Welcome to our series on how to build an effective business website. If you’ve gone through our previous articles, then by now you have a professional looking website, created great content that is based on what you know interests your target audience and implemented valuable techniques to gain trust in your website. Today, we’ll take it a step further and discuss creating a marketing funnel for your website to convert your visitors into customers.
You Design a Website To Sell Your Product / Service
That is your ultimate goal, so you should always keep it in mind. So why is it that so many websites are so inept at selling? Because they forget the two main functions of a website:
- Lead Generation
- Converting Visitors to Customers
This isn’t just done by having a website. You need to have a website intelligent enough to actually make the sale.
Designing a Marketing Funnel For Your Website
With Marketing Funnel we mean the process by which a prospect becomes a customer. The funnel is the instrument with which we guide them in this process. This process could look like this:
- Prospect becomes aware of need
- Prospect becomes aware of the brand that offers the solution
- Prospect visits brand website
- Prospect leaves contact details
- Communication between sales staff and prospect
- Prospect buys product / service.
Not all funnels will look exactly like this, and some steps in the funnel might be skipped. It is perfectly possible that your prospect visits your site and buys your product straight away. Other’s will need some convincing.
The important part is that you have a strategy in place for all contingencies, and a way to capture vital information along the way.
Coaching Visitors To Leads and Leads To Customers
Design your website with a few simple marketing strategies in mind to achieve higher sales.
It is imperative that you have an SEO strategy in place to attract visitors to your websites. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the art of creating a website that ranks well in the search engines for searches related to your brand, product or service. This is the most common way to attract visitors.
Other very effective methods include: PPC advertising (advertising via Google Adwords for instance), or any type of marketing that mentions your website. Always push your website in all collateral, from business card to thank you slip to brochures. If your collateral is missing material, your website can offer a living breathing brochure of information, updated with the latest information, easy to navigate and searchable. A website is the easiest way for customers to find information relevant to their need – and I am not just saying that because we create websites!
Converting Website Visitors To Leads
Okay, so you got the prospect to visit your website. Now, you need to convert him or her to a customer.
The prospect will either immediately buy your product, or you need to somehow capture their contact details and permission to market to them, so that you can maintain a meaningful relationship that keeps your brand front of mind until the prospect is ready to purchase your product or service.
Calls To Action That Lead To the Sale
Make sure that your phone number is prominent. Have a prominent link to your contact page and where possible offer a free chat opportunity, where the prospect can ask the questions that he or she has relating to your offers.
Capturing Contact Details of the Lead and Get Permission To Market
Make sure that important landing pages feature at least some of the following:
When you have a blog, clearly show subscription options to RSS and Email. If the prospect finds your blog interesting, he or she will sign up for future updates. The trick is that you keep your blog interesting and occasionally promote your services. Try to offer your blog content in three forms: textual, video and audio. That way you cater to all profiles, from the jogger who likes to learn from Podcast, to the visually oriented person who needs to see a video to keep their attention going to the avid reader.
Promote email subscriptions to a newsletter.
Make sure the prospect can preview the latest issue.
Make some content only available to registered users.
It is a great way to capture email addresses and offer the registrant alternative subscriptions that he or she might not be aware of.
Other reasons to leave contact details:
Offer an ezine, ecourse, special report or ebook that requires signing up for periodic updates by leaving an email address.
Offer subscription to channels other than your site, where people might prefer to follow you: allow people to become a fan of your Facebook page with the click of a button (you can then push relevant info to them via Facebook), offer a Twitter link, Google+ and any other social network that is relevant to your audience.
Incentivise Word Of Mouth
And what if you have a visitor who knows somebody who needs your product? You want to make it easy for that visitor to spread the word!
In order to accomplish this, offer a “Tell a Friend” option that forwards the page via email to a friend, with a personal message from the sender. Offer “Social Bookmarking Buttons” so that visitors can share the article with their community and followers. Some sites might even benefit from offering a ‘bookmark this page’ button.
Your Site Is As Good As You Market It
Web Design is not just the art of making your site look good. It is the art of making your site an effective sales tool. Using some of the aforementioned tips will definitely help you to boost conversion.
Over To You
Do you have other ideas on how to effectively promote your website? Leave us a comment!