For most local businesses, lead conversion means a prospective customer found your website and called the number at the top of your homepage. (Before reading any further, this would be a good time to make sure you have a current phone number at or near the top of your homepage.)
It bears repeating that Internet marketing, at its most basic, consists of generating web traffic and converting that web traffic into leads or, better yet, customers. This process is probably best exemplified by online ads and their corresponding landing pages.
Landing pages are basically single pages dedicated to converting web traffic delivered from pay-per-click ads or search engine results. The content is incredibly focused on getting visitors to take one particular action, which is typically embodied by a button with a clear call-to-action (CTA).
If you are a local business owner, one way to think of your website is as a landing page, and search engine results, including Google+ Local listings, are the ads. With that in mind, your homepage should be designed to convert leads similarly to landing pages.
As always, the Internet marketing experts at HubSpot have provided an excellent resource on landing page design tips: 7 Design Best Practices for High-Converting Landing Pages
2 of the takeaways I found especially compelling for local business homepages are as follows:
1. Use a button with contrasting colors on the CTA button.
If the primary goal is to get prospective customers to click a button to fill out an appointment request, that button must standout from other content on the site.
2. Add Social Proof
This can mean anything from featuring social media plugins to snippets of recent blog posts, but for local businesses especially, it is important to have third-party verified customer reviews featured prominently. After all, prospective customers need a reason to follow through with that CTA.