8 ways to turn website visitors into customers

Brought to you in association with .co.uk, the number one domain for British business, we explore ways to convert traffic into sales

Entrepreneurs often assume that a reliable barometer of their business website’s success is in how many unique visits, or ‘clicks’, they receive. The assumption is more clicks lead to more sales.

However, keeping your site visitors interested, engaged and entertained is arguably just as important as generating actual sales. Here are our top tips for helping you turn your website visitors into customers:

1. Live chat box

Live chat boxes are small widgets that can be incorporated into a webpage and used to chat in real-time with site visitors, dealing with queries, complaints and customer support. Not only can this afford your customers quick responses without the hassle of a phone call, it allows your business to deal with multiple queries at once, ensuring a more efficient customer service experience.

There are a number of free chat widgets that can be easily added to your site, such as Chatango, Mibew Web Messenger and Olark Chat. Each offers a slightly different functionality, so shop around for the provider that best suits your business. For those customers who still prefer an old-fashioned phone call, don’t forget to display a phone number prominently on the homepage of your site, ideally next to the live chat option.

2. Video expertise

Video expert advice can boost credibility, as well as keep site visitors engaged with entertaining and relevant information. Trademarkdirect.co.uk’s homepage is a good example of this. Relevant expertise is displayed in short video snippets at the bottom of the homepage, allowing the company to promote its services in a way that is helpful, relevant and non-intrusive.

3. Slide show

Prominent slideshows with large, appealing images are a great way to ensure your site looks good whilst directing potential customers to relevant content. Startups.co.uk’s own site displays a rotating carousel of colourful pictures directing visitors to different areas of the site.

Most commercial site builders will have a slideshow option, although standalone services such as WOW Slider offer more in-depth functionality and come with a built-in library of generic stock images.

4. Search bar

This is absolutely crucial for any business website worth its salt. Customers often visit a business’ website looking for a specific product or service and the lack of a search function hampers their efforts.

Google’s Custom Search Engine is a popular option for many businesses as it allows you to use the company’s own powerful search algorithm in your website. The basic service is free, although you can pay to remove Google’s ads and branding.

5. Live Twitter feed

Twitter is a great way for your business to connect and engage with customers instantly. You can integrate your Twitter feed into your business’ website, allowing visitors to read, retweet and reply to your tweets without leaving the webpage.

Twitter provides tutorials and tools to easily create and integrate a site widget into your webpage. This includes in-depth customisation options so your embedded timeline can match the look of your site.

6. Endorsements

If you’ve received a trade award, been covered in the press or received a glowing customer review, share it with visitors. Display the endorsements on your site. This includes awards logos or industry assurance logos, such as TrustPilot or verification that your site is secure at the bottom of the homepage.

In addition, a feed of recent press coverage or the logos of prominent media where your company has featured are likely to reassure potential customers about your credibility.

7. Newsletter sign-ups and special offers 

Done correctly, a regular email newsletter service can keep customers engaged with new products, services and special offers. It can be a useful way of securing repeat business.

When a customer buys products or signs up for services, make sure to include a tick-box so they can opt in or out of such a service. Bombarding them with emails without their consent can have the opposite effect on your business. There are a variety of different software-based permission marketing tools, such as Mailchimp, to get a newsletter off the ground.

8. Social media icons

Showcasing your social media platforms by displaying Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ logos on your site can be an invaluable way of increasing engagement across social media sites and quickly spreading the word about your brand.

Google+ icons are particularly useful as they may also have the effect of pushing your site up Google’s own search rankings. Some research has shown strong correlation between the number of ‘+1’ shares a page receives and its place in a Google search list. All of the major social media sites offer free embed codes so you can integrate their buttons into your site.

If you’re thinking about taking your business online .co.uk have plenty of tips and advice to get you started. Visit www.agreatplacetobe.co.uk and follow @dotuk on Twitter.

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