Congratulations for taking the time to check your website using the Web Copy Doc’s Web Conversion Checklist. We hope you found the process quick, useful and enlightening. To help you get the most out of the exercise we’d like to share some thoughts and ideas to help you interpret each section of the web copy review.
If you found this page by another route, sign up to download your own personal copy of our Web Conversion Checklist before proceeding.
Understanding the Seven Keys to Maximum Web Conversion
What is web conversion? – Here’s what Wikipedia says:
In internet marketing, the conversion rate is the ratio of visitors who convert casual content views or website visits into desired actions based on subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators.
A web conversion can mean different things to different people. To online retailers a successful conversion is usually the sale of a product to a consumer whose interest in the item was initially sparked by clicking a banner advertisement. To content creators however, a successful conversion is a membership registration, newsletter subscription, software download, or other activity that occurs due to a subtle or direct request from the content creator for the visitor to take the action.
Or to put it simply : Web conversion is successfully getting a visitor who comes to your website to do something that you want them to do.
Lots of different factors influence the likelihood of your outcome being achieved. This diagnostic tool looks at seven key areas that generate a successful web conversion. Some are obvious but others are less so. The relative importance of each one will vary depending on your product or service and the type of conversion you are looking for. Let’s look at each one in turn.
LOCATION: – How easy is it to contact you?
Can visitors find your address easily?
Clearly if you are a retail shop or office and you want customers to visit your premises then having your physical location clearly displayed and easily found is critical. But what about if your business is purely online or you go to your customers – Do they really need to know your physical location? Experience suggests that answer is almost always yes. Publishing a physical location (even if it is only a mailing address or registered office) provides reassurance to potential customers and so increases the likelihood of a sale on enquiry.
Are your contact details visible on every page?
I know most websites have a separate contact us page but I would recommend that at least your phone number must visible on every page. The more clicks someone has to make to contact you, the greater the chances that they won’t bother!
Are your telephone numbers easy to find?
It never ceases to amaze me how many businesses make it almost impossible for visitors to their site to find a phone number to contact them on. Their excuse is either that they can’t handle lots of calls or that people prefer to contact them via email. Now this is often true but most people still feel reassured if there is a land line number as well as an email address. It makes your business seem more “real” and gives them reassurance that they could call you if an email cannot resolve their problem. The result is better web conversion.
Today more and more people are using mobile phones for most if not all of their telecommunications so why would I suggest you publish a land line number too? Well once again I would suggest that it provides more reassurance to a nervous prospect.
SERVICES: Is it obvious what you do?
This one sounds like a no-brainer but I have worked on many clients web sites where it is not clear what they actually do. Sometimes they unconsciously hide it behind fancy job titles and jargon.
Do you have a general product or services page?
Don’t rely on your home page to explain everything about your business. Almost every business needs at least one product or services page to outline and summarise what their various offerings are . Make sure that page is clear and easy to understand and that the language on it pitched at the right level for type of customer you want to speak to.
Do you have a specific page for each product or search term you want tot be found for?
When people search for something on Google, they ideally want go straight to page that specifically all about what they are looking for. They don’t want to (and usually won’t) scroll down through reams of text to find the item they are looking for. Consider having a series of different pages written specifically for each keyword you want to be found for.
TRUST: – Do your visitors trust you based on what they see on your website?
When we meet someone face to face, we quickly make an instinctive judgement on whether we trust them or not based on a whole load of verbal, vocal and visual factors such as eye contact, body language and congruence. When people visit you website they too make an almost instantaneous decision about how trustworthy you are . The more trust your website projects, the more likely it is that you will get a web conversion. And the higher the price of the product or service you are selling, the more trust you need before your prospect with act.
Do you show any samples, pictures, galleries , case studies and portfolios?
This one is pretty obvious but again is often missed. What can you include in your site that builds trust?
Testimonials – Written, Audio & Video
Testimonials are still a great way of establishing trust Do you have any testimonials displayed on your site? Audio and video testimonials increase credibility because viewers see or hear the person making the testimonial. You can increase the value of written testimonials by doing things like linking it to a downloadable scanned PDF of the original testimonial letter or email, preferably on headed notepaper. Including the name, role and company of the person leaving the testimonial can also improve credibility. (Get permission from that person first of course!)
