Having a website which is optimised to generate new business is a powerful asset. However, it doesn’t happen by accident, and it definitely doesn’t happen by creating something which just looks ‘nice’. Like any strategy, it requires thought and execution. The tips below will ensure you are on the right track.
1) What would you love someone to do while they are on your website?
In order to have a successful website, the first step is to define what success looks like. Would you like someone to buy, call or give you their details? Clarity is essential as it will guide every page and every element within each page. For many B2B websites, the ideal would be a telephone call, therefore you should place your business’ number in a prominent position. Don’t just hide it in the footer of the website or on the contact us page.
2) Who would you like to convert?
Not only do you need to decide what would be a success, you also need to decide who you are aiming your site at. Take this example for instance… You are looking at generating enquires from high net worth individuals who are approaching retirement. They are technology savvy but don’t live on Facebook. However, you look at your site and in the top banner is a link to every social network and all the photos on the site are young people dressed informally. The website visitor might not be able to verbalise why the site doesn’t feel right, but plain and simple, it’s not been designed for them. Aim your site at the people who will be buying your product or service.
3) Build your website around your target conversion and audience
The brief now becomes simple, you would like a website which motivates high net worth individuals to call you. All your photos, language, testimonials and call to actions should be laser focussed on this target. If you service separate target markets, split them as soon as possible so you can treat them with a website which is tailored to them.
4) You have literal seconds…
Unless you are selling something which is extremely rare or at a significantly reduced price, you literally have seconds before a website visitor decides whether they leave or stay. Therefore, lead with your best. Powerful testimonials, punchy value propositions and best selling products should all be top and centre to avoid never being seen. ‘Merchandise’ your website like it is a high street store – optimise your shop window.
5) Build trust as soon as you can
Credit card logos, testimonials, celebrity endorsements and trade body memberships all build the picture of trust. It is so important to make someone feel comfortable. First establish trust, second respect, by portraying your expertise, and third put enough personality into your website to allow people to like you. A simple photo on the about us page, a video or other human touches will make people feel comfortable making contact.
6) Review your competitors
Review competitors websites and ask yourself this tough question, ‘If I were to swap our logo with theirs, would the sites say the same thing?’. This will allow you to check for differentiation. Then work your way through the site checking the elements already discussed. How are their trust factors? Which products are they focussing on? Which conversion are they trying to achieve? You may now either have some gaps you need to fix or you deserve a pat on the back.
7) Make an offer
On many occasions, people will need a little more motivation than seeing a phone number or an add to cart button. So what is your offer? A free review? 5% discount for first-time shoppers? A portfolio review? Or simply a knowledgeable person to talk to at the end of the phone? Make it stand out and ensure it is in line with what the visitor would value and not just what is easy for you to give.
8) Design for thumbs
With so many people browsing the web from their mobile phones, ensuring your website is not only compatible but gives a great experience is essential. Thumbs are much bigger than mouse pointers so buttons need to be bigger. The text needs to be appropriately sized, and the order the content is displayed is important. The content should flow well on a long scrolling page.
9) Configure Google Analytics
Google Analytics will give you most of the answers you need in order to optimise how well your website performs. It will show you which content is good, which pages people are finding from search engines and where people leave your buying process prematurely. One issue commonly seen is companies not excluding their own IP address, which simply means if your team visit your website 200 times a month, that will be reflected in the statistics – and can dramatically skew your data.
10) And for the brave, live chat and Bots
No one really wants to talk to an automated computer… unless it is 2am and they have an urgent question. Live chat works well to answer questions visitors have while they are on the site, but Bot technology is exciting. You can enter your logic paths into a bot and it will simulate a conversation with your visitors. This can be as simple as signposting a visitor or booking an appointment. The key to success is not pretending that a bot is a real person.
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