Why is it that some websites consistently bring in sales, day in and day out, 365 days a year, while others just sit there, lost in cyberspace and not earning a single penny?
It can be very frustrating for the business owner of a non performing website, particularly if their site has cost them a lot of money and they aren’t seeing a return for that investment.
This article is for any business owner who either is not getting enough sales from their website or it is doing nothing at all.
There a few quick changes that you can make to the content on your website to give it a better chance of converting visitors into sales. They will make your website come to life and be a true ambassador for your business and earn you more money.
Ditch the Corporate Jargon and Make Your Site Customer Friendly
Your website should focus on the needs of your visitors and the benefits of your product or service. Unfortunately, companies are still using too much corporate jargon or tech-speak on their websites. As a result, most websites in the same business genre all look and sound exactly alike. There is little to distinguish a difference between them, so visitors lose interest very quickly, and many will decide not to venture beyond the first page of the site.
Instead of littering your site with jargon, try to engage your customers. Think of words and phrases they are more likely to use when searching for your product or service. Use those phrases as headers or key links on your site. When visitors see those phrases, they will know at a glance that your website contains the solution to their problem and they will be more inclined to buy from or contact you.
Design Your Site Around Your Target Customers by Creating a Customer Persona
The best way to engage with visitors and encourage them to buy from you is to write your site’s information with your customer in mind. You need to know that you are reaching the right people who visit your site and the information they find there is relevant for them.
The way to do that effectively is to create a prospect persona. In other words, you want to build up a clear picture of a typical customer who buys from you and ‘talk’ to them through your website.
Creating a persona for your ideal customers helps you to target your message to that persona, making your marketing more effective as you create content and information that is relative to the visitors you are attracting.
This is not as daunting as it might initially sound. After all, you have a good idea what kind of client generally buys from you. So, when thinking about content for your site ask yourself:
- Who uses your product or service? Is there a particular industry or occupation that uses your product or would have an interest in it? Start to shape the information on your site to speak directly to people in that industry and occupation. Depending on what kind of business you are and how many products or services you are promoting, you will generally come up with more than one answer. That’s okay. More than one persona is good. As you learn who the most likely buyers are, your content will be more effective and will begin to generate higher quality leads and result in greater sales.
- Why do people buy your product or service? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes; what need does your product or service address for them? What problem does it solve? Are there challenges or obstacles it helps them resolve to make their life easier? As you think about the answers you come up with, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the challenges your prospects are trying to address and how you can create content for your website that speaks directly to them and motivates them to buy from you.
- Where does your customer hang out on the internet? Where do they spend time looking for information? If you can determine their prime locations, it makes it much easier to reach them with the right message. For example, if your visitors mainly use LinkedIn or YouTube, then it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of time creating content for Facebook.
Building up a customer profile like this helps you to get a better understand and clearer picture of who your prospects are. It helps you tailor your website content to talk directly to them instead of trying to reach everybody. By shaping your message and content, you’ll be more effective at providing relevant content your prospects can relate to and find useful.
Add Testimonials and Real Case Studies
A great way to engage with your visitors is to create an emotional connection with them, by featuring other customers who are just like them. It is time to ditch those old corporate brochures and generic case studies that are not only incredibly boring but a complete turn off for your visitors.
It adds so much more credibility if your website features some of your satisfied customers speaking in their own words, in their own environment and telling their own stories about how your product or service has helped them.
Testimonials are very easy to obtain. Contact your best clients and ask if they would provide you with one. If they are genuinely happy with the product and service that you provide then very few will say no.
If your client wants to write his own testimonial that is great, but some clients don’t always know how to put their feelings concisely into a powerful statement. They may find it a chore to think of something to write. So although they might be willing to provide a testimonial, you might have to wait a long time to get it, if you get it at all.
A quick tip is to make it easy for them. “Interviewing” them on the phone, or emailing them a short questionnaire of 3-4 questions can help to focus their thoughts, and then you can write the testimonial yourself.
Clients often appreciate you saving them the time and the effort of having to think about what to write or say.
Your questions need to be very specific, aimed at highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Ask them what they feel is the most important benefit they receive working with you or using your product.
Here are some samples of questions that you could ask:
- How did working with [my company] or using my product directly benefit your [client’s] success?
- Describe the most outstanding strategy/trait that gave you the best result you were seeking
- Was [my company]: Easy to work with? Accessible? A Team player? “Went that extra mile”? Great with employees/vendors/customers?
- You need to write the testimonial from the client’s perspective and really rave about how great you and your services are, and the dramatic results.
- Don’t put words into your client’s mouths. The testimonial needs to accurately reflect their feelings about you, your company and your product or service. It needs to be something they are happy to put their names to.
- Always allow your client to review his/her testimonial and sign a consent form before you use it. This consent form can be a simple statement that says:“I understand that my testimonial and name may appear in any marketing or promotional materials created by (your company name). I also understand that I will not receive any compensation for its use as stated and I waive my right to inspect or approve any finished product wherein my testimonial appears.”
- While they may not be gaining any monetary benefit for providing you with a testimonial, they will receive other benefits. For example it will raise the profile of their business by having their name and company name on your website and promotional materials. So it is a win-win for all concerned.
- Remember to use testimonials in all your PR strategies, not just on your website. Add them to brochures, ads, and sales letters.
- If your customer agrees, you could even use audio and video formats on your site so people cannot just hear but they can also see how great people think you are!
Add a Phone Number
A telephone contact is such a basic, fundamental way of communication, yet it is surprising how many companies make it very difficult for customers to contact them this way. Many business websites still don’t include a number at all, or if they do it is hidden away making it harder for a potential customer to contact them.
Customer Confidence and Usability
Here are some reasons why your phone number should be on your website:
- A phone number is an effective way to get your visitors’ instant feedback or to allow them to speak to you before they make their final decision whether to buy from you or not.
- A prominent phone number on a website builds the trust and confidence. The Internet is impersonal enough already for some customers. By adding the evidence of real people out there – like a physical address or a phone number – can make some potential customers feel more comfortable.
- A telephone number also offers an additional, convenient way to order and, most importantly, it implies that a live person is ready to assist. Your sales WILL increase as a result of prominently displaying your telephone number.
These quick fixes will significantly increase your sales by encouraging more visitors to buy from you or use your services.
However, if you have more serious concerns about your website because it simply isn’t making any money and want somebody to cast a professional eye over it, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Sometimes it can just be a very simple change that makes all of the difference to help your website start converting visitors to sales.
We are here to help your business make money, so please give us a call or contact us.