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Give your website visitors reason to return

by Tim Rimington | August 2, 2010

According to a recent report, a new website visitor conversion rate hovers around the 4-5% mark (source: Coremetrics Benchmark™ for Retail Q2 2010). The glaring point of this statistic is why aren't the other 95% acting upon a call to action on your website or buying from your online store?

Here's a checklist to ensure that you're doing all that you can to convert new visitors to leads or sales:

Is your website's design new and up-to-date?
Although the measure of a good website is driven by the quality of its content, if your site looks like it was designed in the mid-90s then your visitors and customers may be leaving you and flocking to your competition. If presented with a better quality alternative, people will likely go with the more professional option. As a general rule, most businesses revisit their website's design every 2-3 years to keep up with modern design trends.

Are there clear and simple calls to action on your website?
How many 'clicks' must your website visitors make before they find a telephone number or contact email address? I always trust websites that clearly display a contact number, especially somewhere on every page (usually in the header or footer region). Does your Home page announce new products, with a link to the product either as a static showcase page or directly to the product within your online store?

How often do you update your website content?
If you operate an online store then you're probably adding new products on a fairly regular basis. Your customers enjoy seeing new and interesting products, so make sure you tell them about a new product with either an announcement via your blog or an email newsletter campaign. Similarly, publish new content on your static pages if you don't sell directly through your website. Change what you present on your Home page at least once a month. The search engines will pick up the changes and your customers will see that you're proactive online.

Are you connecting with your customers on a regular basis?
Remember, we're trying to get that ominous 95% of new visitors to purchase your products or enquire about your services. Send regular email newsletter campaigns providing customers with incentive to click on links taking them back to your website, blog or online store. If you operate an online store, once a month include promotional discount codes within your newsletters.

Investigate alternative sources of advertising such as print publications relevant to your industry (and don't forget to include your website's URL!). Enquire about banner ad space on websites where you think your customers are likely to visit. If you have a bricks and mortar presence as well, either as office space or retail frontage, include your website URL on your premise's frontage and/or awning. Also investigate a Google AdWords campaign either as a simple banner or as a catchy image banner.

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