One of the first steps to effectively connecting with your target market involves setting up a website. Yet this is still an action that approximately one-half of small business owners don’t take according to one 350-business survey.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that you’re in the half that does value the importance of cultivating a professional online presence. How do you know what to put on your website to attract and convert as many leads as you possibly can?
To share a broader perspective on this topic, we reached out to small business owners and asked: What’s the one feature or element on your website that gets the most people to call you, stop into your business, or click on your “Contact Us” button?
Here’s what they told us…
Content, But Not Just Any Content
Courtney Rodrigue Hubscher, MS, LMHC, NCC, is co-founder of GroundWork Counseling and she says, “I would say easily our main selling point is educating the consumer with quality content, specifically about services related to CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] and ERP [Exposure and Response Prevention] for anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder.”
Being one of the few therapists who provide evidence-based treatment for anxiety disorders and OCD in their area, Rodrigue Hubsher says that “our first line of business is educating the prospective client and instilling hope.” She also adds that “it’s important that our website convey not only professionalism but also warmth, and relevant information.”
That’s why, if you go to GroundWork Counseling’s website, you can find quite a bit of information about a variety of treatment options—from individual to couples therapy—and content related to specific conditions like anxiety or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). This enables website visitors to easily read and learn more about which treatment option or remedies may be of the most value to them.
Stanley Tate, Esq., owner and founder of Tate Law, agrees that content is super important when it comes to obtaining more leads, but not just any content. “The one thing that makes potential clients reach out and actually click that contact button has been singular-focused content,” says Tate. How does he know this for sure?
“When people call, I ask what prompted them to call me,” says Tate. “Were they referred? Were they responding to a social media post or Facebook live video? Or did they find me using Google? For those who found me using Google, their responses are mostly the same when I asked what made them call: ‘You seem like you know what you’re talking about.’”
Tate, whose site is dedicated to helping students solve their student loan problems, ensures that his content reflects his expertise by sharing information that potential clients likely want to know. For example, “Instead of writing articles that are tangentially related to my practice,” says Tate, “I concentrate on providing a deep-dive into a particular student loan problem.”
For example, if you go to Tate’s site, you can learn more about how to stop an administrative wage garnishment, how to lower your monthly student loan payments, and what to do if you’ve already defaulted on your student loans—topic areas important to someone who is likely looking for his services.
“My goal in doing that isn’t to attract the most eyeballs,” shares Tate. “Instead, it’s to convert those few eyeballs who are looking for that one discrete thing to come across my site into clients.”
Questions to ask yourself: Is your website’s content providing value to your reader? Does it answer their burning questions? Does it highlight your expertise in a way that makes them want to contact you? Is it specific enough for them to see exactly how you can help them? Does it focus on helping your viewers solve their most pressing problems?
Your Website’s Design
James Philip, founder of JMJ Phillip Holdings, an executive search firm, says that his company’s website converts more leads based solely on how it looks. “Everything is in the design and branding of the website,” says Philip. Why is this so important?
“Just like people judging new people, first impressions are everything,” Philip says. “If your website looks corny, with bad stock photos, or if it looks like it is 1999 all over again, your bounce rate will be poor.” Essentially, what Philip is saying is that your website is a reflection of your company, so if it looks like it’s second-rate, your viewer may think the same of you and decide to do business with your competitors instead.
Realistically, this is one area where a lot of businesses suffer simply because they don’t want to pay the cost of developing this type of top notch website. So, what does Philip have to say regarding saving money when it comes to your website design?
“Having a visually appealing website should be a core focus,” says Philip, “and if higher end stock photos cost hundreds of dollars each, then you have to do what you have to do. In the long run, the ROI [Return on Investment] on a website that exudes confidence, experience, and expertise is going to generate you more leads, resulting in a higher ROI for website design.”
Questions to ask yourself: Is your website appealing to eye? Does it accurately reflect your brand? When you look at it, can you see your company’s personality and vision? Do the colors and images inspire your visitors to want to buy into your products and services? If you were your consumer, would you want to buy from someone with a website like yours?
Photos and Videos of You in Action
Although content and web design are important, another small business owner says he gets a higher number of leads solely by including images of his team in action. “We include copious photos and videos of ice dams on roofs,” says Joe Palumbo, President of Ice Dam Guys, “and of Ice Dam Guys removing them with steamers. That shows customers at least 3 things: (1) exactly what the problem we promise to solve looks like, (2) what our work looks like as we’re doing it, and (3) what we look like.”
Palumbo says that this helps increase the likelihood that potential customers will contact their business because, by looking at the photos and videos they can easily see that his employees aren’t “the ragtag, ununiformed, unkempt, cigarette-butt-throwing contractors many of our competitors might send to your home.” He adds that their photos and videos also “show clearly what you can expect an Ice Dam Guy to look like,” helping his target market see them for the professionals they are and putting them at ease that they’re not a low-quality business.
Palumbo contributes the success of this portion of his website to the fact that it “compels homeowners to pick up the phone because it eliminates surprises, one at a time,” says Palumbo. Essentially, what visitors to his website can see via Ice Dam Guys’ photos and videos is a great representation to what they can expect when his staff shows up to perform the work.
Questions to ask yourself: Does your site visually show your consumer how you can solve their problems? Does it contain photos and videos that help them see exactly what it is you do, what service you provide, and how you go about providing it? Do these images show you in a positive light, easing their concerns about what to expect should they decide to choose you?
Honest Statements or Admissions
Another element on Palumbo’s website that he credits for turning potential clients into lifelong customers is that they tell it like it is. “We tell customers that our service isn’t cheap—usually $475 an hour,” says Palumbo, “and that their job may very well take longer than our 2-hour minimum, depending on the size of the ice dam we see under the blanket of snow on their roofs.” Why would he want to be this honest, potentially scaring off clientele?
“We’d rather have customers be thrilled when a job isn’t as tough or costly as expected,” says Palumbo, a practice that is commonly referred to as under-promising and over-delivering. When your consumer can walk away from the deal in a better spot than he or she anticipated, they’ll view their experience with you as being positive in nature.
Additionally, no one likes to do business with someone who is shady and seems less than trustworthy. Therefore, by admitting that you’re not the cheapest provider around or that the service you provide is not a quick fix but one that times some time to address, you come across as being more genuine and honest.
It creates a sort of transparency that says, “Choose us and we’ll tell you like it is…even if it isn’t what we know you’d like to hear.” This is just another example of how Ice Dam Guys lives up to its “no surprises” motto and, according to Palumbo, “why customers from coast to coast and across the Midwest choose and love Ice Dam Guys.”
Questions to ask yourself: Is your website honest with your consumer? Does it give them all the information they both want and need accurately, even if it doesn’t put you in the greatest light? Does it make you seem genuine and transparent, or are there areas that could potentially create doubt or mistrust because they appear to “promise the moon”?
Are You Ready to Create a Website That Helps You Gain More Leads?
If your small business website isn’t creating the leads you want, if it isn’t drawing in your target market like bees to honey, Modmacro is here to help!
Our award-winning team of professionals is ready to help you create (or enhance) your online presence in a way that grows your business. Contact us today to learn more.