On the heals of the latest Google Algorithm, here are some items to focus on when building a quality driven website.
Trust, authority, and high conversion rates are the essential ingredients for any successful online company. Unlike other businesses, real estate agents often rely solely on their websites in the beginning as many of them do not have a database even the beginning. Those who choose online marketing as a primary lead generator, their customers usually come from the Internet, which means that their websites must be on par with other business websites from day one. In this day and age, it is no longer enough to simply build a website and expect people to show up. In order to get customers, your site needs to look trustworthy, authoritative, and convert well. This is a challenge for many startups because they are literally brand new sites and it can be difficult to make them competitive with other online businesses in a relatively short amount of time.
Your site should reflect the time, money, and effort that you put into it. It should look reputable, you should be getting customers, and earning revenue.
Here are some ways to establish trust, authority, and and high conversion rates.
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Building trust is all about making visitors, customers, and angel investors alike feel comfortable doing business with you. If your website lacks credibility, then it is unlikely that they will invest any money with you. It is known that people willmake an assessment about your product or service within the first 90 seconds of viewing your site, so you need to make it count.
Professional Web Design
Professional web design is essential because clients will make an instant judgement about the credibility of your website within the first few seconds of visiting your website. Although you can find a lot of free themes and apps to build your website, it is better to have a professional build your website. If it looks like your little brother made it, then your customers and potential investors will probably not have much faith in your business.
There is no substitute for good webcopy on your site. You need to have well written content on all of your pages, not just your blog. The text should be free of grammatical errors and misspellings.
Some advertising is fine for blogs, but it is not usually a good idea for businesses. Advertisements not only promote other businesses, but they also send traffic away from your website. In the beginning, you need to do everything you can to keep people on your site long enough to make a purchase.
Related Article: Drop in Website Traffic? Maybe you were visited by the Phantom!
Risk mitigation is all about minimizing the amount of risk that customers have assume when doing business with you. This means that you should post a satisfaction guarantee or a 30 day refund policy on your website. Customers will feel better about making a purchase as long as they know they can get their money back if something goes wrong.
Collect customer testimonials from your first few customers and post them on your website. Post a few quotes from customers on the first page and be sure to list any media organizations that have covered your product or service.
Always use an email address that is connected to your domain name. It is not professional to use a gmail address for your business.
Create a contact us page and add your contact info to the top or bottom of each page to make it easier for people to contact you. It is not enough to have a contact form on your website. You need to have your phone number, email address, and physical address posted.
Building authority for your site is really just a way saying to your customers and potential investors that you are legitimate and that you know what you are talking about. Although there are some SEO shortcuts that can make your website appear to be more authoritative, some of those techniques do not work anymore and they might get your site into trouble with Google. If you do everything by the book, it may take longer, but it will be more effective in the long run and keep your site in good graces with Google. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you build authority for your site.
Creating quality content for your site is the best way to build authority. Write really good content for your blog that people can actually use for reference outside of your website is key. You want people to read your content and feel good about sharing it with their friends because it has valuable information. Make an editorial calendar to plan your content, keep a regular posting schedule, and focus on writing articles that are at least 500 words. If you are not a good writer, then you should consider hiring someone to write your content because it can make a big difference. Also, take time to respond to comments on each post and encourage discussion on your site.
Focus on getting your site to rank for 4-5 keywords in the beginning. Use Google Analytics to keep track of your statistics and pay attention to the keywords that people to use find your site. Make sure that you label your pages, photos, and content properly to get the most out of your site.
Social Media Presence
Build a social media presence for your business. You do not need to be everywhere, but you can concentrate your efforts on 1-2 social media websites in the beginning. Post regularly and make an effort to connect with your audience instead of trying to sell products. Work on not only building a social media presence, but actually getting your audience to share your content as well.
Generate links for your site by doing guest posts, promoting your blog posts, sending press releases, doing interviews, getting media coverage, and by giving away free stuff (ebooks and white papers). Again, you need to generate quality content that people actually want to read because it has interesting insights, statistics, or any other information that would be relevant to your audience.
