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Converting Website Visitors Into “Buying” Customers
  • 18 October 2017
  • Eric Michaels

Converting Website Visitors Into “Buying” Customers

Imagine a potential customer just landed on your small business website. Does your site help close the deal? While many small business owners feel like they don’t have the time or necessary tools to focus on their website – research shows just how important a website is for driving sales. With many of today’s website platforms, businesses can personalize the customer’s experience. It’s crucial that your website keeps shoppers engaged, helping create more repeat and loyal customers.

Trends show that return website visitors tend to convert (aka buy) at higher rates and have higher transactions. So how do you turn those casual website visitors into loyal, returning, buying customers?

1. Prioritize website design and quality

There are many important factors to consider when it comes to your website. You need an eye-catching—but practical—design. If you’re a small business that sells products, you need to showcase high-resolution photos from multiple angles. Think about what you want customers to do on each page, and make it easy for them to accomplish this with clear call-to-action buttons.

When apps and browsers make updates to their systems, it can alter how things look and work on a website. So be sure to periodically test out your site to ensure that it maintains functionality and usefulness.

With image-heavy sites, you also need to make sure that each page on your site loads quickly. Slow-loading website pages often discourage prospects from sticking around to make a purchase, and can also hurt your visibility in search ranking.

2. Post reviews and testimonials

Leverage the voice of your existing customers to help establish credibility with prospective buyers. Potential customers are more likely to follow after seeing positive testimonials on your website. Yes, many customers go to social platforms like Yelp and Google to learn about a company or product, but oftentimes, their next step is to visit a business’ website.

For a more personal touch, you may want to include a few specifics about the customer being quoted, such as his or her first name and city of residence. Video testimonials can be another engaging way to deliver the message.

Choosing a few key customer testimonials to highlight on a regular basis also provides you a steady stream of content for your website fresh.

3. Highlight your press features

Has your company or the products and services you offer been featured on another website or a popular news outlet? Let your website visitors know! Consider adding an "As seen on..." section that calls attention to the other channels that have covered your business. Include imagery, links, and story details – was the coverage tied to an event or holiday that helps tie your company to event or holiday?

Not only does this help you expand your reach, it helps give you more credibility as consumers do research online.

Keep in mind that you may need to obtain permission from the third-party organization in advance (if sharing their imagery, logo, or linking to their site).

4. Offer live help

Be sure to make it easy for customers to reach you if they have questions or need more information. In some cases, it may help to invest in additional tools like live chat. Not only can live chat serve as a customer service tool for website visitors, you can leverage live chat agents to help guide customers through the buying process in real-time as they’re on your site.

Shoppers who encounter issues while checking out online are likely to abandon their carts without making a purchase. If you’re an ecommerce small business, you should be tracking how customers interact and navigate through your site. Look for spikes in customer drop-off points in the checkout process so that you can make the necessary adjustments to address and improve the buying experience for customers.

5. Create a sense of urgency

When you have limited quantities of a commodity, it’s important to create a sense of urgency with your customers – “Only 2 left at this price!”

Another tactic is to share how others are interacting with your business. If you’re a small hotel, you can post updates like: "Five customers booked a room in this hotel over the last 24 hours."

Real-time messaging encourages prospects to act now, as they’ll want to jump in before it’s too late.

Your website should be the digital home base for your business.

Think about how you can keep customers coming back to your site. When they’re ready to shop, your website should work for you and convert those customers – whether that conversion happens online, over the phone, or in person.

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