When you own a business, having a beautiful website is nice, but having a website that converts cold traffic into customers is even better.
This doesn’t happen by accident or by chance. There’s a formula. Customers go through a predictable journey when they decide to purchase, whether they know it or not. First, the prospect has to find you – that can be through social media, search, advertising, or by word of mouth. Next, the customer has to be able to identify who you are and what problem you solve for them. They’ll follow you for a bit, do their research on you and if they feel good about what they see, they’ll begin to trust you. Trust is a crucial step that can’t be overlooked. Once they trust you and you finally extend your hand and offer your product, they purchase from you. And when your product delivers the amazing results you promise it will, they’ll begin to talk about you and bring their own friends and family into the first step of the process – finding you.
With that journey in mind, here are 11 tips to make your website bring the customer through that process quicker.
- KNOW THY CUSTOMER: Before you can solve your customer’s problem, you need to know that problem as if it were your own. What keeps your customer up at night? What’s their worst fear? What’s the pain point that would make them throw down $1,000 right now if you could make it go away?
- TALK TO JUST ONE PERSON: Your product could help thousands, maybe even millions, of people solve a problem. But the secret is to talk to just one of them in your messaging. Imagine your ideal customer whose problem you know you can solve – and speak to that person. Consider all the information you gathered in the first step and speak to those pain points in detail. If you try to speak to everybody, you’ll speak to nobody.
- IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU: It may seem odd to instruct you not to talk about yourself on your own website, but let’s think of it in a different way. Have you ever been at a party, met a new person, and all they talked about was themselves and how great they are and all the skills they have? That’s how your prospect feels when they come to your website and you just want to talk about you and your product. No doubt, your product could help with their pain point, but they first need to know that you really get them and understand them – remember the journey we talked about in the beginning? – they need to trust you before they’re ready to hear about what you have to offer them.
- MAKE IT SIMPLE FOR THEM: If a prospect is confused about what you offer, how much it costs, or how to get it – they will absolutely leave your website 100% of the time without purchasing. Make it simple for them. At this point, you’ve shown them that you know what their problem is, you get it, you relate to them, you have the solution – so how do they get it? What steps do they take next? Make it easy for them to give you their money.
- SPEAKING OF SIMPLE, YOU GET 5 SECONDS: That’s right. Your prospects will give you about 5 seconds on your website to understand what you have to offer, why they need it and how they can purchase. If they can’t figure those 3 things out in 5 seconds, they’re gone and they’re not coming back.
- LET THEM TEST DRIVE YOU: Imagine you have a really awful headache and you have no idea what it’s from or how to stop it, you go to the doctor, she tells you it’s a sinus headache, you need to take some anti-inflammatory meds, limit your exposure to pollen and then sends you on your way without charging you. How would that make you feel toward that doctor? Probably pretty grateful. Now imagine if her advice was right and your headache finally went away! Do you think you’d go back to that doctor when you needed help with other medical interventions? You bet you would. Why? Because she gave you something of great value, showed her expertise (rather than telling you about it), earned your trust and now you feel loyal to her. It’s the same with your product. Show your prospect that you’re the expert and give them something incredibly valuable that could point them to their ultimate solution (your product) in exchange for their email address.
- KEEP ADDING VALUE: Speaking of email addresses – once you’ve gained the privilege of showing up in your prospect’s inbox, this is the beginning of your relationship. Keep adding value for them, don’t just try to sell them right away. Imagine someone giving you their phone number for the first time – you’re probably going to get ghosted real quick if you start out by asking them to marry you. Instead, let them get to know you and once you’ve gained their trust, THEN you can propose to them….with your product.
- FOLLOW THEM: …but only digitally – it’s exponentially creepier if you do this in real life. Here’s the bottom line – 85% of people who come to your website will leave without taking any action…not even signing up for your newsletter. To solve this problem, you can run retargeting ads. Simply put, when someone comes to your website, a tiny snippet of code will track that they stopped by and then whatever other website or social platform they visit, you can show them ads of your product. This is a way of staying in front of them and letting them get to know you (remember step 2 of the buyer’s journey in the beginning?). Your ads should be tasteful and help your customer start to trust you and start loving what your company has to offer. A good example of this would be if you’re a socially responsible shoe company, someone stops by your website, and later on Facebook, they see an ad of yours letting them know that all of your shoes are made from 100% recycled materials. The next ad might show them that your company donates one pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased. And maybe the next is simply offering your free resource from the last point. Video testimonials are also quite powerful in gaining trust from prospects. These ads will draw your them closer and closer to a purchase until they finally click “Buy Now”.
- MAKE THE OFFER TOO GOOD TO RESIST: Now that your prospect knows who you are, they recognize you when they see your logo or your ads, they trust you, now is the time to propose a unique and unbeatable offer. This might be via email if they’re on your list or it might be via another retargeting ad – whatever the avenue, the offer has to be a no-brainer to them. Your offer should make them feel like they’d be silly to scroll on by without purchasing. Free shipping, buy one get one, free item with first purchase – there are all sorts of ways to do this so get creative and remember what your customer’s pain point is.
- SHOW UP ON SOCIAL: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be on every platform – you just need to be on the platforms you’ll actually engage with people. There’s no bigger red flag than when someone shows up to your social channel and there’s absolutely no movement. No content posted from you, no engagement from others, and no engagement from you. Show up. Talk with your prospects – this is also a great exercise to understand their problems more clearly too! Make sure you’re the brand that they don’t want to forget.
- REWARD THEM FOR SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS: When a product works, people talk. It’s human nature. And if your product works the way you promise it does – why not jump on that synergy and incentivize your customers to talk to their friends about you! This is the final phase of their journey. They’ve come to know, like and trust you and now they’re ready to tell their tribe about you. Make it easy for them. Just like we want to make it easy to buy from us, we want to make it easy for them to rave about us too. You can do this with an ambassador or affiliate program, you can do this through coupons for sharing on social, or you can simply ask your customers to leave you a review on your platform of choice. It doesn’t matter how you get people talking, the important point is that you do get them talking. Word of mouth is the most cost effective form of increasing your revenue.
About the Author:
John D. Smiddy
John has helped market and scale over 200 companies in various industries over the past 10 years. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of LeadPlan Marketing, the host of “The Marketing Fundamentals Podcast” and the creator of the “5 Pillars of Sales Conversions” formula used at LeadPlan.