Imagine an employee that works for your small business 24/7 doing nothing but finding you leads and converting them into customers. A business’ website has the ability to be that powerful of a tool if used to its full potential.
As a business owner, you should be able to speak to how each piece of your site works towards generating sales. The things that you believe are important to be included on your page may not be as important to your potential customers, and many times that’s where a website becomes a wasted opportunity. Check out these tips for turning your site into a sales generating machine.
#1 Guide traffic through the website buying process
The best products and services started when someone identified a problem no one had been able to solve. This idea of solving a problem first is the same philosophy you should have when creating your website.
Start with your homepage. Before you give a user any information, you need to know what kind of information is going to be most helpful for solving your problem. Take Yakima for example: They offer a wide variety of products for traveling with your outdoor gear but depending on what your drive your product needs change.
Rather than leaving it up to the user to determine what they may need and risk someone purchasing a product that won’t solve their problem, Yakima immediately directs them to enter information about their vehicle. They follow up with a question about what the user thinks they’ll be hauling and shows the user only options that suite their needs.
Yakima is guiding the user through the buying process with a few clicks without ever leaving the homepage.
This same mentality can be used when directing users from online ads. If Yakima is targeting a user who visited their site to look at racks for their 2014 Dodge Durango, they don’t want an ad that takes them to the homepage to enter their car details again. They want to send them straight to the product page of all the racks that fit their SUV. There’s a reason Amazon came out with their “one-click buy” button, they know the less effort a customer has to put into completing their purchase, the more likely they are to buy.
#2 Create compelling content
The days of gaming search rankings through fluff words are over. Google is funneling mass resources into ensuring their search engine is only giving user content that they want to see, which means you need to create content that users want to see.
Let’s look at Yakima again. Their site guides users through the buying process in an incredibly efficient way, but they, like most successful businesses, recognize that educating customers on the possibilities is as important, if not more important than landing a quick sale.
Through their main menu, you can access their “Rack 101” guide that takes you through everything you should know before buying and installing your first car rack. You can also access tutorial videos on installing your new rack as well as videos featuring outdoor adventure customers have taken with their Yakima racks.
Yakima isn’t limiting the content on their site to only copy with a direct sales pitch, but they are clearly painting a picture of the lifestyle their product could help someone achieve, and giving clear and simple purchase options throughout the site.
Creating compelling content is about establishing a goal, which could be something as simple as broadening your reach via social media shares or landing a hard sale. Establishing those goals beforehand will help give your content direction and ensure you’re not wasting valuable online real estate that isn’t helping better your business.
#3 Measure, Analyze and Modify
Now that you’ve thought your website flow out thoroughly, you’ve put ours into creating content to drive leads through the sales funnel, you’ve mastered the art of targeting, be ready to be proven wrong.
As the old adage goes, “Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.”
Too often businesses decide how they want to build their website, but don’t put the time or resources into measuring its effectiveness. But just like you should hire and never take the time to do an evaluation, you should never create a website without analyzing your results.
Here some indicators you should look at when determining how successful your site is at drawing in business:
- Bounce Rate: Are users getting to one page on your site and bailing? It could be something as simple as a broken link that you didn’t notice before going live.
- Average time on page: This isn’t elementary school, you can’t give a quiz to your visitors to make sure they read your content, but you can see how much time people are spending on your page and using that to determine if they are interested in your work.
- Click through rates: Is your call to action working? Everything from word use to button color has an impact on whether a not a user chose to click through, and if you have a low click through rate it might be time to test yours.
- Number of visitors and where they are coming from: You can learn a lot about your demographic by finding out what is bringing them to your site and use that information to target more effectively. Ex. You’re running two ads, one on Facebook and one on LinkedIn, Google Analytics shows that users coming from Facebook to your specified landing page have a higher conversion rate than those coming from LinkedIn, you may want to adjust your advertising dollars accordingly.
Most importantly when you get this information be ready to do something about it. You may believe with your whole heart that your beautiful new site is exactly what you need to convert customers, but if the data says otherwise, you need to make a change.
#4 Target the “ready to buy” user
The days of gaming search engines to land hire in rankings are gone, your ability to create useful and engaging content for your site visitors is what will determine how often you show up in Google searches. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create content with search rankings in mind.
The first step is deciding what you want to rank for. There is a big difference between someone searching for “shoes” and someone searching for “size 12 white high-top Nikes,” and that difference lies in where they are at in the buying process. Being really specific about who you are trying to target with your SEO allows you to reach only the people you know will find value in your product or service. Not to mention the more specific you are, typically the less competition you have on that page.
#5 Incentivize leads
Not every visitor on your site is going to turn into an instant sale. Many people coming to your site are doing the online equivalent of window shopping and will need a little extra love before becoming a customer.
The good news is, you can use your site to generate leads that will help turn those visitors into customers down the line. Offer freebies for entering their email address, or contests they can enter through social media engagement. If you’re willing to give a little to potential customers they’re much more likely to come back to you when they’re ready to spend some money.