Website Conversion April 14th, 2008
Interestingly, most companies are unaware of how important a well marketed and designed website is. Jupiter media points out that 87% of buyers use search engines to find products. There’s no doubt that Search Engine Optimization, and a well supported Pay Per Click campaign like Google Adwords can ensure traffic to your site, but what happens from there?
Website conversion is where many companies fail to turn all their ‘new found’ traffic into leads and furthermore, turn leads in to sales. We all know that website traffic is important. As important as it is, however, a website built for superior website conversion can play an even more important role in achieving your company goals —- increasing revenue!
Just because your site looks good doesn’t mean that it is serving your target audience. For example, if you are a Cosmetic Dentist, you really should stay away from bright reds. Most people are afraid of going to the dentist. Studies indicate that the color red insinuates! Avoid and stay away from saturated blues and greens if you are a restaurant. Statistically, the colors red and orange stimulate the appetite where blues and greens do the opposite. Some examples are Harveys, McDonalds and Swiss Chalet. If you want to instill trust, the color blue is best. Think IBM and Microsoft. Some companies budget millions on color market research. Psychologists have suggested that color impression can account for up to 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product or service.
A well designed site will always have a call to action. A call to action is an item found on your website that creates interest and/or a reason for the visitor to contact you. A special offer, free product or information are all good examples of a strong call to action. Without a call to action, your website is just a pretty art piece giving no direction at all. If most of your leads come from users filling out a Newsletter Subscription, then it only makes sense to tell your user to fill it out. If you don’t instruct your client to the next step, who will? The BACK button!
What is your service or product? What is the message you want to get across? Too often clients have creative sites that don’t really say much about their business. There should be a balance between creativity and getting your message across. What makes you different? What is your value proposition? Your message combined with strong color psychology will convey to the user your company’s strengths and invoke the right emotion. Only you know exactly what your company stands for — creating the same message should be the core function when building your own website.
One of the biggest mistakes to make is hiding your navigation and making it hard to find. Unless you’re trying to win the Favorite Website Award for creativity, I’d suggest to make your navigation easy to use and as functional as possible! Avoid Flash navigation when possible. Many people use the internet at work and do not have the latest Flash player installed. Therefore you lose these potential sales because they cannot navigate throughout your web site. Avoid rollover images if possible. For SEO (search engine optimization) purposes, textual links designed like navigation buttons are always beneficial. (and look great too!) Finally, don’t bombard your user with hundreds of buttons/links. Focus on what’s important. If you focus on everything, you focus on nothing.
Okay, so you’ve got a hot site, used strong color psychology, good marketing, functional website navigation and a clear call to action. Now what does your user do? You would be surprised how many websites do not have their contact information in an easy to find format on their website. Some clients like to have their contact information only on their contact page. Though this is acceptable, it’s always best to have at least your phone number and contact email on the top right hand corner. Why? Because the eye naturally starts on the top right hand corner of a page, quickly goes to the lower left and reads right, and again moves to the left even lower. Imagine a big “S” on your homepage, and make sure that the most relevant and important information (your contact info) is in the natural path of your user.
When choosing an internet marketing company to represent you in the virtual online world, it is important that the company understands design and marketing in addition to SEO and PPC (Pay Per Click/Sponsored Marketing). A good Internet Marketing company will have a strong website analytics department to crunch numbers and find relevant online, while the company’s creative team should know their online/offline marketing and design principles.
Understanding some of these “onsite” marketing principles will ensure that your offsite online marketing (SEO/PPC) and real world marketing does not go to waste. Too often do companies spend exuberant amounts on Radio, Broadcast, Print and even SEO & Sponsored Marketing but fail to convert people into sales once they land on their webpage. This is why TechWyse has an analytics department measuring traffic and leads.
Finally, whether you hire a professional company or decide to work on your company’s website yourself, keeping some of these principles in mind will keep you many steps ahead of your competitors and ensure your marketing budget is not going to waste.
Usability and employing the strong website conversion principles found in this article are all extremely valuable in not only getting traffic to your website but keeping them coming back for more! By implementing many of the suggestions found in this article you will be well on your way to a revenue making, conversion friendly, website!