Here are some of our favourite quick fixes which have converted non-performing websites into 24-hour sales machines.
Author: Charles Gregory
Designation: CEO of Internet Academy
Many of the clients we speak to have spent huge amounts of money on their websites but are unhappy with the results. The majority don’t do anything about it as they think it is going to incur more huge expenses and make the assumption that having a better website actually means having to start creating a brand new website from scratch.
In some cases that might be true but from our experience just a couple of tweaks here and there are enough to make the difference between a site making sales or not.
Here are some of our favourite quick fixes which have converted non-performing websites into 24-hour sales machines:
1) Have a call to action on every page
Every single page on your website needs to be working for you by making every visitor take some sort of action.
For example you might want them to give you a call, or click the ëbuyí button, watch a video or leave a comment.
Whatever it is, make sure you tell them what it is you want them to do. Make it easy for them. The last thing you want is for them to be wondering what to do. Donít assume that they know what to do, even if YOU think that it is perfectly obvious. Tell them.
2) Put your phone number on every page
Although this might seem like common sense, it is surprising to see how many companies bury their phone number deep within a site, making it hard for potential customers to contact them.
In a lot of cases, visitors have actually come to the site to look for your phone number, so donít make them hunt for it.
Putting it at the top right hand corner is best, but you can also put it in the footer of your site. It doesnít really matter where you put it, as long as it is there to find.
3) Add an About Us page
About Us pages often help customers decide whether or not to buy from you.
Whether they are a businessperson or a consumer, when a person selects a company to do business with, they like to know who they are going to be working with, so donít be afraid to tell your visitor who you are. By adding photographs of you and your staff with short bios about them, you begin to become real people not just a faceless company.
Listing your experience and credentials is important but engage your visitors, tell them a bit about your hobbies, your family life and things you like to do for fun. Letting the visitor see the real you builds their confidence and trust when doing business with you.
4) Add your business opening hours
There is no such thing as typical opening hours these days, so you need to tell your visitors when you are available.
Making your business hours known is very helpful to customers and can solve their frustration if they visit or ring you when you are not open.
5) Don’t be afraid to use big bold images
Images speak louder than words. The Internet is very visual and people respond well to images, so include images on your site that the customer will engage with.
You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy graphics. Simply take pictures of your team in action, shots of your local area, your premises or any recent projects you have worked on.
All of these things help to engage your customers and let them know more about you and your business.
6) Make your site mobile friendly
Mobile is huge. More and more people will be visiting your site via their smartphone or tablet.
You need to make sure visiting your site on a mobile device is a positive experience. Sites that are not optimised to be seen on tiny screens can be frustratingly difficult to navigate around for your potential clients. They wonít persevere, they will simply move to another site.
There are a number of ways to make your site mobile friendly and we will be happy to give you advice.
7) Add referrals
Your existing customers are a huge asset to your company. They can provide real life case studies and testimonials informing potential new customers how good your product or service is, how you saved them time and money or how efficient your staff are.
How do you get testimonials? Just ask. Most customers will be more than happy to oblige if you ask them.
8) Match your company branding
For continuity and to help create instant brand awareness ensure your online presence matches your bricks and mortar business. It helps customers to both recognize your company and to remember you.
9) Take off the music
Do you enjoy listening to elevator music? No? Neither do your customers. Never put music on your website. It isn’t relaxing or funny. It is just annoying. Just because you can, does’nt mean that you should.
Remove anything that might appear annoying to your customers (music, flashing images, etc) or anything that might distract them from doing what you want them to do, such as buying your product or service.
10) It ís time to get social
Have you embraced social media yet? Your customers have. They interact with thousands of people on the Internet all the time and are very influenced by it. People listen to other people’s recommendations and are interested in their like and dislikes.
If you haven’t already done so, it is time your business went social. Get started with a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Focus marketing on that platform then move on to another network.
We know it can be quite daunting but we have some great tips for you so please contact us if you want to know how and where to get started.
11) Be an authority website
If you want to be known as the authority site in your niche or area of expertise, add some resources to your site that show potential customers you know your stuff.
These resources could be reports, white papers, surveys, helpful links, videos etc. They all add credibility and will encourage visitors to buy from you rather than from a competitor.
12) Know your sites main purpose
So many businesses forget about this. All they know is they need a website, so they just slap one up without thinking what they want the main goal or purpose of their site to be.
Ask yourself :
Why do you have/want a website?
What do you want your site to do?
How much sales do I want from my website?
Is it part of my company branding or marketing tool?
Spend some time thinking about your answer then make it your top priority to see that your website accomplishes that goal.
13) Start again from scratch
While starting again is not ideal because it takes a lot of time, money and resources, sometimes a site is so badly designed that you have no other choice.
For example if you have an old site that was set up in the 90ís, it probably looks old and dated now. Starting again with brand new technology and a new fresh design, instead of trying to patch up the old site, could be a smart move and pay for itself many times over.
Even if you have zero tech skills you can still determine your siteís purpose and what you want it to do. Sketch out a quick design, along with a plan of what you would like the site to accomplish, then hire a team of professionals who can make it happen.
14) Hire a professional
The Internet has changed so much in recent years. What worked well 5 or ten years ago doesn’t work now.
If you have been looking after your site yourself, or got one of your employee’s sons or nephews to create your site, it may well be worth calling on the services of a professional team to come in on the project. Not only will they bring in fresh new designs but they will also share their experience, expertise and creativity.
That is what we do. Not only can be give your site a fresh new look, more importantly we share our marketing skills to make sure your site converts customers 24 hours a day.
Even just applying one or more of the tips here will have a significant effect on your site and increase your business profits. Simply pick a couple that you can identify with and make the changes to your site.
Don’t forget that we are always here if you want any website or marketing advice and we can help take your website and business to the next level.