Convert Your Website Visitors Into Customers
Written by: Chris Allen, Vice President of Business Development
Published: February 2nd, 2017
My colleagues and I recently visited a NYC watering hole to compare notes and share stories from the marketing front. Some of us have been conceiving and producing MARCOMM solutions for more than 25 years; we started in an analog world where few, if any, could predict the power of the Internet. The Internet has become so much a part of how we live that it’s hard to recall what life was like without it. Yet we’re still amazed by the number of organizations that view their websites as overhead, an expense, rather than an investment. No surprise, many of those websites fail to deliver a great user experience.
We all agreed on one thing: there’s a magic combination of design and programming that delivers words, images, and videos that impact the valuation of a brand. That’s the whole idea. Right? So here’s the question…
What should you put on your website?
What content works best? What’s the worst? Here are several things we came up with to put on your site:
Answers to Questions
Right now as you read this, someone, somewhere is researching your services. They’re looking for answers, deciding whom to contact. If your site doesn’t answer their top questions quickly, they will look for the answers somewhere else.
Your website must answer their questions, and do so in a way that the visitor feels you are speaking directly to him or her. It sounds simple, but it takes guts. All too often the website boasts about the company with little or no concern for the customer. Colleague Number One said, “I’ll drink to that.” And he did.
The customer wants to know about process, turn times, potential issues, what others are saying about your product or service, and last but not least, costs. The more questions you can answer, the greater your chances of converting visitors to customers.
Add the Topics That Your Visitors Aren’t Finding
If you have a search box on your site, setup with Analytics, you have a tool for listening. You can see what visitors are looking for. You can also see what visitors aren’t finding.
If the exit page was the search results page, then the visitor did not find what they were looking for. Either your search tool is broken, or your visitors are telling you something: put more of that information on your website.
Tell a Better Story
Simon Sinek says, “Every person on the planet knows WHAT they do. Most people know HOW they do it. Very few people know WHY they do it.” Why is your company in business? What is your purpose? What do you believe? What got you started? Why does this stuff matter?
This is your story.
Your story lets people connect with you on a deeper level. It’s why they clicked “About.” So put your passion story on your website. Put it on the about page, and if possible, use video. At this point, colleague Number Two said, “Today’s video should be better than yesterday’s – and worse than tomorrow’s.” Not too shabby for that hour of night.
3 Things to Remove From Your Website
Now that you’ve put the good stuff on your site, time to get rid of the bad. Here are three things to NOT put on your site:
- Omit needless words and paragraphs longer than five lines
Most website visitors scan pages for relevant content. Long, blocky paragraphs get skimmed or skipped entirely. Get need-to-know information right up front, because the next line promises nothing.
- Get rid of your testimonial page
Testimonials are powerful social proof, however, visitors tend not to go to testimonial pages. If you want your testimonials to be seen, sprinkle them throughout the site, on every page. Potential customers do want to know who you do business with, and what current customers have to say about their experiences. Such items help establish trust.
- Skip the “We’re the #1 Best Top Greatest”
Unless it’s true, and comes from a great source. Otherwise, it’s just noise, and no one likes a braggart. It’s also common, expected, and ineffective.
We touched on other things like ease of use, an explanation on how to do business with you, and clear calls to action. The sort of things that add value to your website. It was getting late, however, and we had to catch the last bus out of town. “That’s okay,” said colleague Number Three. “Unfinished business is a good excuse to meet again.”
I like the way he thinks.