We've all clicked on a link from Google looking for a product/service and waited for the webpage to load only to have no idea what the page is actually about.
Your website is typically the first impression a potential client or customer will have of your business. If they are leaving before they even begin to browse, you are missing a huge opportunity to convert visitors into long-term clients and customers.
But you aren't a web designer or marketer and you have no idea how to make sure you give visitors what they want. So where do you start?
Lucky for you, we have a few ideas. Let's dive in.
1. make it clear who you are and what you do.
Keep your message simple. Approximately 77% of website visitors do not scroll but just click through pages–if they stay at all. Help them immediately identify who you are, what you do and what they should be doing above the fold (what appears without scrolling).
Headlines that are specific to your service and industry go a long way to direct people’s attention toward what they really want to find. A homepage especially needs to contain a clear message about what you provide and how to take the next step as a visitor.
Here's a great example. You learn right away who they are (Irinox), what they do (they sell blast chillers, and explain what that means) and they give you options for your next step (learn more or find a dealer), all without having to scroll anywhere.
This is another great example with a captivating call-to-action button.
2. make it easy for them to connect with you.
Calls-to-action and quick navigation to contact information are necessary for the success of small businesses. More than anything else, they should be prominent and consistent throughout your entire site.
If they want to call about a service or product, they shouldn't have to click around to find the phone number. Try placing the relevant contact information in the footer or if a phone number is really important, you might consider placing it in the header navigation.
Here is an example of the contact information being placed in the footer:
3. include social proof
While anyone on your staff can brag about what you have to offer, people in the community need reassurance with social proof (proof that others are using your service or products). A CompUSA study concludes that 63% of users indicate they are more likely to go to a site that has ratings and reviews.
These can appear in a variety of ways, toward the bottom of the Home page or on your About Us page. The most common strategies visitors connect with are featuring testimonials, using logos of “companies we’ve worked for” or other certification specific to your industry.
More than anything else, visitors to your website simply want to know if anyone else in the community has good feedback about your service. Consider reaching out to some of your favorite clients and people that you advocate for consistently.
If you work alongside other small businesses, it can be helpful to mention them with a Local Partners page. Brand recognition for local businesses and clients in the community goes a long way. Including images alongside logos enhance the engagement with sections like this.
You can read more about Social Proof here: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/social-proof-factors-2/
4. rethink your navigation
According to AddPeople, 44% of visitors to small business websites found the navigation to be difficult or confusing. The same study suggests that you can increase conversions by nearly 20% just by making a navigation-friendly website.
Some simple organization can go a long way. Think of your navigation as your "wayfinding signage." If you are shopping or somewhere unfamiliar, effective way-finding signage helps you find what you are looking for a lot faster.
Similarly, on your website, think about the different tracks people will want to take when they visit your site and ask yourself: can they get there in a just a click or two? If not, its time to think about your navigation structure.
If you aren't sure, ask for feedback from real people who have never been on your website. They should be able to tell you quickly if your navigation structure is effective or frustrating.
5. refresh your content and images
Rewrite sections that you know are no longer relevant, applicable, or just haven't been updated in a few years. Google rewards businesses that keep new content circulating somewhat regularly. Not only is it important for Google to see new content, but the visitors to your site can usually sniff out the old content.
This is especially important if you are in an industry that changes on a regular basis.
New images and content can also capture the attention of people who regularly visit your site and it creates a great opportunity for you to tell them something they may have been missing for a while.