Your website is an essential tool in the modern sales process. According to HubSpot's 2016 Buyer Perception Survey, search engine queries and visits to a business website are the top 2 ways that buyers conduct pre-purchase research and draw up their shortlists of potential vendors.
The first step towards getting on the buyer's shortlist is to keep them on your website long enough for them to develop a favorable impression of your company. Part of keeping buyers on your site relates to technical aspects of how it is configured.
The most notable of these technical aspects is page load time - best in class websites load pages within 3 seconds. If your page doesn't load within 3 seconds, it's likely that buyer has checked out and moved to your competitor's site.
But for purposes of this blog post, we're going to assume that you've got the technical details sorted out and you're ready to impress that potential customer. Here are 3 proven strategies to keep buyers on your website.
Start with good design
A solid branding strategy should communicate your company's unique value proposition - the reason why someone should buy from you instead of all the other options available to them, which include doing absolutely nothing. Your branding, which includes colors, logos, fonts and typography, should be consistent across all of your communications media. Your branding should be easily identifiable to buyers, whether it be part of a webinar, email, tradeshow exhibit or letter.
But branding is just the first step in good design.What keeps buyers on your website is a good user experience. Here are 4 user experience concepts that will help keep buyers on your website:
- Don't overwhelm buyers with too many choices. The acronym KISS (keep it simple, stupid!) is an important part element of a good user experience. If you give a buyer too many choices, the most likely outcome is that they will do nothing. This is referred to as analyis "paralysis." Give your potential buyers 2 or choices on your web pages, ideally choices that reflect what they want.
- Use contrast in your web design. Contrast is the most essential element of graphic design. One way to help your potential buyers with contrast is to use bright or otherwise contrasting colors to highlight what you'd like them to do on your web pages.
- Use directional cues to help buyers find important information. Something as simple as an arrow or as subtle as a set of eyes gazing in a specific direction can help point your potential buyers to the information that will help them accomplish their objectives.
- Use whitespace (also called negative space) to highlight important information. One of the most common problems we see with user experience are websites that try to cram text or images into every inch of space available. Whitespace helps direct the user's attention to important information on the site. One of the best examples of whitespace is on Apple's website - notice how the whitespace gives a clean, professional image that directs your attention to what's really important.
User experience takes into account the primal instincts that are hardwired into our brains from the beginning of time - cavemen survived because they learned that contrast could signal danger and required them to be alert. In modern times, when we see a highway sign with a black arrow pointing to the left against a yellow background, we're experiencing contrasts and directional cues that we follow without consciously thinking about them.
Help buyers find what they need with good navigation
Your website navigation has one function and one function only - to help users easily find what they need on your website.
The key to good navigation is simplicity. Don't try to sell or be cute with your navigation - you run the risk of confusing potential buyers. And if they're confused, they're going to bounce off of your site. You should limit your main website categories to 6; if you have more than 6, you should re-think your navigation architecture.
Keep in mind that website visitors are accustomed to a navigation standard that they see across all of the sites that they view every day. Keep this convention in mind as you lay out your navigation.
And keep your navigation consistent. If you're changing your website navigation every month, you're probably doing more harm than good.
Above all, keep in mind DaVinci's words - simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Close the deal with good content
When potential buyers come to your site, they're looking to educate themselves and find good options to help them solve their problems. This is why it's so important to have good content that educates buyers and helps them move through their buying process - from awareness to consideration to decision-making.
The better you're able to show that you know the unique problems a buyer faces, the better chance you have to sell to them. That's why we advocate on focusing on target market niches. By choosing an industry or other niche for which you have deeper knowledge than the competition, you're able to create content that resonates with the buyer and gets you on their shortlist when they're ready to buy.
Here are some things to keep in mind for your website content:
- Keep in mind how buyers consume content on the web. Website users don't read web content like they do books or magazines. They quickly scan content to find keywords or content fragments that relate to their needs. That's why it's important to structure your web content with user intent in mind. Use images, headers, bulleted and numbered lists, horizontal lines and directional cues to help them find what they need quickly.
- Use different media for your content. Written content is good, but many buyers prefer visual content like videos, infographics, charts and images. Keep this in mind as you structure your website content.
- Use premium content for lead generation. Short-form content like blog posts are a great way to draw visitors to your website. Offer premium content like webinars, eBooks, whitepapers and templates in exchange for contact information to start potential business relationships with real people. Make sure your content has enough value that people are willing to give you information about themselves to get it.
A great lead generation website is the foundation of your inbound marketing program. Use these 3 proven strategies to keep buyers on your website and draw them into your sales process. Want to learn more about how you can structure your website to sell? Schedule a free website consultation with us.