5 Ways to Convert Highly Qualified Traffic into Inquiring Prospects
These days, page clicks are one of the most highly prized units of value. The ability to capture a portion of the vast sea of web-browser’s attention has become a core differentiating factor between organizations that make it and those that don’t.
With search engines increasingly delegating research power directly to the hands of consumers, we’ve seen a proliferation of media innovations designed to capture the individual web user’s mercurial attention. In media, we’ve seen news sites switch from headlines that offer a summary of the article (“Study Shows Sleep Improves with Meditation”) to a headline style that demands the users clicks (“You’ll never guess what 5 extraordinary effects meditation can have!”) The rise of SEO firms equally attests to the effort currently poured into securing views.
But without focusing on the complementary question — how can you turn views into business? — those page views will never translate into profit. Here are 5 core principles to keep in mind as you’re designing a website to garner the maximum number of profitable follow-through.
1. Reduce friction
This one comes first because it’s the foundation of all of the others. “Friction” is the name used to describe the facility with which a viewer can complete a transaction. If your site is navigable, information is readily available, FAQs are well thought out, and the check-out experience is seamless, you have a low-friction encounter. Arguably, the most low-friction online transaction would be a site like Amazon. They’ve intentionally designed their interface to make each little step of the customer’s process easy. Because the consumer doesn’t have to put in their address, credit card information, or go back and forth with the seller via email, the hurdles that the customer has to jump over are low. Every time you ask something of a customer—no matter how small the task you’re creating friction. Friction can come from poor site navigability, unclear information, difficulty contacting the vendor—the list is endless. When you minimize friction, you’re making it more likely that the customer will not leave the transaction out of frustration.
2. Make your site fun to browse
People love to browse the web, and if you can harness people’s interest you have a better chance of turning them into customers. Corporations like the incredibly lucrative apparel store Free People have leveraged the power of style blogs to bring customers to their site. People go to the Free People site to “window shop”, looking at the lookbooks, reading the DIY sections—and then become consumers. Your business may not offer consumable goods, but you can offer information that is of general interest to the web user that will draw them into the site. Always keep in mind—it’s incredibly easy for a user to click away from your site. Offering genuinely helpful or interesting information will keep the customer from flitting away.
3. Make yourself available as a source of information
Building a website is always a delicate negotiation between providing sufficient information on the one hand, and keeping the site navigable and sleek on the other. You can hedge your bets by making it frictionless to contact you. The best way to do this is to have a live chat feature or to have an FAQ section with an easily-findable contact form attached to it. Ideally, customers should look to you as a source of information about the industry, not just about your product.
4. Don’t be coy about your price
People are comparing services and products on the web in order to educate themselves about price and make the most viable decision. Whether you’re an industrial contracting company, an online store selling wire jewelry, or a dentist’s office, you can be certain that in the customer’s web browser, they are looking at other options and comparing prices. If you’re not providing at least an idea of your price, customers will likely not pursue transacting business with you any further. If your business operates on a case-by-case basis (like a construction company, for instance), you can still provide examples from past work to give users an idea of whether they want to put effort into transacting business with you.
5. Assume a diverse audience
Web marketing has opened many different sectors to new consumers who were not the original market demographic. You want to be sure that customers feel addressed by your website—that they recognize themselves as the sort of person your website addresses.
Andrew Rice is the Founder and CEO of DigitalParc, an Online Marketing and Web Design agency in Minneapolis. Backed by hands-on experience working with hundreds of companies, not to mention an awesome team of digital experts, Andrew has acquired a deep understanding on how to truly achieve results in all facets of internet marketing. Looking for more? Andrew loves sharing his online marketing knowledge through his LinkedIn Pulse articles, and on Twitter.