You have a great web site and are generating great traffic, but this is all for nothing unless you turn visitors into paying customers. Your web traffic needs to be converted – cajoled, persuaded, sold, convinced – to click on your order and payment sections of the site and authorize payment for an order.
Some tips are peculiar to the web, but selling is selling no matter what channel you are using, so some of these tips are based on fundamental sales principles as old as mankind.
Nothing motivates a visitor to hit the back button faster than clicking through to your site after a search for “widgets” and finding a website on “blodgers”. Make sure your website delivers exactly “what it says on the can” – the “can” being your search engine return to a user’s search.
Don’t assume that because some aspect of your business process is simple to you that it is going to be to the visitor – pay very close attention to those aspects of your website which seem simple to you and your team because you are probably overlooking a factor which is critical in the eyes of your visitors. Bluntly, don’t take the relevancy of your website for granted!
Website or “old media”, it really makes no difference – conversion follows the same fundamental principles of selling:
A – Attention – grab the visitor’s attention with your landing and home page, this is not a time to be shy;
I – Interest – once you have established attention you must generate interest; get to the “meat” quickly and sell to desires;
D – Decision – visitors must be shown they have a simple decision to make; to satisfy their desire or suffer the consequences; and
A – Action – the most important of all, once a decision to buy is made it is imperative that the visitor acts on it NOW!
Talk to the Individual but Know Your Market
Your website should address the “person” you are talking to and not the masses. Sure, you have to know the market and know your audience but, buying is a very personal decision which is fuelled by emotional factors – logic and rationality are used by buyers to justify the emotional decision after the fact.
To convert traffic you must talk to the individual who is looking to you for the solution you are mass marketing.
Build Trust & Credibility with Confidence
How do you define trust? How do you define the sense of credibility a buyer feels for a product or seller? You can’t define them with logic because they rely on an individual’s perception and character, and especially at the point of purchase.
Trust and credibility are emotional factors not objective facts but they are directly affected by confidence. To instill confidence you must be confident so make sure your website clearly and simply states what your product will do for the visitor – how much money it saves existing customers; how much time it will saves; how better looking the product is or will make the user; what improvements to lifestyle and enjoyment of current users the product provides.
Make use of testimonials, usage by popular or famous people, government agencies, large companies or members of the peer group of the target market and never hide the product in your website – it should always be front and center because you, the seller, are proud of your offering.
This is not the rock band but Keep It Simple Stupid!
Never underrate simplicity when getting your message across with your website copy, and never overate high-brow prose, full of reason and long words.
Be clear, be concise, and stay on point!
Test Website Usability
When a visitor clicks on your url from a search result you have seconds, sometimes less, in order to convince them to stay on your site.
Test your website in various browsers to see how fast it loads, because surfers can hit the back button and try a competitor in less time than it takes a flash presentation to load.
Simplify the Ordering and Payment Pages
Ruthlessly strip out any non-essential information you need from a visitor when designing ordering and payment pages. If you do not need a piece of information to deliver a product or process payment then don’t ask for it – if your CRM or marketing analysts want the non-relevant information, you can always ask for it in an after-sales follow up communication.
A significant chunk of potential customers fail to convert because the ordering and payment process is clunky, slow or imitating a census questionnaire – aim for two pages to complete the sale and no more.
Treat SEO Seriously!
Don’t leave SEO to code monkeys! A website designer may be able to put together a fantastic looking site, but don’t confuse design skill with SEO talent. Achieving great search engine rankings requires attention to detail, for instance, ensuring page titles are properly completed and optimized. To maximize Click-Through Rates ensure your website does not have “Insert page title here” or “Homepage” and similar as page titles.
Always Be Selling – Add Buying Links Everywhere
You’ve followed AIDA and so have your visitors, and now they want to buy – right now!
Only they can’t see what they have to click on next to order and pay for the product.
Adding buttons to web pages is an excellent way to enhance the call-to-action and pave the way for a smooth purchasing process once the buying decision has been made. Make sure your pages have obvious and simple buttons on hand, and make sure they have a message which tells them the action they must do, for example, “Add to Cart”, “Pay for Order” or “Talk to Online Representative”.
Focus on the Product Alone
The first thing a visitor should see when they click on your site is your product. The product is king – design and graphics, copy, music, video and sound are all distant runners-up after the product. Every page should show the product you are selling, and better still, show the product being used in a variety of situations where it is obvious that enjoyment and emotional benefits are being derived.
The web cannot convey physical reality – the product cannot be physically seen or touched as it can in a physical showroom or store. You can make up for this shortcoming by taking every opportunity to show the product using images and video on your site.