Many business owners don't see their website as a tool for generating leads and sales. They know they need a website "in this day and age", but they aren't really sure where to start, what to put for content, how much content they need, what information a customer needs to make a decision, or how to get visitors to pick up the phone or stop by the store.
Here are some ways to improve your website's conversion: techniques that we at Common Sense Web Marketing use on every single one of our customer's websites (and ours, as you will see). These techniques are widely accepted among SEOs and really all advertising authorities, but you won't find them on most websites!
ABC has had a long and glorious history in marketing. What does it stand for? Always Be Closing. You don't know what information is needed or how much convincing is needed to convert a visitor into a sale. All people are different and require differing amounts of information in order to make a decision. I know for me, often times all I want to know is the phone number. Statically speaking, any company you choose is going to be in the median as far as service and price, and the iron fist of Google keeps most irrelevant or unsavory websites out of search results.
However, many people like to research everything in depth before making a decision. Most people fall somewhere on a continuum between calling the first company they see and researching each one thoroughly. So where do you put the CTA (call to action)? Everywhere! Our customers' websites have the phone number, address, and the contact form on every page, usually "above the fold". They all at least have the phone number above the fold. As for our website, you can see that we have our entire value proposition and a strong CTA above the fold on the home page, and several more CTAs up and down most pages.
2. The Inverted Pyramid
You may remember a writing technique from school that journalists use called the inverted pyramid. Journalists, especially field correspondents, don't always know how much room their column will have in the newspaper. Because of this uncertainty, journalists put the most interesting details of their articles first. That way, if the editor decides to chop off 200 words from the end of the article, they will be the least interesting 200 words.
Even though there's no limit to the length of articles online, there are limits to how much attention your visitors are willing to give your website. Everyone wants information as fast as possible, and there are many jumping off points along the way where you're visitors might say "enough!" and either call you or go to a competitor's website. We don't want them to leave after reading the least compelling arguments for why they should call you, we want them to read the most compelling arguments in your favor before their finite attention span wears off.
That's why at Common Sense Web Marketing, we keep it brief and compelling initially. We'll list why customers should call you (and if we learned one thing from BuzzFeed, it's that people LOVE lists), tell them the services you offer, and give them your phone number. These are the best arguments you can provide for why people should call you. But most websites are not laid out that way. Many just provide little more information that an entry in a directory. As a visitor, I don't care about your phone number or address unless you give me a reason to call in the first place!
3. SEO SEO SEO!
SEO is very important in the Information Age. Anyone can pay to shove ads in your face. You know to ignore ads. But without pay for ads to show up in search engine results, how will your website get found? Sure, you can print it on your business cards and your fleet vehicles, but this will only get a handful of visitors.
What you need is to show up in the organic search results. I can tell you that when I'm searching for a product or service, especially locally, I don't click on ads. Ads are clearly labeled in the search results of all major search engines and I deliberately avoid them unless they also appear in the organic search results.
It should stand to reason that customers will not know about you unless they can find you! That's why at Common Sense Web Marketing, our #1 focus is always SEO. Pretty websites are great, but SEO is king! We've honed our skills over the years and our customers have seen the fruit.
Here at Common Sense Web Marketing, these three broad, basic principles are at the forefront of our strategy whenever we build customer sites. No single one works without the two. You can have great, compelling content with a strong CTA, but if no one sees it, you won't make sales! By the same token, if you have great SEO but lackluster content and no obvious CTA, you won't make sales! If you're ready to start getting more sales, give us a call and we'll set you up with a great website in a week.
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