10 Tips to Convert your Website Visitors into Customers

Is your website failing to produce significant new leads and clients? This is a typical case of website “non-performance syndrome.” Many websites today suffer from this condition but your website doesn’t have to be one of them. Read on to discover 10 key tactics that will help you convert your visitors into clients.

1. Be Visible. The first thing to check is your ranking on search engines for all important phrases  Consider advertising on Google through the Google Adwords program . Pay-per-click advertising may be the best solution to your problem.

2. Define your web strategies. What do you think is the most important function of your website? Promoting your company and products? Providing information? Lead generation? Pursuing two or three strategies is fine, as long as you don’t try to do everything at once.  If you are not clear what you want your customers to do, neither will they.

3. Create a landing page. Bring website visitors from Google Adwords to a special page, different from your home page. The landing page is like a sales letter; its purpose is to close the sale and convert the website visitor.

4. Increase your website’s “stickiness.” Ensuring that your potential customers don’t leave too early is critically important; many visitors leave immediately after they land. Reassure your visitors that they have come to the right place and that you have the solution to their problem. Catchy headings help here. Also, make sure to focus on benefits in the copy.

5. Provide a call to action. This one should be obvious but make sure you ask your website visitors to call or email now or to move forward with making an order online.

6. Provide a guaranty. Describe your return policy and your privacy policy in detail to provide your customers with a feeling of security and to avoid problems later.

7. Provide social proof or credible endorsements. Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials. They add credibility and value to your business. If you have satisfied customers, use them. Be sure to ask for testimonials and post them in a testimonials page on your site.

8. Provide a contact form as well as prominent contact buttons. Some people prefer to call you, others like e-mailing, but many will just fill out the form and hit the submit button. Make sure the form is very simple: first name, company name, phone number and email will be all you need in most cases. Whenever possible, put the small contact form on each page of your site.

9. Provide an incentive for your customers to contact you right away. A discount or a bonus helps a great deal.

10. Test. test, test, test! You can’t have an accurate picture of how your website is performing if you aren’t constantly monitoring your what’s working and what isn’t. Be sure to test different landing pages. Use A/B test tools, such as www.performable.com/calculator to help you decide which landing page performs the best.

Ultimately, the key is to know what your goals are and then measure progress toward those goals. Think in terms of small steps. The first desired outcome might just be an inquiry through a contact form, rather than an order itself. Decide how many visits, how many leads and how many new customers you want to have each month. The key is to be realistic in terms of goals and to see your web marketing as an ongoing project with different priorities over time. Remember, there are great online tools to help you plan and track your progress, including Clikz online ROI calculator and cost per acquisition (CPA) calculator.

Original article published in Business in Vancouver October 18-24, 2011; issue 1147