Service businesses in Australia throw big money at Google ads, Facebook ads, SEO and other digital marketing tactics. There is constant pressure to reduce cost per click, increase ad clicks, find more budget and boost organic keyword rankings.
But what if you could double your sales without doing any of these things?
You can. By grabbing the problem from the other end.
By doubling your website conversion rate, you can double the performance of all your digital marketing activities, without spending an extra cent.
What is a conversion rate?
A conversion could be a phone enquiry, a contact form enquiry, an appointment booking. It is whatever your business defines as a ‘lead’.
Your website conversion rate is calculated by taking the number of visitors to your site and dividing it by the number of ‘conversions’.
People convert on your website when they find what they are looking for and have confidence you can deliver. So your website plays a very important role in the sales process.
What is a good conversion rate?
Conversion rates differ widely across different industries. This article focuses on service businesses, but even then a good conversion rate for a law firm will be very different from that expected by a plumbing business.
Professional services such as law firms, dentists and psychologists might expect a conversion rate of 5% to 10%.
Trades like plumbing and electrical will be aiming for 15% to 20%.
What is a great conversion rate?
Let’s use a plumbing business as an example. The average plumbing website will convert at 10% to 15%. That means, 10% to 15% of visitors to the website pick up the phone and call, or complete the online form and become a lead.
But with some changes to the website, that conversion rate can be doubled to 20% to 30%. This is a massive change. A doubling of your conversion rate means all your digital marketing activities are now performing twice as well. Your cost per lead is halved. Your return on investment is doubled.
Pretty sweet right?
So, how do you do it?
Three rules for exploding your conversion rate
Rule 1: Faces connect
If you are selling a service, that usually means you are meeting your customers in person. To establish a connection with a potential customer, it is important to have faces on your website. Preferably the faces of your staff, management and the owners.
The photos should be of smiling people looking straight down the camera. Head and shoulders shots work best with people in uniform, if they have one.
This technique helped Curran Plumbing in Wollongong double its conversion rate. Since changing its hero image from a local beach scene to a photo of the managing director, Sid Curran, the conversion rate exploded.
Rule 2: Confusion kills leads
It is true that confused minds do not buy. They don’t call either.
Too many websites create confusion in the minds of visitors. Rather than converting into a lead, the visitor clicks off and seeks out a competitor.
Confusion can come from many sources. Maybe the visitor clicked on a Google ad about a particular service and landed on a page about a different service. Maybe the visitor is using the navigation bar on the website and cannot find what they are looking for. Maybe they simply cannot find a phone number to call (I’ve seen this happen!).
But the greatest source of confusion is competing messaging. A visitor hits the website and is bombarded with different messages:
- “Call now”
- “Book online”
- “Chat with us”
- “Get 20% off”
- “Sign up to our newsletter”
- “Follow us on Facebook”
- “Follow us on Instagram”
You get the idea.
It is important to have as few messages as possible. Preferably only one, clear call-to-action. The call-to-action is the one thing you want the visitor to do next. If you want the visitor to call you, that’s what you ask for. Cut any message that is at odds with the call to action.
Rule 3: Confident visitors buy
No matter what service you offer, people need to feel confident that you can deliver before they will buy from you.
Your website plays a critical role in the process of building confidence in your business.
Confidence can be generated by implementing Rules 1 and 2. Images of staff and business owners instil confidence that you are willing to stand by your service. A clear call-to-action builds confidence that you know exactly what you are doing and the experience of working with you will be a smooth one.
Confidence is also generated by customer reviews. Reading what your customers say about you generates more confidence and trust than any other source.
Reviews should feature prominently on every page that your customer might visit. Reviews should be authentic, from real customers. They should include the customer’s first name (at least) and the date of the review.
A survey by BrightLocal found that 48% of people pay attention only to reviews written in the past two weeks. The same survey found that 84% of people consider reviews older than three months to be irrelevant.
Businesses with a great reputation need to make sure their website visitors hear about it. The result will be a great boost to your conversion rate
Ready to explode your conversion rate?
Are you ready to double your sales without spending an extra cent on marketing?
Then implement these three rules and watch your conversion rate explode.
You can help us (and help yourself)
Small and medium businesses and startups have never needed credible, independent journalism and information more than now.
That’s our job at SmartCompany: to keep you informed with the news, interviews and analysis you need to manage your way through this unprecedented crisis.
Now, there’s a way you can help us keep doing this: by becoming a SmartCompany supporter.
Even a small contribution will help us to keep doing the journalism that keeps Australia’s entrepreneurs informed.