This post was originally posted on Pantelope.com and is being reposted here for portfolio purposes.
Your Website Is A Lead Tool
If your website is more than a digital business card, and instead is intended to gather leads, then we need to use it like a conversion tool. In order to get conversions, we need it to be 4 things – clear, credible, appealing, and differentiating.
Seems easy? When done effectively, getting conversions can indeed be that simple. In fact, it should be simple both to you and your website visitors to understand.
In order to work smarter, not harder, we start with the most frequented pages on your site: the homepage, about page, (and, if you have one, testimonials page). It is among these pages, we can focus our efforts to build a conversion strategy. We will go over how to optimize these pages that will (if done well) turn visitors into customers.
Fun Fact: A study done by Google found that it takes a person only 1/50th to 1/20th of a second to judge a website. That doesn’t give you a lot of time to do complicated, ‘trendy’ tactics in order to get people to click the ‘Buy Now’ button. Keep this in mind as you read through the rest of this article.
Above all others, your homepage will be the most frequented page on your site, so it has to wear many hats. It must be clear, credible, show how you are different, and, most importantly, appeal to your target audience.
A great example of this is with Monger.com’s homepage. Their tagline, “ the fastest way to pay off your student loans” quickly establishes appeal to their target audience and a clear value proposition. With their unique reward system of earning money off of your loans on every purchase,they’ve helped people save millions. By succinctly communicating their unique value and credibility on their homepage, visitors aren’t left wondering if this business will meet their needs.
Finally, your homepage should have a clear call to action; you need to tell your visitors what they need to do next. Don’t leave it up to them; they may just find their way right off your site. Get Started, Contact Me, See My Work, and Shop Now are just some of the popular call-to-actions I have seen that generate high conversions.
Pro Tip: Don’t get lost in the jargon or flowery language. This often creates confusion in your messaging, and causes people to leave your site!
Usually the second most visited page of a website, the About page is important; it’s the place to build rapport and trust. People like to know who you are and whether you are credible prior to purchasing anything.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. Check out U.S. Elite’s about us page. They cover the important topics of who they are, what values they hold , what groups they belong to, and a brief bio on their CEO–all without any bells or whistles. Without even checking out their product selection, you can tell exactly what they are about and what they sell–and that’s all that matters. They also establish clear differentiation through their mission statement that bonds them with their target audience; making them stand out from other sellers. Differentiation, a good story, and a clear mission/vision statement written for your audience is exactly what one needs to be chosen over another. Build rapport and trust with your audience by being authentic – whether it’s explaining how you got your start or giving some silly facts about yourself and/or your employees. Ultimately, your about page must address how you want to help clients now and in the future.
Pro tip: Business doesn’t have to mean dull; the about us page is the best way to break away from that stereotype by showing off your personality, and get potential clients to know you a little better.
Do you wonder why we check the reviews of a product prior to purchasing? Testimonials provide credibility – if you’ve done this for someone else, you can definitely expect it to be done for your own business. It’s why review sites like Yelp (no matter how frustrating it can be) are so vital to service businesses. The testimonial page is one that provides direct social proof to your potential clients, showing that what you offer does indeed work.
While your benefits can help get people interested, testimonials can be the key to closing a deal – it provides true credibility to your audience. Whether it’s a feature from a happy client, or even logos of the brands you work with–allowing your clients to be ambassadors for you on your site is not only the highest form of a compliment–but also a highly lucrative conversion tool.
Pro tip:While it’s always better to have current clients sing your praises rather than yourself, make sure that your testimonials validate your value proposition. You want to drive home the fact that what you do best will help a potential client at every opportunity given.
While conversions seem like a gigantic mystery, when you boil it down, there are simple practices you can put in place to help you work smarter, not harder, to reach your audience. Focus on creating content on your most visited pages that helps your audience understand your brand and how it relates to them.. From there, you will be poised to offer next steps to clients, actively converting them from visitors to qualified leads.