This may sound shocking, but your company may have more than enough traffic on your website to achieve your business goals. But if you have a leaky website, you might never meet those goals. Prospects and customers are visiting your site, but very few are taking the next step to do business with you.
How to Tell If You Have a Leaky Website
To determine if you have the symptoms of a leaky website, review your web analytic reports that track visitor behavior and look for the following issues:
- Your conversion rate is low. Your conversion rate is the measure of your ability to persuade visitors to take action and reach out to you. If your conversion rate is low (or nonexistent), your website definitely has leaks.
- Your bounce rate is high. Your bounce rate measures the number of people that arrive at one of your website pages and then leave without doing anything. This is a good indicator of whether your website meets the needs of visitors or if they think it is a complete waste of time. If your bounce rate is relatively low (under 25 percent), then your website is doing its job effectively leading prospects to the next step. If your bounce rate is high (more than 40 percent), you have a leaky website.
How to Plug the Leaks
If your website is leaky, don’t fret. The following tips will help you plug the leaks and optimize your site for more leads and sales.
- Make sure your content is customer-focused. Prospects are not visiting your website to kill time; they are there to find a solution or solve a problem. Talk less about you and your company and more about your customers’ needs and concerns. If your content is customer-focused, prospects will stick around and ask for more.
- Don’t rely on your ‘contact us’ page. Do you want to turn your website into a lead generation machine? Then stop relying on your ‘contact us’ page as the sole method for prospects to contact you. Offer visitors easy access to contact information on every page of your website in a consistent location. You will be amazed at how many more prospects will reach out to you if you invite them to do so.
- Make an offer they can’t refuse. Now, take it one step further by supplementing your contact information with relevant calls to action that will compel your site visitors to respond. Think about the audiences you are trying to attract, as well as the various stages of the buying process they may be in. To attract individuals ready to buy, offer product specials, quote request forms, salesperson consultations and online ordering. Offer softer calls to action for the tire kickers and early-stage buyers to help you build a marketing database. Examples of soft calls to action include downloadable how-to guides, whitepapers, "ask the expert" question submission and e-newsletter subscriptions.
- Simplify your lead generation forms. Are your lead generation forms as daunting as a tax return? If so, simplify these forms immediately. Don’t try to qualify prospects with your online forms – that’s the salesperson’s job. The more fields you require to be filled out, the fewer people you will hear from. Ask only for the most basic information a salesperson will need to reach out to this prospect and begin the relationship. Also, make sure these forms get to a knowledgeable salesperson immediately for follow-up. The best time to follow up with a prospect is when they are still browsing your website.
- Shorten your checkout process. If you sell products online, take a close look at your checkout process to identify leaks. How many customers that add an item to their shopping cart actually complete the sale? If you are losing many of these valuable customers, look for opportunities to simplify your checkout process: cut the number of clicks required to complete the sale, communicate shipping costs early, offer a progress meter to let people know where they are in the process and offer alternative (offline) ways to order.
- Make your phone number obvious. According to our research, people are at least as likely, if not more likely, to pick up the phone and call when they are browsing a company’s website. To boost the number of inquiries you receive, don’t make your visitors hunt for your number. Make your phone number one of the prominent calls to action on every page. In addition, I recommend using a unique toll-free number on your website so you can accurately track the number of calls you receive from website visitors.
Bob DeStefano is a B2B online marketing strategist and professional marketing speaker with more than 20 years of experience helping distributors and manufacturers leverage online marketing to produce bottom-line results. Bob is also a member of the University of Innovative Distribution faculty. Follow Bob on Twitter @BobDeStefano or connect with Bob on the web at www.svmsolutions.com and www.bobdestefano.com or by calling 877-786-3249 x234.
Bob's latest book, Old Dog, New Clicks: Online Industrial & B2B Marketing Know-How for the 21st Century, is available now in the MDM Store.