Many times Maryland small business owners will spend a lot of money on a visually stunning website design without knowing whether it will convert visitors into leads for the company.
The days are gone when just having a basic website online is enough to capture more leads for your business.
Competition is fierce and you have to do everything you can, to not only get ideal prospects to your website…
…but also to convert them into a lead when they get there.
Lead flow can help put your business in a much better position of power.
The more leads you have the more at bats you get at converting them into paying customers.
The more customers you have the more profits you make.
This also gives you the power to turn down prospects that don’t fit your ideal client profile, relieving that extra stress and aggravation.
These conversion techniques are tailored to local businesses as opposed to e-commerce type businesses that only sell products online.
Tested And Proven Design Elements
I learned and tested the following information on website design from Greg Cassar, one of the top internet marketers in the world.
Greg has helped numerous businesses capture more leads and make more sales.
He has effectively used these exact strategies to help grow businesses by as much as six hundred percent.
He gained this knowledge over many years of running a successful online marketing agency, running marketing tests on real businesses.
Now he is one of the top internet marketing coaches and runs a high level mastermind.
The following tips for effective website design will allow you to apply the 80/20 principal to your business website.
Meaning that 20% of the things that you do will get you 80% of your results.
Here are the top 10 website design elements that will get you the biggest results:
1.) 10 Seconds Or They’re Gone
When someone gets to your website, their first decision is not “am I going to buy?”…
…it’s “am I going to stay on your website or go?”
It used to be called the 10 second rule, but today it’s more like 5 or even 3 seconds.
This is why your website must clearly tell them 3 things immediately:
- Who you are?
- What you can do for them?
- Why they should use you as opposed to your competition (benefits)?
As much as you like to think that your customer cares about you, what they really care about is “What’s in it for me?”
They want to know if you can help them solve their problem(s).
If this is not relayed to them fast, they will leave your website and go back to Google to search again and be taken to one of your competitors.
Just think about when you search for something online…
…you want it fast, and if you don’t get what you are looking for…
…you leave and go somewhere else.
2.) You Are The Navigator
Before you design your website, you want to envision one of your prospects coming to your website and the best way to guide them through it.
What is the 1st thing you want them to do, and then the 2nd, and so on…
You want to have a primary course of action and a secondary course of action on every page on your site.
Don’t make them think too much and be as clear as possible.
Lead them through your website, give them the information they need to take action, such as: request more information, schedule an appointment, call your office, etc…
3.) Get Them Where They Need To Go FAST
When someone arrives on your home page, you want to give them the information they are looking for as quickly as possible.
This starts with an easy to navigate main menu.
People will scan your menu from left to right, so put your most important things in that order as well.
Another great way to do this is with what Greg refers to as junction boxes.
Let’s use an example of a real estate agent that does commercial and residential real estate.
On the home page would be 2 boxes “Residential Real Estate” and “Commercial Real Estate”.
You could have two nicely designed clickable boxes with relevant pictures representing each category.
Then when they click on the box that represents what they are looking for, it will take them through a hierarchy of selections to get them the information they want as quickly as possible.
Here is a visual example of what that may look like, if someone were to click on “Residential Real Estate” from the example above, in flow chart form:
This way you are giving them the most relevant information, without making your visitor wade through your entire website, just to find what they are looking for.
If your business has a complicated sales process this can help educate and pre-sell your prospects so they know exactly what they want when they call you.
4.) Call To Action On Every Page
A lot of business owners are great at explaining what they do and how it can help their customers, but freeze up or feel uncomfortable when it comes time to actually ask for the business.
You can do this in a way that doesn’t feel pushy or like a typical slimy sales person.
First off, you want to think about courting one of your prospects like dating.
You wouldn’t ask them to marry you on the first date…
Consumers purchase things online in a typical fashion when they go through the purchase cycle.
So you want to educate and motivate them to work with you.
This can be providing great information on how you can help them and then, at the end, asking them to take the next step.
You want to make sure that you are doing this on every page of your website.
The top right of the page and at the end of your content are 2 high converting places on the page where you should be testing these call to actions.
5.) What To Say & How To Present It
First let’s talk about what to say…
If you are stuck about what to write about your products or services, John Carlton, who some call the greatest living copywriter, offers this solution to structure your text:
- Here’s who I am
- Here’s what I’ve got – an overview of your product or service
- Here’s what it’ll do for you – benefits it provides
- Here’s what to do now – call to action
Think about what your prospect is searching for and cover all of the things they want to know.
Now let’s talk about how to structure it on the page so that it actually gets read.
Instead of writing one long continuous paragraph, you want to break up your text into smaller chunks of maybe 1 to 3 sentences max.
