The prime purpose of virtually every website is to be a “shop window” to the world. Most businesses I speak with want to significantly increase the traffic to their web site. And, once there, they want to covert more of that traffic to active, loyal and long standing customers. Your “shop window” may be fantastic but if no one stops by to view it, it isn’t doing much for your business.
Here are 14 ways to get more traffic to your site and to convert that traffic more frequently.
1) Easy navigation
Around each page, between pages and back to the home page from any level within the site. When visitors get lost or confused on a site, they typically go to elsewhere. The navigation should be obvious and readily accessible from every page on the site.
2) Responsive design
Yes, I know this is nothing new but if the visitor on a phone cannot view the site, they will vote with the back button and go elsewhere. Ensure that everyone, regardless of device, can see your site as you want them to.
3) Compatible and tested with multiple browsers
Whilst you no doubt have a favourite browser, your visitor may use an entirely different platform. Does your site work equally well in ALL browsers? Did you check this?
4) Page speed
No one likes to wait. People drift away if the page is slow to load and rarely return to a slow site if they can help it. There are many tools you can use to evaluate page speed and make improvements to a site Google Developers Page Speed Test is one we at QD Design use frequently.
5) Dead or broken links
Nothing says “unloved” website more than a broken or dead link. It is a real turn off for visitors. Either check your links by hand or use an on line link checker such as Broken Link Check to see if there are any that need updating.
Genuine testimonials from real clients can count hugely to converting visitors into customers. If appropriate, include a video from them talking about your product or service. This is just about the most powerful advocacy you can get for your business.
7) User interface / user experience
A website has to meet the needs of the visitor / customer and not pander to the whims and desires of the site owner and designer. A site that is easy to read, easy to navigate and free from irritating distractions will convert many more visitors. For additional advice on UI / UX, check out this great info from the guys at UX Myths
8) Language appropriate for your audience
Write in their language; avoid jargon, slang and any colloquial phrases that people may not understand. Always bear in mind that your website is a tool for the visitors and not a vehicle for you to show off.
9) Answer visitors questions
In other words, try to predict what questions brought them to your site and what information will satisfy them. If you don’t know, then you may have missed something vital to help convert visitors to loyal customers.
10) About us
Few people want to do business with someone / something they don’t know. Ensure your site has an ‘About Us’ section that says who you are and what makes you tick. Present your human face to your visitors (you are human aren’t you)!
Similar to the ‘About Us’ point above, visitors rarely feel comfortable doing business with a firm where the prices are hidden or unclear. If you can, show your pricing structure openly so it saves any embarrassing moments when the customer realises they cannot afford you / your services.
12) Live chat
When you are providing a service and customers need to interact directly with you, a chat tool is often preferred to e mail as a means to get / give information quickly. If you have the staff and can run a live chat to engage with customers, you should see a significant increase in customer enquiries made through your website.
13) Simple, short forms
Should you want to create an e mail list then all you really need from the visitor is their name and email address. Asking for other data, e.g. street address, phone number, date of birth – I know it is only so you can wish them Happy Birthday on their big day – massively puts people off from signing up as they may have genuine concerns over how that data may be used, shared or stored.
14) Finally, no snarky exit ‘pop ups’
You know the sort of thing, emblazoned across the screen as you go to leave a site is a huge banner saying, “No thanks, I really don’t want 20 amazing ways to make my life awesome” When pop ups try to make you feel bad about not clicking a sign up or try to make you feel dumb that you could be missing out on something, they have overstepped the line. There is a reason why the visitor hasn’t click your button and trying to force them into doing it now probably isn’t going to work. They will just leave and in most probability, do their best never to come back.
What would you add to the list to get more people to visit your website? Leave your answers below in the comment box.
Nick has web design experience spanning two centuries (well his first page was in 1998)! He is passionate about helping smaller businesses and new ventures make their mark on the web. As well as a web designer he has spent time as a management consultant and business coach and brings these skills to help customers excel. When not designing websites he is likely to be in the mountains be it skiing, climbing or just taking photos of awe inspiring scenery.