Let’s face it: When considering buying products or services from your business, most potential clients start with a review of your website. That experience can lead the visitor to gain confidence and interest in your business, or to dubiously click away and search for competitors.
As the centerpiece of your online presence, your website experience must guide your visitor, demonstrating that your business is credible and trustworthy.
Stop talking and listen
When meeting a potential client in person, we use many strategies to convey our expertise, integrity and skills. Beyond good eye contact and a firm handshake, we attentively listen for clues to how our offerings match with the needs of a potential customer. We ask questions to learn about challenges, frustrations and pain points which offer an opportunity for us to help. This emotional connection naturally leads the conversation to how we can solve their challenges. The prospect gains confidence that we not only understand their problem, but also that we can provide informed guidance to resolve it.
Is your website listening?
Our websites should stir the same emotive response with visitors. Is your website experience compelling? Your language and imagery should speak to the visitor’s needs and wants, conveying that you understand their challenges and productivity snags. Even though the conversation isn’t live, your website experience should create the sense that you are indeed listening.
By creating an emotional pull, you are more likely to stimulate the visitor to explore further, deepening your connection and increasing their level of engagement.
Guide your visitor
Rather than standing by idly, encourage the prospect along in their exploration with guided navigation and well-placed internal links which offer relevant and targeted information. Like the live conversation where you’re probing for additional details to understand their challenges, these links demonstrate that you “get” their needs and provide validation, demonstrating your ability to help.
When crafting your website experience, it’s important to remember that the purpose of the links is to guide the visitor to relevant and timely information for their needs, offering a clear roadmap. While an impulsive side trip to stop for ice cream may be welcome during a leisurely weekend drive along the coast, diverting client prospects from their chosen path is like not listening during an in-person conversation. Instead, lead website visitors with content that deepens their confidence and offers a natural path to your key conversion goals.
This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for relevance and timeliness.