An impactful digital marketing campaign can be a bit like putting together a puzzle. Your website, SEO practices, paid advertising, social media presence, and email marketing are all key parts of the puzzle. But, if the last and most important piece of the puzzle is missing, you could be losing out on a major opportunity to grow your business.
The last piece is simple, but in all the excitement of the rest of it, can be overlooked: What do you want the user to do on your site?
You’ve made a strong first impression online and a potential new customer is on your site – great! Are you getting in your own way of converting these website visitors to customers? These common sense reminders will help you keep the user and your end goal in mind.
Unclear Calls To Action
One of the first lessons I learned in sales is simple: Ask for the sale. This is just as true on a website as it is during a sales pitch. Does your site make it completely clear what the next step should be?
As a digital marketer and a consumer, I’ve seen countless websites that forego this kind of clarity for the sake of design, but the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Keeping in mind the goals of your site, do you make it easy for your consumer to convert? Are there elements of your site which are leading the consumer to something besides a conversion?
Here are some other questions to consider, depending on your conversion goals.
- If the most important conversion to you is phone calls, is your phone number prominent on the site in multiple places? Is it above the fold? Is it large and bold? Is it clickable on a mobile device? For example, when I’m searching for restaurants to make a dinner reservation on my mobile phone, I often find that restaurants don’t have a clickable phone number on their site, which sends me back to the SERP for the click-to-call. All that’s doing is creating the possibility that I will find a different restaurant instead.
- Are you most interested in foot traffic? Make sure that your physical address isn’t only found in tiny writing in your footer or hidden on a Contact page. Both of those are important, but your location should be easy to find as soon as the consumer reaches your site.
- Are you holding back on your best offers? Does your business offer a unique free trial period or consultation? Is there a discount for first time buyers? This information should be clearly emphasized on your site – there’s no reason to hold back.
Exactly nobody enjoys filling out forms, and although we are getting smarter about them it’s always worth revisiting the user experience on your forms to ensure it’s fine-tuned for optimal completion rate. Here are some questions to ask when analyzing your site’s forms:
- Have you A/B tested key elements of your form recently? This includes the page position, contents and formatting of your form. You might be surprised by what you learn, even if you’ve optimized in the past.
- Is all of that information actually necessary? Do you mainly communicate with your clients via email and text? Then perhaps a mailing address isn’t necessary. If there isn’t a compelling reason why you need certain information, try cutting it out. Even if you really do use the extra information you’re getting, is it appropriate for your site, or is it possible that it could feel intrusive to the consumer who is new to your brand?
- Is it mobile optimized? These days, this is non-negotiable. Your form should be vertically aligned, require no zooming and have large buttons.
Slow Lead Response Time
Like it or not, we have become instant gratification junkies. Smart phones and an abundance of connectivity have made patience an unnecessary virtue. If getting a potential customer to submit a form, send an email, or call is the goal of your time and investment in digital, are you prepared to respond quickly enough to actually leverage the lead?
For example, just this week I submitted a form inquiring information on a gym’s website. Within minutes, I received the perfunctory “We’ve received your email and will be reaching out with more information soon!” email. That was 3 days ago. Life gets busy, other gyms have more information on their site or are quicker to call back, and just like that I’m a lost lead.
The odds of making successful contact with a lead, much less closing the sale, are exponentially lower if it takes more than just a few minutes to respond. Obviously it’s not always possible to respond that quickly. Consider these options:
- Does your website emphasize calls to action that don’t actually make sense for your business? If you are with clients and unavailable to answer the phone or return calls for most of the day, putting your phone number front and center on your site probably doesn’t make sense.
- Do most of the inquiries you receive relate mostly to the same few questions or topics? If so, how can you leverage your site to provide this information, or provide it more clearly? This can include hours, directions, pricing, events, or even tools like rate calculators. Consider starting with an FAQ page.
- Is it something you can outsource? Depending on your business, there could be a strong case for hiring someone else to field incoming leads.
Poor Phone Presence
Call tracking and recording can be a great attribution tool for digital marketing, but sometimes its biggest value actually turns out to be sales training. I’ve worked with many clients who were surprised to hear their strongest sales associates completely missing out on sales opportunities on the phone (or worse, providing a negative experience for the potential customer).
Whether or not you have call recordings to assess, consider implementing the following to ensure that hard earned leads aren’t lost unnecessarily during that all-important phone call.
- Are your team members thinking of incoming calls as an interruption, or as an opportunity? Whether a potential new customer or an unhappy current customer, these interactions on the phone should be viewed by everyone in your organization as an extension of your brick-and-mortar sales floor. I’ve seen outstanding phone interactions turn around even the most negative client relationships.
- Is your team aware of all of the marketing campaigns you’re running? Make sure to fill your team in on what marketing campaigns you’re running, what your ads say, specials on the website, etc. to create a cohesive customer experience. Your team may be used to only talking with your regulars or people finding your business by word-of-mouth. Digital marketing is a great way to be found online by a new audience, but it’s important that your team is expecting and prepared for new types of inquiries.
- Have you set clear expectations for customer service standards on the phone? I used to work for a manager who, even after years of experience leading account management teams, still kept a list of customer service reminders on her desk – and she would actually refer to them often! Reminders like these are too basic for no one. I’ve also worked with seasoned account managers who spent all day on the phone and still kept mirrors at their desk to remind them to smile – because yes, you can hear a smile. Set clear expectations for customer service on the phone and provide tools like these so that your team is poised for success.
Giving thought to these questions can help you put yourself in the mind of your website visitor and ultimately create an improved user experience that sets the right tone for a new customer relationship.