Every visit to your website is an opportunity. With each new visit, you have a chance to present a prospective customer or client with important information about your business. Needless to say, you don’t want to waste these chances by adding value to your website. If someone leaves without contacting you or making a purchase, they aren’t just going to give up – they are likely going to land on the competition’s website.
To collect as many customers as possible, you need your website to be a fine-tuned conversion machine. We’ve created thousands of landing pages over the years for our clients across North America to generate local leads, so we decided to take a look at some of the best practices that have impacted conversion rates over the years. In this post, we’ll highlight some easy steps you can take to extract more value out of your site than ever before.
Mobile-Friendly Is A Must
One of the quickest improvements you can make to your website marketing efforts is to make your site mobile-friendly. As you may already know, most of your site visitors are going to be using some kind of mobile device. So, building a site that only looks good on a desktop computer is a foolish plan. Build your site with all kinds of users in mind and make sure your pages look great no matter what piece of technology your visitor happens to prefer.
There are a couple of points to consider with regard to mobile-friendliness.
First, you want to make sure the code of the website is able to adapt to a mobile visitor when they arrive. Responsive designs adapt to the device the visitor is using, making sure the site renders in a way that will make it easy to navigate. For instance, the menus may change position based on the type of device a visitor is using, so that everyone gets a great experience.
Beyond the nuts and bolts of the site, there are simple decisions you can make as you add content and images which will make your site more enjoyable in a mobile browser. Some of those key points are as follows –
Use short paragraphs
Have you ever encountered a large ‘wall’ of text when visiting a website on a mobile device? Most likely, you have quickly tapped on the back button when you see such a big collection of words. Simply put, most people don’t want to read that much text on their mobile devices. They may be too busy, or they might not want to stare at that tiny screen for so long. Whatever the case, keep your paragraphs short to engages visitors more effectively. Once you have written some content for your site, go back to it a week later and read it again. Most likely, you’ll find ways to say the same thing while using fewer words.
Use real images
There is no debate that great images can help a web page engage the audience and help them get your message. But too many images, or images that are too large, will only bog down your site and make it harder to use for mobile visitors. Only add the images that you feel are truly necessary, while leaving the others to the side. Also, make sure all images are optimized before they are loaded to your site, just to ensure you aren’t using more bandwidth than needed to get your pages loaded up.
Make links easy to click
Remember, when someone uses your site on a mobile device, they are likely to be ‘clicking’ on links by tapping a finger on the screen. So, if you make your links too small, it could be hard for a mobile user to click them accurately. This is a minor point, but it is one that can improve the usability of your site as a whole.
Use Real Images Over Stock Photos
The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is ancient, but it rings true to this day. If you use only free images on your website, you can probably guess what kind of quality will be reflected in those images. They certainly aren’t going to impress your visitors, and they might take away from your brand as a whole. By paying for your images and selecting the right images for the message you are trying to create, you’ll be on the right track for a productive and profitable site.
Of course, for some businesses, it will be necessary to take your own photos because you’ll want to represent your work, your team, your location, etc. And that’s great – having photos that represent your actual business, rather than just stock photography, is valuable. But snapping those pictures with your smartphone and expecting them to do the job is a bit unrealistic. Rather, you should consider bringing in a professional photographer to take the pictures and edit them before they go on the site. This small investment in professional help can go a long way.
What’s the big deal about having quality images on your website? You need to remember that in this digital age, your website is the virtual front door to your business. When someone clicks on a link that takes them to your site or enters your web address directly into their browser, the page they land on is likely to be their first interaction with your brand. What do they see? Are they impressed at the quality and professionalism, or does it look like the site was cobbled together in an afternoon? It is sites that represent their businesses properly which will lead to the most sales in the end.
What do you want people to do when they visit your website? If your business is like most others, what you’d like them to do is pick up the phone and give you a call. That phone call will represent a new lead, one which you will attempt to close into a sale. So, if you want a website visitor to give you a call, it’s essential that you make your phone number as easy to find as possible. Don’t hide it on the contact page or in the footer – although it should be in those places, as well. Put your number in a large font at the top of the page, and place it somewhere else prominent, like a sidebar.
Let Your Customers Do The Talking
It’s smart to get into the habit of collecting testimonials after each successful job is completed. Those words of praise from past clients can go a long way toward convincing new customers to come your way. All it will take is a quick follow up email to ask for a testimonial, and many of your clients or customers will be happy to oblige.
Once you have collected at least a few of these notes of praise, make sure to display the quotes prominently on your site for all to see. In addition to a dedicated testimonial page, you can also slip the quotes in other content areas, such as in a slider or between image blocks.
However, you do it, don’t be shy about letting the world know just how much great work you have already done – and how much more you hope to do. Humans are social creatures, and they’ll be far more likely to give you a chance if they see that others have done the same and were satisfied with what you delivered.
Invest In Quality Writing
It’s easy to overlook the importance of quality writing when putting together your website. Many business owners will obsess over the smallest details of the design while completely forgetting that it is the words on the web pages that will really sell goods and services. The words you put on your site are your opportunity to make a sales pitch – and you may only get one shot. Fine-tuning your web copy is an important task and one which you would be wise to invest in heavily.
There are a couple of ways to go about content creation for your website. For one, you could write all of the content yourself, or have it written by someone on your team. This is appealing because the writer will have direct, first-hand knowledge of the business. With that said, writing a compelling website copy is hard, and you might not have anyone in-house capable of doing a professional job.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to hire someone to do some writing – or editing – for you. As long as you hand that person as much information as possible about the business, you should get a solid copy in return. Hiring a writer is relatively affordable, and you can return to the same person time after time so the style throughout your site is consistent.
Success with your website largely comes down to not making any silly mistakes. You don’t have to create the greatest website in the world or anything along those lines. As long as you build a solid site that has great copy and images, loads well on mobile devices include your phone number and features some testimonials, you should be able to make progress.
The Big Picture about Website Conversion Rate Optimization for Business Owners
From displaying your phone number effectively to investing in quality images of your company, these are just a few suggestions to increase your site conversion and gain more loyal customers along the way. As said earlier, being fantastic at your job is valuable, but not enough to put you on the map for others to see. Using today’s tools and technology to showcase your dedication and hard work may be just the little push you need.
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