Websites are critically important for a business because they offer site visitors the first impression of your products, goods, and services and how those are presented and delivered. It’s your storefront, the entry point for describing how your business is going to meet their needs. A traditional brick-and-mortar business needs to be kept tidy and clean and staffed with kind and courteous customer service agents. So also a website! It should be user friendly, intuitive and easy to navigate, and optimized for various kinds of mobile devices and site traffic.
Websites give identity and expression to your organization’s company mission, vision, and goals. But they can’t become an end in themselves; remember that your site has two purposes and two purposes only: 1) To ATTRACT visitors and 2) To CONVERT these visitors into followers, leads, and/or customers.
Making sure that visitors find what they’re looking for and giving them an unforgettable customer experience will be the key to turning them into regular customers. Let’s discuss 7 key ways that business owners should adopt to convert their online leads into sales.
Keep things fast: Research shows a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site. The inverse is also true. The slower a page the less likely customers will be willing to wait around and engage with your brand. While this seems fairly straightforward, it’s surprising how few business owners really get the importance of website performance and the role it plays in their business strategy. It might be nice to have a trendy looking website, but if it takes 10 seconds to load visitors won’t hang around long enough to appreciate all the bells and whistles anyway.
Gain a 360 degree view of your customer: Use the many available web analytics on the market to learn as much as you can about your customer’s online behaviors. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs. For instance, you want to learn more about when and where they’re visiting from, what devices they’re using, what are their online activities, and other key demographics such as age. Gaining these insights will help your organization better understand what’s important to your visitors and how to personalize their experience.
Don’t be afraid to leverage email marketing: Email marketing involves using email to send ads, request business, or solicit sales or donations; the basis for email marketing is to build loyalty, trust, or brand awareness. Now if you haven’t used email marketing, you’re not alone. Many websites don’t employ it for various reasons, perhaps out fear that they will appear spamish. This is a mistaken notion because if properly done, email marketing can be a great way to engage your current and potential customers. MailChimp has developed a well-deserved reputation as the gold standard in the email marketing industry. The platform is intuitive and easy to use, offers ample support, and scales well to the size of your business.
Keep things simple: Science tells us that people prefer the path of least resistance to their end-goal. Think of it in terms of the “economy of action” and the balance of benefits vs. costs. Think clearly about how much effort it’ll take for your visitors to get to your website, get what they need, and get out?
Give them an offer they can’t refuse: Remember that your customers have tons of options for getting their products. Give them reasons why they should choose your brand over others. One site puts it this way: “You do this by creating such a powerful and compelling offer that people would be foolish to pass it up. An offer that makes it more advantageous to acquire your product or service than not to do so, one which eliminates all the hurdles they have to jump over to do business with you and makes it harder to say ‘no’ to you than to say ‘yes,’ can increase your results up to 300%.”
Build a community: Everyone has the need to be part of a social community, to feel connected to something that inspires them. The matter of joining one community over another hinges on creating a compelling vision for “why” they should join yours. In his bestselling book, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Simon Sinek references Apple’s “why” and how they use it in their marketing. Their message to their customers is “In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo and thinking differently. We do this by making our products beautifully designed and simple to use. We just happen to make great computers. Do you want to buy one?”
Make your visitors feel significant: Make your customer feel that they’re second to none. Let them know you actually care about them, that they’re not just another number. Providing your prospects with superior user experience and outstanding customer service will let them know they are highly valued, making it more likely they’ll buy from you and also refer other customers your way.