitive because the USP’s that survive in them are subtle and transient. So creating this “one thing” will be more challenging for some than others. Nevertheless, time spent here will be well rewarded in your online marketing efforts.

For instance, your USP-driven ad copy will push your PPC click through rates up – improving your quality score, which will lower your per-click cost. Landing pages written with your USP in mind can raise your conversion rates, lower your cost per lead. Benefits can also flow into your email marketing and social media.

So why not take some time this week to get back to Marketing 101 and list the points that define your USP, then see how good a job your landing pages are doing at explaining them?