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For any business with an online presence, the most important role of a website is likely going to be to attract more customers. If you design your website correctly, then it should provide a huge ROI as those who land on your page are potential opportunities to make a profit and form a relationship. A good website should inform your visitors of what your business is all about then but it should persuade them to take the next step so that they become customers or clients.
This is a sort of science and an art and it's something that will require a little trial and error to get just right. Even if your website is currently performing well with a high conversion rate, there are almost always tweaks and changes you can make to start converting more of the people who visit into people who want to hire your services or buy your products.
The good news? Often those changes are very simple to understand and implement. Here are ten easy tricks you can start using…
If your website exists primarily in order to gain leads and customers for your business, then you have a very clearly defined goal for your site which gives you an advantage.
A good website design will take this into account and as such, everything on the page should 'lead' the visitor to take the action you want, like clicking a buy button, submitting a quote request, etc. If your page is currently cluttered with lots of information and lots of links then users won't know where they're supposed to go or what they're supposed to click – they'll end up with 'options paralysis'. Instead, make sure that everything all points in the same direction and leads to the same place so that they can't help but gravitate towards that contact or order form.
A quick thing to try doing right away, is to take the “less is more” approach and remove some of the unnecessary clutter to streamline the visitor experience, and make sure your call to action is clear.
#2 Minimal Design
In service of this 'funneling', it is crucial to use an uncluttered design throughout that makes it easier for the visitor to navigate your site and which makes the design appear more professional.
Consider the following design maxim: 'don't decorate, communicate'. In other words, no element on your website should be there just because it 'looks pretty'. Instead it should always serve some kind of role in helping to communicate your message/aid navigation/encourage sales. If it doesn't? Get rid of it!
Minimal designs also load quicker, they scale easier in terms of responsive web design and they make it easier to create contrast – which is our next point.
There are two types of contrast that can be used in your website to increase conversions. The first is color contrast, wherein you can of course make your most important elements stand out more by using contrasting colors that leap off the page.
Contrast can also be used though to make ideas stand out and even products. If you have an online shop for instance, consider listing your most expensive items next to your cheapest ones. Why? Because the contrast will make your cheaper items seem like even more of a good deal and your premium products seem like even better quality.
#4 The Color Red
Using the color red for your 'buy now' button will actually greatly increase the chances of people clicking on it. This might sound strange but studies have demonstrated time and time again that this is the case and that simply seeing the color red increases our heartrate and thus our sense of 'urgency'. As most purchases are emotional/impulsive decisions, this is a good thing for your sales. It also helps of course that red is a very contrasting color against white (as above) which will stand out more on the page.
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#5 Social Media Integration
When a visitor lands on your website that's an opportunity for you to get a new customer right? Actually no – it's an opportunity for you to get lots of new customers, if you can leverage social sharing. Include social media buttons to encourage your visitors to share pages with their networks and that way you can get some free marketing along with that all-important testimonial.
#6 Provide Value for Free
Giving away a free taste is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to business and things are no different online. If your website can provide some kind of value free to your users – such as free information relevant to your industry – then you will not only encourage more sharing and bring back more repeat visitors, but you will also establish more trust. This is especially crucial if you are selling a service or an information product. It can be as simple as writing a good blog post, so it doesn't have to put you out of pocket.
#7 Lead Capture
Every website that is designed to make money must have some form of lead capture. Not everyone is going to want to make an impulse purchase right away but if you can capture e-mail addresses then you will be able to build trust over time and market future products to people who have shown an interest in the past. Your database of e-mail addresses can become an invaluable asset so you need to start doing this right away.
#8 Use Pop-Ups
Pop-ups containing opt-in forms have been shown to be highly effective at increasing the number of leads you can capture from a website. You don't want to irritate your visitors of course though, so be careful how you handle this.
#9 Beautify Your Website
This should go without saying but if you want people to buy from you then you need to make sure your website looks stunning. This will reflect well both on your business and on your products and you can't expect people to spend money with you if your site looks amateurish. For each cosmetic change you make on your site, you will marginally increase your chances of making a conversion.
#10 Split Test
But how do you know if all these changes are making a difference? That's where split testing comes in. Split testing essentially means making a tweak to your site and seeing whether that increases or decreases your conversion rate. A true split test is performed by showing versions of your website to different visitors and then collecting data from each (tools like Optimizely can help you do this) but just watching your statistics is the most important thing of all.
So there you go, there are ten easy tricks you can start using to attract new customers through your website. Give them a go and you'll find they can pay dividends!