1. Build your website to convert traffic into leads.
2. What is conversion optimization?
3. How do you do it?
4. Putting first things first.
In todays local web design and internet marketing world, terms like "SEO", "Social Media Marketing" and "increased traffic" are becoming recognized and used frequently.
The idea is that if you drive a bunch (I use "bunch" loosely) of traffic to your website, you will get more sales in your business and this is partially true. The thing is, in order to receive a noticeable result (people calling you or buying your product) you need to have quite a bit of traffic because on average the majority of the people who visit your website will never take action.
In order to get quite a bit of traffic you need to do some SEO (search engine optimization) work to your site, or pay someone to do it for you. This takes time and/or a substantial budget with the right local web design company to really do things correctly and so what do you do in the meantime? Or a better question is...what should you do from the very beginning?
Build or augment your website into one that "CONVERTS!"
Let me ask you a few questions to get the juices flowing:
1. What is the point of sending a "bunch" of traffic to your site if there is nothing enticing them to do anything when they get there?
2. Or better yet, what is the point in having a website AT ALL if it doesn't work FOR you? Meaning: guide traffic into becoming a sale.
Before you consider doing any SEO or developing a social media marketing campaign, you should make sure that your website is set up so that when it DOES get a substantial amount of traffic or any traffic, that it can convert it into a sale.
So what is conversion optimization specifically?
Quick definition: Conversion optimization is the process of strategically implementing different "calls to action" and user friendliness/flow tactics so that you can convert as much of the traffic you do get, into taking action on your website.
This could be anything from contacting you by phone, signing up for your newsletter, taking advantage of an "irresistible free offer", to simply guiding the potential visitor through the website to see/read/interact with the information you would like to feature the most.
By employing conversion optimization into your site, you will increase your websites effectiveness dramatically.
So how do you do it?
Put yourself in your ideal clients shoes and imagine something that would really solve your most common problem or provide you with something that you would be very interested in. For example, if you were a dentist you could put a "free teeth whitening" call to action on your website so that when potential visitors came to your site, instead of leaving the site without interacting with you they may sign up for the free teeth whitening thereby providing you with an opportunity to build a relationship with this person and potentially provide them with more services.
This free offer should be something that is EASY for you to give away for free, something that you may already do all of the time, while at the same time enticing an ideal client to contact you or somehow provide you with their information. Think "top ten" lists, informational reports, instructional video...
2. Usability/Flow. It is important to know this simple fact: people do not want to see everything about your business on every single page of your website.
What are the top 3 features of your small business? What are the 3 top things that your IDEAL clientele are interested in? Focus on these core features on your home page and your main navigation and you will benefit greatly. This doesn't mean that you cannot expand upon other aspects of your business, but these things can be organized and put to great use in a blog or linked to throughout the main pages of your site for the people that want to view this more detailed secondary information.
Once you have chosen the top 3 features of your small business that your ideal clientele is most interested in, be sure to have each page guide the visitor through the website in a natural and flowing manner. Using our dentist as an example, if a visitor is on the "about" page and something about the dentist's experience, schooling or credentials makes them want to call in for a consultation, a link to the contact page or the dentists telephone number should be made very apparent. Or lets say this visitor would like to see some of the dentists work. Somewhere on that page should be a link or a call to action to view the gallery of the dentist's past dental work.
The point is to have each page of your website link to or somehow flow into the other pages of your website in a manner that is conducive to the content being shown at the time.
Because it is natural to want to share EVERYTHING about your business with a potential visitor, all too often you see websites that have far too much going on. This creates "choice paralysis".
Again, the important part here is to focus on the most appealing or sought-after features of your business and bolster them. I know you want visitors to know about who you are, what services you have, check out your portfolio, read your most recent blog post, check out your new sale, sign up for your newsletter, etc., etc., etc...but by cramming all of that onto each page, not only will most people simply leave your website, the people who were genuinely interested in your small business will become confused because of all of the options pulling at them and take no action at all.
It's the local web designs that focus on what their ideal clients biggest concerns or desires are that convert the most traffic into sales.
Putting first things first
At the end of the day conversion optimization is what will get the phone ringing. Use these 3 steps on your website and you will benefit from a higher conversion rate, from a higher quality lead.
Written by Shane Snyder, Co-Founder of Pixel Me Pink a local web design small business in San Diego, CA