We recently held a seminar event in Newcastle to share our website knowledge with other businesses on the topic of improving your website to beat your competition.
The first segment of the talk focused on converting more of your existing website visitors in to business, and what follows is a summary of what we discussed here. It can be tempting to focus on generating more visitors to your website, but by addressing issues on your website first, you may well be able to secure more enquiries or sales from the visitors you already have.
1. Make it really easy to contact you through your website
Some companies (think large utility companies) will purposely obscure contact details to reduce the resources they use in answering queries in this way, but in all likelihood, you’re in a position whereby you want to be contacted by potential customers. So, does your website make it easy to contact you?
Here’s what we advised our seminar attendees earlier this year:
- Make your telephone number and email address prominent – we have ours in the header and footer of every page.
- Don’t just have a contact form on your website: if it doesn’t work, there’s no other way to contact you!
- Test your contact form regularly! You could be missing out on potential enquiries if it doesn’t work.
- If you can, show a physical address you can be found at (this leads neatly on to our next recommendation on trust symbols)
2. Make it really easy to trust you
Trust is an important factor online: potential customers searching for your product are service are dealing with the unfamiliar. There are a few things you can do to help reassure visitors to your website:
- Make use of “trust logos” where appropriate: from credit card and PayPal logos if you accept payment online – to trade organisations, your local chamber of commerce (ours is the North East Chamber of Commerce, for example)
- Use photographs of you and your staff on your website: it helps to see a real person behind the business!
- Display testimonials from previous customers prominently on your website: this helps to establish you’re reliable. Ideally, testimonials with your client’s name and company name are best for full transparency. Keep them short and snappy, too!
3. Use social media for longer term relationships
For customers searching for a service or product, your website is likely to be a single port of call – they’ll find you through a search engine such as Google, and then get in contact for a quotation. If your customers have longer buying cycles, connecting to them long term is essential so that you don’t lose out on their business.
For example, it could be years between someone selecting a law firm and engaging them for a contract, so giving the customer an option of following you on Twitter gives you a chance at a longer term relationship until they’re ready to buy. To make the most of social media on your website, try these suggestions:
- Display social network icons that link to your accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest
- Remember to link your website’s address in these profiles
4. Is it obvious what you do and where you do it?
Look at your website’s homepage: is it totally clear which services or products you offer, and where you offer it if you’re limited to a specific geographical area.
- List the areas you’re able to work in if you are limited by geography in where you can supply: this will save the customer’s time, and your time in dealing with enquiries you can’t handle
- Check your website’s content: does it really reflect what you do? It’s worth reviewing this on a regular basis as many businesses change over the course of years and you may not offer
5. Use bullet points to show key information
We live in a world of information: we’re constantly bombarded with adverts, news and cat photos online, and our attention spans have suffered as a result. As such, whilst detailed prose on your website may be of interest to a certain section of your website’s visitors, summarising the key points in bullet points (much as I have done in this article) helps readers get the information they need before contacting you or making a purchase.
- Summarise your key selling points in bullet points to save your visitors time
- Pick out key benefits of your service or products: for example, do you offer free next day shipping, or a free initial consultation? Say so!
Following these tips allows you to make fairly minor changes to your website which should have a large impact in converting website visitors in to paying customers, if done correctly. And, of course, if you’d like any help implementing them on your website, I can recommend a certain web design agency in Newcastle!