Relevant Qualifications, Memberships or Credentials
List any relevant external credentials such as qualifications, awards or memberships of professional bodies.
Do you offer any warranties or other guarantees that would reassure a potential prospect? If so, state them explicitly on your site. Highlighting them with a flash or call out will make sure that potential customers see them amidst the text. A “30 day no quibble money back guarantee” eliminates most of the perceived risk for the client when considering buying an e-book and increase the chances of a sale or other web conversion.
EXPERTISE: – How good are you at what you do?
Establishing your level of specialist knowledge and ability is clearly important but is often lacking in many websites. Some of the things we have talked about already such as qualifications, credentials, awards and testimonials will help enormously, but what about some of the less obvious things that, when forgotten, sow the seeds of doubt in your prospects mind?
Is everything on your site up to date?
A website with incomplete pages, out of date articles, & outdated event information makes the reader question whether you are really as good as you say you are.
Do you share free articles or blog posts that showcase your knowledge?
Educating your clients and prospects by sharing tips, tricks and relevant content is a great way to differentiate yourself and show that you really are an expert. Here are some examples to get you started:
- Greengrocers who educate their customers on how to choose the freshest fruit or on the health benefits of different vegetables.
- Garages who share maintenance and fuel economy tips
- Lawyers who share articles on avoiding divorce or dealing with neighbour disputes.
- Coaches who share video tips on goal setting or stress management
Are your articles current and do you add new ones consistently?
There’s nothing worse than clicking on an articles or blog page and seeing one lonely article from two or more years ago sitting there forlornly. What does that say about the business owner? Does it really make you feel that they are passionate about their subject and that they are active and vibrant? – I don’t think so!
ACTIVITY: – Is you business current, active and vibrant?
There are millions of websites and many are for businesses that have gone bust or died a death. You can’t actually see a layer of dust and cobwebs on a website but if your site is not up to date and current you are as good as saying don’t bother me. Here are some tips to make sure that people visiting your site get the impression that you are active, busy and keen.
Do you share relevant social media content on your website?
If you are professionally active on twitter, LinkedIn. Facebook, Google+, or other social media sites, is that activity reflected on your website? There are simple ways to feed your social media updates, posts and shares so that they display in your web site. If you are active in these media talk to your web designer about how you can display some of this information where relevant on your website automatically.
Do you have clear calls to action on each page of your site?
Are you clear about what you want a visitor to each page of your web site to do next? Are your visitors clear? Include simple instructions asking people to “call us now to get a quotation”, or” Click here to book” or “Sign up for our free newsletter“ are a great way to increase the number of conversions. You can also add coloured buttons linked to downloads or newsletter sign up forms to encourage web conversion.
NOVELTY – How well does your business stand out from the crowd?
This can seem like the hardest thing in the world but the good news is, most small business websites are so poor that doing some of the things we have already talked about will automatically make you stand out head and shoulders above your competition.
Is your design eye-catching and professional?
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a website to make it look good but you do need to think about who your target customers are, who your competition are and how you can look your best. You also don’t need lots of fancy animations and flash effects either. I don’t know about you but a simple clean site that is easy to navigate wins with me over a large flashy corporate site. Here are some elements to think about.
- Is the text clear, concise and readable?
- Is your USP (Unique selling point) clearly stated
- Do you use videos and pictures to attract and engage
REPUTATION – Do you have independent unedited 3rd part credibility?
We have covered the subject of testimonials earlier on this page but what I am talking about here are independent and credible validation for your product or services? For example:
- Ratings or testimonials from external rating sites such as checkatrade.com. ratedpeople.com or Which?
- Social media testimonials that you cannot edit such as links to recommendations on LinkedIn, Twitter or 4Networking.biz
I hope you find these web conversion tips practical and useful and, if you feel you need any help implementing some of these changes then please give us a call or send us a message.
The Web Copy Doctor
Writing compelling copy and increasing web conversion rates