Do you work with or own a local business website, like one for a lawyer or realtor? If so you have probably tried to make your website better than your competitors so that you capture more leads or sales.
Unfortunately many local business websites are not very engaging for visitors, and don’t convert many visitors into sales or leads.
To capture many more sales or leads from your website, you should follow the conversion rate optimization (CRO) tips in this article, which also don’t require you to spend money on driving more traffic. They work for all kinds of service websites, including ones for lawyers, doctors, realtors, dentists, plumbers, electricians, caterers, gardeners and maids. Let’s get started.
1: Always prominently state the unique value proposition of your business.
Local business websites often make a mistake by thinking that visitors immediately know why they should use them rather than a competitor, and don’t make it clear. This is one the first things you need to show on your homepage using headlines and bullet points. And don’t just claim you are the best, state the top reasons why, for example maybe you are the cheapest in town, you have the best guarantee, the most customers, or have unique service specialties.
2: Improve usage of image sliders on your homepage.
Many local business websites have large image sliders on their homepage that are not very engaging or useful, and take up too much space. If you really want to keep your image slider you should make sure they have less than 5 slides, that they don’t move to quickly or slowly, are smaller in height, and that they also include text overlays with call-to-action buttons. You should also test changing your image slider to become one image that also mentions your unique value proposition. Learn more about improving image sliders.
3: Use the power of reviews and ratings to build social proof.
To build social proof and increase website website sales or leads you should prominently show many customer reviews and ratings. Showing these from third party sources like Google, Feefo or Trustpilot helps build credibility even more. Try to include photos of reviewers to make them more credible – video testimonials work even better. To get more testimonials you can offer discounts to existing customers in exchange for a testimonial.
4: Offer a compelling free incentive for your visitors to contact you.
To get a visitor interested in using your local business you need to offer them a good free incentive to do so, like a free guide relating to your service, or a discount. This should be shown clearly on your homepage, services page, in your blog side bar, and as an exit intent popup (shown when visitors move their mouse to the browser bar to leave your website). Not only will this be giving your visitors something useful, but you will get their email address to do follow up marketing with and convert them in future – as we will now discuss in the next point.
5: Don’t presume visitors will convert first time – follow up with them via email.
Once you start collecting your visitor’s emails, you then need to send them an automatic series of emails designed to engage them and get them to remember and use your service when they are finally ready to purchase. This is important because only a small percentage of your visitors will convert on the first visit. These emails should be sent automatically using an email marketing tool about once per week, and contain useful information about your service (like the benefits, your unique value proposition, and discounts) and also general tips and advice like guides or good related content.
6: Make sure your mobile website version is optimized too.
It is important to understand that your mobile visitors have different expectations and needs than desktop users, so it is essential to have a mobile optimized website version. These users have a much smaller screen, so you will need to use a responsive designed website that adapts automatically to screen size, including fonts, images and buttons. Mobile visitors may often just be looking for your phone number, so you should add that in a sticky navigation at the top of your mobile website.
7: Use a web chat service to generate more leads and sales.
Don’t just rely on getting people to call your phone number on your website or using the contact form. By offering a web chat option like Olark or Drift, this gives visitors an alternate way of talking to you online, that is less committal and less intrusive than calling, and often quicker. It also provides a great way to proactively reach out to visitors who seem to be pondering certain parts of your website. It also allows you to gather website improvement feedback by asking visitors if they are having problems finding anything or what they would like improved.
8: Write content for your visitors, not just for SEO.
Local business often get told that they need to use relevant SEO keywords as much as possible on their website (even in headlines for pages), but these words aren’t often very engaging for visitors. This means that while you may be getting some good SEO traffic, many of these visitors leave and go to one of your competitor’s websites. Instead it is essential to use words focused on your visitors, particularly by using benefit driven wording, and wording that mentions and solves their pain points.
These tips are some of the most important things to consider when improving your local business website with CRO. There are also specific tips for each type of local website, and I can give you many personalized recommendations to improve your website with my CRO services.