We often hear the question of how our clients can build websites to distinguish themselves from their competitors’ websites. With so many websites out there that often only serve as an online brochure explaining the company history and services, it can be hard to communicate what makes your business unique and draw in a steady stream of new leads. The problem being, many visitors aren’t going to read every word of your meticulously crafted bios and do the proper research to figure out why they should go with you instead of your competitors. So how do we make a website that stands out? Give your website visitors something to do.
We like to encourage adding some utility to your website that leads visitors to calculate savings, complete a quiz, or compare products. Utilities like these serve a double function, they make your website interactive, and therefore memorable; and they create a lead tracking event so you can determine how many customers are engaged even if they didn’t follow through to contact you.
Getting stuck in your customers’ heads.
A typical website is a one-directional conversation. You put some content out that explains your business and your services, and your customer can just absorb that information and move on. On the other end of the spectrum, there are websites that thrive on user-generated content like forums, blog comments, social media and the like. Obviously, the online home for your business isn’t meant to be a fully-functioning community like Facebook, that would require a dedicated team of moderators and community guidelines. We’re suggesting you meet in the middle somewhere, give your website visitors some way to engage with you and provide some input, and make the experience of visiting your website into a two-way conversation.
One of the most common utilities we’ve added to a website is a Quote Request tool. Your business might offer a product or service that needs further quoting. The Quote Request tool allows you to add products or services to a list that then directs you to fill out a form to receive a detailed quote for the product/service of interest.
If engagement on your website becomes bidirectional like this, users are more likely to remember their experience compared to having the same information presented in a data table or PDF they have to download.
Measuring engagement vs. measuring lead capture.
When measuring the success of your website, you can use a number of factors to determine how well you’re doing. The first is website visitors, this one’s the easiest to set up with out-of-the-box Google Analytics tracking code. Knowing how many visitors are coming to your site can help you target your marketing and paid display campaigns. Another popular one is the number of leads you’re bringing in. How many people filled out your contact form this month? Or purchased a product? Or signed up for your mailing list? This is a measurement of the number of visitors who are ready to become your customers. But what about the visitors who come to your site and are interested in your offering, but not yet ready to make a purchase? These visitors are the most likely to be future customers, but wouldn’t be captured by traditional contact lead capture mechanisms like a contact form.
This is where the magic of these utilities comes in. When a visitor makes use of your tool, we can track their engagement. This creates another KPI metric to measure the success of your website. Having a high performing savings calculator or quote tool indicates that there are customers out there waiting to make a future transaction. Open those doors up, give them the opportunity to express their interest, so that you can better serve them in the future.