What Small Business Owners Need to Know About Optimizing Their Marketing

All small business owners know that a website is supposed to be the biggest source of new business in a company.

The question companies always ask themselves is, “how can I get more traffic to my website? How can I get more leads, more sales, and make more money from my website?” Most associations may think that it’s difficult for small business owners to have websites that compete with big chains, and trying to do that means spending a ton of money on marketing.

Truthfully, the initial query, while popular, is actually wrong. The question that businesses should be asking is, “how can I maximize the traffic that my website is already getting?”

The answer to this question is the marketing holy grail. That being said, that holy grail looks different to every business. However, the map to that grail is the same for every business.

Change Your Strategy

Websites must convert your visitors into customers. This is where your personal goals come in. You want to make sure your visitors are taking the action that you want them to.

Let’s say a website has a zero percent conversion rate. You can do all the SEO, all the PPC, or buy all the traffic you want. In spite of all that, if your site doesn’t convert, you will not get any profitable leads.

More often than not, companies decide to start running ads on Google Adwords, spending $2,000-$3,000. Repeatedly, they don’t see a profit, simply because the website isn’t creating those sales.

Alternatively, spending a lot of money on search engine optimization doesn’t necessarily generate results either. Companies spend thousands to get their page on the first page of Google only to realize that their website still isn’t performing up to par.

Therefore, optimizing a website for conversions is the single most important thing that a company can do in its marketing efforts. This is the way to turn more visitors into leads, and those leads into customers – without spending another dime on marketing.

How to Optimize Your Website for Conversion

First, what is a conversion? A conversion is when a user on your website takes a desired action. That could be calling your business, filling out your contact form, or opting into your email list. It doesn’t matter what the conversion action is as long as it is valuable to your business.

Say 100 people come to your website and just two of them call you. That’s a two percent conversion rate. This is the level at which most business websites operate.

However, by just maximizing the traffic that websites already have, business will increase without expanding your profit margins. When a website is maximized for conversions, 2% can easily turn into a 6% conversion rate. That’s tripling the business without spending more money on SEO, ads, or any other form of traffic.

Here are 13 secrets to a high conversion website:

Responsiveness

Your website is considered responsive when its layout seamlessly adapts to fit different screen sizes, resolutions, and devices (desktops, tablets, phones).
*Image source*

A website moves the content (text, images, video and any other media) to make it look good on any screen, so that it is easy-to-use, regardless of the device.

If your website is non-responsive, the user will immediately switch it off, and go to the next business’ site. Consumers are turned off by anything that isn’t incredibly easy-to-use.

Google, the biggest search engine on the planet, now incorporates mobile friendliness as part of its ranking algorithm. Your site will most likely rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) if it is mobile friendly. To be safe, consider running a mobile-friendly test to find out if your website is mobile friendly.

According to Google, mobile-friendly websites are conversion machines likely to turn 67 percent of users into buying customers. Google adds that a site may lose up to 61 percent of visitors if the mobile website is difficult to navigate.

Independent landing page(s)

You’ll want to have a standalone web page that is independent of your main site if you want more conversions. In fact, a study by Hubspot on landing pages found that the most useful websites have a variety of landing pages.

Apparently, having anywhere from 10 to 15 landing pages boosts leads by about 55 percent. Standalone landing pages are so effective at driving conversions because each page is built for only one purpose.

Here’s a good example from Salesforce. IMAGE

Often, the landing page prompts the visitor to do something, like providing an email address, clicking a button to hit the shopping cart page, or registering for a promotion.

Good Website Speeds

Your customers are incredibly impatient when it comes to surfing the internet. The longer a webpage takes to load, the more people abandon it. For this reason, the loading time of web pages has a direct effect on a site’s conversion rate.

KISSmetrics reports that 40 percent of users abandon a website that takes over three seconds to load. A separate study by the Aberdeen Group found that you are likely to lose up to 7 percent of your conversions as a result of just a mere one-second delay in page load time.

Each second counts when it comes to conversions and website loading speeds. To ensure your website loads within the right time threshold, there are a ton of tools you can use to check your webpage speed, including Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, KeyCDN, and GTmetrix.

Consider hosting your landing pages on different sites such as Unbounce or Leadpages that have tremendously fast servers, so your page may benefit from quick loading speeds. This way, any speed limitations of your website will not affect your landing pages.

Creating a Sense of Urgency

Many potential customers will take forever to make a decision. It’s easy to lose a customer during this process.

One way to go around this is to convince customers to act now.

Creating time constraints (whether real or implied) will help you encourage visitors to make quick decisions for fear of missing out (FOMO) on your offer.

Consider creating a limited edition offer for people visiting your site. For example, a discount on services that need to be claimed within several hours, or a day. This time constraint leads your customers to feel the pressure to act now.

Creating this sense of urgency, you put across a subliminal message that the visitor should do something now or they risk missing out. This gently and effectively pushes them to convert – a score on your end.

Incentive to Convert

Up to 93 percent of shoppers are willing to buy items online when the seller offers free shipping. That is how effectively incentive offers can motivate your leads to become customers.

So, to get your prospects to take action, offer them something they truly want.

Double down by tying a sense of urgency into this lead magnet. By displaying when the offer will end, this can be a powerful method to communicate urgency and drive prompt action.

Valuable Content

Quality content will keep visitors on your site. This can be a very powerful tripwire for you since a visitor who has found something valuable on your site will be inherently willing to take the action you want.

As an example, consider writing long-form articles about things like the benefits of renovating one’s space immediately following a destruction, or the dangers of mold. Whatever your business’ business is, that’s what the content should be about.

This information builds trust between your business and a potential client. By giving them useful content, or answering questions for them, they will be more likely to trust that your company is experienced and can actually help.

Video Demonstrations

People are 64-85 percent more likely to purchase something after watching a product video. Customers love being able to see and experience a product or service before buying.

Consider recording how-to-videos and posting them on your site as part of your content strategy to provide your audiences with a real-world example of what your service is like.

Before and after videos of your past projects can also be a great way to give your prospective clients a feel of what to expect from you. It shows experience and expertise.

Even after increasing your website’s conversion rate, you still need to continue to track your performance. Knowing where exactly your traffic comes from allows you to directly market to that source. Most websites have a “how did you hear about us?” question. There’s a vital reason.

If you don’t know, find a tracking tool. That tool will tell you if your traffic came from Facebook, Google searches, paid Google ads, Yelp, or even friends sharing links. By breaking it down a business can see where they might need a bigger online presence, and where they should continue to put in the effort.

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