Every visitor to your website is a potential customer. Each of your website’s visitors can be a potential customer. It’s possible that a visitor saw your ad or postcard and entered your URL into their browser. It’s also possible they came across your site after searching for services on Google.
Regardless of how it happened, if they came to your site, it’s because they have some degree of interest. But why do so many of them click away from your site before they give you a chance to sell them something?
Well, here’s why – your website failed to do its primary job!
Your website’s main job is to increase levels of trust and affinity with prospective customers so that they feel comfortable with interacting with you.
Have a look at these statistics:
- 96% of your website’s visitors are not ready to purchase anything
- 75% of people will use a company’s website as a measure of its credibility
You can conclude two things with these statistics:
- It is crucial to identify visitors so you can follow up with them, and
- The potential customers need to be made comfortable enough so they can give you this information.
Here are the top 11 things your website needs in order to convert as many visitors into customers and leads:
- Flawless programming
What do you think about a website that has broken links or slowly loading webpages? Quite likely, you won’t be very confident in that business. Statistics also show that 40% of people will click away from a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load; therefore, this should be your main priority.
- Responsive website design
What exactly does this mean? A responsive website means that it can automatically switch to a mobile version depending on which device is used to access it. These days, mobile devices are used to access 65% of digital media, which is an increase from 53% in 2013. Have you ever tried to browse a non-responsive website on a smartphone? Frustrating, isn’t it? If you want to read anything, you need to pinch and zoom on the screen. Google also penalizes your site with lower rankings in a mobile search if your website is not mobile-friendly. This means your site will be harder for mobile users to find you.
- A good, marketing-savvy design
This doesn’t mean a bunch of bells and whistles. It’s all about a website design that is appropriate for your business so that it instantly lets visitors know they’ve come to the right place. The photos and color schemes you use for your website should be industry-appropriate. Familiarity at a website is preferred by many people. If you provide quotes directly from your site, make sure the process is simple and easily used.
- A clear, obvious headline
The headline on your website should instantly let a visitor know what kind of site they have landed on. People can quickly scan a big and bold headline before they make the decision to continue reading the content or invest more time to read the entire page. Which brings us to our next point…
- Lots of sub-headlines and clean copywriting
If a visitor decides to hang around your website for a while, make it worth their while by giving them easy-to-read copy (i.e. words and content on your website) that is easily scanned. Make use of sub-headlines (i.e. mini-headlines that introduce new content in paragraphs) so your visitors can skim and choose whether or not to continue reading. Bullet points are something else that should be incorporated into your website as well. These help to break up big chunks of text that might otherwise be a bit intimidating for visitors and cause them to leave.
Ensure the copy is written to help the visitor, not to just blindly push the sale. Also, include the words and terms that people type into Google when searching for, as this helps increase search engine optimization, aka SEO. One additional point, forget about industry jargon. Talk to your prospects using words and terms they are familiar with!
Avoid merely telling your prospects about what your business offers – tell them how your business can make their lives better by solving problems they are having. It’s a tough call to do that, and even professional copywriters struggle to do this; however, it makes a HUGE difference in the end. List your service’s features, but also include how it will benefit them. For example, a feature could be 24-hour availability; the benefit is immediate assistance anytime they need a car or are having trouble finding a car. It’s also a great strategy to include the benefits in sub-headlines. This will allow any visitors who are rushing through and only scanning to still get a good understanding of how your business can make their lives better.
- A call to action
It always amazes me how many businesses forget to include this simple item on their website and marketing materials. Never assume that potential customers know what the next step is! Including an obvious call-to-action helps steer them in the right direction. If the call-to-action is in a color that contrasts everything else on the page, it is even better as a visitor will be subconsciously directed there.
- Trust items
Include an “About Us” page to show visitors that you are actual people. Make sure photos of you and your staff as well as a short company history is part of this. All people want to know who they could be dealing with. Testimonials and reviews from satisfied customer will “social proof” your page – 88% of consumers reported they consider online reviews to be as trustworthy as a personal recommendation!
- Your contact info and phone number featured prominently
If you include your physical address and phone number, it lets people know that you are a real business that encourages interaction with customers. Have you ever been to a website that had no contact information?
- Lead capture forms
This is important. If you intend to convert website visitors into leads, you need to collect their contact information so they could be followed-up. However, these days, people are hesitant to give away their information on the internet. Give them some incentive by offering them something valuable (and FREE!) in return. Examples could be a free quote, a subscription to your newsletter, etc. Get creative!
Make sure you don’t ask for too much information at the beginning. HubSpot reports that a lead capture form with six fields gets 10% fewer conversions than a form with only three fields. To follow-up with someone, you only really need their name and email address anyway. Ask for more information at a later date once you get the initial information. If you don’t initially get this additional information, email them what they wanted and then simply ask again.
- Good button copy
The submit button on your lead-capture form need to say more than just “Submit”. Consider something related to what they are getting, such as “Send my free samples!” or “Start my FREE subscription!” Just get creative and excited for them!
The above information is a lot to take in, but it’s 2016 now and more than 95% of prospects will be online BEFORE they contact you. This means that your website IS YOUR BUSINESS!
You are losing sales outright if your website isn’t working to boost your prospects’ trust in you.
Also published on Medium.