Let’s face it, building a website that converts is not as simple as Wix would have you believe!
Not EVERYONE, knows just what should go into a website, how to make it look good, and how to make it convert the first time they create a website. Your website will evolve over time and that is okay! You may have to try a few things with your specific audience and tweak until your messaging resonates with THEM, rather than you.
In today’s online world it is important though to have a clear direction for your site, otherwise, you just have a pretty (or not so pretty) site up but no conversions!
In 2014, upper management decided they needed a “professional website” designed, went with a local design agency instead of their in house website person (me), tanked their online companies profits that year because the website wasn’t up and running, thought a name change would be a good idea, and when they realized their mistake the next year, I was able to make a new website for them in about a month rather than 9+ that the local agency took, and within 2 years they were ranking better than ever organically in the searches.
With no Adwords traffic, no major ads of any kind, their website was able to bring in extra revenue for their company as they sold off extra merchandise that they were bringing in anyway for their local installation company.
Why were they able to do this without ads you might ask?
Because they could be found and when you landed on their site, there WAS (and unfortunately was is literal here) a clear sales path and everything looked great. In November 2017 I turned in my resignation after 10+ years of working there to pursue my own entrepreneurial pursuits (website design!). When I quit, the company was actually ranked #3 according to SEMRUSH.COM.
So what changed that they are loosing ranking? As soon as I left, they changed their template, but didn’t change the overall design of their website, therefore when you go to their site now, you will see that the site doesn’t look quite right as you scroll down, things are smooshed (yep, that’s not a real word but it fits), and you quickly want to leave because it seems a little off, increasing their bounce rate. In addition the new template removed some of the add on’s like reviews, Q&A’s, and quick contact information to name a few that are no longer working as intended.
Yes, I did offer to continue to help them with their site, unfortunately they thought they knew better.
Sadly, all of these things could be changed by following the advice I am giving you below. And even sadder, is the fact that MANY websites have these same mistakes repeated across the web.
Take my advice and fix these things on your own website TODAY! Make it a priority and stop losing out on ranking – and more importantly revenue – from a poorly planned and designed website.
Here are the top 5 things I think every site should do to help lead customers down a sales path AND take some pressure off you as the business owner by providing the information customers need before they even call you.
Does your website draw buyers in or repel them? Good design can make or break a business’s success online. If you don’t look professional, you don’t look legitimate. If you look like your site hasn’t been updated since 1998, you will also lose customers. Good design makes a difference my friends. Think about how you browse on line and what you look for. Look at the top ranked sites in your industry. Why are they staying number one or two in the rankings? Use them as a guide, or look at other websites you love to visit and duplicate their success in your own industry.
Intermixed with Good Design, is the need for clear messaging on your website. If someone can’t figure out from your homepage what you do, how do you expect them to buy from you? Spell it out clearly, what you do, what services you offer and how you can help them! Don’t make them click around to find information. We are a culture of lazy scroller’s these days, if we have to click out and wait for a page to load, most likely we will just leave unless we are REALLY drawn in. Having a onepage homepage that is designed well, has clear messaging, is easy to understand and see what you do will go a long way in keeping customers on your site. Plus it generally means you have more content on your homepage which will get your higher in the rankings!
This is how you take your messaging even deeper. If you can lead people where you want them to go, you will fix the majority of the issues with people leaving your site.
Take the time to plan out your end goal for customers and work your way backwards. By doing this you will be able to see what calls to action you need to get people where you want them to be.
Tony Robbins does a great job of this on his site. He has 4 clear calls to action on the top of his homepage. Clear paths, lead to clear results.
I recommend you search out a few sites that are successful, either in your industry or another and modify the layout and design to fit your industry and needs.
How do you build trust on a website?
2 Things: Color & Testimonials.
Did you know research has found that if you use the color blue (in varying shades) people are more likely to buy from you? Think about banking websites, PayPal, Facebook, and others that store your personal data. What color do they all have in common? I dare you to look if you don’t trust me on this. Very few sites of this nature don’t use the color blue.
Did you know that 90% of consumers say online reviews influence their buying decisions? Show them you’re worth trusting and that others have trusted you and they will be more likely to follow along, What is a big part of Amazon sellers success? Online reviews from verified buyers!
Did you know you can now embed social media reviews on your website??!! Say What???
Ever went to a website, saw something you liked, a service you’d be interest in, but then couldn’t see how to contact anyone?? This unfortunately happens a lot! If customers don’t know how to get in touch with you, how do you expect to sell to them?
You MUST make it so simple that even a 5 year old could figure it out!
When someone clicks on a link, it’s because they want to find out more. Nothing is more frustrating to people than links that are broken or go nowhere. Make sure you’re not losing out on revenue for months because of a broken link!
I see this one happen a lot! Whether it is a broken link out from your social media, or on your website, you have to check links frequently and pay attention when they aren’t working to get them resolved quickly. Your website can’t work for you if it is broken! Fix it! If you leave broken links on your site, you can actually start to lose ranking in the search engines.
If you will work on improving these 5 things on your website, you will be able to have a website that works for you even when you’re not in the office to make things happen. People can place orders, get registered, find answers to their questions, and decide for themselves if you are someone they want to work with without you having to be part of the equation. They can reach out to you day or night and feel confident in working with your company because it wasn’t just YOU telling them, but others have vouched for you too.
And if you will do these things, you will start to move up in the organic rankings as well.