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How to convert visitors: Make your website easy!

After advising you how to get more visitors to your website last time, now you need to turn those visits into sales. Here’s what we think that all businesses should be thinking about.

How to convert visitors: Make your website easy! image

Hi folks, it’s Zarte again, with another blog post. Yes, I’m sure you’re delighted.

Last time, it was all about getting people to your website. This time it’s all about making sure that once you get them there, they do what you want them to – presumably, making a purchase. The analogy we like is that buying a product is a little bit like a hurdles race. If there are hurdles in the middle of your sprint, they’re going to slow you down. And if like our staff, you’re a bit unfit, you may well just give up, wander off, and take up the shot put instead. But if you remove the hurdles that your customers might face from the get go, then they can have a nice, clear run, all the way through to the finish line. So here are some questions to ask yourself, to make sure that your visitors aren’t going to fall at the first hurdle.

  1. Does the website have a clear purpose? I’ve lost count of how many websites have no obvious point to them. OK, so they’re to sell a product, but the emphasis seems to be about the history of the product... and then the history of the people... and there’s no obvious way to purchase the product. The website should say straight up “THIS IS WHAT I’M HERE FOR” followed by “DO THIS NOW” – whether “this” is subscribing, making a purchase et cetera. That’s called a Call to Action – make it clear what you want the visitor to do and encourage them to do it.
  2. Is it easily navigable? A “buy now” link that takes you to a page with hundreds of categories for similar items is just likely to confuse people. If I’m visiting a website, I want to be able to look up, read up, and pay up in one fell swoop. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t give people an idea of what you’re like as people – many businesses need a personal touch – but it probably shouldn’t be what the eye’s drawn to.
  3. How does it look? If it looks out-of-date or amateur then that’s probably going to put people off, unless you’ve got an amazing USP or you’d previously established yourself as the go-to name. Websites should look clean, uncomplicated, and easy on the eye. They should also reflect your target market. Something trying to appeal to the young and on trend probably shouldn’t be in beige and serif fonts. Something trying to be classy probably shouldn’t be in neon colours. Additionally, how does it look on other platforms? Cross-platform functionality is a massive deal in this era of portable information. Your phone might look great on a desktop, but if it looks pants on my phone, and I’m searching on the go, then you’re not going to get a look in. This is a massive deal, and we’ll be doing another blog post JUST about that soon.
  4. What are your competitors doing? It absolutely pays to keep an eye on your competition. If they’ve just built a new website, and look like a modern professional company, of course they’re likely to land more hits. You have to make sure you’re either matching your competitors, or at least offering something unique through your online presence to make sure you’re getting continuous business. Many companies, especially those who were used to being market leaders in their industry, refuse to acknowledge that they might need to change. Don’t become one of them, and let stubbornness drag you down.
  5. Are you following up? Sometimes, you might have a product that people need to think about. Either a luxury purchase, or something necessary but expensive. Make sure you’re not out of the consumer’s mind. If someone’s used your website to ask for a quote, follow it up if you don’t hear back from them. Try and get their email address whilst their on the website (in a non-invasive way). You might even consider remarketing – this is where an ad network shows your ads specifically to your previous visitors, for relatively low cost, meaning that they’ll be reminded about you at a later point and perhaps then might be the time to make a purchase.
  6. For recurring purchases – how was the experience? How was the aftercare? If you have a product that people need time and time again, it’s not good enough to presume that once they buy once, they’ll stay with you forever. Did you make the end purchase easy enough? A clean, simple online payment form will help with that. But also, did you communicate well – did you let them know how long it would take to arrive? And did you give those end little touches that makes a customer feel valued? A call a week or so afterwards to make sure of the package’s arrival. And to make sure that everything was satisfactory. These things can make a massive difference.

Again, as last time – these points aren’t exhaustive – nor can they be taken as the ultimate rules. You will need to work out what best practice is for YOUR business. But perhaps mulling over some of these will help you turn a few more visitors into sales.

Until next time!

Zarte