8 September 2006

If you have followed Step 1 then you’ll be getting the visitors to your site and with relevant content they should like what they are reading. So, what next? Do your visitors know what they need to do to become a customer?

Take a good look at your site, are you helping visitors to make that next step. Are you telling them what they have to do and making it as easy as possible?

You may be surprised to know that many sites out there have no “calls to action” – if you don’t tell the visitor what they have to do and make the process as easy as possible, you can’t expect them to do it.

If you use your site as a tool to prompt potential customers to call you, then tell them to call, and keep telling them. Make your contact details available throughout the site and easy to find. If your phone number is just on the contact page, it’s not enough. Don’t force visitors to search for the information they need. As they get lost in the site you may lose them.

If you want them to complete a contact form then put links to that form all over your site and make the form short and easy to use. Don’t put them off by asking for too much information but make sure you get the essentials, their name and contact details. Once they have completed the form, follow it up with a personal email, inform them you have received their enquiry and tell them exactly what they should do next. Believe it or not, they’ll do it.

If your site is an e-commerce site then make it clear that they can buy online and above all make sure it’s secure and visitors know it. Avoid using payment systems that have too many steps because customers will drop off in the process. Make any forms as concise and clear as possible so they know what information is needed and they can see that there is a clear destination.

People will make a decision on their next move within 3 seconds of reaching your site. So unless you employ these techniques you stand a good chance of losing leads you’ve worked for. Get their details and start engaging with them and the sale has potentially begun. We’ll talk more about converting leads into customers in Step 3.

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