Q. My web company tells me that I get lots of visits to my website, but I don’t seem to get a lot of phone calls. Are they pulling the wool over my eyes?

A. Maybe, but it’s more likely that your website is not designed for conversion.

The best way to tell if your website is generating traffic is to look at your Google Analytics. This free service will tell you how many visitors you have had, what pages they go to, and how long they stay on each page.
But what it won’t tell you is how many actual leads you’re getting. In online marketing, we refer to an action taken (a phone call, submitting an online form, sending an email) as a conversion. The more conversions you have, the more effective your website is at driving business.
If you think you’re phone isn’t ringing, either it’s not, or you’re not actually tracking your calls well and you don’t really know whether your calls are coming from your website or from some other source. (The way to rectify this is to use tracking numbers, but let’s save that for another conversation.) So for the purpose of this answer, let’s assume it’s the former and your phone just isn’t ringing. The implication here is that users aren’t fully engaged with your site, and consequently aren’t taking action.
The call to action
In some ways, marketing on your website is just like any other type of promotion. You have to ask for the sale! Every promotion, be it a postcard, a newspaper ad or a radio spot, needs a call to action. And your website is no different.

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A strong call to action is the key to conversion. If you tell your prospects exactly what you want them to do, they are much more likely to move from being a “browser” to an actual lead.
The bottom line? Every page of your website should have a marketing purpose, and your prospects need to be guided to do what you want them to do.

Q: What do you think of online chat? How does it work and is it a good idea?
A: If used correctly, Chat can play an integral role in helping you achieve your online marketing objectives.
We spend a good deal of money and effort trying to drive people to our website, but what is the goal? Leads! We want them to call us, send us an email, or fill out an online form. In web marketing, we call that a conversion.
Chat is appealing to web users because:
• It’s easy and quick.
• You won’t be put on hold.
• It doesn’t feel like it’s going to be “sales-y.”
• You don’t have to search the site to find what you’re looking for.
2 Ways to Employ Chat on Your Website
1. Install a chat widget on your website and software on your CSR’s computers. Once they are trained on how to use it, it’s fairly simple for them to answer your customers’ questions.
• Inexpensive.
• Your own CSRs are probably good at handling customer concerns and questions.
• Your chat is limited to office hours.
• It must be constantly manned to be effective.
• Your CSRs may not be any better at getting leads through chat than they are when they are on the phone.
2. Use a Chat-Lead service.
In this case you are outsourcing your chat to trained representatives whose sole objective is to get contact information from the user so that you can follow up with a sales call, or have them patched through for immediate assistance.
• You will be able to generate more legitimate leads from your website and you pay for the service by the lead… usually about $10-$16 each. ROI is easily measured!
• The service extends beyond your normal office hours so people feel their questions are being handled.
• There is no new burden on your office staff.
• There is an expense, so it should be considered in your marketing budget.
• Complex or business-specific questions cannot be immediately answered and the customer will generally require a call back.
If you’d like to learn more about how to generate more business from your website using chat, feel free to give me a call!