You have this professionally-designed website that you can edit yourself, and you have finally achieved that goal of first-page listing on Google for some of your likely search phrases... but do the visitors to your site become customers?
Businesses that fail to "close the deal" will find that even high levels of traffic may not provide the return on their investment that they desired.
There are several way-too-common reasons why otherwise great websites don't generate the business they should. Check your own site, and see if you...
Will potential customers want to do business with you? How will you stand out from the many competitors who are also found when someone searches Google for what you offer?
First impressions: Make sure that your website projects a professional appearance and generates trust in visitors. When someone clicks through to your web pages, they should feel they have landed on the site of a reputable business, and the quality of the site should engender confidence.Provide your visitors with testimonials from past clients. Put snippets of these testimonials where they will be seen even if no one goes to the testimonials page.
Display relevant credentials and licenses, along with memberships in professional business associations.
Include an “About Us” page that describes the history of your company and bios of the owners and the key staff. List the qualifications of team members, and include "personalizing" things like community service and involvement.
Include your physical address and phone number. (If your address is a PO box or mailbox service, you'll have to work harder on other areas to build up the trust factor.)
Include frequent case studies or sample projects in your blog, mixed in with useful information related to your products and services.
Publish a regular newsletter, not full of ads, but with information useful to people who might become your customers.
"Qualifying potential customers" merely means making sure that there is a good match between what you offer, what they need, the location of the service, and the price.
Problem: If it isn't obvious what you offer or where, they are much less likely to ever call you.
Solution: Make it clear what you offer, and where. (Many sites have their location in their title tags, but while this is great for Google, it is usually overlooked by website visitors.)
Pricing: Many businesses do not want their prices on their website, for fear their competitors will see them.
We have to ask, however, whether the potentially lost "bargain-shopping" customers are as valuable as those who simply move on to the next website where they discover that the services are within their price range.
Given the many options for a provider, most people won't consider the ones who offer no pricing information at all.
Bonus: You won't waste time dealing with customers who won't spend what you ask, if you provide reasonable hints of your pricing on your website.
While many service providers can adjust what they offer based on their customers' needs and budgets, many potential customers prefer to purchase packages of services at fixed prices. For the provider and customer alike, such packages remove the headache of having to make numerous decisions about many possible options.
Even if every project will be customized, start with a "standard package" and then adjust as needed.
With pre-bundled packages, the customer can often find exactly what they need on their own without the extra work on both their part and yours. The packaged services are also ideal for online purchase, since the whole bundle can be included as a single product.
Bonus: Don't underestimate the time saved when you don't need to develop a custom package with unique price estimates for each customer. What's your time worth?
Just listing your email address or phone number on your website won't cut it. (But omitting those will pretty much guarantee failure...)
Do you need to "ask for the order" or give a "call to action" when you have already described what you have to offer and how to reach you?
Researchers have found, as reported by Malcolm Gladwell's best seller, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, as much as a 900% increase in follow-through will result for walking the prospect through the next steps...
Make sure that your website includes a message calling on visitors to take action. Many websites forget this simple step and end up losing valuable sales.
Extra Bonus Topic: Make It Easy for Them to Keep Buying
While you are at it, why not boost your recurring revenues by offering your customers something you know they will need every so often? Make it easy for them to get automatic refills, updates, replacements, tune-ups, or whatever else your customers ought to be getting on a repeat basis.
Otherwise, you are abandoning these customers back to the marketplace when they next need what you offer.