Below are seven ways to increase the likelihood that visitors to your site will become customers.
1. Limit the Focus of Your Landing Pages
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is creating catch-all landing pages. The thought behind this approach would appear to make sense and goes something like, “If I show visitors all my products and / or services, surely something will catch their eye.” This approach is also defended on the grounds that diversification lends credibility to the business.
In fact, all it does is confuse and overwhelm visitors. Remember, visitors who arrive at your site via search engines have used specific keywords in their search queries. They know what they’re looking for and don’t want to have to conduct another search to find it once they’ve arrived at your landing page.
A much better approach is to limit the number of products or services on any given page to one or two. This approach will also help your pages rank high in search engine results.
2. Don’t Hide the Important Stuff
To visitors, the “important stuff” is information about the specific products or services they’re interested in purchasing. To you, the important stuff is the how they go about purchasing from you or making a connection that can lead to a purchase in the future.
Make sure that you have concise, well written copy and strong calls to action featured prominently “above the fold” where visitors can see it without having to scroll down the page.
3. Ask for the Sale
A major weakness for many sales people is that they fail to ask for the sale. The same is true for many Web sites. Strong calls to action are essential if you want your site to convert. If your business is like most, visitors are unlikely to purchase on their first visit to your Web site, but they may be interested in receiving information about special offers or connecting with you in some manner.
Don’t be shy about telling visitors what you want them to do. It’s also a good idea to give them a couple of options. Calls to action may include “Order Now and Save”, “Learn More”, “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” or “Download Our Whitepaper.”
Another effective tactic is close-ended calls to action. These types of calls to action require the visitor to take action within a certain time period in order to receive additional benefits as in the “Order Now and Save” example.
4. Provide a Road Map
Make sure to provide prospects with a clear conversion path. Each step in the path should lead seamlessly to the next and not provide opportunities for your prospects to get distracted and abandon the process.
A good way to tell if there are road blocks or diversions in your conversion path is to look at your analytics. If you see that visitors are abandoning the process at a particular point, it’s usually a good indication that you need to tighten up the copy or remove links that lead away from the conversion.
5. Don’t Interrupt the Sales Flow with Other Offers
The fact that a prospect has taken the initial steps toward buying from you doesn’t mean they are your customer – yet. Once a visitor has begun a purchase, don’t inadvertently sabotage the sale by presenting them with other offers before they complete the check out process.
Don’t tell your prospect that people who bought “X” also bought “Y” until after they’ve completed the purchase of “X”. Likewise, don’t provide links to “Related Items”, “Current Specials” and the like until after the initial sale is completed.
6. Don’t Overwhelm Them with Copy
Nothing makes people click the back button faster than margin to margin text. The time people spend on Web pages is typically only a couple of minutes or less, and there is a direct correlation between voluminous amounts of text and short abandon times. Keep your copy brief and to the point. Using bullet points, lists, headlines and images will make your pages more readable and thereby more likely to convert.
7. Establish Trust
Another obstacle to conversions is lack of trust in your products and services or your business in general. As people have become increasingly involved in social media, they have begun to expect that the companies they do business with will do the same. Having a social presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn can go a long way toward establishing your legitimacy and building trust.
Other ways to build trust include providing your contact information, including your physical address, and making sure your content is well written and free of typos. It’s also a good idea to have an “About Us” page with information about your company’s principle officers or employees.
You should also make sure your copy demonstrates your commitment to quality and customer service in a way that sounds sincere. Try to stay away from clichés that sound hollow and can turn potential prospects into missed opportunities.