The statistics show most people now turn to the internet to research, find, and increasingly book a wide range of services (from hairdressers and massage therapists, to plumbers and carpet cleaners).
Most people are focused on being found first, however not as many are spending time thinking about improving their conversion rate and increasing the number of bookings, and phone calls they receive (in-fact up to 60% of small businesses don’t even have their phone number on their website!).
People buy from people, and they want to get to know, like and trust you before they’ll pick up the phone. Research shows buying behaviour is only 30% rational, and 70% emotional so it’s vital to find a way to connect with potential customers through your website, and other online media.
Yet most small business websites focus on price and special offers (often attracting price shopping customers) and use ‘generic’ copy with ‘glossy’ stock photos. There’s no personality, no ‘people’ and no connection.
If you are a small business owner, or work with them, here are 4 simple things you can do to help potential customers get to know, like and trust you (and encourage them to pick up the phone).
Most of these tweaks are free, or very low cost, but their impact on your business could be significant.
Whilst many websites don’t make the grade, there are some small, independent service businesses, such as Pink Pest Control and J & C Cleaning Services for example, who have spent time creating a website which is focused on building trust and converting visitors in to customers.
If you haven’t visited your website in a while take a few minutes today to take a fresh look through your customer’s eyes, and ask a few people in your target market to do the same. You might be surprised at what you see (or don’t see!)
Put Real Pictures (of you and your team!) on your website A picture really does speak a thousand words, but not if it’s a stock photo of a model with white teeth and perfect skin! Before someone invites you in to their home, or business, they want to see a picture of you (regardless of how attractive you are).
A video is even better because it provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your passion and expertise.
Personalised Writing (especially your about page) The content on your website can still be written by a copywriter if you are not much of a writer, however it still should ‘show off’ your personality and not be boring, generic copy that could have been placed on any of your competitors websites.
Include seals/logos from professional associations and training Most service professionals have completed various training courses, and many are part of professional associations. Add logos and badges to demonstrate your skills, ability and most importantly trustworthiness.
Add customer testimonials Having a 3rd party validate you is more powerful than what you say yourself. Ask your customers to leave a short review after you’ve completed a service (they can leave reviews on the popular directories, your Google Places page, and there are free/paid tools which allow you to add reviews to your website).
Next Steps These simple changes will help to increase your conversion rate, and importantly attract customers who care about service & skills, rather than just price.