Website Visitors are Looking For Answers
I get it, your website is beautiful. But once your visitors have admired your design they want to get down to business—they are there to find answers.
There are numerous ways people are guided to your website for answers, for example:
- Online advertising (Google Ads, social media, listings)
- Online search for a specific topic
- Visit your booth at trade shows/conferences
- See you your business card
- Press releases
If your marketing materials have your URL (and they should) they might just show up.
But rarely are people visiting a business website just to hang out—they are looking for answers and the faster you can solve their problem the better.
For government contractors, this is of critical importance. When government decision makers are looking are doing research and looking for solutions, they want the websites they visit to be clear and concise. If they can’t find what they are looking for quickly and easily, they will simply go back to the vendor who was currently providing the services. You may have the best service for the contract, but if finding that information is too troublesome, you lose.
So here’s the secret: Whether your organization is running paid ads or attracting visitors via search engine optimization, if someone is interested in a specific topic then they expect to go to a page that speaks about that topic.
Let’s be clear: sending visitors to a contact us page and/or a homepage simply isn’t enough to generate a conversion, they need to click through to a matching landing page.
What’s a Conversion?
A website conversion is when an unknown visitor takes an action we can measure; completing a form (to download a white paper), making a phone call, engaging in online chat—anything we can create that causes the visitor to tell us who they are and what they are interested in.
Once we have this level of engagement we can continue to offer specific useful information to help them make the right decision for themselves—and in the process show them that you have the ability to fix their problem.
Conversion Rate Killers
It’s probably easier to start with the things that don’t work, and then look at the alternatives. Here’s why home pages and contact us pages are a bad idea:
Sending people to your home page: When sent to a home page, visitors are unlikely to immediately see the information they want. Instead, they are overwhelmed with a variety of products, services, taglines and other messages, which results in frustration and ultimately clicking away.
If you want to see this in practice take a look at the bounce rate for your online advertising. Bounce rate is the percentage of people who come to your website and immediately leave (or bounce). High bounce rates suggest there is a disconnect between their expectation and actual experience.
Sending people to a contact us page: People aren’t clicking on your ad to contact you, at least not yet. They are clicking to read more and learn if you can solve their problem. Only after they feel confident that you are a subject matter expert will they take the time to complete a form.
If you make the mistake of directing people to a contact us page, they’ll likely leave and never return again—there’s no added value for them. Again check your bounce rate and form completion rates to see your real results.
Much like the B2B world, according to Market Connections, “When creating marketing content for a government buyer of products, services or emerging technologies, federal and state and local decision-makers want to be educated and not sold to,” based on their 2019 Content Marketing Review: Federal & Beyond. They also state that “Content should help them make informed decisions and have minimal sales messages.”
6 Ways to Improve Conversion Rates
1. Specific landing pages: Clarity is key. By creating separate landing pages for your different products or services, you will provide the detailed and specific information that prospects are looking for. The message of your ad must match with the offer on the landing page + thank you page + emails confirmation. (Check out this HubSpot blog to see some great examples).
2. Attractive design: As serial marketing entrepreneur Gary Vee said (at Inbound 2017), “Creative is the only differentiator when it comes to conversion”. Landing pages must be impressive, compelling, clean, and easy to understand and navigate. If you are unsure about where to spend money on design, then this is the place!
3. Compelling content: The words on the page must capture your audience’s attention, speak directly to a pain point, and clearly explain what you are offering and why it is the best solution. No long rambling text, keep it short, sweet and to the point.
4. Mix it up with video: Incorporating video on a landing page is not only visually pleasing and breaks up content, but according to EyeWideDigital it can increase your conversion rates by 80% (which reflects our own experience running both email and online advertising campaigns).
5. Compelling offers: Go out of your way to make sure you are delivering massive value to your visitors. An irresistible offer gets results. Take the time to talk with your customers and really gain an understanding of what they are looking for so that you can over deliver and surpass their expectations. Compelling offer ideas may include: discounts, research data, cheat sheets, webinars, and how-to guides. What do they want to know and what format do they prefer to interact with?
6. Clear Call to Action: Make it obvious and make it actionable. Use words like ‘download,’ ‘register,’ or ‘sign up’ where appropriate. There should be no question about what action you want the visitor to take, and what they get as the result of completing the action.
Is the federal government your target market? We have also created the Website Checklist for Government Contractors for you with a few other must-haves to consider.
Quality landing pages improve conversion rates—generic landing pages (like homepage and contact us pages) don’t.
Building a quality landing page is part of a well planned and executed campaign—whether it is online advertising or offline marketing that initially drives traffic to the landing page.
Conversion results can be measured, and if you can measure it you can improve it. Set up all campaigns with the intention of learning, as well as generating leads. Set up experiments to better understand how your specific audience reacts to your landing pages.
If you are unsure about what to do next we are offering a FREE website assessment—we’ll let you know where you stand today and what your options are moving forward.
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