Turning Your Website into the Ultimate Converting Machine
The 14 Step Checklist
1. Clear Objective And Purpose
Most small business websites are what we’d call a ‘brochure site’, this means people can land on your site and have a little look around but there’s no clear next step or objective to move them towards becoming a customer.
So to make sure you're not just one of these sites, you’ll want to encourage them to pick up the phone to you, enter their contact details so you can communicate with them ongoing.
Don’t just let people visit and then leave without finding ways to get them on your database so you have the opportunity to market to them ongoing.
2. The First Impression
You’re working really hard to get new visitors to your site, but are you grabbing their attention when they arrive. You’ve got a maximum of five seconds (if you’re lucky) to convince someone that they should stay a minute or two on your website to find out more.
When people arrive they’ll be thinking:
- Am I in the right place?
- Are these people trustworthy?
- Is it credible?
- What’s in it for me?
Get someone to take the ‘blink test’ on your site by giving them 3-5 seconds to work out what you do and if it’s credible.
3. Check Load Times
If your site is slow you’ll lose the already short attention span of your potential customers, they won’t even get to the ‘blink test’ if your load wheel is still swirling 5 seconds after landing on the site.
If your page doesn’t load instantly it will be abandoned. The average visitor expects a page to load within two seconds, after three seconds, up to 40% will click the close button!
Some of the main culprits to look out for when it comes to speed are:
- Unoptimised images – large image files can be reduced in quality by up to 70% without showing significant visible changes from the original version, this will dramatically decrease the file size and enable them to load much quicker
- Too many widgets or plugins – keep your plugins streamlined using only the bare essentials you need to maintain optimum website performance.
- Poor web hosting service – if your web host is running thousands of websites on a single server stack then it might be affecting your site speed, get a reliable web hosting service (we currently use tsohost.com we’re not affiliated, they are just reliable)
- External embedded media – if your videos and other media are being hosted elsewhere the pages will only run as fast as the host site, make sure you’re using reliable partners.
Check your speed here:
Run your existing website through Googles free Speed Checker Tool where you’ll get a detailed report on where you need to improve things - https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights
4. Contact Details
Can they get in touch with you quickly and easily? Is your phone number clearly on every page? Get your contact details in the top right-hand corner of your header banner and/or in the footer as shown below.
5. Overall Design And Layout
If the design looks like something that was knocked up in 1995 and you’ve got lots of different fonts and a poor layout going on then you’ll struggle to get people to believe you’re a credible business.
Above the fold:
What do people see ‘above the fold’ which basically means the area on their screen before they have to scroll down. This is your prime on-page real estate and your key messages should be here.
Use of colour:
Keep it simple with a crisp white background and then use your brand colours on key areas of the page you want to draw attention to like your lead magnets and opt-in boxes.
Make your font sizes, styles and colours easy to read on desktop and mobile. Avoid long paragraphs that make it feel like there’s just too much information to read, instead break up paragraphs so the visitor feels they are making progress down the page rather than drowning in a sea of words. Use bullets, headers, sub heads and bolding to make the content even clearer and easier to understand.
Imagery and captions:
A sure way to look bland and boring like your competitors is to use generic looking stock imagery. Put some real people and real photos on instead. First impressions count so poorly lit photos on your iPhone don’t count! Get a local photographer to pop down and see your premises and staff or go and get some good portrait shots taken if you’re the face of the business. Have some great-looking product photos done and make stars of your best customers with photos of them too.
Oh and don’t forget to put captions under your photos so people know what they are.
Maintain consistency in the navigation and flow of your pages so it’s easy for people to move around your site. Are your navigation options clear and is it easy to find what I’m looking for in a few clicks? Clickable anchor links are also important to move people easily around the site, these are clickable links in the text that move you to related parts of the website.
6. Credibility Seals And Awards
What award logos, association seals, and partner logos can you add to the site to build instant credibility. No awards (award nominations are just as valuable), well that’s fine but are you a part of an industry association? What about using logos of your most well-known customers?
7. Clear Messaging
Do people know what you do in seconds? Then, do they know what they should do next?
- Why should they buy/subscribe/download from this site instead of from someone else?
- Who’s it for?
- What it is?
Positioning statement or call out to target market:
Use positioning statements on your website that calls out to your prospects or tells them they are in the right place. This is a sentence that clearly defines what you do and where you are positioned in the market.
