August 17, 2016

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A few weeks ago, I talked to a business owner that was at his wit’s end. He’d spent thousands of dollars building out a new website (that was delayed 6 months from the original due date). He had new pictures taken for the site. He setup a new hosting account. He created a Facebook page. He added the website URL to their business cards.

So what’s the problem?

He had very little traffic to his website and to make it worse, he was only converting 1-2% of the traffic to leads.

So his obvious question was, “how do I get the other 98% to contact us?”

This problem is an epidemic, yet most business owners have no idea that they are losing out on 98% of the people that visit their website. The good news is, there is a better way.

Regardless if you’re a small company or even a middle-sized company, you can now compete with the large companies – if you setup your site correctly.

Below are 7 tips that will help you create a better converting website.

Focus On What You Want People To Do

Every page on your site should have language and imagery that directs the user to take the action you want. If you want them to fill out an estimate request, say it. An excellent way to do this is with landing pages. On a landing page, you can remove all of the unnecessary elements (such as navigation) and just speak to the offer and action. Look for elements you can remove from your site that are distracting people from taking action.

Use The Same Language In Your Copy And Navigation

If you offer a “free estimate” in your body copy, don’t call it “quote request” in your navigation. People look for a reason to leave and confusing them with different language causes them to disconnect and leave your site without taking action.

Guard Your Home Page

Even if you run advertising that points to landing pages, people will still take a look at your home page. You must protect this real estate. Don’t clutter it up with tons of different products and offers. Our philosophy is, “sell one thing”. By that, we mean one thing at a time. When you make a laundry list of everything you do, people get distracted. The best approach is to setup offers (monthly or quarterly) and then rotate the offer on your home page.

As an addition to this, make sure you emphasize your primary service on your home page. A roofer I recently consulted with couldn’t understand why he wasn’t getting leads. Well the reason he was struggling to get residential leads was that the first two images on his site are these:

bad-homepage2

You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of his home page to find the residential information.

Emphasize The Benefits Of Working With You

People make decisions directly on how they benefit from the outcome. So when you design your home page, make sure to use headlines that convey benefits. Keep your list of benefits at around 5. Examples of a benefit might be, “Protect the contents of your home” or “avoid expensive leaks”.

Use Testimonials

Testimonials are the “personal referral” of the Internet. According to multiple polls (including Neilsen) people value online reviews and testimonials more than any other source (outside friend referrals). When people are looking for a real estate agent, home builder or home service provider, they don’t know whom to trust. So they look to see whom other people trust. If you don’t use testimonials on your website and in your advertising, you are drastically impacting your efforts in a negative way.

The best format to use is to include a photo, first name, last initial, city and a two or three sentence review.

Use Direct Response Marketing

Remember those guys that used to send you the $1 Columbia House trials? How about Billy Mays and OxiClean? What about the new guy that sprays the rubber stuff on the bottom of the screen door boat? The people that write direct response copy are some of the brightest marketing minds on the planet. Here are some elements of great direct response copy:

  • Headline
  • Sub-headline
  • A Clear Offer
  • Proof/Testimonials/Reviews
  • Guarantees

Direct response is a fairly advanced subject but even if you just start by making sure you address these points, you will see the benefit.

Don’t Get Cute With Your Images

I know it’s sexy to have a flashy website. People don’t buy from you because you have a flashy website. Don’t let bad photos or too many photos take away from the message of the site. Keep your copy front and center.

Individually, each of these changes might only equal 1 or 2% change in conversions. When you stack them together, you can experience some serious growth in your list.

Or, you can ignore these changes and continue to let 98% of your site traffic leave with little to no chance of returning. Make an offer, have a call to action, be clear about what you want the user to do and you’ll be one step closer to closing the deal.

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