5 Steps to Gain more Customers using your Existing Website
Starting a business is a scary time.
There's so much to think about, from picking a name to financing then marketing and so so much more, and if your like me, your doing it all by yourself (kudos to you btw).
I've written this post to try to help simplify one important area of your business that so many times gets overlooked. Your Website.
It's on a checklist and once it's done, great, let's move on to the next important task, right? Sadly not. Websites are your customers online window into your business. Yes they can look pretty but are they really geared up to help drive your business forward?
With more and more competitors popping up on a daily basis the unfortunate fact is, unless your user is already well engaged in your product or content they, most probably, will have a look around your site but ultimately move onto the next, without getting in touch or buying something.
So how do you gain more customers using your existing website?
Here's a clue, its all about having a strong conversion element, a "Call to Action". Something so enticing that your user can't help but engage.
Now you're probably shouting, "what the heck is a Call to Action when it's at home"?? A CTA can be anything you want it to be, but it must entice the customer enough to take that action. For example, if you like the idea of engaging and talking with your customers create a newsletter opt in, if you're running a sale, create a % off code, or how about a free download? All of these "calls" require the customer to do take "action" in order to receive something from you.
A CTA is an action you want your customer to perform on your site. This all comes back to the conversion goal you set for your website. Did you set one? If not, now is the time to take a step back and really think about what you really want your website to do for your business.
OK let's take a step back for a second and look at the logic behind why CTA's work so well.
As humans, we have to make so many decisions on a regular basis. Simple things like what to eat for breakfast or what to drink, tea or coffee? All the way through to some really tough choices, like what car to buy or what mortgage is right for me.
Sooo, what does this have to do with my website, you're probably thinking. Well, think about it, if we give your customer a simple, yet enticing choice (action) to take 9 times out of 10, they will make it, because you made it easy for them. You made it seem like the simple, yet right choice to make.
And what does this mean for your business, you now have customers downloading factsheets, or discount codes or anticipating a newsletter. You now have the opportunity to engage with them, to show them what your business can do for them and hopefully convert them into that sale you've been waiting for.
So here are the steps to follow:
1 | Set a goal for your website:
What do you need your website to do for you? Create more leads, generate more sales, promote an offer? Really stop and think about how your website can work harder for you and what will help you gain new customers. Remember this goal can change as your business needs change.
2 | Create a kickass offering your happy to give away for free
Who doesn't love a freebie?? Now stop, just because it's free, that doesn't mean its not something you put effort into. This product not only reflects your company but also you, so make it a goodie. Stuck for ideas? Planners, how to guides, and tips always go down well. Put yourself in your customers shoes and think about what would really help them and then build that.
3 | Choose where on your site you want to display your CTA
It may seem obvious to pop your shiny new CTA on the homepage so everyone see's it, and for the most part this works great, but it doesn't mean other page's on your site wouldn't benefit from a unique CTA too. At this precise point, I have multiple CTA's across my site to maximise engagement. If you're stuck, have a look at your analytics, which pages have high traffic. If these pages have high volumes of traffic, think about an offer that can help readers engage further on that page.
4 | Capture contact details
Now, this one's a biggie. You can do all the hard work of all the other steps but if you're not capturing email addresses, for example, how are you going to nurture these potential customers into actual customers. Make sure you are linked up to a service like Mailchimp to capture emails and that in order for them to receive your offering the customer needs to enter some form of contact, typically an email address. Now, this is controversial as you may lose potential customers who don't want to part with an email address, and some businesses do offer freebies without the need of an email. Take this post, for example, hopefully, you think it's useful and I haven't asked for an email but maybe down the line I might, and if you feel like you trust me enough by then, you might be happy to give it. The key point here is to team great free content without the need for an email ( a blog maybe) with great free content that does need an email capture.
5 | Nurture and Engage your new friends
Now you have your contact list, continue to shower them with engaging content. It doesn't always have to be actionable insights but how about a look behind the scenes of how your business works, or what you are working on at the moment. Use this as an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers. Ask questions and offer advice if you feel comfortable doing so. It all goes towards building trust to allow them to buy from you and potentially send referrals your way.
Finally, don't forget to promote your new offering. You've spent ages making this epic freebie, shouldn't the whole world know about it? In all seriousness, eyeballs on your offering are a must. To build a new audience to nurture you have to let people know your offering is there, so get on social media, let your existing customers know and get spreading that word.
OK now Lets look at an example to really make it clear:
Website A, has a lot of information and is pretty to look at. You may spend a bit of time reading the information and then what? You're not ready to buy, you don't know enough about the service, so you leave and onto the next site you go.
Now take a look at Website B.
It's the same website but with a clear CTA (call to action), in this case, a free wedding planning checklist, and if you're planning a wedding and have no idea where to start, this is gold!
If I were getting married I would download that in a heartbeat. So now you've given your customer a really engaging and useful gift (and please do make it useful as ultimately its a refection on you and your work)
If the user finds the information helpful it'll starts to create an air of authority and trust in the person who created it, YOU!
This starts to builds a small bond and now you have a chance to nurture them into a potential client, [side note - this doesn't mean spam them with buy now emails!]. Use this to send more helpful tips, more advice, little snippets of what you can offer them until BOOM they are engaged enough to buy something from you.
OK! so this isn't 100% guaranteed to get you every sale but it will get you the ones who love what you do. And if you continue to nurture the customer base you have built up it may lead to referrals and your base spreading the good word about you and your business.
So now what??! Well...Take a hard look at your website, if it's not geared up to allow the user to make that simple choice, using your kickass offering, make the change, NOW, make the change!
Take a moment to really think about what you want your website to achieve for you. What is your goal, increasing sales, build a mailing list, promote offers? Don't forget, you don't have to keep it the same forever, it can change organically as your business does.
Also make sure what your offering (your CTA) is damn good, so good they'll tell their friends about it who will tell their friends that they need to have this! Then nurture and build trust through more great content and once you get that sale, don't stop, nurture and engage more. Referrals are the best !
If you add this new CTA and promote, engage and nurture, its sure to help you gain new customers.
So what changes have you made or are going to? I'd love to know if this helped you?
P.S if you think your website could do with a face-lift to go with your fab new goals, I'd love to help, check out my Services page for more details.