High Conversion Rates
Conversion rates are the lifeblood of any startup. Your conversion rate tells you how many visitors actually become customers. Your site could get a lot of traffic, but you may realize that they are not really buying anything. There are other conversion rates to consider in terms of how many people subscribe to your mailing list or sign up for a free trial. This factor will have a huge bearing on the amount of revenue that your startup will be able to generate. It is definitely a figure that investors will inquire about before and after they make a contribution to your business. Here are some tips about how to boost your conversion rates.
Test Your Current Website
Before you start making any type of changes on your site, you should first create an overview of the your entire customer acquisition process. Take a look at your landing page and think of each step your customer must take in order to make a purchase. Create a hypothesis of what you think is going on in your customer’s mind and look at where people are falling off. Have a clear goal and vision for what people will think and do when they visit your website for the first time.
Use a Heatmap
Use a heatmap to track and record your customer’s every move on the site. Again, before you make changes you need to understand what is going before and after you make the changes to figure out what is and what is not working. You can use an app likeMouseflow to do this.
There is no right or wrong answer as to which colors you should use on your website. The colors that you select will depend on your branding and your audience’s preference. You will probably need to test a few different colors on different areas of your website to figure out which ones have a higher conversion rate. In many cases,blue happens to a safe color to use for links and buttons . However, be careful with red and green because people that are colorblind may have some difficulty distinguishing the two.
It is important to not just look at a bunch of numbers in a vacuum when you make choices for your site. As you consider the numbers, take some time to literally talk to people that use your site and get their opinions too. Have some friends use your website and give you feedback in real time and also create some simple surveys that your customers can complete on your site to provide feedback. If you start to hear a lot of people complain about something on your site, then you should probably work on changing that aspect first.
AB Split Testing
AB split testing is basically a method used to test two different things on a website. This could mean that you try using a green or blue button to sign up for a trial subscription. It could mean that you use a different headline at the top of your page and see which one works better. In order to figure out what is going, you will need to closely monitor your analytics each time you make any type of change.
Know When to Make Big or Small Changes
Changing your conversion rates will depend on the types of changes that you are willing to make on your site. Sometimes it is fine to make minor adjustments, but if you notice that there is a serious problem on your site, then you may need to make a significant change to see an improvement. This could mean that you need to change the colors, webcopy, reorganize the site, or have the site redesigned entirely. In either case, you must be prepared to make any type of change that will give you the desired result.
Identify Key Metrics
Identify key metrics for your site, which could include not only the number of people that make a purchase, but the bounce rate, email opt-in rates, and the cost per acquisition. There is no specific number to look for because it really depends on the nature of site and your goals.
A lot of websites lose customers when they have complicated registrations to sign up or make a purchase. You should focus on asking people for the bare minimum to avoid scaring them away and use an API to allow them to login in with another account like Facebook, Google, or Twitter.
Test Your Value Proposition
Sometimes changing the copy on certain parts of your website can make a really big difference. One of easiest things to work on is your value proposition. Create a few different versions of your value proposition and experiment to see which one generates more conversions.
This is honestly a lot of information and the only way to tackle it is by creating a plan and breaking it down into steps. Set some goals for your startup and then use these tips to organize a plan and a weekly schedule to keep yourself on the right track.
Lori Ballen is the author and creator of The Ballen Method, a training curriculum for real estate agents who want to achieve sales from online marketing. This course is part of The Ballen Academy where you can learn real estate business systems and practices as well as online marketing from SEO to Blogging to Mastering Marketing your Listings to gain more closings! Choose to major in The Ballen Method and receive a new lesson plan each month that contains step by step instruction on internet marketing from what every real estate website should have to the best in IDX to lead conversion strategies through offers and lead magnets. Lori owns a real estate business in Las Vegas and runs referral expansion nationwide through her method. Since she works this every day, she’s able to stay on top of the changes in SEO and digital strategies updating the courses regularly so her students receive the most up to date, relative strategies leading to more real estate sales. Lori closes over 100 real estate transactions a year directly from the internet and you can too when you learn The Ballen Method. Choose your learning experience by selecting one lesson plan or enrolling for monthly lessons. Start Learning Today: bit.ly/ballenmethodmajor