The 2016 Google Search Quality Ratings Guidelines may be 157 pages long, but throughout its discourse on what makes a website rank high in their results, one message in particular rings clear: It's all about the site visitors’ experience. Your customers aren't just your means to an end -- they're the entire journey. Clients don't just give you money today; they guarantee the longevity of your business. When designing a site and developing your business's marketing strategy, it's important to focus on the entire customer journey, not just one aspect.
If you’re interested in giving your customers the best experience possible from start to finish (this is probably the part where you nod), here’s how.
Customer Experience is More Than Marketing
Too many companies focus on how they can position themselves to attract the highest number of leads, in the shortest amount of time. Although a solid digital marketing strategy is essential, focusing on this mentality alone is exactly what it means to "talk the talk without walking the walk."
Just because you can draw someone in with a killer marketing campaign, doesn't mean you can get them to convert. This is where too many businesses lose potential clients. Aside from having a great web design and enticing subscription offers, shift your attention beyond just reeling in leads. Let’s focus on how you're going to prove yourself to be worth their while.
A Good Conversion Journey in 3 Steps
You can break down the customer conversion experience into three easy-to-follow steps. Doing so will make it easier for you to rework your current system, and thus give your future customers the best possible experience.
1. Grab Their Attention
This is where your pre-existing marketing campaign comes in. All of the energy you've poured into it should help it do its job of making customers aware of who you are and what you have to offer. A solid brand identity and clear, creative advertising is crucial in bringing in clients with the highest conversion potential (who, naturally, will give you the largest possible ROI).
2. Help Them Think
Don't leave the decision about whether or not someone chooses to purchase your product or services up in the air. Although you shouldn't be overly forceful or obnoxiously persistent, you can make sure that your site's content and copywriting are structured in a way that highlights all of your products or services' benefits, therefore steering potential clients in the right direction. At this stage, people aren't entirely convinced whether or not you're worth investing in, even if they like what you have to offer. This is why you need to skip the click-bait and generic filler content and provide them with real, detailed information that tells them specifically what their money will get them. Just as you would want to brainstorm some employee appreciation ideas that make a worker feel valued and encourages them to stick around, the same philosophy is true for customers. Offer them the type of content that they can expect to receive before they invest, not after.
3. Closing the Deal
Once someone has decided they want to buy your product or hire you for one of your services, the most crucial stage of conversion begins. You can easily lose people who would have otherwise converted at this stage by having a poorly structured website. People need to be able to find everything they need in one place. Make sure that your menus are clear and defined and that the shopping cart and checkout areas are easily accessible.
If your business provides a service, your contact form should be easily accessible and to the point. If people have to click around too much or are prompted for too much information upfront, they'll leave and move somewhere that will provide an immediate solution.
By focusing on marketing, information, and a clear conversion funnel through effective and responsive web design, you can ensure that your potential clients will have an easy and gratifying experience from the moment they first take notice of who you are, to the time they check out. By expanding your marketing horizon to include long-term satisfaction and greater user experience on your site, you'll be able to attract customers who aren't just likely to convert once, but also return to you in the future again and again.
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