Small business marketers spend a lot of time trying to drive traffic to their website, only to lose those hard-earned visitors quickly when they don’t engage with the site or convert. Since the goal of marketing is to drive quality traffic to the website, why do we often lose out on conversions? Here are a few ideas to help improve the conversion rate of your small business website.

Know Your Target Audience

target audienceNo matter what product or service you are selling, “everyone” is NOT your target audience. If you’re trying to attract too vague of an audience, you won’t be able to effectively target your message to the right audience. That’s why it’s important to know your target audience as the very first step to improving your conversion rate. The best way to really know who you should be marketing to is through a small business marketing strategy. It’s important to do the legwork and understand who the people are you want to interact with. What are their pain points? How does your product or service address those pain points? Once you understand your target audience, you can start improving your conversion rate as your message will resonate with the right audience and drive the right people to your website.

Create content to match user intent

match user intentOnce you get people to your website, the work is not over! You need to make sure that the content they find on your website addresses their concerns. Does your content educate them? Does it answer their questions? Do you have diverse types of content on your website to match where visitors are in the buying cycle? All of these are important if you’re hoping to increase your conversion. If you’re not sure exactly what kind of content you have on your site and how well it matches user intent, a content audit might be a good idea, so you have an understanding of what you have and what you lack. A small business marketing firm can assist with an audit and make recommendations to fill in the content gaps. Remember, people are not interested in you, or your company and they’re not too concerned about the price either. They’re only interested in whether they’re getting enough value out of the deal! If your content shows them the value of your product or service, you’re much more likely to convert them!

Offer previews and free trials

We’re all bombarded with way too many marketing messages. One way to cut through the static and entice website visitors to take the next step in the conversion process is to give them a sneak peek into what they will get if they do business with you. It helps them judge the value and establish trust that they will get what they signed up for. That could be something simple like a free audit, a free trial of your services, or something similar so they get a taste of what they’ll be getting by engaging with you.

Capture email addresses to continue engagement

email signupIt’s pretty rare nowadays that someone visits a website and buys immediately. Most people want more information, or they want to chew on the decision for a bit. Unfortunately, once someone leaves your site, you’ve lost the ability to engage with them unless you capture their email address for ongoing marketing. If you can collect a good number of emails, you can increase your conversion rate significantly and engage and remarket your customers through email marketing. Here are a few ways to capture email addresses for future marketing efforts:

  • Free download
  • Free trial
  • Newsletter signup
  • Coupon codes

Depending on your product or service, any one of these will entice people to provide their email address to you. Also, be sure that the email capture form doesn’t ask for too much info; the more information you ask for, the less likely people will fill it out. Get a name, address, and company name; if they’re truly engaged, you’ll be able to get additional information later.

Make your blog a useful resource

Anyone who blogs on a regular basis knows that it’s hard to keep it relevant and fresh. It’s hard to create content on a regular basis, and even harder to create content that is interesting to your target audience. While adding fresh, new content to your website on a regular basis is a powerful marketing move, it needs to resonate with your audience to make an impact on your conversion rate. Even if you write the most helpful blog posts, most people won’t be tempted to read them if it’s boring and uninteresting. Here are a few tips to make your blog to your audience:

  • Create powerful and interesting headlines
  • Write short paragraphs that are easy to read
  • Add facts and statistical data
  • Add examples to illustrate your point
  • Use bullets to help users skim your content

Make it easy to do business with you

buy nowA big mistake many websites make is only giving visitors two options: buy or don’t buy. That kind of hard-sell tactic simply doesn’t work for most businesses, and marketers need to expand their perception of what a “conversion” is. Not every conversion is a sale! Conversion isn’t only about selling products or services. Conversion occurs every time your readers perform the desired actions because of your marketing campaign. This could be filling out a contact form for more info, signing up for a free trial, subscribing to your newsletter, or saving a seat at your next webinar. A series of small conversions are all it takes to keep the customers moving through the sales funnel until they become clients. Take your time and nurture those low-level conversions and you’ll see your overall conversion rate increase.

Add compelling calls to action on your site

Sometimes we assume that if someone is on our website, they’ll know what to do, where to go, and what we’d like them to do to engage with us. Don’t make that mistake! It’s imperative that we give visitors a clear call to action and tell them what they need to do to engage with us. Statements such as “click here,” “fill out this form to contact us” or “subscribe to our blog by filling out the form below” are clear calls to action so people know exactly what to do. It’s also important to put those CTAs throughout your website such as:

  • Bottom of the page
  • Top banner
  • Within the content
  • In the side panel
  • Pop-ups

Show them you can be trusted

trust signalsTestimonials and reviews can help develop the trust required for conversion, but there are other actions you can take to assure visitors you’re a trustworthy company. One activity is using “trust signals” on your website. Trust signals can be associations you below to, accreditations you have, or perhaps a list of clients you’ve worked with. These, along with testimonials and reviews, can assure website visitors you’re trustworthy.

Improving conversions to your website can help build lead generation and increase sales. Following the suggestions above can help improve the conversion rate of your small business website.

Patty Hughes
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