If you’re new to digital marketing, you’ve probably asked, “What’s the difference between a website and a sales funnel created with ClickFunnels? What are sales funnels anyway, aren’t they the same as websites?”
It’s a little tricky to answer this question without resorting to jargon. After all, “sales funnel” itself is a technical term, and probably one that you’ve encountered a lot online.
As I go through Russell Brunson’s methods in Expert Secrets, I agree that techno-babble is something I should refrain from using as much as possible. So then, how can I define “sales funnel” or even a “website” for that matter, in a way that’s easy to understand?
What Is A Website?
A website is made up of five to twenty or more online pages of content, including the about us page, contact information, a list of services or products, and sometimes a blog that’s updated regularly.
To use an analogy: Visitors to a website usually see the home page first, which is comparable to a multilane highway. Meanwhile, the different pages on a website correspond to highway entrance and exit ramps.
The visitors, also referred to as website traffic, move from the homepage to various one ramps, similar to cars exiting the highway. Some take the off ramps to visit the about page, others browse through the product catalog, while the rest prefer reading blog posts. Unfortunately, some visitors fail to find what they’re seeking and never return to a website.
To extend the analogy further, website traffic can go both ways: in and out. These pages can also serve as on-ramps for traffic as people discover the site’s blog or products on search engines. This prompts them to actually go to the website for details.
This is why it pays to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). With proper optimization, your website has high rankings (and visibility) on Google and other search engines. By paying attention to SEO, you demonstrate to your visitors that you’re serious about having a strong digital presence.
All e-commerce websites have the ultimate goal of generating leads and converting them to paying customers, either by promoting online transactions or encouraging visitors to buy from the company’s brick and mortar stores.
The downside is that a lot of websites offer too many choices and too little direction. As a result, visitors get confused by all the pages and find it difficult to navigate the website’s highway. If you’ve ever driven on a major road with a major intersection and no clear signages, you know what I mean.
It’s possible to make your homepage and entire website user-friendly and intuitive, but it requires continuous improvement for positive results. You also need to invest a lot of effort, time, and funds to make this happen.
How Can A Sales Funnel Help?
Let’s continue with the highway analogy. While a website is a multilane freeway, a sales funnel is more akin to a one-way road. Everything is designed to guide website traffic toward a single direction: getting a sale.
To do this, a sales funnel minimizes distractions like outgoing links or share buttons for social media. Each page of the sales funnel highlights what the company has to offer and prompts the visitor to buy it… or leave.
Key Difference 1: This focus is what differentiates a sales funnel from a traditional website. It minimizes distractions, and each page of the sales funnel highlights what the company has to offer and prompts the visitor to take action… or leave. The best part: sales funnels are proven to result in higher sales conversions.
What Are The Different Kinds of Website Traffic?
To help us better understand the difference between a sales funnel and a website, let’s now take a look at the two categories of website traffic:
This type of traffic refers to visitors who are actively looking for certain information using search engines. They would type in certain keywords or phrases, then click on the results that come up. Hopefully, your website is optimized enough that it appears in the first few pages of results. Otherwise, people won’t be able to find your business online.
This kind of visitors is also referred to as organic traffic, and they are often the result of SEO or search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns. Websites often have the qualities that search engines look for: relevant, rich, and practical content.
With this in mind, does your website let you produce content that would rank highly on various search engines? If yes, congratulations! Expect a lot of organic traffic.
If you’re using paid advertising like pay per click (PPC) on social media or online advertising networks. The visitors from these sources are referred to as outbound traffic. These ads are usually targeted using various methods, all to ensure that you have enough paying customers to justify your ad costs.
Key Difference 2: Sales Funnels are more focused on outbound traffic, where the goal is getting a return for your investment by converting prospects into leads/sales
Which One Is Best For Your Business?
To sum it up, a website allows you to publish content that helps you generate organic traffic through ranking on search engines. On the other hand, a funnel is used to convert paid traffic and focus on ROI.
Not All Sales Funnels Are Created Equal
If sales funnel sounds like something you may be interested in then continue on reading… Building a sales funnel involves a lot of hard work and even more brainpower.
From what I’ve experienced, you need three essentials to build an effective sales funnel.
1. You Need A Strategy
Before you even click on a single sales funnel tool, better make sure you have a strategy in mind. I can’t recommend the DotCom Secrets book enough as a resource if you’re new to the craft of developing sales funnels.
First, you need to create a persona or avatar based on the characteristics and preferences of your dream customer. This helps you identify your target audience and tailor the next steps to match.
Second, once you know who you want to sell to, you need to identify where they can be found online.
Third, create an irresistible offer that would lure them to visit your sales funnel.
Lastly, if you get them to take the bait, you need to level up your customers into the next step of your value ladder and purchase your primary products or services.
It’s similar to fishing… Start with determining what kind of fish you’d like to get, then looking for a pond with that type of fish, and then casting the best kind of lure.
2. You Need The Best Content For Your Sales Funnel
Once you’ve came up with a winning strategy, the next move is to communicate your message to your targeted customers. Copywriting is crucial in internet marketing for this reason.
