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There is so much more to creating an effective website than just designing a beautiful looking site. The thought and planning you put into the content and layout of your site is what is really going to convert your visitors to clients or customers.

The look and feel of your site is what is going to entice visitors to stay on your site and look around, but that will not necessarily encourage them to purchase your services or product. The visuals on your site will also attract certain clientele and repel others so it is a very important aspect of your website. We want them to be attracted to us and our brand so that they will check out our services and products.

We will be looking at effective strategies to turn our website visitors into paying customers by focusing on three different strategies: A clear message, a clear path, and establishing trust.

A clear message        

When someone arrives on your home page for the very first time they need to be able to determine these three things immediately:

  1. What you offer

  2. How it will make their life better

  3. How they go about buying it

You don’t want to make your visitors stop and think “What does that mean” (cue the vague descriptions such as “Making your dreams happen”, “Live your fullest life,” etc).

Be extremely clear in what you do and how you can help them.

Communicate what your readers lives will look like when they purchase your product and what it will look like when they don’t.

Use images and words to portray this.

An expert on conveying your brand message with great clarity is Donald Miller of Story Brand. I highly recommend his book “Building a StoryBrand.” In this book he walks you through steps to come up with a good one liner for your company.

"A good one-liner has three parts. It starts with the problem or pain point someone experiences. Then, it describes a product. And it ends with a resolution that someone would experience because they’re using that product.“ from Story Brand.

A clear path

Decide on what your goals are for each page of your website. When your visitors land on your home page, what do you want them to do next? What if they land on a blog post if they are coming from Pinterest?

Plan the design for each page with clear calls to action (steps that you want your visitor to take).

When laying out your path, make it very easy for your visitors to navigate your site and purchase your service or product.

When you decide on the main goals for your site design the site so that your visitor will need 3 or less “clicks” in order to arrive at that goal.

Buyers need simple steps on how to proceed.

Additionally, don’t offer too many options for your visitor. You want to keep your service options concise as well as your navigation items. If your visitor is overwhelmed they are less likely to sift through all of the content to find what they are looking for.

Lay out your products and services in an easy to understand way. Use layman’s terms to describe your product or service. Focus on the results they bring as opposed to any technical jargon.

Remember, you are trying to convince your visitors how you can make their life better. Here is your chance to go into more detail on each of your services and products to explain what kind of a problem they solve and how it will make their life better.

“People do not buy the best products and services - they buy the ones that they can understand the fastest “ Donald Miller

Establish trust

To prove that you are a credible business you need to establish trust with the potential buyer or client.

There are a couple of ways you can do this, like showing your authority and empathizing with your visitor.

Show your authority

How can your visitors know that you are an expert in what you are talking about?

Ways to do this include using testimonials of previous clients or purchasers, including research or articles you have been featured in, writing blog posts that show your expertise, and continue to show up in their inbox.

Below are some guidelines on how to incorporate these into your site.

  • Testimonials: At a minimum, include a few on the home page, about page, and with your actual products or services. Use testimonials that focus on the effect your product or service had on someone. The more specific the better! Including a testimonial that is general will not do anything to convince your readers to purchase. Focus on what their life was like before using your product/service and then  after using your service or product.

  • Social proof: Include links to articles that you have been featured in. Is there research that features your product? Include any press you’ve received. You can also show awards or accolades you’ve received or other accomplishments in your field. This is very important, as your results will help them to appreciate the value that you offer.

  • Blogging: Another way to show proof is to blog about your offering. The more you write about it, the more your readers will learn and believe in what you are offering as a viable product. Offer freebies in your blog posts in exchange for their emails to get them into your sales funnel. You want to offer something that will appeal to someone who would likely purchase that specific item from you and offer it for free in exchange for their email address.

  • Emails: Once visitors are on your email list, you will have opportunity to further display your expertise by showing up in their inbox and sending out emails that talk more about your product and and the positive effects of it. As a bonus, you will have a list of motivated buyers who are primed and interested in your offering. Keep them interested in being on your list by offering them exclusive content and even discounts.

Empathize with your visitor

Throughout your website you will want to use words that show you empathize with your visitors problems. Use words that they would use in describing their issues so that they can relate with you.

If you can show that you have been where they are before and understand exactly what they are feeling, it will go a long way in getting your viewers to trust you.

In summary, crafting a strategic website involves planning of quality content that shows your expertise, guides your visitors in a very clear way and demonstrates what you do in a clear concise way. Taking time to ensure these elements are in place will go a long way to converting your visitors to paying clients or customers.

This is a guest post by Jodi Neufeld, Squarespace web designer.

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