Posted on 27 October 2020 in Expert Posts

Websites for small businesses – 4 essential tips to convert visitors into customers

Unless you are satisfied with having a website “For the heck of it”, or “Because everyone has it”, you must realise your website serves a bigger purpose – it is your online salesman, operating round the clock. It is a place to get your target audience to connect with you. A place to proudly showcase what you can do to make life easier for them.

In short, it is YOUR platform to sell them what you have to offer!

Sales is the lifeblood of any business. The present pandemic situation saw many small and medium-sized businesses (and even large ones) go belly up because sales dried up.

So, with sales as the objective, it is important to not just be online, but get your target customers to come to your website and take action. This could be – inquire about your products/services, sign up for your newsletter (or ebook), book a free trial, or purchase something. Anything that gets them closer to a purchase decision.

In our 17 years of working with small and medium-sized businesses, we met several owners who thought they had an awesome website. But, no results. They had spent a lot of time and money with “cowboy website specialists” tweaking their logo or some other unimportant part of the website not knowing they’re missing the bigger picture.

In this article, we pull back the curtains on how you can design a website that converts, before you start investing in other forms of online marketing (i.e. SEO, social media and paid traffic).

Before we go deeper, here are a few statistics that will make you rethink your website presence:

  • 94% of people judge your business based on your website
  • 89% customers hop over to a competitor if they have a bad experience on your website. Often within seconds. This includes:
  • Slow loading sites
  • Bad design
  • They can’t figure out what to do
  • They can’t find what they’re looking for

Now that we’ve whetted your appetite for some website marketing basics, let’s get started.

4 essential website tips that convert visitors into customers for your small business

  1. 1. Get them to do what you want with a great landing page

Your landing page is the first page that visitors see when they land on their website. This page serves one purpose only – to get visitors to act. This page guides them along to the next step of your sales funnel, getting them closer to an actual purchase. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Make it look attractive and informative, so visitors know what to expect
  • Give them one choice as to what to do next – Your landing page acts like a welcome gate to your website. It forces (in a good way) them to look at only one “call to action”. Given more choices, they will get distracted.
  • Rule of Thirds – Divide your landing page into 9 squares, and place your key message near or within the centre square and the one to its immediate left.
  • Clear, concise copy – No fluff. Use clear, simple language to tell the user what you want them to do next. Just because it is the first page your visitor landed on doesn’t mean he has to be bombarded with a barrage of content.

2. Limit Options

Sounds contradictory? Not so much. Too many choices result in distractions and analysis paralysis. Don’t take our word for it.

Enter William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman, who developed Hick’s Law.

“Action is lost in proportion to the number of choices being presented”.

This is true for websites too! It is a fact that limiting the choices a user faces on your website can boost conversions.

Put yourself in your prospects’ shoes. When they land on your website, here’s what’s running through their minds:

  • Which link do I click to take the next step?
  • Gosh, there are so many links!
  • There’s too much to read. What are they trying to say?
  • Is this the product I want to buy? Should I read more reviews? How about browsing for more options?
  • How can I get in touch with them?

All of these questions are fluttering in the visitor’s mind. Notice how easy it is to slip, get distracted, and stray?

Ensure each page has one objective. Everything on that page must support that objective.

3. Cater to short attention spans

You have about 7 seconds to people’s attention. Make them count by “hooking” them immediately. Here’s how:

  • Make your headline clear, large and to the point (they need to know, at a glance, if you can solve their problem)
  • Attractive visual – bonus points if it leads the user to a specific call to action
  • Use words such as “YOU” in copy (after all the website is for them, not you)
  • Have one, clear call to action

4. Optimise your website to load fast

No one likes to sit around waiting for a web page to load. It is frustrating and more often than not, users close and move to the next website.

A shocking study by the Aberdeen Group revealed that a ONE SECOND delay in load time can reduce your conversions by as much as 7%!
Imagine the number of customers you’re losing if your website takes 30 seconds to load.

Run your site through Google PageSpeed Insights to check your website’s loading speed. Here are 4 tips to speed things up:

  • Optimise images based on size and format
  • Reduce clutter – Yahoo says that 80% of load time is due to downloading images, scripts and other elements and each of these requires a fresh HTTP request, delaying load time
  • Limit your website plugins to the essential few
  • Allow for compression, thus reducing bandwidth and HTTP response time

We’ve only scratched the surface of building a conversion-centric website. However, with these 4 tips, you’ll be way ahead of your competition.

TL;DR:

For a converting website, you need:

  • Clean and clutter-free
  • Clear call to action
  • Limited options
  • Clear objectives for each web page
  • Simple, to-the-point copy
  • Fast loading

If you have any questions about your website, or even getting your first website, get in touch with Chevron Technologies for an obligation-free, confidential chat.

About Chevron Technologies

Chevron is your local digital marketing agency based in South West Sydney. We specialise in building beautiful, functional websites, search engine optimisation and social media marketing to help your business dominate its online presence.

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