A lot of companies recognize the importance of great content, so they have professional writers on staff. These copywriters can either be in-house people or freelancers. Either way, hiring a high-quality copywriter would eat up a sizable chunk of your budget, say $20,000 plus. Are you ready to spend that much money?
If not, the next best thing is to go the DIY route and brush up your skills with a paid writing course. Depending on the course design and your abilities, this method will probably start producing results (AKA sales from the copy you’ve written) in a couple of months or more.
If that sounds like too much work, there’s an easier way: Funnel Scripts.
This software is a great product from Russell Brunson. He collaborated with a seasoned copywriter to produce customizable scripts based on the DotComSecrets book, which can then be tweaked and applied to various sales funnels. Not only that, they also included other adaptable scripts for various digital needs.
3. You Need The Right Sales Funnel Builder
When people think about building websites, WordPress is the first tool that comes to mind. But despite its popularity, I hesitate to recommend WP for building out sales funnels. It’s possible to use WP for sales funnels, but this isn’t the original intention of the platform. It would be like trying to cut up your food with a spoon, if you ask me.
Why? For one thing, you’d be trying to get WP to do things it was not designed for. You’d need to cobble together different plugins and what-not, plus you’d need to pay for some of those parts.
The worst part is when you finally get all those disparate tools to work together nicely…then WP issues a new update. Boom. Your sales funnel can’t handle this new version, conks out, and all your effort goes down the drain.
So what else is out there? Why not try ClickFunnels instead? If you’re a non-techie, then it’s definitely a good idea to give this a whirl, since it allows you to build a sales funnel quickly and painlessly.
How fast? Not months, not weeks, not even days. ClickFunnels allows you to create a sales funnel in minutes.
That’s because all of the parts are designed to work seamlessly together from the get-go. Not convinced? Take a chance on the risk-free 14-day free trial to ClickFunnels.
Watch the video below to learn how ClickFunnels is able to outspend companies with hundreds of millions in venture capital and went from $0 to $100,000,000 using growth hacking and sales funnels
ClickFunnels’ Advantages Over Traditional Websites
1. Effective Landing Pages That Convert
Websites are more focused on minimizing bounce rates than on getting sales, so visitors are encouraged to stay on the site and move from one page to another. In contrast, landing pages offer you a better chance of converting your prospects into paying customers. However, the usual landing pages often require a lot of technical skills and other resources.
ClickFunnels maximizes the power of landing pages and offers design selections that are intended to convert traffic into sales – including a clear call to action (CTA) that engage visitors. ClickFunnels’ landing pages are also highly streamlined, with the intention of collecting more information from visitors or getting them to finalize the sales process.
2. Advanced Online Marketing Funnels
On any other platform, it would probably take you days to figure out how to create a sales funnel. With ClickFunnels, you can create sophisticated sales funnels with just a few clicks. Choose from an amazing array of templates and features that allow you to set up and optimize your sales funnel.
Plus, the software automatically ties up every end of the conversion funnel for you. Payment gateways, upsells or downsells, even autoresponders are all part of the package. You just need to configure them to your liking at the start, and you’re good to go.
3. Full Funnel Conversion View and A/B Split Testing
One of the perks of ClickFunnels is that it provides a full funnel conversion view before you go live. This function helps you improve the sales funnel sequence and create a uniform experience for your prospects.
ClickFunnels also has A/B split testing tools, allowing to make two slightly different versions of a page, then launch them concurrently to assess which leads to more conversions. ClickFunnels’ analytics then lets you quickly determine which version performed better. This kind of split testing is doable on a website, but it can be very tedious.
4. Customizable Funnel Order
If you want to make last-minute changes to your sales funnel order, ClickFunnels has you covered. It allows you to rearrange the funnel steps quickly with a few mouse clicks. The advanced graphical user interface does the heavy lifting, letting you add or delete entire pages without messing with codes. Doing similar on the fly changes on a website is a nightmare, I tell you.
5. Quick Funnel Replication or Sharing
Not only can you duplicate a page or a funnel on ClickFunnels, but you can also share them with other users by merely clicking a few buttons.
Try doing that on a website. No, don’t bother wasting your time.
The right sales funnel can make your life a whole lot easier, compared to using a website.
Why not try ClickFunnels’ 14-day trial, for free?
You can also read my full review of ClickFunnels to learn more about the software.
Ultimately, both a traditional website builder and ClickFunnels allow you to create web pages without having an expert’s knowledge of coding. WordPress is a content management system that became popular because it provided non-technical people with the tools to build a basic website for free.
But why be satisfied with just the basics for your sales funnel?
Now that I’ve covered the difference between websites and sales funnels, which one is best for your business?
My answer: Both! By using ClickFunnels and a traditional website, you can maximize your paid traffic while still getting the advantages of organic traffic.
You still need to factor in your business goals to decide if you’d use both or settle for just one approach. Most businesses start with a website since it’s cheaper, allowing them to leverage organic traffic from search engines.
However, if you want to get impressive sales from the start, go for ClickFunnels. Since it allows you to test, target, and optimize your sales funnel, you can expect more conversions, especially from paid traffic.