Chances are that your website is the most effective sales and marketing tool at your disposal. In today's world 87% of all products and services research begins on the Internet.
Even if it's a referral...the initial contact typically begins with someone visiting your company's website FIRST, and then deciding if they will visit your location, email you or book an appointment.
A “good” website (one that converts visitors to new clients/customers at an impressive rate), will mean more sales. If your website has a high bounce rate - where users leave your page after viewing only one page, not only is this costing you sales, but your competition is likely benefiting from it.
Website design is a critical element of any digital marketing strategy. Factors such as landing pages with the proper conversion funnels, a homepage with good messaging, and strong calls-to-action throughout your site is a must.
When attracting your ideal clients/customers to your website from other platforms, whether that's social media or search engines - you want to make sure that your bringing potential clients to a website that is going to be optimized for a conversion.
The difference between a basic website and a website that is a selling machine is this
"Conversion Rate Optimization"
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of making improvements to your website in order to increase the rate at which site visitors take a desired action, such as completing a purchase, booking an appointment or filling out a contact form.
Conversion optimization is individualized to every business -- what works and what doesn’t will, for the most part, be specific to each businesses website. However, there are a few tried and true methods for improving conversions that have the potential to be effective for all businesses.
Let’s take a look at some of these elements - 6 steps to convert your website into a selling machine
1. Know your client/customer: identify the personality of your clients/customer
Ask yourself – who is my typical buyer? What is important to them? How do they make decisions? What isn’t important to them? If you're not on how to answer these questions then ask your existing clients with a survey. Ask questions - Why did they choose you over your competitor?
Once you have a clear image of exactly who your target audience is, you can then create content that will be meaningful to them.
2. What is your customer’s problem?
People buy for only two reasons – gain or pain. They either want to GAIN something to make their lives better, or they want to avoid something unpleasant from happening - PAIN. So, once you understand who your client is and what is important to them, now ask yourself
- What is my customer looking to gain?, and/or
- What is my customer’s problem for which they are seeking a solution?
When you identify the answers to these questions, you can use this information to ensure your website content addresses the “gain” and “pain” points.
This content should be placed near the top of the landing page and home page. It helps the visitor know they have arrived in the right place within the first 7-10 seconds of landing on your website. - This is the beginning of the conversion factor.
3. Get their ATTENTION with a good headline
The headline goes at the top of the web page. Let’s say you are looking for information about how to improve your selling success and find a website page about business coaching. Which of the following two headlines will get your attention and motivate you to read more information?
“Increase Your Close Ratio by 20% - Guaranteed”
Most people will say the second one. Why? Because that one states a solution and likely addresses the reason the client is coming to the web page in the first place.
4. Give a little more to generate INTEREST
You’ve grabbed attention with a good headline, they know their in the right place and now the potential client is motivated to read more. So, give them more to generate interest.
This typically comes in the form of a sub-headline, or 1 or 2 sentences that provide more information about how the service addresses the customer’s “pain” or “gain” points. This is often called “teaser text”. Here’s an example that builds on the previous headline –
“Increase Your Close Ratio by 20% - Guaranteed”
“Our clients have reported an increase in their closing ratio of at least 20% within 4 months of working with one of our coaches. Learn more about how it works.”
We’ve grabbed their attention with a good headline and now we’ve given a little more evidence (“teaser text”) that will likely increase their interest to learn more. At this point, between the headline and the two sentences, we only have 36 words, which the typical person can consume in about 7-10 seconds.
5. Create the DESIRE to take action
With the strong headline and “teaser text” in place, we’ve got the potential client wanting to learn more. Next, share some details. This is where it can get tricky. So, go back to step 1 - review what is important to your ideal client persona and ensure you now how they makes decisions as this will determine what features you promote first!
You want to promote the features that will have the greatest impact on your potential customer and are part of their decision making process - not the ones you think are important!
Here’s an example of stating features relative to business coaching selling skills
- Extensive time is applied to the 3 most difficult selling skills (closing skills, asking the right questions, and researching your buyer), and our unique skills development method creates real change in how these skills are implemented in live selling
- Role plays are videoed and used extensively in the training classes, which increases behavior changes and makes it easy to translate classroom learning to the real world
- Post training follow up coaching sessions are used to evaluate real-life selling situations and reinforce the critical selling skills that ultimately result in a 20% improvement in close ratio
Each of the features includes how it will “benefit” the potential client. At this point we’ve asked the potential client to read 133 words, which a typical person can get through in about 40-60 seconds.
6. Explain how to take ACTION
You’ve got their ATTENTION with a good headline, have generated some INTEREST with the “teaser text”, and you’ve created a DESIRE by explaining the features of your offer (this can be either your product or service) that produce the benefits your potential client is looking for.
Now you need to explain to them what to do NEXT – and that’s the ACTION part.
Never leave it up to the potential client to figure out the next step – tell them how to take the next step. This final step is the “call-to-action” and is typically delivered on a website by some kind of CTA - Call to action – here’s an example:
Making your website an effective selling tool is comprised of many things including having the right content that appeals to your customers. Understanding your customer better about what is and isn’t important to him, and then walking your customer through the ATTENTION – INTEREST – DESIRE – ACTION cycle, will make your website a lead producing asset for your business.
Focusing on improving your website’s conversion rate is one of the best investments you can make for your businesses overall success. Small changes can make a huge difference in the way potential customers interact on your site - so it’s important not to neglect the details.
Lets talk and see if we're a good fit. If you're not sure you want to work together after we talk...no pressure.
Joe Griffith is a digital trends expert and advocate for small business owners. He specializes in helping service professionals grow their business and gain new clients. Learn more about Joe here.