You are a needle in a giant haystack!
Once someone gets to your site, are they faced with another haystack? Your goal is to “convert” visitors to your website into buyers. It’s hard enough to get traffic to your site, but once someone lands on any of your pages, can you keep them around? Can you lead them into a buying mode? And if they do get excited enough to consider a purchase, can they do that in a few clicks? Don’t hide the needle from them! Get rid of that haystack!
If you are reading this because you have little to no sales online or simply want more, take a hard look at this infographic. You may find you are part of the statistics. The statistics are no better today then when most of these figures were gathered. In fact, there is the whole “mobilegeddon” issue that started on April 21st, 2015, that probably makes many of these stats even worse.
The one statistic gathered for this SCORE small business study that had me reeling: 70% of small business websites have no “Call to Action” (CTA). The entire infographic and article published Dec. 2014 can be seen here.
Business websites rarely ask their visitors to do anything. All the content creation, the promotions, the strategies, the planning and the advertising, won’t result in sales on your site if your site is dysfunctional. If you are not pointing people to a place where they can learn details and start their decision processes and ultimately click and buy from you, you are wasting your precious time and money.
Are you missing opportunities?
This is the easiest fix in the world. Just keep it simple and ask for the sale. People who land on your site for the first time need your guidance to navigate your site and get to the stuff that matters! If that first visit is confusing, boring, or impersonal verging on untrustworthy, there won’t be a second visit. So keep it simple and be the guidance counselor they need with solid CTA strategies. Your CTA’s will depend on your business, but here are some basics. Ask visitors to:
- Call you
- Join your email list
- Schedule an appointment
- Go to your shopping cart or otherwise place an order
- Invite them to visit your retail location
- Download a free report or other free content relative to your industry.
- Learn about your services or products, store hours, location, shipping policies, ect.
- Read Testimonials or reviews
- Read your blog and/or engage in your Social Media sites.
Can they call you?
Your phone number needs to be on every single page of your website. No exceptions to this rule! I do website reviews for Peek User Testing and it is astonishing how often people actually use a line like, “Call us for more information” and then there is no phone number next to that line or anywhere on that page and sometimes not anywhere obvious on the entire site.
I go to “contact us” pages all the time and find a contact form with NO other way to reach the site owner. So while that Call to Action is in place (we were driven by the words “contact us”) there is no way for someone to actually call or directly email. It’s likely that person will leave in total frustration and never return. Never, ever.
If all they see is a form to fill out, that is a huge turnoff. We might accept no phone number (or really hard to find phone number) from a giant corporation who might be getting 10,000 visitors a day to their contact us page and couldn’t begin to take that many phone calls, but not from a small business. Use that form if you must, but include your photo, phone number, and email address so visitors feel like they are doing business with a human. (“I am not a number!”)
You do have an email marketing program in place, right?
If not, I have an ax to grind. Admittedly, I am biased since I owe the majority of my income (75%) from my years as an artist and the past several years as a consultant to my email marketing campaigns. But think about it; there’s a good chance that you are reading this because you got an email from me. Email works! Every once in a while, one of you hires me to help you with some specific problem.
And yes, I happen to be in love with Constant Contact and hope you will give me the opportunity to get a 60 day free trial going, but in the end: You must get it together! Get email SIGN-UPS on your site. Collect an email address and a first name from people who are on your site and interested enough to voluntarily give you permission to stay in touch!
SIDE NOTE: If you are using Constant Contact, you have over 400 hours of free marketing support from US-based coaches who will show you how to put a sign-up box on your website. Do this now. Don’t finish reading the rest of this until this is done. Someone may be on your site right now and you want their contact information right now! Don’t let them leave your website without that opportunity to stay in touch!
And yes, I am now officially recommending (depending on YOUR industry) that you consider having a pop-up or “light box” to increase the sign-up rates. Just don’t be spammy!
And I have a bone to pick with the infographic: your email address must be on every single page. The moment that someone wants to get in touch is not the time for them to start looking around for your phone number OR your email address. Make it EASY for them to get in touch if they feel the need. The footer area is a great place to put contact info!
Can they buy from you without you in the mix?
No matter how many places you have your contact information, that is not how you make a sale. People may (when forced) take the extra step to call you or email you to purchase, but that is less likely with each passing day. In today’s quick click environment, someone standing in line for coffee who sees something cool they want to buy, expects to buy it now. Therefore, there is really no excuse for not having a shopping cart. Whatever you have to sell – including a service – you are competing with others who are increasingly making if very easy. If you don’t have a shopping cart or at least a “Buy Now” button with a link to PayPal, you are losing to your competition.
PayPal is not my first choice. A shopping cart is a thing of beauty. A professional level shopping cart is easy for your buyer to understand and use. It makes it easy to click and buy. I use one for my business and it is FREE. Free to set up. Free to use. The only cost is the normal processing fees like all credit cards and PayPal. Mine is sophisticated enough to handle all kinds of situations and gives you the ability to give promotional discount codes, charge or not charge for shipping, automatically add sales tax or not depending on the buyer’s location, and much more. If you want to have something going without investing up front, email me and I will be able to give you the complete details including giving you a code for $1000 of FEE FREE selling if you qualify. It’s a beginning. It’s not perfect, but it is much better than having NO shopping cart at all!
The rest of the list
Here’s the bottom line: You have their attention. They are on your site. I have written in depth in the past that their attention span requires immediate gratification. Why are they on your site? What is important to them? What’s in it for them? Do you think they take time to read six paragraphs about your history? Is your home page full of text-heavy paragraphs about out-of-context information?
If you missed this recommendation before, you need to take the time to get a quick review of your site by the “Peek” people. It’s free, simple, and you will get a short video sent to you that will chronicle the first impressions of your site. I recommend you get the maximum allowed per month which is three free reviews. From those videos, create a list of fixes and get in touch with me for some inspiration and brainstorming.
You are not too busy! Don’t use that excuse!
No one who is struggling to make income for their businesses is allowed to use the excuse that they are too busy to fix things that are keeping them from making more money. That is not a Catch-22, that is just procrastination and poor planning. One foot in front of the other. Pick something that needs fixing that will get you closer to making more money online and do it now or at least put it on a list of things to do marked “high priority”.
Contact me if you need a slap on the back to get started: 808-283-2108 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you getting any sales? What’s working for you? Do you see the need for some improvements?
Add a comment, and I will select a few sites and give a few free reviews.