Maximizing Website Effectiveness
Once your market research is complete, the first thing you want to do is review and adjust your website for the sole purpose of getting maximum conversions.
How do you do this?
Simply answer the following 4 questions (These are the exact questions our marketing team uses to guide us through making the most appropriate and profitable adjustments to a client’s website):
1. Who is the most ideal target market for your business?(Geography, interests, and other demographics are very important to pay attention to here. Be as specific as possible. It does matter.)
2. What are your target market’s biggest pains and frustrations in relation to the services your business offers? (Again, be as specific as possible.)
3. What is the most desired next step you want your website visitors to take once they are on your website?(ie: HVAC businesses typically want more phone calls)
4. What can you place on your website strategically to help your business instantly gain more trust from your website visitors?(A few examples: logos of industry certifications and affiliations, BBB A+ Rating banners, Angie’s List Customer Service Award Winner banners, the cities in which your business services homes and/or buildings, testimonials from happy customers, etc)
You want to assume that each individual website visitor will never return to your website again since most visitors do not bookmark the websites they visit.
You want to adopt a new kind of mentality and mindset when it comes to marketing your business through your website. You want to become a conversion optimization machine. You want to ensure that you are taking advantage of any and every opportunity you have to convert as many website visitors to your most wanted response(s). You want them to take one of your preferred actions before they leave your site and move on with their day.
Two of the most important calls-to-action our firm uses with crazy success with our HVAC clients for the purpose of helping them to grow and profit from are:
1. Call us to set up a service appointment or consultation (Most Important)
2. Getting people to subscribe to company email updates which allow subscribers to gain access to the HVAC company’s promotions, updates, tips, news, etc.
Now keep in mind the importance of capturing a lead on your website as any lead has the opportunity to be extremely valuable in terms of potentially being worth upwards of $15,000 or more per acquired customer.
What I’m referring to specifically here is an incredibly important business concept called the lifetime value of a customer.
In the heating and air conditioning niche, one (1) customer who stays with your company for the long-term, say 7, 10, 15 years – could bring your company upwards of $15,000, $20,000, $25,000, $30,000 or more, depending on the customer. On average, each customer could be worth $15,000 – $25,000 to your business.
Because of this concept of lifetime value of a customer, it’s extremely important to pay attention to how website visitors are interacting with your website because you want to make sure to capture as many of these potential customers as possible without letting them slip through the cracks, or allowing them to become disinterested and hit the back button especially since they’re probably going to end up on one of your competitor’s web page ready to give them their thousands of dollars that you could’ve gotten. That’s exactly what you don’t want to happen.
So when you evaluate your website looking for places to make adjustments for the purpose of increasing the number of conversions, be sure that you’re implementing proven direct marketing principles and direct response advertising methods.
The goal here is to make sure each web page gives your target audience exactly what they are looking for so they contact you, instead of your competition.
To illustrate the importance of focusing on how well your website is receiving traffic, I want to share about 2 HVAC companies that came to our firm with decent website rankings to begin with but very weak conversion metrics. In simpler terms, each company had people visiting their website by way of the search engines, but no one was really calling. A common frustration we come across in the HVAC niche.
During month one for each company, we kept the under-performing website live on the web with a trackable phone number so we could measure how many website calls the website produced in a one month period of time. In month 2, we made our updates to each website for the purpose of improving the conversion mechanism of the website. Here are the results for each campaign.
|Total Calls Month 1 (before website adjustments)||Total Calls Month 2 (after website adjustments)||% Increase In Calls Over 1 mo|
Think about all of the money that was being left on the table here with 2 under-performing HVAC business websites. Another incredible thing to mention about the dramatic improvements for the Scottsdale Air and Air Factor websites was that in both cases, month 1 was September and month 2 was October, and September is typically a much busier month than October is in Arizona in the HVAC industry and month 2 in both cases blew month 1 out of the water.
What made our adjustments so effective?
We simply implemented direct marketing and direct-response advertising best practices into each website.
Let me take a moment to explain what direct marketing and direct response advertising is exactly. It’s important.
Direct marketing is the marketing philosophy of marketing directly to your best target customer for the purpose of increasing conversion metrics and controlling overall ad spend for your business marketing efforts. You’re not a big-box company; you’re a small, local HVAC business, therefore it is not smart for you to advertise like a big-box company. You simply don’t have the bankroll. You’ve got to be smarter than that.
Instead you want to focus on providing effective solutions to your target market’s biggest pains, frustrations, concerns, and obstacles. The bigger the resource you can be to your local target market on your website, the better chance your website visitors will make the decision to contact you instead of your competition.
Remember, not everybody is your target market. Not even everybody with an air conditioner or heater is your target market. You can’t afford to market like that. You must find out what your best target market cares most about and what they want solutions to.
In order to do this you will want to create a client avatar, which will help you understand your most ideal customer in clear detail… down to the kind of shoes he wears and the car he drives, how big his family is, what kind of income he has, etc. The more specific you can be here, the better, as you will be able to tailor your marketing message specifically to your client avatar giving you the greatest opportunity to convert your most ideal website prospect to an actual new customer.
[If you still don’t quite understand what I mean by this concept of direct marketing, I would strongly recommend you order a book by direct marketing legend Dan Kennedy called No B.S. Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketers. It’s worth the read.]
The next important term to define for you is direct response advertising. This concept focuses on maximizing conversions right then and there when a visitor lands on any of your marketing pieces, in this case one of your website pages. When you engage your website visitors properly and they feel comfortable with what you and your business have to say on your site, they take action right then and there.
In order to do this the right way, you will want to create a sense of urgency, which pushes the visitor to take immediate action. If you do this RIGHT, chances are you will get more website visitors to actually call to schedule a service or installation appointment with your business.
Getting a visitor to call you right away and set an appointment for your heating and air conditioning company is the most profitable action that you want your website visitors to take. So we need to actually persuade people subconsciously to take action as soon as possible, because remember people are typically not going to come back to your website and take action. Once they leave your site, you’ve lost the potential lead.