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Converting Website Visitors Into Customers

converting visitors into paying customers, cash registerYour business website is only as good as its ability to get visitors to click around and ultimately make a purchase. Period.

There are hundreds of millions of websites out there with millions more being added every year. You can’t just dial it in and assume that having a responsive design, slick graphics, and some quality content is going to be enough to get your phone to ring or your ecommerce shopping cart to fill up.

It all starts with traffic. The right traffic.

If your website isn’t being seen by your target audience, your website is useless. Take the time (make the time) to review your web analytics once a month.

Look at your pageviews, average time on site, and bounce rate (if you’re using Google Analytics) to see if there are any surprises (good or bad). Look at the number of visitors over a 90 day period and what percentage actually fill out your contact form—this will give you a sense of how much traffic you need month-to-month to hit your targeted number of leads or inquiries from your site.

If you're not getting targeted traffic to your business website, then it’s time to revisit your SEO strategy including your target keywords, your page titles, your meta descriptions, and your on-page content.

The key throughout this entire process really is to think like your customers. What types of questions do they have? What information would they search for? What content would be the most helpful? What can you bring to the table to make your perspectives, content, and website unique? Critical insights both in terms of search visibility, and also once visitors get to your site.

I like to start by looking at top-level navigation. Assume first-time readers are going to look at your site from top to bottom and left to right. That means you want to start with informational content first—your about page (who are you), your products and services (what do you have to offer), faqs (if relevant based on your business and your offerings), resources (your blog, documentation, support) and finally your contact page and/or shopping cart.

By prioritizing items in your navigation, you can lead them down a path where they are able to gather more information and get comfortable with your offerings before jumping right into making a purchase.

Think about the purpose of every individual page on your website.

What would you like visitors to do on that particular page? Contact your sales team? Learn more about product features? Sign up for your newsletter? Something else?

Just like with the navigation, not everyone is going to be ready to buy right out of the gate. That means you want to prioritize your calls to action on each page based on where they are in their customer journey. For some, that will mean signing up for your newsletter. For others, it will mean reading a few blog posts. The key is understanding the customer journey and where and how to engage with them based on where they are in that journey.

67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale.

Think about that for a second. More than 2 out of 3 online shopping carts are abandoned before completing a sale. Staggering. That means you can’t assume you’ve closed the sale just because customers add items to their carts.

The good news is there are some really creative and effective apps out there to help you salvage the sale. I’ve spoken with a number of businesses that are having great success using abandoned cart emails to recover lost sales, collect customer feedback as to why they abandoned their order.

Hiring a designer to create a business website is only one step out of many. Converting website visitors into customers requires think about how all of your content, images, calls to action, and navigation fit together to create a unique (yet functional) experience.

It’s okay to be unique and different—but you also need to be practical. In other words if you try to be too cute with your design and/or content, your visitors might not understand how to sign up for your newsletter or find your contact information.

Looking for ideas on how to convert more website visitors into customers? Request a complimentary website checkup.

[Image: Flickr user You As A Machine]

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