This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
It’s where marketing efforts converge, so to make money online, you need to make sure your website is in order.
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As a small business, your website is the single most important resource you have in your marketing arsenal. It’s where all your marketing efforts converge, whether they are in the form of inbound content marketing, ads or direct marketing. Customers will usually check your website for an overview of your products and services before committing themselves to any other action, including a purchase.
There are pros and cons to this. On one hand, it’s a great opportunity to revamp your website and ensure that it’s set up just right to convince visitors to take the next step in the sales journey. On the other hand, if it’s not done properly, you’ll make no gains in the conversions department, and you might even make things worse.
Here are four strategies you can explore to maximize the advantages and boost your conversions rapidly:
1. Track and analyze all your data
If you want to optimize your website, you need to understand how it’s currently performing and which specific areas need tuning. You should already have tracking tools set up on your site, but if not, you can get them quickly. Google Analytics is by far the most common and affordable option — free — but you can get others with more advanced feature sets too.
According to Meyr Aviv, CEO of Moving APT, “It’s important to analyze how visitors get onto your site in the first place, how much time they spend there. Also, use heatmap tools to see which areas hold their attention better and which ones they just breeze through. With that data, you’ll be well-equipped to make the needed changes to your design.”
2. Define clear goals
For you to see how well you’re doing over the course of time you spend implementing these strategies, it’s important to establish your end-goal objectives. This should be based on the data you already have and be as specific as possible.
You can also have different goals for different aspects of your conversion strategy. This could range across different products and services and different customer actions such as signing up for something or scheduling a phone call to discuss potential partnerships with your company.
3. Use visual marketing
Text is good, and it’s great for some types of audience and some kinds of information. For most businesses though, your message would be more effective if you put it in the form of pictures, videos, infographics or other forms of visual marketing.
Visual marketing breaks up your text and makes it easier for your audience to actually read through the entire page and get to your call to action. Naturally, the more people who get to your call to action, the more people will likely convert. Images and videos are more shareable too. More people will share a nice, intriguing infographic, and more people will engage with it on social media, which brings in more traffic and conversion prospects.
You can use tools like Canva to make quick, unique designs, and you can also incorporate customer-generated content by using some incentives to increase customer engagement on your Instagram pages.
4. Run segmented tests
When you’re changing an element on your site, it’s important that you test the new design or copy to see the effects on your stats. Regardless of how good you think your website looks, the real test of whether you should keep the changes or revert is if there’s a positive response among your visitors.
The way to go about testing properly is to ensure that you’re testing the right set of people, says Andrew Epprecht, CEO of Phase 5 Analytics. “For instance, you could use software to target the tests by country or by whether the visitor is a new or returning one,” Epprechet says. “Implement extensive A/B and multivariate testing to get the results you need to make final decisions on every element. It’s time-consuming, but it’ll definitely be worth it down the line, as opposed to making guesses based on your own design preferences.”
5. Use live testimonials
Testimonials are quickly going the way of ads on the internet. They’re everywhere, but most people are desensitized to them and don’t even notice them anymore. Virtually every site has a slider with a couple of positive quotes.
Related: 9 New Ways to Make Make Online
That doesn’t mean testimonials don’t work though. They do, but to make them more effective, you should ditch the rote testimonials template and incorporate screenshots of actual comments by customers on your social media platforms, email or any other source.
Those testimonials catch the eye better and look more real, thus enabling you to maximize the psychological effect, social proof and increased conversions which come with credible testimonials.