The vast majority of local customers start with a web search. The lion’s share of that traffic goes to the web sites on the front page of Google. You would think that if your website is on Google’s first page, prospects should pour in. Lots of businesses throw time and money trying to get their website on the first page for their keywords and the problem is – once they get there, nothing happens. All too often, local business owners find that valuable ‘page 1’ traffic doesn’t always turn into a stream of customers. Traffic goes way up, but those new visitors just don’t turn into prospects and customers.
Is this where you are? Stuck on the first page, counting all the visitors not converting into customers?
Your websites only purpose is to bring you new prospect leads so you can convert them into paying customers. You made it look great, filled it with valuable information, you may have even loaded it with everything a prospect would know about your products and services. You may be proud of it, but the sad truth is: it’s not working. In short: if your website doesn’t convert, then it’s not doing its job and you may be wasting a lot of good traffic.
If that’s the case, don’t despair. Non-converting sites share some common problems and most are easy to correct. If you analyse enough poor performing sites you will generally find the same errors over and over. Here are the top 5 reasons website don’t convert. You may recognise a few that may be hurting your conversions, if so they can be corrected.
Mistake One: Confusing and Distracting Visitors
A common misconception is that business owners think they only get one chance to sell to their customers, so everything possible goes onto the page. It seems like a good idea – show as much as possible and cast the widest net. But what happens when people come to your site? What they are looking for is lost among all the clutter. Internet searchers are impatient, and if they don’t see what they want in 8 seconds or less, they hit the ‘back’ button. When that happens, you’ve lost them for good.
Let’s make your pages meet that 8-second rule…
Scientific eye-tracking studies have shown that readers can’t, or won’t, read large blocks of text. Since they won’t read it anyway, reduce that text to bullets if you can. Your pages must be easy to scan for the important information people want – what you do, where you do it, a few bullet points about your service, and your phone number or other contact information. Well-designed graphics catch the eye and tell a story at a glance, so a picture is worth more than a thousand words. Each service or product you want to promote needs its own ‘landing’ page – a page devoted to one product or service. Each page should have one clear message – other messages should go on other pages. Your site will be cleaner this way, you focus attention on each specific offering, and you control what the user sees.
Making your pages more focused also helps people find your offers easier when they search for you. The search engines rank pages, not web sites. A focused message makes it easier for the search engines to understand the main point of each page and rank it accordingly.
Each focused (or ‘optimised’) page, concentrating on a single subject, will appear in search results when customers search for that particular product or service. This brings people looking for your solution to their problem directly to the page that solves their problem. Bring the right people to the right page and you will convert more of your visitors into buyers.
Mistake Two: Hiding Important Information
As we said above, if people can’t find what they want quickly, they move on. They won’t hunt for what they need on your page – put it out front for them, where they can find it. Decide what your page is supposed to say to your customer, and then say it. Make it easy to find your name, location and your hours of operation, the key points of your service or product and, most importantly, your phone number. The number one piece of information that local consumers look for is a phone number, so make sure it is prominent. Graphic elements stand out, so instead of your address in small type, why not embed a Google map on your page? It is immediately obvious what it is.
Mistake Three: Forgetting To Tell Visitors What To Do
When a visitor arrives at your site, they have no idea what you want them to do. You have to tell them what it is you want from them. Each page has a desired outcome, and you need to let them know what you expect them to do. Too many people write in ‘passive voice’ instead of ‘active voice’. They start sentences with ‘If you are interested in…’ or other ‘soft’ language. They are afraid of scaring customers away direct speech and, as a result, leave a soft message.
If that is you – then Stop It! You have people on your site, and they have come for what you have to offer. Come on out and tell them what you have for them. Assume they are interested – otherwise, they wouldn’t be there!
Do you want them to call? Then put there in big bold type.
Do you want them to fill in a form to get a free report? Tell them what they will get in return, and put an arrow pointing out the form. Label the button ‘Click Here’, and they will.
And the most important piece of information is your phone number – spell it out in big, bold letters “CALL 123456 TODAY”
One of the best ways to accomplish these calls to action is with Landing Pages. They won’t disrupt your current site and front page placement but will allow you to direct visitors to very specific offers and actions.
Mistake Four: Sending Visitors Off Your Site
Once you get people to your site, you want to keep them there, on your ‘money page’, until they pick up the phone, fill out a form, or click the ‘Buy’ button. Offer as few distractions at this point as possible – focus on converting this visitor into your next customer.
Navigation links, YouTube videos and related blog posts are all great ways to get people to your site. That is their purpose – to bring people to your sales page.
But once they are on your site, the rules change. Now the goal is to keep them there until they become a prospect or customer.
Anything on these pages that doesn’t support the sale you have in progress has got to go! Links to other pages, other offers, videos or anything that can send them away WILL send them away.
Video on websites is a proven sales tool, and YouTube has made it easy for anyone to make and post videos on-line. Embedding a video on your web site is easy to, and it helps make your pages easier to find (Google owns YouTube and favours YouTube videos). And what better way to tell people about your business than a video?
The problem with the way most businesses are embedding YouTube videos is that visitors can easily be taken to YouTube where they are presented with ‘related’ videos – and some of these could be your competitors!
Mistake Five: A Failure To Communicate
Your customers don’t want to deal with faceless, anonymous websites, they want to deal with real people like you. You need to ‘get real’ make sure you have contact information, including your address, phone number, even social profiles and links to free report landing pages on your main site. Social profiles – such as your business on Facebook or LinkedIn let prospects know you are a real business. Knowing who they are dealing with helps establish their sense of trust in both you and your business. One of the easiest ways to communicate with your prospects is through offering a free report. When they sign up for that report they can be put into your email marketing campaign. This should not be used to constantly email them sales offers, but to enable you to communicate and provide them valuable information and educate them about your products and services.
Most businesses make the mistake of burying their valuable information deep within their website in the form of an article or page content. When you position your information as a report with a strong cover representation your prospect will perceive this information as important and valuable. By providing this valuable gift this will also build credibility and trust for your business by positioning you as the “Educator / Advocate” .
The best way to offer your information in the form of a complimentary report is through a landing page that is focused squarely on the report content with a strong “Call To Action” for the visitor to enter their email address in return for instant access of the information. At this point you have now turned a visitor into a prospect in which you can follow up.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your opportunities to better turn visitors into customers, feel free to contact us on 01732 462451