By Jared Gerber
If you are spending money on any kind of advertising to promote your business and website, you could be leaving money on the table if your website is not up to par.There are many ways to get visitors to your website including an SEO program, Pay Per Click, Email Marketing, Social Media Programs, Blog sites or just handing out your business card with your website address on it; however, what they do once they get to your website is just as important as getting them there.   If you finally landed that business meeting  you’ve been trying to get for a year and showed up in shorts, t-shirt & tennis shoes, what are your chance of a successful outcome?

There are many factors in determining whether or not you will get business from your website — the most important things when grading your website’s ability to convert is the overall quality and visual appeal — which promotes credibility.   Also, it should load fast and be easy to read, navigate and find information they need.  

Here are 10 specific things that you can check off when grading your website’s ability to convert well.

  1. Easy to Use – Make your website easy to navigate — too many options will just confuse and distract the visitor.  I would recommend no more than 6 primary buttons (e.g., Home, Products, Services, About Us, Contact).  Avoid clutter!!!   Too much information just makes it hard for your visitor to find what’s important — be succinct and to the point.   You can put other content and detailed information behind a click for more details link or as a dropdown page under a primary link — for example, put Resources, FAQ’s, Articles, Media, etc. as a dropdown item under About Us.  Make it easy for them to find your products & services.   Put links to more information below the summary paragraph.
  2. Be Visual – Add a large visual slideshow at the top with 3-5 ads that instantly communicate your top marketing message(s).  Find visuals that instantly communicates what you offer or how you solve a problem for them — use this area to communicate your unique selling point or your top 2-3 why buy statements.  These ads should grab their attention and be memorable.
  3. Trust & Credibility – Use a REAL brick & mortar address – separate yourself from the millions of businesses that are hiding from their customers, post your privacy & return policies – be fair, if something is on backorder, let them know before they try to order it,  Also, not everybody uses Internet Explorer anymore — make sure you test your site in Chrome, Safari, Firefox & iPads — make sure they experience is the same in all primary browsers.
  4. Promotion Boxes – Use promotion boxes with coupons or specials on top products or services — this will allow you to show off the best of what you have to offer as well as give them another reason to call or buy.   People love the word “Free” — try integrating it into a promotion.
  5. Most Desired Action – make a strong most desired action easy to find — such as in the header (e.g., Call 818-555-1212 Now for a Free Consultation).   Also, make it easy for them to make contact — put your phone number in the header which should be visible on every page.
  6. Lead Capture – a mini lead capture form should be visible on the homepage (e.g., Schedule an Appointment, Win a prize or Join Mailing list).   Make it super-easy to make contact — only ask for contact information (Name, Email, Phone) and best time to call or box for them to enter the Service needed.  Some people are surfing at 3am or are too busy to make contact, but will send a message to you with their contact information.
  7. SEO Optimization – Don’t dilute your primary keywords with hundreds of keywords — choose the 5 most relevant keywords (keywords your customers most use to find you) and use them consistently in your title, meta tags & homepage copy.  A little good copy is important for Google position — include a welcome message, short company description & summary mission statement visible below the first view of homepage – include your top keywords in this copy as well.  The rest of the copy should be located under Services or About Us — or a dropdown under About Us.
  8. Video – Add a video on your homepage — it communicates well and helps your Google position.   Make a video commercial or show off your product, discuss your service, or just add a video testimonial
  9. Social Media Links – Add links to your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Youtube Channel – some people prefer using these social media sites more and are more likely to connect with you in a way they are more familiar with.  Having a LIKE button on your homepage makes it easy for them to “Opt-In” to receiving information from you.
  10. Reviews & Testimonials – Show off your best reviews & testimonials.  Video testimonials if you have them are great.  If your Yelp reviews are good, add a few of them and a Yelp logo with a link to your Yelp page.