8 Ways to Maximize Your Website’s Return on Investment
1. Leverage social proof correctly
When a website visitor is deciding whether or not to reach out or make a purchase, one of the deciding factors will be their perception of how credible your company is.
On a website, credibility is created by various forms of “social proof”. This may include client testimonials, links to review platforms, logos of awards/certifications, impressive statistics about your company, etc.
It’s important to leverage as many different forms of social proof as possible, and it’s also important to display them in the right spots.
You should display some form of social proof near the top of the page so it creates a positive first impression. Then, the visitor should continue to see additional forms of social proof throughout the page as they scroll (keeping credibility top of mind).
Toward the bottom of the page, you’ll probably have some sort of “call to action” whether it’s a contact form, appointment scheduler, product to purchase, etc. Be sure to include some form of social proof right next to that call-to-action to increase the odds of conversion.
Bonus tip: when displaying client testimonials, if possible, be sure to use the person’s full name and headshot so that it looks legitimate (people know that testimonials are easily faked).
2. Keep it simple, prioritize the user experience, and don’t go overboard with “unique” or “flashy” design concepts
Many web designers (and clients) are tempted to turn their website into some type of artistic masterpiece.
There’s a reason why 99% of websites follow a similar structure. It’s because of the fact that website visitors are already accustomed to certain types of layouts and functionalities. If you deviate too far from the norm, you’ll overwhelm or confuse the visitor and they’ll simply leave the website.
Stay away from radically unique layouts, extravagant motion effects, sideways scrolling, intrusive popups, etc. There’s a way to make your website elegant and unique without going overboard. You can create a WOW factor while also keeping the user experience simple and intuitive.
3. Make your calls-to-action noticeable, frequent & enticing
The main purpose of your website is to enable and motivate visitors to take the action(s) that you want them to take, and to maximize the amount of visitors who take action. This is known as conversion rate optimization.
Common “conversion events” include contact form submissions, online purchases, phone number clicks, newsletter signups, and more. These are also known as “calls-to-action” or “CTAs”. A CTA could also be a link or button that leads to a conversion event (ie. a “get a quote” button which leads to a quote form).
The placement, styling, and messaging of your calls-to-action should be strategic. Here are 5 tips and tricks for your CTAs:
1. Make them stand out by using a prominent colour and large font size.
2. Don’t use too many different CTAs. Focus the visitor’s attention on 1 or 2 primary CTAs.
3. Include a CTA in many sections throughout the website to keep it top-of-mind.
4. Keep a CTA in the header and keep the header “fixed” as the visitor scrolls down the page, so that a CTA is always in sight.
5. Avoid generic CTAs if possible. For example, instead of using “contact us” or “get in touch”, you’ll get more clicks and conversions by using specific and enticing CTAs like “get a quote” or “free consultation”.
4. Invest in professional copywriting
The design of your website is only half the battle. In order to successfully convert website visitors into leads and sales, your written content needs to engage the reader and motivate them to take action.
A high-quality professional copywriter will perform in-depth research on your business, industry, and competitors, putting themselves in your shoes to write on your behalf.
Some clients worry that a copywriter won’t be able to fully understand the ins-and-outs of their business. However, in most cases, that’s actually an advantage. Since the copywriter comes from an external perspective, they’ll be able to understand the website visitor’s frame of mind. They’ll simplify the content and focus on what matters most to a less educated audience, eliminating the fluff.
If you already have someone on your team who can write high-quality content, that’s great! Just make sure that your web design agency is able to help you with the content outline and editing, because the design and written content need to be cohesively integrated.
Your web design agency should be able to provide recommendations on what types of pages to have and what types of sections to have on each page (at specified lengths and in a specific order). You should create the written content based on that outline, and then the agency should review your content for any edits and suggestions.
5. Perform competitor research
While it’s important to be creative and to stand out from the crowd with a unique website, it’s also helpful to analyze your competitors to extract some of their best ideas and make improvements to them.
If you have 5 key competitors, analyze each of their websites and take some of the best ideas from each website. Then, repurpose and enhance those ideas while mixing them in with your own fresh ideas.
By the end of this process, you’ll have a unique website that is clearly a step ahead of the competition. After all, the only way to ensure that you’re better than the competition is to analyze them!
6. Use the power of “testimonial videos” and/or “explainer videos”
One of the best ways to boost credibility (and conversions) is to add a “testimonial video” to your website, where your customers talk about their positive experience. To see an example, check out our own testimonial video!
Another great way to leverage video is to create an “explainer video”. In many cases, it’s more impactful to explain your company’s value in a video instead of written content. There are 3 different types of explainer videos:
1. Animated explainer videos (use graphics, motion effects, and a voiceover to help the person visualize how your company operates)
2. People-based explainer videos (interview one or several of your team members and have them talk about your company’s mission, benefits, processes, etc)
3. A mix of both!
You could also merge the “testimonial video” and the “explainer video” into the same video!
This video should be placed prominently on your homepage and any other conversion-focused pages. You can also use this video on social media, paid advertising campaigns (such as YouTube Ads), proposals, etc.
7. Optimize your website for Google (SEO)
In this article, we’ve talked a lot about converting website visitors into leads and sales, but we haven’t discussed how your website can get more traffic.
There are plenty of ways to boost traffic to your website, but the method that produces the highest long-term return on investment (in most industries) is search engine optimization (SEO).
When you’re building a new website, it’s always best to consider the best practices of SEO from the very beginning. If you don’t optimize your website for Google during the initial design and development process, you might need to make drastic changes to your website later on, increasing the overall cost and headache.
The design of your website revolves around the written content, and the written content is based on the keyword research for SEO. Since everything is connected, it’s important to get it right from the very beginning (even if you don’t think that SEO is a big priority right now).
SEO is an enormous undertaking with tons of factors to consider, but it can be broken down into 6 primary tasks that need to be addressed and optimized:
1. Keyword research (relevance, user intent, traffic volume, competition levels)
2. Competitor analysis (establish key indicators and benchmarks)
3. On-page optimization (page types, content writing, keyword placement, keyword frequency, keyword synonyms, word count)
4. Search Engine Results Page Optimization (page titles, meta descriptions, schema markup)
5. Technical optimization (site speed, HTML tags, link optimization, redirects, ALT text, site architecture, mobile optimization, Google Search Console)
6. Google Business Profile optimization (local SEO and Google maps)
8. Maximize site speed
It goes without saying that having a slow website will significantly harm the conversion rate of your website. However, there is still a surprising amount of websites that load slowly today!
When a website loads slowly, the visitor gets frustrated and they leave. However, even once your website reaches an “acceptable” speed, don’t stop there!
If you truly maximize your site speed with lightning fast pages, it will subconsciously put your website visitors into a happier state of mind, and they’ll be even more likely to convert!
On top of that, site speed is an important ranking factor on Google. You’ll be more likely to rank higher on Google if your site loads quickly!
Assuming that your website is built on WordPress, here are 6 actionable tips that will allow your website to load as fast as possible:
1. Use a high-quality hosting provider like Cloudways
2. Use a CDN like Cloudflare
3. Use a caching plugin like WP Rocket
4. Use an image optimization plugin like Imagify
5. Use a lightweight theme like Hello Elementor
6. Keep your number of plugins to a minimum and do research on every plugin to make sure that it won’t have a significant impact on site speed.