You’ve established your business, and your website is getting significant traffic. But you’re not seeing the results in sales. Visitors find your website and then leave. All that traffic means nothing if it isn’t contributing to your bottom line. You need to make some changes.
Here are some steps you can take to convert those visitors into qualified prospects and eventually paying customers.
If you have a website, you should be tracking the activity it’s getting. Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of your website’s data. With that information, you can optimize your website and increase its effectiveness.
What sort of things should you look for? Note the quantity of people visiting your site and the paths they take. How are they entering your site? Is it through the home page or through some other page that happens to be ranking high on the search engines? If it’s a “back door,” you may want to be sure to include some introductory website copy on that page.
Determine whether visitors are leaving from a particular page. If so, then the content on that page may need modifying. Is it the home page? Then you need to provide more information in your website copy. You’re clearly not solving whatever problem the visitor has.
Your web stats are more than just a means to count visitors. Use them to assess your site’s performance, improve its functionality and identify any problem areas.
Imagine driving your car without a map or GPS through an area you’ve never visited before. Even if you have a great sense of direction, you’re likely to get lost. And the more you drive around, the more frustrated you’re likely to become. The same holds true for websites.
If visitors have a difficult time finding their way around, they’re likely to become annoyed and leave your website. A lot of websites have great usability. So why settle for one that aggravates visitors or, at the very least, makes them feel like they’re on a scavenger hunt?
Web site navigation is the path your visitors take to navigate through your site. It must be well constructed, easy to use and intuitive. It should guideyour readers around your site, enabling them to easily find the content they’re seeking.
The best way to make a site easy to navigate is to put things where the visitor expects them to be. An About Us page should tell people who you are. AServices page should explain what you do. A Contact Us page should offer multiple ways for the visitor to get in touch.
If your web stats show that people get to a page and immediately click to another page or leave your site, then they’re clearly not finding what they expect or not able to complete the task they intended to. You may need to rethink both the navigation of your site and also the copywriting. Well-written website copy helps visitors achieve their goals.
In addition to looking at your site’s analytics, you should check your site’s usability. Start by having a few of your friends try it out. Peek over their shoulder and see how they navigate through your pages. Then give them a few tasks to complete or some specific information to find and watch the path they take. Simplicity rules. The less clicks, the better.
Solicit their feedback. Did they find what they expected to at each page they visited? Did they understand what they were reading? Did they get answers to their questions? Again, good website copywriting is imperative. And ultimately, providing users with a good experience is key to converting them into customers.
Once you feel you’ve optimized your website, the next step is to find some way to get the visitor to interact with you. On every page of your site, be sure to include a well-crafted call to action.
In this case, good website copywriting means providing explicit instructions. Tell the reader to call, e-mail, request information, subscribe, register, set up an appointment or check out another page on your website. You’d be surprised how persuasive instructions can be when bluntly stated on a web page.
Recognize that even though a visitor has come to your site, he or she may not be ready to make a purchase. Often, visitors are just researching their options. Or they’re shopping for the best price. It could even be they’re looking at your product or service with an eye toward the future.
Either way, they’re not ready to pull the trigger today. Unfortunately, if they leave your site, you have no guarantee they’ll return when they are ready to make the purchase. So, what should you do?
Offer something free in exchange for their e-mail address. Ideally, it’s some sort of digital informational product, which costs you next to next to nothing to produce but has value to them because its subject has their interest.
A written report available as a free download is ideal. Not much of a writer yourself? Outsource the project. Hire a freelance copywriter to ghostwrite a report for you. The one-time expense for professional copywriting will pay for itself many times over in resulting sales.
For example, if you’re a realtor selling homes in San Francisco, a visitor to your site might be a prospective home buyer checking out the various real estate agencies that operate in the Bay area. On the home page of your website, you could offer a free report titled, “The Guide to San Francisco Neighborhoods.” Another option is to provide a video actually showing some of those neighborhoods. Can you see how the visitor, after receiving your helpful, informative freebie, might then be predisposed to do business with you?
Here’s another example. Let’s say you’re representing a school that offers classes in flower arranging, you could do a report or video titled, “10 Tips to Create a Dining Room Floral Centerpiece on a Shoestring Budget.” You could even do an audio recording of one of your classes.
The purpose of the free giveaway is twofold. First it gives the prospective customer a sample of your work, demonstrating its quality and professionalism. He gets to know you and begins to perceive you as the expert in the field. After all, you’ve written a report or produced a video on the topic; you must know what you’re talking about.
The second benefit is you get the visitor’s email address, which she has had to provide to receive the report or link to the video. With that information, you’re now able to send additional information and mailings, perhaps a weekly newsletter or blog post, so that when she is finally ready to pull the trigger, you’re the one at the top of her mind.
By now you realize that just having a website for your business is not enough. Even getting traffic to your website isn’t sufficient. You also need to convince visitors to take the desired action once they arrive, whether that’s to call you for more information, buy a product, schedule an appointment or provide their contact information.
A professional website copywriter can create copy that accomplishes all of the following objectives:
Well-crafted copy won’t waste your visitors’ time with hype, excessive details, gimmicks or creative fluff. It tells visitors all the ways they will benefit from accepting your offer and makes it easy for them to say “Yes!”
Good website copywriting can help you increase your site’s effectiveness. More conversions equals more sales. Using persuasive language and proven conversion techniques, a skilled website copywriter can gently push visitors down the path to becoming qualified leads and eventually paying customers. And that’s the true measure of online success!