The header banner is a great place to do this is because it’s a constant on every page; most websites are designed with the same header banner across the site so whichever page they land on your target visitor will know they’re in the right place.
Use of headlines:
Just to be clear “welcome to my website” is not a headline. You need to have a strong headline on all your pages to entice people to read on into the main copy. It captures attention and drives engagement.
8. Personality And Real People
Most websites look exactly the same as their competitors’ sites – they are dull, boring and uninspiring. Inject personality and feature real people including you, your staff and your customers.
Don’t be scared to have a little fun with your copy, inject a little colour, use an engaging video and reflect what it would be like to meet you in person - don’t take a stuffy corporate approach.
For a dose of personality delivered in a way that doesn’t alienate his target audience, check out the image below from www.thebehaviourexpert.com
What other people say about you is a hundred times more valuable than what you say about yourself.
Brilliant customer testimonials should be interwoven into the fabric of your website, get them on every page of your site. So this does not mean they are all hidden on one testimonials page in a big list (it’s a good idea to have a testimonials page as well as) but are also dotted about your site. Testimonials that are related to the thing you’re talking about on the page will add even more value to your message.
Make sure you’ve got the person’s full name, business name and location on all testimonials.
10. Opt-In Opportunities
If you haven’t got AT LEAST one opt-in opportunity on each page to collect visitor data then you are seriously diminishing the number of people you’ll add to your database. You simply can’t allow people to visit, look around and then leave, without trying in multiple ways to extract their contact details so you can market to them ongoing. If you’re doing this effectively it’s a game-changer!
You need to have clear areas on each page that give the visitor the opportunity to give you their name and email (or any other information you ask for, like their phone number or address) in return for something of value to them. It might be to get a quick quote, an instant call back, a downloadable report, a white paper or an offer/voucher to incentivise them to do business with you. We call these ‘lead magnets’ because they are great reasons to attract leads in return for something that will be useful and relevant to the prospect.
11. Effective Calls-To-Action
Are your calls-to-action (CTAs) clear and concise? If you want someone to enter their details to download your lead magnet then clearly instruct them leaving nothing to chance:
When using buttons on opt-in forms make sure they’re clickable and standout.
Think about the wording you’re using also – use words that make it clear what’s going to happen ‘Get the guide’. ‘Request your free critique’. ‘Send me the videos’.
Video is a great way to give people an instant feel for what you do, how you can help them and that you’re credible. Start simple with some video testimonials of your customers shouting about the amazing work you do for them (not literally shouting, just talking normally will be fine).
TIP: When using explainer videos on your landing pages try putting them on ‘auto-play’ so your video starts just as soon as they land on the page rather than relying on them to click to consume your message.
13. Mobile And Tablet Ready
Is your site responsive to mobile and tablet viewers? What’s the experience and the content you want to present to mobile viewers? Jump on your phone now and see how things look. The content should be ‘responsive’ that means the layout of the site changes so it’s easy to view on your phone.
There are plenty of free websites you can use to check whether your website is 'responsive' for example http://youresponsive.com/
There’s officially now more search traffic on Google on mobile than there is on a desktop. This is even more important if you’re running paid Facebook ads because you’ll see over 90% mobile traffic clicking through from these.
14. Landing Pages/Squeeze Pages
If you want your message to resonate with the audience you need to have a conversation that’s relevant. By creating bespoke webpages for different audiences and campaigns you’re able to do this.
Create subpages on your site that are dedicated to the topic your traffic is looking for rather than just sending everyone to your homepage.
If you’re running paid traffic campaigns then create pages for each campaign that talk specifically about the thing you’re offering and to the audience you’re targeting.
A page to retired 65-year-olds looking to buy golf shoes would read differently to one that was selling them to 35-year-old busy professionals. The angle and benefits in the copy would change, the testimonials would change to include other people like them in their age bracket and the imagery would reflect the chosen market also. By positioning yourself as the go-to-guys for each specific audience you’ll be able to attract more customers to spend their hard-earned cash with you.
In need of marketing help?
Here at EXELA we help small business owners excel on all marketing fronts through the CRM software Keap. Interested in automating all of your marketing, and better yet, letting us set it all up and run it for you? Then click the button below for a consult call.