Few companies effectively market their website to its full potential generating new leads and sales.
Every marketing director must ask themselves:
Is the company doing everything it can to call visitors to purchase or inquire further about products and services?
The goal of a website is not just to bring new users, but to convert new visitors into leads & paying customers.
The following five questions may help inspire ideas on what can be improved to convert visitors into buying customers; thus improving the company's return on investment for its website marketing dollars:
1. Are visitors 'Called to Action'?
A very simple, yet IMPORTANT and often overlooked technique in sales and marketing is to call users to action (CTA) with every possible opportunity. This means making sure a website asks the prospect to buy at every reasonable opportunity.
More often than not, prospects are ready to buy but cannot easily complete the purchase, or find a way to say I'm ready to buy now; thus get frustrated and go else where.
Everywhere a product or service is mentioned, a BUY button, or REQUEST MORE INFORMATION, 'call to action' must be clearly visible instructing the user to TAKE ACTION.
2. Are "follow-up" techniques in place for future email or remarketing contact?
Prospects rarely buy on the first visit, regardless of industry. Many experts agree it takes anywhere from five to twelve visits, contacts, or impressions before a user will act and convert to a buying customer.
For this reason, the saying "the fortune is in the follow-up" came about!
In today's world, there are a couple standard methods of follow-up. Follow-up can be the normal contact methods such as email and phone, to the latest form of automated follow-up called "remarketing".
Email & Opt-In Contact
When possible, it is important to try to get contact information (such as the user's email address) and permission to market to in the future. For example, requesting the visitor to signup for the company's newsletter or other opt-in services. Direct follow-up, as well as automated follow-ups, helps to build an on-going relationship between prospects and the business.
If potential customers are interested in a product or service, but not ready or apprehensive to buy, requesting contact information is a great way to continue the relationship to overcome any objections as time goes on.
Every company website should have the ability to request visitor email addresses, as well as opt-in permission to market. The uses are endless:
- to build the relationship
- to send out monthly newsletters
- to follow-up on questions
- to follow-up on sales
- to keep in touch and build rapport
Collecting prospect's email addresses, and other contact information, is an essential step in marketing the business to interested parties.
Remarketing services (as offered by Google Remarketing, and Facebook Remarketing) are excellent paid opportunities that keep a company in front of visitors AFTER they leave and are surfing around the internet.
The way remarketing works is:
- Google or Facebook provides a code snippet to put on the website.
- When a visitor comes to the website containing the remarketing snippet, this visit is logged and recorded.
- Then, as that visitor surfs the internet, or browses Facebook, an ad will show reminding them of the original website, product, or service originally visited.
- Remarketing is an excellent, automated method of keeping a company's website ad in front of visitors long after they leave the original website.
- Remarketing can be tailored to fit a specific set of demographics and target market.
- In addition, remarketing can keep the ad in front of prospects for days or weeks after the original visit.
3. How easy is it for visitors to contact the business?
Consumers enjoy browsing and shopping online (especially with today's social distancing requirements). However, if there is a question or concern, they demand a quick and easy way to contact the company for resolution.
With the amount of online fraud, it's imperative to give clients every reason to believe that this is a legitimate business that will be here for service or questions as needed.
A reputable and successful online site will make sure that contact details including: email, phone number, and address (preferably a physical location, but at least a PO Box for mailing) are easily viewable and accessible to visitors from ANYWHERE within the site.
If a company is not going to have a phone number posted in a conspicuous place, then it is imperative to at least make sure the Contact Us link is readily accessible and apparent in the header or main menu of the website.
Companies must provide customers multiple ways to contact the business with questions whether day or night, weekday or weekend, workday or holiday.
Today's customers want to be able to do business on their schedule, and must be allowed to phone, email, fax, or chat anytime of day or night.
Most people realize that true 24/7 service is not always possible with most business, yet everyone expects readily available alternatives to get a message to the business for response once available.
4. Does the website use headlines effectively?
Headlines and paragraph titles are a great way to quickly and easily tell users about products, services, special features, or promotions:
- Nobody likes having to read a novel just to find the main benefits of a product or service.
- Use headlines to focus attention on the main benefits of the products and services.
As with anything, if headlines are over used, the intended affect is lost. Making everything a headline creates the same issue as if everything were in paragraph format; again similar to reading a novel.
5. Is the website professional in appearance & layout?
A website is often the first impression a visitor has of a business. Many companies may have a great product or service. As well, many of these businesses may even have great content and information on their website.
Most small to medium business websites fail to present a professional appearance.
Many company websites look as though they were put together by an amateur using a boxed-template, or free do-it-yourself software (such as Weebly, Homestead, GoDaddy WebsiteBuilder) lacking a professional polish; or worse yet, lacking security.
To a perspective client, an unprofessional website means a lack of credibility and authority.
Why should users spend money with a company that has not taken the time or investment to present prospects with a professional, secure, first impression?
The average consumer will invest with a business that appears to be reliable, professional, and trust worthy.
With the amount of online fraud, today's customers avoid spending money with websites that look as though it's a fly-by-night organization attempting to steal money or personal information.
Instead, consumers will opt for professional and trustworthy looking sites; well-established companies that have invested in proper online appearance and security.
Often the difference between a professional looking site, and a home-made site, is simply a lack of time in organization and layout. There are many aspects professional designers implement to present an image of a professionally planned and executed website solution.
The above questions are just a few of the important factors to consider when looking to improve sales or leads. Depending upon the industry and nature of business, there are always going to be other avenues for improving conversion.