10 essential tips to having a high converting website
Updated: Nov 3
Your checklist to increase enquiries from your website for your small business
Whether you’re running your own business or part of a bigger SME, your website is one of the most important marketing assets to invest quality time in. It’s where a potential customer will be most likely to engage with your brand before getting in touch and talking to a human being.
Never scrimp on a website. It pays off to use a high quality designer, copywriter and web developer. And don't underestimate how long it takes to get right. Your website is always on 24 hours a day so it's vital what they see and take away from the experience positions your business in a positive light and meets what they’re looking for. There are so many decisions to make and you can get carried away and focus on the wrong thing.
“Your website is your greatest asset. More people view your webpages than anything else.” — Amanda Sibley
At Sharp Thinking, we've undertaken dozens of website reviews for clients as part of our marketing reviews, and have put together our top tips for making your website the best it can be. Without a strong website, your marketing can only go so far and it is the number 1 priority to address.
Here are our top 10 tips, all of which will help increase the number of enquiries:
1. Put your customer first
It’s common for businesses to focus on demonstrating what they do and sell to the market. This is quite understandable and logical to do in the core of the site. However, many businesses have seen a major change in business growth by putting the customer emotional connection first.
Improve visitor engagement and time spent on your site by highlighting the benefits of your product or service to the customer. Address what their challenges are and how your product or service helps solve them. Doing this demonstrates you know your market and taps into the emotive side of their purchase decision making.
2. Have a clear hierarchy
When designing and writing copy for your website, content needs to be easy to digest and scan. Ensure your key messages and crucially what you do appear above the fold. Above the fold refers to web content that is visible above the border and that is visible when a page first loads without scrolling down your screen.
To make your content digestible, use a mix of headlines and subheads along with buttons to highlight the call to action at the end of the section. It is also highly advisable to include a lead magnet which contains a download or resource you've created such as white paper to capture customer data. This is an ideal way to develop and grow a database.
3. Tell your story and why you exist
People like to know more about you and your business. This includes why you started and the history path to where you are today. Having an authentic, grounded story, perhaps built on family values or personal determination, will resonate with potential customers and can influence both a conscious and unconscious decision to choose you.
4. Use quotes and stories from satisfied customers
Gathering positive testimonials from existing customers is a perfect way to show it’s not you saying how great you are. They are independently approving your business and credible, giving confidence to the visitor.
Ensure you position them throughout all of your website sections, as well as through a case study, quotes or testimonials section. Have a look at our blog How to get more customer reviews.
5. Use original photography
Many businesses use off the shelf images or photographs from royalty-free image libraries. Whilst they offer quick and simple access for a small or sometimes free investment, you’re likely to be using images competitors may use and it won't help to convey who you really are as well as original photography.
Investing in some authentic images of your business, be it the people, the product or service in action, allows you to stay true to your story and remain distinctive to your brand.
6. Highlight and repeat ways to contact you
Known as a 'call to action', serving easy to see telephone numbers and opportunities to click to contact you, are important to convert any consideration thoughts from the visitor.
Limit yourself to a few distinctive call to actions, like a direct phone number and an enquiry form, but repeat them multiple times in key places where prospective customers may want to further their interest. This could be next to a series of benefits, your leading product or service explanation or a customer quote. Always consider the 'user journey' - what should happen next after they've read the pade.
“You can’t just place a few ‘Buy’ buttons on your website and expect your visitors to buy.” — Neil Patel
Make sure you add tracking pixels so you can assess which ones are working the best and update other parts of your site using the results you find.
7. Use insight from what people are searching for
One of the biggest parts of building your website content is to align it with what people are searching for. You can use several useful tools to learn what keywords people are using the most. We like Uber Suggest and Moz.
Adding keywords into your site content along with links to other parts and external sites of relevance will increase your organic reach and help to rank with Google's search algorithms.
8. Focus on the mobile experience
Over 50% of all website visits in 2020 came from mobile devices such as smartphones. If people are on the move or just casually sitting at home, your smartphone is the dominant choice for people as it’s quick and easy to pick up and use. Ensure you check how your website looks when accessed from a mobile.
Most website platforms optimise the desktop version to mobile but this may bring layout issues with copy and imagery overlapping, causing a less than satisfactory navigation experience which will put people off staying. Therefore, ensure your website design is built around the mobile experience. Continually test your site in both looks and functionality to keep visitors on your pages.
9. Bring your business to life through video content
Everyone likes watching film and video these days. Google likes it too. Invest in creating some short, useful video content like product explanations, staff profiles and customer endorsements.
Video brings to life the people behind the business and can convey what your brand is all about in a more emotive way than copy. Plus video is proven to get people to spend a longer amount of time on your website which also aids your search engine optimisation (SEO).
10. Ensure it is technically sound
Load speeds are so important. Not just for the customer experience, but for SEO too. Customers will leave your site if it takes too long for your site to appear. In fact, research shows that if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, 40% of your visits will exit your site.
Put your customer at the heart of your site
With an abundance of platforms and tools available to support planning and building your website, nothing can substitute putting the customer at the heart of your website experience.
Try to set aside your personal preferences and put yourself in the mindset of your customer and think objectively what they would like to see. And remember a website is a living and breathing thing which should be continually updated at least every month. It may not not the site you eventually want it to be in terms of functionality and design, but there are many things you can do which will have a strong impact on the performance of your website, which won't necessarily cost you anything.
For further marketing advice to support your small business, view 5 tips to ensure your business can be found on Google, 5 colours to help you sell more or download my free infographic on trends for business owners to act upon in 2021.