A major rule of website design is to understand that the website visitor is not you. They are not your team. They don’t visit your website multiple times a day. And unlike you, they never think your website is “stale.”
Understanding this simple fact will keep you from making unnecessary changes that reduce conversions and help you evaluate your website properly. For example, because they are not you, they do not know what you want them to do on your website. If you leave them to their own whims, then, they’ll simply look at what you’re offering and eventually move on to another website. Sort of like window shopping: they’ll look, but they won’t convert.
You Must Tell Them What To Do
You want them to convert from a visitor into a buyer. You know this, but they’re not you; so they don’t know this. In simple terms: they need to be told what to do, where to do it and why you want them to do it. And, you need to give them lots of chances to do it.
Telling them what to do is most often referred as “providing a call-to-action” when we’re discussing website design. Calls-to-action are simply the words and the mechanisms you use to get the consumer to take some desired action (that action can be a phone call, text, chat, e-lead or even a store visit).
Examples of typical car dealer website calls-to-action include: Apply for Credit; Value Your Trade; and Get a Quick Quote. Contrast these three (which clearly tell a visitor exactly what to do) with weaker or confusing calls-to-action we see on many sites like: Finance Application; Trade-In Form; and Price Quote.
Remember: You have to tell them what to do!
Oh, and don’t assume they’ll be back to your site if they don’t convert the first time; if you are an average dealer, about half of your website visitors only visit you one time during their vehicle search. This means you may just have one shot in getting them to submit a lead or converting them into a buyer, so keep this in mind whenever you consider making a change to your website; and be certain that your calls-to-action clearly spell out exactly what you want them to do. (We’ll cover telling them “why” we want them to convert next.)
Next up in the series: Tell Them Why They Should Convert For You
(If you’re catching this series for the first time, you may want to begin with the first post in the series: Before You Change Even One Word on Your Website…)
Steve Stauning, creator of The Appointment Culture and an expert in Digital Marketing and Website Conversion. He is also an extremely popular keynote speaker, writer, and industry consultant. Learn more about Steve at SteveStauning.com.