Convert Visitors to Customers with these Website Essentials

website basicsWhen it comes to website basics, most consumers expect that every site today has it all covered. The reality is there are thousands of businesses with websites that are missing the basics. From the salon site that is missing an easy to find phone number, to the restaurant that forgets to show their hours, or the interior designer that makes it nearly impossible to contact, there are still plenty of websites waiting for basic improvements.

The basics don’t cost you a lot of money to implement, but they will cost you customers if you choose to wait or not to implement.

Website Basics

1. Clearly Identify Your Call to Action (CTA)
To identify you primary CTA answer the question, “What do you want your visitors to do FIRST?” Do you want visitors to:

  • Call?
  • Email?
  • Fill out a form?
  • Sign up?

Do not get confused by telling yourself you want your visitors to do all of these things. What is the MOST important? If you could only choose one action, what would it be? Once you’ve made your choice, be sure that the chosen CTA is more prominent than the others and can be found on every page. Remember, a website is not linear. Visitors come in from all angles and can show up on any page, be ready with the right information.

 

2. Make it Mobile & Search Engine Friendly
This post only addresses the basics, so “make it mobile and search engine friendly,” does not imply creating a responsive website or developing an SEO strategy. These tactics are very important, but some businesses need the fundamentals. Get started by checking these three essentials:

  • Phone Number: If you have a phone number for customer calls, be sure it’s displayed on every page of your website in text format. Many service companies find the footer is a good place to house their phone number. However, if you have a customer service department or the phone is your primary CTA, be sure to add the number to the header and footer. Adding the phone number as text rather than an image makes it easier for mobile users to pick up your number and call you right from your website. Think of the salon example above, if you hide your phone number on an “inside page,” or make it difficult to read or find using a mobile device, your customer may just forget about calling for that appointment.
  • Physical Address: A physical address is not only helpful for local search, it also gives your customers confidence that you are a “real” business. When adding your physical address, be sure to add it as text on every page. The footer is standard placement for this information. If you run a home-based business, or do not want to display your business address online, a PO box is a good alternative.
  • Email: Add an email address or an easy to use contact form that is mobile friendly. Be sure your contact form is available within one click from any page or the email address is prominently displayed on every page.

These three essentials will help make your website mobile and SEO friendly, but they are by no means the end of the process. Once you’ve implemented the basics, you will want to explore more extensive SEO strategies and even mobile site options. A digital strategist can help you determine what makes sense for your business, and can be instrumental in implementing the solution.

 

3. Look Through Your Customer’s Eyes
Think about why your customers are visiting the website. If you own a restaurant website, it’s likely your customers are looking for:

  • hours of operation – including holiday hours
  • address
  • phone number
  • menu
  • prices

Customer reviews and photos are important for a restaurant website, but not essential. Leaving off your address or phone number, or even your hours, and you’re closing the door on customers.

 

4. Think About Mobile
Now consider how your customer visits your site. Take a look at your analytics to determine if you have traffic coming in from mobile devices. If your audience is visiting using their smartphone or other devices, don’t design your website in Flash or using giant images. This only creates a poor user experience and can even block your customer from viewing your website. Instead pair down the site with appropriately sized images or create a separate mobile-friendly site.

 

5. Remember Basic Form Etiquette
One final tip when examining the basics, if leads are your lifeblood, as in the case of the interior designer mentioned above, don’t stress out your visitor by forcing them through a long form with unnecessary questions. Make it easy and pain free to contact you. A name, email and/or phone should be enough on a contact or inquiry form. Even if your prospect doesn’t tell you why they are contacting you, with a name and email/phone, you have enough information to contact them and get the conversation started.

 

Applying these basic but essential tips to your website will help you convert more visitors into paying customers.

 

Image: StockFreeImages

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About Karin Khuhro

Karin Khuhro is a Digital Marketing Strategist, Speaker and Copywriter. As the owner of Strategy E-ssentials she works with other savvy marketers, digital specialists and business leaders to bring knowledge, know-how and solutions to small and medium sized businesses. Connect with Karin on Google+ or Linkedin.

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