You also want to add sub-headlines to break up the different sections of the text and add bullets where relevant.
This makes it so when your brain scans the page it makes it much easier to read, and people will stay on your site longer and consume more of your text.
Which version below looks easier to read to you…version A or version B?
Same exact text, just formatted differently…
Another side benefit to this is that Google loves it when people stay on your site longer, and will reward you with more relevant traffic.
Backlinko, one of the most popular SEO sites, outlined Google’s 200 ranking factors, and under “User Interaction” they listed Dwell Time which states that:
Google pays very close attention to “dwell time”: how long people spend on your page when coming from a Google search. This is also sometimes referred to as “long clicks vs short clicks”. If people spend a lot of time on your site, that may be used as a quality signal.
It tells them that the searcher must be getting great information, and this is a site they should recommend to other people by giving you higher search engine rankings.
6). Utilize Video
With high speed internet access and wifi basically everywhere now, you no longer have to wait for videos to download.
Most people will watch a video rather than read through entire pages of text.
According to Pew Research Center 24% of people have not read at least one book in the past year…
…and eMarketer reported that adults in the US will spend an average of 5 hours and 31 minutes watching video every day this year.
Compare that to only 21 minutes per day in 2011, and you can see that video is greatly on the rise.
This shows that most people prefer to watch a video versus reading an article.
Pew Research also stated that 75% of adults own a desktop or laptop computer, and 92% of adults own a cell phone.
So utilizing video helps get your message in front of more people.
A great video sequence to start with is:
- Problem – describe the problem
- Aggravate – describe how bad the problem is
- Solve – How you can help solve the problem
- Prove – Prove you can help
- Call to action – Tell them what to do now
Greg added video to one of his sites and was able to double the conversions from just having basic text.
7.) Before & After Shots
If you are in the type of business where you can show before and after shots, this can be extremely effective.
Think about a personal trainer showing before and after shots of one of their clients after they lost a ton of weight, a kitchen remodeling company showing an old grungy kitchen that they made beautiful again, or a dentist showing a before and after smile.
Now think about your market and if there is any way that you can incorporate this into your site.
This helps your prospects trust you, and know that you can do what you say, providing instant credibility.
8.) Social Proof
Social proof can be a very powerful marketing tool that uses basic psychology to move your prospects along the buying cycle.
This can be in the form of:
- Success Stories
- Case Studies
- Listing clients you have worked with
- Listing publications you have been featured in
Video of testimonials or case studies has proven the most effective, but if you can’t get video make sure to use at least text and try to get pictures to post with them.
Audio is good as well, you can post a play button on your website next to their picture.
Adding social proof to your website can greatly help to increase your conversion rate of turning website visitors into leads and sales.
9.) Mobile Compatible Website Design
When it comes to mobile compatibility there are 2 different options.
1. Mobile Responsive Website Design – this is where you site automatically adjusts to fit the screen that your website is being viewed on.
2. Dedicated Mobile Website – this is where you have a separate website that is specifically designed to be seen on a mobile device. If someone views your website on a small screen size they will automatically be redirected to this version of your website.
At a minimum to want to make sure that you have a mobile responsive website design.
As of April of 2015, Google has put this into their SEO algorithm of ranking factors, giving more weight to sites that have these features.
This also provides your user a better viewing experience when viewing your site on a mobile phone or tablet.
If you want to take it to the next level you can have a dedicated mobile version of your site designed to help with conversions.
Greg states that in his testing and experience, dedicated mobile sites convert better for service type companies providing more calls, leads, and people walking in the door.
With these types of sites your visitor can click a button to call your phone number automatically, get directions to your location, and even send you a text message.
According to Smart Insights, one half of all local searches are performed on mobile devices, and in mobile internet is projected to take over desktop internet usage.
This is why it is important, now more than ever, to make sure that you website is mobile compatible…
…or you could be missing out on a large portion of your prospects.
10.) Build Trust & Show Your Authority In Your Market
When someone visits your website you want to position yourself as an expert.
You can help do this with things like:
- Industry seals
- Organizations/Associations you belong to
- Security badges
These all help provide your prospect reasons to believe what you say, trust that you know what you are doing and are the one that can help them.
Your Next Step
One thing that Greg passionately states about these principles of effective website design, is to NOT underestimate them.
He says “To know and not to do, is not to know.”
A lot of it comes right back to the fundamentals of marketing – Taking people to the correct, most relevant page, giving them exactly what they need, and making a call to action.
If you would like to incorporate these things into your website design to help increase your conversions of – visitors to leads, and leads to more sales, check out our website design serviceshere.
We are not just techies that can build you a great looking website, we combine that with our marketing knowledge so that you can have a website that not only looks great but generates more revenue as well.