This is a guest post from Andy Hayes of TravelOnlinePartners.
Regardless of how active you are on Twitter or Facebook, your website is where the proverbial rubber meets the road.
Customers often start their journey on your website, researching what you offer, and it in many cases is where they finish their journey – making the decision to email or phone you to make a purchase. But small businesses fail to take the steps to monitor and improve their website conversions. Why turn good customers away? Just a few steps will make your website that much better.
1. Start Measuring. If you aren’t measuring your website’s performance, how can you improve it? Thankfully, Google Analytics is a free tool that is often noted to be better – in terms of functionality and ease of use – than many of the paid tools on the market. Get it installed, and start watching the data on where your customers come from and what they do when they get to your site. Walk through the data in the shoes of your customer – how does it feel?
2. Spring Clean. A good de-clutter is good for your home, both your real home and your virtual one. Whenever Google adds something to their homepage, they decide what gets removed. You don’t need to be that drastic, but you can definitely do some spring cleaning. Take a hard look at every page, image, and block of content and remove anything not adding value.
3. Get Some Feedback. It’s hard to catch all the little niggles and quirks of your website if you’re the one that wrote the content. Get some feedback from a trusted source: whether that is from a customer or from an external party, ask someone to tell you what you think. You don’t know what you’re missing. You could even give incentives or freebies to a set of customers who will give feedback.
4. Add pictures of People. The secret of marketing is that people like to do business with people. So many websites are cold and lifeless, and that could easily be fixed with a few images of you and your team. If there are no photos of you, what’s a visitor to think except what are you hiding?
5. Start answering some questions. The reality is most websites fail to include enough detail for their users. People come to your website with a question – so have an answer. Document every question you’ve ever been asked about your products or services, and get an FAQ page that answers those questions. Ask the people who answer the phones or greet customers when they arrive – what are those questions?
Building a great website is more like an art than a science; it’s about adding the information users are desperate for and getting rid of anything else that stands between yourself and the sale. If you monitor your performance and get feedback, though, you’ll be leaps ahead of the competition.