Local businesses are spending a lot of time and money to increase traffic to their websites, but traffic is only half the challenge. Good business websites are designed to convert web traffic into leads. If you have a local business, conversion is when a visitor to your website calls, emails, or fills out a form for an appointment or quote. To that end, your website needs to keep visitors from bouncing.
Here are a few tips to help with conversion:
Most of the leads local businesses get from the web are going to either call or email. It sounds beyond obvious, but make sure your contact information is featured somewhere near the top of each page of your website, preferably in the header, and include a call-to-action, such as “call today for a free quote.” Lead capture forms that allow customers to submit an appointment are also a good idea, but most people want to pick up the phone and call first, so your contact information should be the most accessible content on your site.
For conversion purposes, you want your website as easy to navigate as possible, so stick with a common navigation design, such as a horizontal menu bar at the top of your site or a vertical one down the left side. Most visitors to your website are accustomed to finding a “contact us” section in the menu, so it is a good idea to include one.
Note: For local search purposes, it is especially important to put your name, address, and phone number (NAP) together above the fold. Aside from your customers reading this information, Google also uses this data, so avoid vanity numbers and use text instead of a graphic to display your number.
No other single piece of content is going to impact prospective customers more than third-party customer reviews. Consumers seek out third-party reviews instead of testimonials because they want to see the unfiltered opinion of your customers. According to a recent study, 72% of consumers trust customer reviews as much as personal recommendations. So it is important that you feature a link to your positive reviews prominently above the fold on your homepage.
Conventional wisdom holds that you should direct web traffic toward one particular action. This is usually embodied in a button or text with a particular call-to-action, such as “click here for a free estimate.” However, you must still have content that compels your prospects to click, call or email for that quote. So aside from putting a link to your reviews, include a secondary call-to-action for your visitors, such as “read customer reviews.”
A word of caution: be careful not to send your prospects to your competitor’s reviews. Too often I have seen local business websites with a link to their directory reviews page only to follow the link and discover 2 customer reviews and links to their nearest competitors. One way or another, a prospective customer has found their way to your site. They are now in your sales funnel. Do not drive them to your competitor’s ads.
It is widely understood that visitors to a website will not spend more than about 3 seconds orienting themselves. Your prospective customers need to be able to find what they need at a glance or you are in danger of losing them. Make sure that your content is separated with clear headlines. As this eye-tracking study reveals, most people who visit a website scan the headlines before even looking at the photos. Make sure your headlines tell the story and convey the essential information you need your prospects to know quickly.
Aside from your prospects, search engines use keywords in your headlines for search purposes. Avoid the temptation to stuff your headlines with keywords. It is more important to write headlines that are meaningful, helpful, and clear for your prospective customers.