Replicated websites for distributors have become the commodity of the back office software suite – a complete afterthought that’s simply checked off the list. Nowadays most MLM and Home Party Plan companies offer distributors basic replicated sites, and most back office vendors have a cookie-cutter solution included in their services. The industry standard for these websites limits distributors to having a photo, short introduction, contact information…and that’s it.
Here are three of the top reasons the vast majority of replicated website solutions fail:
1. Replicated Websites Lack SEO
Replicated websites almost inherently have 95% of the exact same content duplicated among each and every site, with only a very small portion of content unique to individual distributors. Search engines frown upon duplicate content, because it gives end users a bland and often times confusing experience when trying to find specific information about a local distributor. In addition, replicated sites generally have poor structure, long and convoluted URLs, and are not properly optimized for target keywords. As such, replicated websites almost never rank well in search engine results, making it next to impossible for prospects and potential customers to find distributors through searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or other top engines.
2. Low Conversion Rates
For the small amount of traffic that is driven to replicated websites, the conversion rates for visitors completing a form, sending an email, or picking up the phone are pathetically low. The reason for this is that replicated websites, by and large, are not engaging, do not have content relevant to the visitor’s immediate interests (i.e. learning more about the distributor, her products and the business opportunity), and lack clear and enticing calls-to-action for shopping or enrollment. So naturally, visitors come to these sites, spend 5-10 seconds randomly browsing the content, and then click away because their attention and interest is not immediately captured.
3. Distributors Don’t Value Replicated Sites
Beyond the lack of SEO and conversion optimization that represents the unfortunate standard for replicated websites in Direct Selling, distributors do not value their sites because they don’t allow for any real personalization or means by which to build a meaningful connection with prospects. To savvy distributors, creating their own blog and social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is a much more effective strategy for attracting an audience online, and generating leads to grow their business. As a result, the direct selling company is disconnected, thereby removing corporate oversight, control, and guidance from the company. The replicated websites for these distributors then become completely irrelevant and obsolete.
Distributors are frustrated and constrained by the status quo for replicated sites, and they’re starting to explore new outlets to network, recruit, and sell online. Direct selling companies need to wise up and recognize the reality of these changing trends, and act quickly to provide a better solution for replicated websites – before their distributors and prospects start moving aggressively to other opportunities that actually get it.