At Results First we like to use a cheeky little phrase; “if the singer can’t sing.” This expression essentially means that you can have the best sound equipment, sound engineer, microphone and speakers in the world. But if the singer can’t sing… then you can imagine the result. It’s going to be terrible.
The same goes for your digital marketing strategy. You can have the best Performance Media Specialist, SEO expert, Social Specialist, and email marketing sent out… but if the singer can’t sing (that is, if your website doesn’t convert), then you are just flushing quality traffic away.
Here are 5 tips that will really make your website ‘sing’!
#1: Start with a strategy
Set yourself up to win. This means going back to basics. Start with a good foundation of a website that looks professional and is easy to navigate. A highly converting website doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, in many cases a more expensive option can over-complicate the process.
Ask yourself these fundamental questions: Why did I develop a website in the first place? What is the purpose of my website? What do I want it to do for my business? What do I want users to do on my website?
In our experience, the best converting websites have two very clear strategic pathways.
The first is a HARD conversion pathway. This is a clear, concise, frictionless way to lead the user to a sale, lead or enquiry. This is for the person with their credit card or phone in hand, and can sometimes be in the form of a dedicated landing page with limited distractions or just a slick product page.
The second is a SOFT conversion pathway. This ensures that there is a strategy for the people that aren’t ready to buy yet. This could be an exit offer (10% off), or an encouragement to sign up in exchange for something of value (discount, free e-book).
Some people will buy an album from their favourite artist without even listening to it, while others will seek out some singles before they buy. Cater to both types of fans!
#2: Give the user something to do
We cannot stress enough how important a strong ‘Call to Action’ is on your website. A ‘Call to Action’ is an instruction with the purpose of inducing an immediate response. For example, Call Now, Request a Free Quote, or Download our Pamphlet.
We are always surprised at the amount of websites that we see every day that don’t contain a button or call to action; just a phone number in the footer and a ‘Contact Us’ link in the navigation.
If you want a user to buy, make it easy for them to do so!
To put it into a retail scenario – imagine walking into a record store and being unable to find what you want or the register to pay. You would walk out. It’s the same with an online store.
Calls to action – Service Example
Some examples of strong ‘calls to action’ for a services or ‘brochure’ website are above. Note the easy ‘Make an Enquiry’ form, ‘Free Quote’ and ‘Call now for $40 off’. This example also has strong value/ trust additions; such as the ’24 Hours Emergency Service’, ‘100% Satisfaction Guarantee’ and the ’45 Years Experience’.
Calls to action – Ecommerce Example
http://www.world2nzgifts.com/ Some examples of strong ‘calls to action’ for an e-commerce website are above. Note the mention of free delivery NZ wide, and the pop up box which allows the user to sign up for the newsletter and get 10% off their next order. The inclusion of the landline on the top right-hand side of the website also adds trust.
#3: Keep it simple
We have found that users tend to have short attention spans. If they can’t enter their credit card details or find your contact details in 3 clicks, start saying goodbye to some of your leads. Keep descriptions brief, use engaging headlines and offer something of serious value.
Referring back to the record store scenario above – you’re browsing the shelves and an employee starts waffling on about a band that doesn’t interest you, their sounds, their genre, etc. You may politely make an excuse and leave quickly without buying anything.
#4: Track everything!
So you’ve taken the above steps and you’re making sales or receiving enquires – but how do you know where they’ve come from? You are going to want to start driving traffic to this sexy new selling machine so you will need to know what’s working and what’s not.
Your website must have at least basic tracking elements in place to see how effectively your site is converting and where the conversions are coming from. At the very least a website should have Google Analytics installed, Google Analytics Goals set up and, if applicable, Google Analytics E-Commerce tracking (for e-commerce websites).
Track everything – because you don’t know what you don’t know. Having a great set of historical data with statistical significance means you have instant answers when you wake up in the middle of the night wondering which hour of the day converts highest in a Namibian Winter.
#5: Test, Test, Test
Always, always, always be testing, testing, testing! What happens if a different headline convinced more people to buy, but you are happy with the current one? We can’t stress enough that on the Internet, anything goes. We can make assumptions which may be correct, but it remains an assumption until we can prove it. Don’t miss out on more bang for your buck!
If you need to ‘go back to basics’ and work on your strategy, or just want some ideas or analysis, get in touch with the Results First team. We will have you on top of the charts in no time!