Humans are creatures of habit. We learn certain ways to accomplish tasks, and we continue accomplishing tasks in that manner. Could we learn other ways? Well, yes, but why bother? That’s just wasted energy after all.
Most people have a set way that they interact with websites, even if they don’t consciously know it. These preferences are unique for each individual, but share similarities across geography, age, gender, education level, and many other factors. Simply put, it’s complicated. So, with the understanding that there are about as many online conversion styles as there are people on the planet, how do you design your website? Simple- inclusively and intentionally. Instead of trying to to make your site perfectly match the preferred conversion funnel for one specific type of user, make it preferable to multiple types of users without alienating other user groups. When implemented correctly, you end up with more leads, higher conversion rate, and a generally better user experience.
The Main Types of Conversion Tools
Some of these are already on almost every website, but are set up incorrectly. Some you only see on higher-end websites, even though they are very simple to set up. I recommend including each one of these three tools on your site, regardless of your industry. I have yet to see a business be hurt by offering more ways to connect with their customers.
On-Page Lead Forms
Lead forms are simply forms that your site visitors can fill out to request more information about your product or service. Simple ones that just emails that get sent to the company, while more sophisticated ones can create variable event chains based on the submitted information. If you don’t already have one of these forms somewhere on your site, you’re messing up big time. If you do, but only on your Contact Us page, you’re still messing up big time. Research shows that the more pages a user has to traverse to convert, the less likely they are to convert. Having a lead form on every page of your site can help to increase conversions from users that prefer submitting these forms to other means of converting.
Some of the easiest ways to integrate this easily into your site is with a form in the footer. It doesn’t have to be long- just a few fields- and if designed well can make a very professional addition. A button that opens a pop-up can also be used if space is a concern. I recommend converting every button that leads to the Contact Us page to a pop-up on the same page the button was clicked.
Lead Generation Chatbots
Chatbots are overlays on your website that allow a visitor to interact in real-time with either a pre-programmed bot or a live company representative. The simplest form of these offers a hello when someone enters the site and passes the message on to a representative if the visitor replies. As for the most complex- well, the sky is the limit.
Chatbots are my personal favorite lead generation tool because they provide a level of personal consideration that is hard to get any other way. Their functionality for lead generation boils down to a chat function and a form function. The chat function aims to spark a visitor’s interest then pass them to a live representative, while the form function asks a series of conversational questions and submits the data in the same way a conventional form is submitted. This is a massive simplification of what is a very complex, useful tool, but don’t worry- I’m working on an article specifically about chatbots!
To make lead generation chatbots work for you, pick specific landing pages that are likely to drive conversions. It doesn’t have to be the first page the visitor sees, and often times shouldn’t be- my own research has shown a second or third page automation is more likely to drive interaction. Make different messages tailored to these specific landing pages with relevant calls to action. If you are trying to lead them through a form, make sure the questions remain conversational and there are not too many.
There are many different chatbot providers out there, but my personal favorite is Tidio. Tidio is affordable, easy to setup, and includes a very responsive support team.
Phone Numbers and Email Addresses
I know what you’re saying, this is way too obvious to include. Well, you’re not wrong, but there is a difference between including these key important pieces of information and including them correctly. Let me explain.
When I audit a website, the first two things I look for are the phone number and email address within the footer and hyperlinks to call or email directly. I would say that while 90 percent of the websites I’ve audited have this information listed, 25 percent of websites do not have this functionality. That is completely unacceptable. Simply including links increases number of leads, while adding pronounced buttons or icons to make the links more noticeable can help as well if it doesn’t mess with the design.
As a final note on this, make sure that every mention of your email or phone number on your website includes a hyperlink to the email or the phone number. Across the sites that I manage, approximately 12% of total call conversions occur on paragraph text- not in the footer, contact page, or through a ‘call now’ button.
Designing for Conversions
As with basically everything related to marketing, it all starts with research. Use your data to determine how your website conversions differ from conversions from other sources, and what the average customer profiles of your website conversions are. Compare this to your overall customer profile. Which profiles seem to be underperforming? How has your site design impacted conversion rate across your main profiles? Which opportunities do you see for improvement around your site?
Once you have some of those questions answered, you’ll know to which groups your site is underperforming. Now it’s time to start the redesign! Note that none of these changes should be extensive; you are simply adding things that should have been there in the first place. If you do your job right, other employees that view the site should have trouble noticing any difference.
Which conversion tool is best for your audience? Start there, making sure it is available on every page of your site. The goal is to have the conversion action be visible to someone that wants to convert, but not take away from the rest of the content for those that are still undecided. Once it is implemented sufficiently, move on to the next conversion tool.
Track, Audit, and Adapt
Once your website is updated and all of your conversion events are properly tagged, it’s time to wait. Give it a few weeks, at least two but ideally 4-6, before making any other changes. Are conversions up or down? Which sources seem to be driving the most new conversions? Is the primary conversion location from before the update still converting, or have those conversions moved on to another source? As more data is gathered and you can accurately gauge what is working and what isn’t, continue making changes until your site is properly optimized for conversions.
About the Author
Baylen McCarthy is a marketing consultant and travel blogger based in Hampton Roads, Virginia. His work includes web design, search engine optimization, and digital advertising services, among other marketing solutions. If you’re interested in getting in touch with Baylen, shoot him an email or leave him a message.