You got them to your door, now make them take their coats off.
Driving traffic to your site is the first step to using online marketing to grow your business. Here are ten tips to keep customers on your site longer and increase conversion:
- Carry Your Marketing Messages to your Web Site
Make sure that your messaging is compelling and in synch with your other marketing communications. A consistent message across all mediums builds confidence and trust. The web site is a powerful way to reinforce your other marketing and sales efforts and a tool to ultimately help get that new client.
- Greet Visitors at the Door
When a visitor arrives at your web site, you have only seconds to make an impression and convince them to stay. A new visitor should immediately know who you are, what you do and what action you want them to take. A good tagline or short introductory message can help achieve this.
- Know Your Visitors and Guide them Well
A good web site is constructed with the visitor in mind. You may have more than one type of audience and you should build your navigation around how they may use your site. For example, you may sell a service that you promote on your site, but you also may be using your site to recruit qualified employees. Organize the content on your site to suit each type of user by creating paths that direct them appropriately to the content they want.
- Navigation – Simplify and Organize
Including a large number of links on the home page makes it difficult to find anything. If your site is large, simplify the navigation by organizing your content into larger categories that you then can subcategorize. This helps guide users along a path of interest to them.
You can also create multiple menus, organized by function and place them on the page in different areas. For example, create one menu across the top of the page for “Contact Us,” About Us and Home, and a separate menu along the side of the page for the services or products you provide.
- Speak your Visitors Language
Avoid using industry jargon or “cute” names for your navigation menu items. In order to help your visitors find what they are looking for, use button names that are clear and understandable.
- Write for the Web
Site visitors don’t read on the web the way they read in print. Users scan information and then click items of interest to them. Keep content short and to the point on your main pages, but offer more information on subsequent pages for when a user decides to click through.
- Design Should be Supportive, not Intrusive
Design pages to support your message and goal. You don’t need to fill every space with content. White space helps to guide the user’s eye to the important information that you WANT them to see.
- Avoid Gratuitous Images
Images and photographs should help to support your messages and should never be used just to fill space. Areas on your page that move will draw the user’s eye, so use them carefully. If your animation is drawing them away from your message, then you’ve lost an opportunity.
- Real Estate – Location is Everything
Users typically scan a web page in a predictable way. Usually, this follows an “F” shaped pattern. Starting at the top left of the page, they scan across, then move down the page a little lower. Leverage this knowledge to place content on the page so that important messages are seen in this initial “scan.”
- Information Overload – Just Don’t!
If you are a service business, don't try to include every bit of information you can about your services on your site. Remember, your goal is to get a prospect to contact you so you can qualify them, and answer any questions personally. Give them enough information so that the understand what you do, and why do you it best. Include a very clear call to action. If you want them to call you, make sure you make it easy for them to find your number.
The best test of how "sticky" your site might be is to put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. They are looking for a web site that can deliver the information they seek quickly and clearly. With these guidelines, you can provide a helpful and memorable experience for your visitors that will make them want to do business with you. At this rate, not only will they take their coats off, but they’ll stay for coffee too!