How To Make A Business Website That Converts
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that if you have a business, you need a website.
Even if you’re not a site designer, there’s plenty of information online to help walk you through the basics to create a professional-looking business website.
As you’re planning and designing your site, remember that there’s sometimes a big difference between knowing how to make a business website that looks cool and how to build a business website that does its most important job: getting customers to do business with you.
Here are some key elements your site needs to get customers to convert from browsing to buying.
1. Help Shoppers Find Your Site
Customers can’t shop in your store or hire your services if they don’t know your business exists. So every step of building your business website should focus on performing well in search results. Start by choosing a professional, on-brand domain name and top-level domain (.com is still considered the most trustworthy).
Then use a keyword finding tool like Soovle (and your own customer inquiries) to choose the long-tail keywords to include on each page of your business website. For example, if you are a professional dog walker in San Antonio, your long-tail keywords might include the specific neighborhoods you serve: “professional dog walker in Olmos Park” or “professional dog walker in the King William District.”
Why not just go with “professional dog walker” or “dog walker in San Antonio”? Because people who are looking for something very specific near them are usually ready to make a purchase or hire a professional. That means they’re more likely to convert when they find your site. And once you know which long-tail keywords make the most sense for your business website copy, you can use them in other SEO best practices on your site, too.
2. Help Shoppers Use Your Site
Now that visitors can find your business website, will they convert? Maybe. It depends in part on how easy to use your site is. Choose a web hosting service that loads sites fast, because visitors will move on to the next site if yours doesn’t load in a couple of seconds. Most local searches are done on mobile devices now, which means your site also must display well on smartphones and tablets.
One of the most important factors in raising your conversion rate is well-crafted calls to action. Every page on your site needs a call to action to let visitors know what next step you’d like them to take. For example, on your home page your call to action could be Find Your Perfect Prom Dress Now or Book Your Prom Hair and Makeup Session Now.
What else makes a business website easy to use? A lack of clutter. Before you add sliders, autoplay videos, or infographics that require both vertical and horizontal scrolling (no, just no), ask yourself if they will help or hinder visitors to your site. In most cases, you’re better off without those extras.
3. Make Buying From Your Site Easy
If you sell products on your site, make them look great. High quality product photos and videos are must-haves, because those images plus your written descriptions are all the sensory input customers can gather about your product online. Keep written product descriptions simple but include the details customers want, and format descriptions in a mobile-friendly way – bullet points and short paragraphs rather than big blocks of text.
Your business website’s checkout process is a make-or-break point for conversions. The more complex, time-consuming, or repetitive the checkout process is, the fewer customers will complete it. Think about how you can make the process as easy as possible for a busy customer who’s using a smartphone to make a purchase while they’re also doing at least one other thing:
- Avoid roadblocks like requiring guests to register before they can add items to a shopping cart.
- Offer a guest-checkout option. Busy people may abandon a cart rather than register as new customers.
- Choose e-commerce tools that your target market prefers to use, like PayPal, Square, and Stripe.
- Make payment and shipping information entry as easy as possible, ideally by using data your customers have already shared with PayPal or another payment service.
4. Make It Easy for Customers to Reach You
Some businesses make conversion less likely by serving up every possible contact option: a contact form, email, two phone numbers, a fax number for the customers reaching out from 1991, and half a dozen social media badges—the perfect conditions for option paralysis.
A more effective practice is to limit your contact options: phone and email, or text messaging. Why? The way you present your contact information is another type of call to action, so keep it simple and direct.
5. Show Visitors Why They Should Do Business With You
Limiting contact information doesn’t mean you can’t invite customers to connect on social media. Including your channels can help develop a sense of trust in customers—but it’s better to display that information separately from your preferred contact methods. Other ways to build trust include:
- Clearly stating your shipping and return policies on every page.
- Including your preferred contact information on every page.
- Including customer reviews and testimonials.
- Displaying the trust symbols that show how your site protects customers’ information. Your web hosting service should offer you a range of security options and badges you can display.
6. Test Your Tactics
There’s one more step to raising your conversion rates: test your tactics. You can test virtually every element on your site to see how usable it is and how if affects conversion rates.
With an all-in-one website builder service, you can make changes easily to improve your business website’s conversion rates based on your testing.
Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelancer who enjoys writing about business development and marketing, e-commerce payments and fraud prevention, and travel.