How is your website performing? Most business owners track visits to their website on a weekly or monthly basis. That’s a good start, but it doesn’t give you the entire picture. The percentage of these visitors who actually convert (into a sale, by booking an appointment, etc.) – your conversion rate – is a much more accurate measurement of your website’s success. That’s because not everyone who visits your website is ready to buy. But for the ones who are, and want to buy from you, your website needs to be working haaaard for the money.

Measuring these things and acting on them are two different things entirely. Duct Tape Marketing has some pretty clear instructions on how to establish and track your conversions. Once you’ve got that down, there are a few things you can do to up your chances of wooing visitors into action.

Loading Speed

We want what we want, and we want it NOW! In the digital age, instant gratification isn’t just for toddlers throwing tantrums in candy stores. It’s for every consumer with a smart phone and a weak WiFi signal. So when someone finds your business online, the experience they have viewing your website is important.

To start, your page needs to load. It needs to load pretty darn quickly, and it needs to do so on any device. When it doesn’t, you’ll notice an uptick in bounce rates, or people who leave your page to visit another website. One of the latest options to tackle loading your site is skeleton screens. This type of website loads your pages in stages. Instead of staring at a blank, white screen, users instead see pieces of the page pop up as it’s loading. This will make the page feel like it’s loading faster, and users can engage with your website before it’s fully loaded.

Tell Your Story

The information you include on your website is critical. Customers are craving authentic stories, and for small business owners, you’re held to an even higher standard. Since you may not have the power of a big, name brand backing you, customers want to know they can trust your business before they rely on you for any product or service. We talk a little more about SEO in our latest blog on long-tail keywords. Here’s the gist:

The best way to tell your story is by describing your business clearly and with passion. Be honest about what your niche is and what makes you special, particularly if you do anything differently from the competition.

Don’t be afraid to include content “below the fold.” Traditionally, web designers have strayed from building out pages that required downward scrolling, because they feared visitors wouldn’t tolerate it. With an increase in mobile viewing, however, scrolling is back in style. Since it’s easy to scroll upward and downward on almost any mobile device (easier than clicking through small links for more information), feel free to add that extra tidbit that will make your business sound special.

Call-to-action Buttons

Your call-to-action button should seal the deal. If it’s not bringing its A-game, consider your website a bust.

There are plenty of ways to boost your call to action.

  • Make sure you only have one prominent call to action. Having more than one is not only harder to track, it can be confusing for customers.
  • Make sure the call to action you choose is right for your business. If you are an appointment-based business, a “Book Now” button makes much more sense than a “Contact Us” button. It gives customers the option to self-serve at any time of day or night and relieves you of playing some serious games of phone tag.
  • Make it stand out. There’s no shame in using a large, bold, all caps font for this button, since it’s obvious how important it is to your page.

If you’re already seeing a good number of conversions by way of a solid CTA, the latest and greatest trend is to animate your button. We’re not condoning making your button bounce around the page. Instead, a simple, very subtle movement every few seconds can call attention to the button without annoying your customers.

Landing Page Optimization

Dynamic content is no longer a tech term; it’s a marketing tool businesses large and small should start taking seriously. Dynamic content, also referred to as adaptive content, changes based on the audience. Dynamic pages create custom user experiences designed to convert visitors based on assumptions about their unique preferences.

You could make your website’s homepage dynamic, sure. You’ll just need a large amount of data on your customers and a marketing automation expert. …OK, maybe not.

A more doable approach that’s gaining popularity is to rely more on landing pages for personalization. Instead of directing everyone straight to your homepage, use ads, emails and online marketing to direct customers to specific landing pages targeting their perceived demographic. This custom experience will provide a more seamless experience and maybe even make them feel a little special.

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