Your website is arguably one of the most important marketing assets your service business owns. However, too many business websites are not delivering the value they should.
More than 95% of website visitors leave without converting into leads or customers and most won’t return. Businesses are investing their marketing resources to drive consumers to their website, only to let the vast majority leave. One of the smartest marketing investments you can make is optimizing your website for conversions.
Below are six tips to help you generate more website leads and customers, so you can improve your website’s ROI and grow your service business online.
As the saying goes, you only have one chance to make a great first impression - and you don’t have much time to do it. When a consumer visits your website, they’ll form their first impression within a few seconds. It’s critical that you make those first few seconds count.
The first few seconds typically take place at the top of a web page. We refer to the top portion of a web page as the ATS, which stands for above the scroll. It’s the part of a web page a visitor sees before they have to scroll to see more information.
The ATS is one of the most important sections of any web page, as it greatly influences what a visitor does next. If the ATS leaves a poor first impression there is a good chance the visitor will click their browser’s back button and move on to their next option - one of your competitors. If your ATS leaves a great first impression there is a good chance they’ll continue to engage with your website and your business.
Ask yourself the following 5 questions to determine if your website’s ATS is providing a great first impression.
Here is an example of a plumbing company that provides a great first impression for their target audience.
First, take note of the image. It’s of a young woman trying to address a plumbing leak while on the phone. This image speaks to their target audience and reinforces the text and call to action button.
Notice how the heading speaks directly to the feelings of their audience. “Don’t sweat it! Our plumber are only a call away”. Plumbing problems can cause stress and serious property damage. This heading implies that the visitor can relax because this plumbing company fix the issue quickly. This heading also identifies what the company does - plumbing.
“When you need a plumber , contact Durham Region’s oldest plumbing company”. The subheading starts by building trust with consumers, letting them know they are the oldest plumbing company in the area.
“We’ll take care of your plumbing problems so you can get back to what matters most to you!” The second half of the subheading conveys that the solution is easy - they’ll take care of your plumbing problems for you. It also conveys empathy for the consumer. This business knows and understands that plumbing problems are inconvenient and distract you from what you really want to do.
TIP: Take the above tips and apply them to your website’s home page. But don’t stop there, you need to apply these tips to every web page on your website. A lot of consumers will start their journey on your website on a web page other than your home page. To see what web pages consumers enter your website through, look at the landing page data in your website’s analytics.
Just when you thought we were done talking about the ATS section of your website pages, there’s more. While we’ve covered a large portion of the content that makes up the ATS section there is one important element we haven’t covered - your website’s navigation.
Your website’s navigation can greatly influence a consumers first impression of your website. Your website’s navigation doesn’t just help visitors get from one web page to another, it should communicate what you do, how you can help, and how easy your website is to use.
Ask yourself the following 3 questions about your website’s navigation, to ensure it is providing a great user experience and first impression.
Look at the navigation in the example below. It's clear, concise, and simple. It contains five primary links 1. Services, 2. Service Areas, 3. Resources, 4. About, and 5. Contact. All other pertinent links are contained under one of these five primary links. The navigation also contains a button so consumers can quickly request an estimate. Notice how there is no dedicated link to the "Home Page"? Clicking the logo will take visitors to the home page, which is a common practice.
One of the most important elements of any website is the call to action or CTA for short. A call to action is simply the action you want a website visitor to take. Common examples include “Call now” and “Book an appointment”. Whatever your call to action is, it needs to be concise, clear, and compelling.
Ideally, you’ll have two CTA’s on your website. A primary CTA for converting consumers into customers, and a secondary CTA for converting consumers into leads. You’ll want to ensure you have your primary CTA above the scroll of each web page.
TIP: Do not use your contact page as a lead generation page. Your contact page should only be used for general inquiries. You must have a dedicated primary CTA web page - a web page for generating leads that want and/or need the services you provide.
Look at the primary CTA in the example below. The "Request job estimate" button is in the upper right hand corner and the lower left corner. Having the CTA in both locations can help improve conversions as consumers generally scan a web page in a "Z" or "F" pattern.
Calling consumers to action is one thing, making the conversion process easy is another. You have to ensure it is easy for consumers to convert into a lead or customer. If not, you risk losing them.
Let me share a real world example that I experienced recently. After doing a few hours of research for materials for a project I’m working on, I decided to make a purchase from a local company. On their website, I added all the items to my cart, completed the lengthy checkout form including my payment information, then clicked the submit button to process my payment.
I was presented with an error message that stated “Your transaction was not approved”. I knew it had nothing to do with my credit card as I had used it throughout the day without issue. I did suspect however, that I may have entered some information wrong. But instead of letting me correct the information, I was presented with no options. Clicking my browsers back button returned me to the checkout page where it prompted me to enter all of my information again. Do you think I took the time to go through the process again? No. I ended up purchasing everything on Amazon. Their conversion process was to complicated and time consuming and it cost them a new customer.
Whether it’s a consumer calling you or completing a form on your website, you need to ensure the process is simple.
Here are few tips to help ensure your conversion process is easy.
Look at the conversion process in the images below.
When a visitor clicks the “Request Job Estimate” button on the website, they are taken to a web page that has a web form on it (see image below). Notice that the form is short and to the point.
After a visitor submits the web form, they are redirected to a dedicated thank you page. The thank you page serves a few purposes - 1. it acts as confirmation to the visitor that their request was successfully submitted, 2. it provides an opportunity to set and/or reiterate what the consumer can expect moving forward, 3. It provides an opportunity to reengage the visitor with more content they may be interested in, 4. having a separate thank you page makes it really easy to track conversions.
Your job isn’t over when a visitor completes a form on your website or calls you - it’s just beginning. You need to ensure you have a way to follow up with leads in a timely and consistent manner.
Remember, the website experience you provide is just part of the overall experience consumers have with your business. If a consumer calls a phone number or completes a web form on your website, but your response is poor or non-existent, you’ll lose customers and set yourself of for poor online reviews.
Make sure you have a process in place to follow up with every lead you generate through your website. It can be as simple as ensuring someone is available to answer the phone during business hours, and having web forms directed to someone that can respond quickly. If you want to take things to the next level, you can implement a CRM (customer relationship management) system and/or automated email marketing.
Not everyone who visits your website is ready to convert into a customer. In fact most consumers aren’t ready to make a purchase the first time they engage with a business.
A smart way to convert more consumers into leads is with a lead magnet. Provide your website visitors with something of value for free, in exchange for their contact information.
Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes. A common type of lead magnet, and one of the easiest to get started with, is a downloadable PDF document. Create a document that provides your audience with a solution to a problem they have. Let them download the document for free in exchange for their email address. Once you have their email address you can follow up with them. A great way to follow up is with an automated email campaign that reengages them and continues to provide value for free.
Look at the lead magnet in the example below. This lead magnet offers consumers 13 tips for reducing how water consumption and water heating bills.It's a topic that provides value to a bread audience.
There you have it - 6 ways to get more leads and customers from your website.
Some of these things may take time to implement. But don’t let that stop you. Do a little bit each day and overtime your website will start to convert more visitors into leads and customers.
Remember, optimizing your website for conversions is one of the smartest marketing investment you can make.
If you have questions or need help with any of the items we’ve covered, do not hesitate to reach out and talk with an Advisor. We’re here to help.
Until next time, I wish you much success!
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Toby is the founder and managing director of STRADEGY.CA. He's been helping service businesses grow their bottom line online for over 25 years.
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