Are you thinking about updating your website design? If it’s outdated or clunky, this is likely a good move. But before you get caught up in fancy features and flashy color schemes, there’s something you should know: A pretty website is a waste of money.
It’s true! Sure, a good-looking, modern website is a great thing to have. But it’s not just there to wow visitors. It’s there for two much more important reasons: solving your customers’ problems and bringing you new leads. If these are not your priorities when building a new website, you’re wasting your time and money. Harsh, but true. A conversion-focused website design is a key investment you need to grow a strong business.
What is conversion-focused website design?
At the simplest level, a conversion-focused website attracts your target customers and makes it as easy as possible for them to take some type of action - a phone call, a web form submission, or sometimes even an online transaction.
That means that even with amazing website traffic, your site needs to function like a big funnel, encouraging visitors to take action rather than browsing and leaving. Spending marketing dollars to bring people to a site that doesn’t convert is a waste of your time and your money while marketing a conversion-focused site will attract more customers at a lower overall cost.
Let’s do some math to visualize…
If your website gets 1,000 visitors a month but only converts 5% of that traffic, that means you have 50 leads that month.
1,000 (website traffic) x 0.05 (conversion rate) = 50 leads
Now let’s say your website converts that same amount of traffic at 10%. (This is our minimum percentage goal for our own clients.) Now you have 100 leads - double the amount you had before at no extra effort or cost.
1,000 (website traffic) x 0.10 (conversion rate) = 100 leads
Depending on the lifetime value of each customer, this can mean thousands of dollars with only a few basic tweaks.
How to Implement a Conversion Strategy
Understand Your Customer
The first step in implementing a conversion strategy is understanding your customers’ pain points and how you can solve them. Ask yourself the following questions:
Who am I communicating with? Who is my target customer?
What problems do my target customers have that I can solve?
How does solving those problems bring value to those customers? What is the benefit of my service?
What is my overall goal for the website?
Use this information to tailor your messaging to your target clients. Appealing to their needs is the fastest way to grab their attention and compel them to take action.
Understand your purpose
Every page of your website should have one purpose: to sell your company to the visitor. Whether it’s a service page or a careers page, there is always a next step that will bring that visitor closer to doing what you want: asking a question, filling out a form, or submitting an application. Make sure that your messaging and your design help the visitor to follow the path you want them to follow.
The 3-Step Model
You only have milliseconds to connect with your target customer once they’ve landed on your website. They need to know they’re in the right place, or else they’ll move on. The simplest way to lock them in is to follow this model:
1. Get their attention. Have a clear proposition that speaks directly to your target customer on an emotional level. Be sure to include a clear benefit and immediate gain for the customer.
2. Get them engaged. Once you’ve reeled them in with your proposition, the next step is to maintain momentum by keeping their interest. Affirm their instinct to take action by including things they’d like to see, like positive reviews and industry awards. And resolve their concerns by soothing any fears or doubts.
3. Call them to action. Don’t be afraid to tell your customers what to do. It’s human nature to put off action until later, but that can mean the difference between a website visitor choosing you or a competitor. Make sure you have a nice, big button on your page with a call-to-action (CTA) that compels the visitor to click.
Every Page Is a Sales Funnel
The final step is to go page by page through your site. Each and every one should have a clear goal and act as a funnel that guides visitors to complete that goal. Even if the goal isn't actually a sale - maybe it's a review form, maybe it's an employment application - the goal should be clear and the page should be set up the same as any other. If you find pages of your website that do not have a goal or don't fit into the overall funnel, get rid of them. They're dead zones where interested visitors might choose to leave your site rather than take action.
By following these steps, you'll reduce your cost per lead and turn your website into a conversion tool, rather than fancy window dressing!
To learn more about how to grow your service business online, check out our book, Grow! Inbound Marketing System. It was written for service business owners just like you, and is full of actionable steps to turn your website into a lead-generation goldmine.