One of the most common problems I find when working with smaller businesses diving into Google Ads or SEO for the first time is basic conversion rate optimization (CRO) concepts. Why aren’t people calling or buying my product when I first turn on a Google Ads campaign or get started? In recent years, it has become even more important as Google has learned to prioritize user experience (commonly referred to as UX) and give extra SEO value to sites that provide a quality UX. So it is beneficial for you from a direct converting visitors to customers’ perspective as well as being beneficial for you in ranking higher and getting more visitors via SEO.
I have had many cases where I warn someone ahead of time that their site is not really set up to succeed. Beyond the obvious things like not being mobile friendly, there are a number of basics many don’t put in to place before they start drawing visitors to their site that can lead to failure. This post is meant to address some of the more basic and obvious ones that I still see people struggle with, as well as add some tips for SEO success since the Google “Helpful Content” updates started in 2022.
The fundamental thing to always keep in mind is to ask yourself if a visitor comes to my site, is it easy for them to do what I want them to do? Be brutally honest with yourself. Investing in tweaks to make this happen can lead to huge gains in conversion, yet I often see people think their users don’t mind making that extra click or pinching the screen. Users do mind and you lose a lot of them by making them jump through hurdles or do extra actions to get to what you want them to do. Remove as many hurdles as you can.
This is the absolute most basic now, and to the point that it should almost not need to be said. If you are serious about succeeding online, you have a mobile-friendly site already. In 2023, if you aren’t mobile-friendly, you aren’t trying. Even basic site builder tools are mobile-friendly these days, but you better check and be sure if you haven’t updated your site in a few years.
But beyond that simple basic, consider your mobile experience vs. your desktop experience. In some cases, the experience presents itself differently. Even with mobile responsive sites that basically just change the layout automatically, you may find that call-to-action buttons show up in a different spot on the page, which may not be as user-friendly. Form fills may take more work for the user on mobile than on desktop, or vice versa. Know where your customers come from. I still have B2B clients that have most of their business come from desktop, but in most cases, mobile is where the majority of traffic comes from, and sometimes we don’t take a peak at what kind of experience we are providing.
Touch to Call Phone Numbers
If your primary goal is to get your users to call you, you need to make that as easy as possible. Don’t make them click around until they get to some contact page, put your phone number in a big and obvious way on every page, and for mobile users, format the number so if they touch it, it initiates the call. Doesn’t even have to be your number. It can be a big Call Now button, etc. to make it even more clear. This seems basic, but I see people miss this all the time and wonder why they aren’t getting phone calls. It is important to then set up your analytics to measure who and when people are hitting those call buttons.
In general, I suggest giving users another option as well, such as a scheduling tool or contact form, as many don’t love to make actual phone calls these days, but certainly make sure they don’t have to do much work to make that call. In recent years, customers tend to respond better to text than to phone calls and email forms. Consider adding a tool that allows texting to the business and responding in that format. These days, that can be the most convenient method of communication for potential customers.
Content Being On Topic: There’s a Page For That
This is another one I see quite regularly. Especially with Google Ads advertisers, as SEO doesn’t really allow for off-topic visitors to visit a page. However, with SEO, I am always telling business owners that they need to create a page for any product or service that is important to them. Your page topic and headline should address what the searcher is looking for. You will have far more success with specific pages that address searchers’ needs than sending everyone to a generic home page.
Someone looking to address a leaky toilet is far more likely to call or hire a plumber if they land on a page that shows them that you regularly deal with leaky toilets, than on a generic page just telling them about your business. This has been proven time and time again and the investment in the extra pages will pay off over time. If a service is important enough for you to advertise for it specifically, you should be willing to invest in creating a page for it. Searchers like to see the concept or words that they actually searched for show up in the ads that they see and in the pages that they land on.
Now Add Supporting Content
Especially in the SEO world, it now is even more important to provide supporting content. Think of questions your customers might have that would prevent them from buying. Address these things with supporting information that is easy to find on your site, and that links back to your main product or service pages. The more “helpful” supporting information you have on your site, the happier your visitors, and the more Google looks at your site as an authority in that topic area. Again, what Google and your customers want mirror each other, so you get gains in two places for adding this information. Think about questions around price, process, uses of your services, questions that people might have that would preven them from using it. Show you are an authority on the subject and make it easy to remove their reservations and move forward with converting.
Clear and Obvious Call To Action On Every Page
Whatever your conversion method may be, from a purchase button to a phone call or download, you need to make it clear and obvious on the page. If it isn’t clear, it won’t work. If people have to hunt for the phone number or conversion button at the bottom of the page or worse yet, on a different page, it won’t work. Make it as easy as you can for them to buy from you. It is that simple.
Easy Formatting of Forms
Just like with the touch-to-call idea for phone calls, forms should be as easy as you can make them. If a form calls for a phone number, automatically set it up to trigger the phone number format so the user doesn’t have to use the full keyboard. Ask for as little information as you need to get the first purchase accomplished, and make the format so easy that people don’t have to struggle to fill out your form. I have abandoned forms many times when they became difficult to fill out and I have worked with people who said: “People should know that” or “we need that information” about information or hurdles they requested that they didn’t really need, and then saw vast improvement once they eased the process. Simplify things as much as possible and that can just mean making formatting choices so that a form is easier to fill out.
Signs of Trust
It also helps to show users why they would choose you or trust you on each page. If you can show some reviews or symbols of qualification such as your BBB rating or industry accomplishments, this will help a user feel better about clicking that button or making that call. Try to build these into each page in a way that subtly eases their fears, but does not prevent them from the general message of your product offerings.
When you are building or tweaking your site, keep all of these in mind and it will lead to much more success in turning your visitors into clients, patients, customers. etc. Give us a call if you need help getting people to visit your site, or converting them once they are there.