The Three Things Your Website Needs Most to Convert Business
Smart businesses build clear and coherent websites and run marketing campaigns that are designed to get as many potential customers to their own website as possible.
We recently chatted to Mike Berry about high converting websites and asked him three big questions.
Q1: What is the first most important thing a website needs to convert?
Websites to some might just be part of the marketing mix, but they’re one of the most important. And like all marketing assets, if you want to maximise their effectiveness, you simply have to understand your customer.
Customers are on a journey whenever they visit a website. It’s likely they have a problem that needs to be resolved and they’ve arrived at your site because of some signposting somewhere else on the web that grabbed their attention.
But that doesn’t mean they want to buy straight away. Focusing on their problem, showing understanding and presenting solutions with evidence that has worked for others just like them is the best way to build a high converting website.
Because it earns their trust and shows them that we can help them get what they need.
The best ways to show you understand them is to demonstrate understanding and knowledge of their world and their problems. This means loading up on frequently asked questions, authority articles, case studies, testimonials and reviews.
Q2: Once you know who you’re targeting and what their problems and needs are, what is the next most important thing a website needs to convert?
As Geraint alluded to in his content strategy session, content and tone is fundamental to building websites and landing pages that convert. It has to talk to your customers. So you need to talk to your customers.
In blunt content terms, this means actually talking about them in your website content. Mention them, talk about their challenges, about their aspirations. They need to see it for it to resonate.
The best brands are supremely clear about this. There’s no surprise web designers follow Apple’s lead for design and content. They focus on benefits to users, not just the features. Anchor benefits and transformation in how it helps and where it takes them.
Conversely the worst brands talk about themselves – littering their sites with words like “we” and “our”.
Ask happy customers why they picked you (and still do) as it will provide some insights that you can build real communications around. It’s often not what you think when sitting in your own glass tower.
And if you want a true 360 degree perspective, you could get feedback from others who opted to buy elsewhere?
Q3: What is the third important thing a website needs to convert?
Converting customers as we’ve discussed involves gaining their trust, positioning the offer in line with what they need and helping them buy. The important part in that statement is the last bit because people don’t want to be sold to, but they do want to buy.
You need to set yourself up to convert.
Some techniques work well to keep people on websites where the action is to get in touch (b2b), others to stimulate a direct purchase or booking (b2c). Consider your own sales model, your typical customer and typical transaction value to establish whether they can self service or need more support.
In our regular masterclass sessions and 1:1 coaching with clients we focus on the following. You’ll also see several in action on this website!
- Build better landing pages. By better, we mean more expansive. Give all the information about the benefits gained by linking product offers to problems.
- Write better benefit propositions by digging deeper into how transformation can be achieved – this can even come from challenging b2b products and services if you think about the individual user and buyer.
- On product pages, be sure to feature user feedback and testimonials at regular intervals. Having a separate page doesn’t work quite as well. They need to be embedded within the content your prospective customers are actually interacting with.
- Create better FAQs posts and sections that help remove sales obstacles.
- Use more in-site page linking (like the recommended reading we use on all our blog posts).
- Consider pop ups and widgets with current offers, like the content we feature in the right hand margin.
- Offer trials – particularly good for software, professional services, memberships and subscriptions.
- Display and promote exclusive or time sensitive offers.
It’s a massive area and one we’re going to be exploring in more detail over the coming months.
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