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Marketing & Advertising / Electronic marketing
December 2013

The Lazy Website

Wake it up and turn it into your top "salesperson."

December 04, 2013
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Have you fallen into this trap?

Cleaning and damage restoration firms are often consumed by the idea of increasing traffic to their websites. They are desperate to be on the first page of Google and they want lots of clicks to their landing pages.

But traffic costs money! It doesn’t matter if you are pulling visits from a pay-per-click campaign, search enginge optimization (SEO) marketing or paying to be listed in online directories — one <photocredit>Thinkstock/Hemera</photocredit>way or another, you are paying for traffic. It can take a hefty budget.

Don’t get me wrong. Traffic is vital and definitely worth an investment. But it is at least as important to optimize your landing pages for conversions

Let’s say your goal is to double your incoming business. One strategy would be to double your traffic. However, this may also require doubling your online marketing budget.

On the other hand, if you could increase, just from five to 10 percent the percentage of visitors to your site who pick up the telephone and call you, you wouldn’t need to spend an extra dime for more traffic.

Converting visitors into callers is the job of your landing page. And doubling your conversion rate isn’t as hard as you might think. I see cleaners and restorers accomplishing this all the time.

Better still, the cost of tuning up your website for stronger conversion may range from free to pretty cheap, especially when compared to paying for more traffic.

Here are five action steps to bolster your landing page conversions:

1. Nurture your primary conversion path

There are people out there who will arrive at your site, hardly read anything, then pick up the phone and call you. They want to talk. They want to ask questions. You want to show those people a lot of love by having that phone number right in front of them at all times.

Or, if your visitor is the type who wants to read a bit before calling, you still want to keep your number right in front of that person, so the second she get tired of reading and is ready to take action, she calls you.

Locate your phone number at the top of every page on your website, above the “fold.” Make it prominent with a bold color and a bold font. Include a call to action near the phone number. State clearly what you most want the visitor to do. Tell them to “Call Today,” “Call for a Free Quote” or “Take Advantage of This Month’s Coupon.”

2. Offer a secondary conversion path

As a general rule, the more paths you offer for someone to respond, the more response you’ll get. Not everyone likes to talk on the phone.

This means you should provide a contact form. Keep the form short with four or five fields at most. Gather only the most important information.

With contact forms, a softer call to action may actually work better. For example, instead of “Get Quote” you may wish to say “Continue” or just “Submit.”

You can also use a contact form to invite visitors to sign up and receive future offers of interest to them.

3. Showcase a compelling value proposition

Or, as the Godfather said, “Make them an offer they can’t refuse.” Based on my own experience running hundreds of cleaning and restoration online campaigns, nothing impacts the conversion rate as much as an attractive offer.

Of course, an attractive price or a coupon is a powerful motivator. Avoid wimpy offers. Wimpy offers get wimpy conversions. They don’t convert nearly as well. An offer of “2 rooms cleaned for $99” is much more understandable and believable than “Now Save $10.” Your visitor may wonder, “Save $10 off of what?”

As the advertising grand master David Ogilvy used to say, your customer isn’t stupid. She’s your wife or your mother or your sister. She knows you’re going to add an extra $10 to your price just so you can “discount” it.

Not all offers need to be about money. A strong value proposition may be “Same Day Service,” “Dries in 1 Hour” or, for rug cleaning, “Free Pick Up and Delivery.”

If what you’re offering doesn’t make the phone ring, offer something else.

4. Keep your design and content simple

Settle on a simple color scheme. Generally speaking, use dark letters on a light background.

Use headlines and bullets instead of long paragraphs, and only include messages that offer value to your prospects.

Get rid of those off page links. They are distracting and may result in someone leaving your site and never returning. Frankly, it’s hard for me to come up with a good reason to offer someone a free trip to another website, especially when you only have seconds or minutes to convince them to respond to your own call to action.

5. Build trust as fast as possible

Your visitor has arrived to your page, but she doesn’t yet know you or trust you.

It’s not necessary to relay your life story, but take quick action to establish yourself. Show your business logo near the top of the page. Consider adding your photo, or photos of your employees.

Include a brief testimonial or two that relates to the service you are promoting on that page.

Feature a few trust badges (logo bugs of organizations or associations you belong to, or awards or recognitions you’ve received) but don’t necessarily make these badges actual links to their websites. Remember, a link off your page doesn’t necessarily help you, but it does help the other site.

Turning lazy into hard working

These five top strategies will work to turn a lazy website into one that becomes a top salesperson for your company.

Put these five strategies into action now to make your landing pages more compelling and action oriented, and watch your conversion rate soar.

Gary R. Arndts is an Internet marketing specialist who works with cleaning and restoration firms nationwide. He offers comprehensive SEO and pay-per-click marketing packages on his website at www.BlueRaptor.us.

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