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[DMX 2014] The secret to getting your website to stand out from the rest

Your business is missing out on key conversions if you don't have a contact form showing on every single web page, says Leon Lategan, CEO of LeonLategan.co.za at the DMX Conference.
Lategan spoke of website optimisation at the 2014 DMX Conference. He started by showing attendees what to do to get the best out of their website and 'taking our minds out of the sky' where we were dreaming about what Wagner had discussed earlier.

Leon Lategan proving a point at the DMX Conference
To solidify the concept of 'conversion', Lategan said he would give anyone in the audience R100 in exchange for a R10 note. Understandably, response was hesitant as the deal seemed too good to be true. But Lategan got a 100% conversion rate by asking the audience to raise their hands - we all did. The reason? There was less risk in doing so, even though we actually got nothing for it.

The basic terms of website conversion and why Google Analytics is your business' best friend


Lategan says not to confuse the terms 'search engine optimisation' or SEO with website optimisation. SEO is about getting your content to appear higher in the Google ranking, while website optimisation is the Holy Grail of converting casual website visitors into engaged, loyal readers. He added that conversion optimisation is the global term.

All businesses running a website - and which business doesn't have a website element these days - need to investigate whether the visitors to their site actually convert into paying customers. The resulting figure is likely to shock you, as two to three percent is the average worldwide. So making use of Google Analytics is essential, as it's free and will help you to understand how many people actually arrive at your website and how many of these then become customers.

But Lategan put a spanner in the works by saying it's not important to spend money getting more traffic to your site - rather simply focus on convert your existing visitors into customers. He then demonstrated a few examples of A/B website wording to show which was more appealing to potential customers in order to dispel common myths if what we think works online.

In summary this included focusing on the 'what's in it for me' angle for the customer, and making your business value proposition so clear that clients see this wording when they visit your site instead of the standard 'welcome' or 'about us' page that states how long the company's been in existence and that it's a leading manufacturer - like all its competitors. Instead, Lategan says "Tell me what you can do for me, in just one line. Catch my attention as I arrive at your site by saying what you do and what I can get out of it."

Don't expect the customer to go through a maze of clicking to find what they're looking for


In doing so, the potential customer is more likely to understand points of parity in terms of what you offer, what your competitors are offering and what makes your offering unique, even if your competitor offers the same thing. You need to put it out there as chances are your competitors are not doing so. Remember to be specific. Lategan referenced the book Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug, which was also mentioned recently on Bizcommunity by Joseph Neusu in describing the 'aboutness' of websites.

Other advice from Lategan includes the importance of literally clicking on every single link included on your website to make sure they all work correctly. It's also a good idea to check the performance of your website through Google PageSpeed Insights, which exists to help developers make web pages fast across all devices. That's because mobile is critical these days. If your website is not responsive, you're losing 50% of your potential clients. But Lategan says not to panic and see this as a huge expense, as you can build an effective mobile site for free, as long as your contact details are on there and you keep it simple by using the words we use all the time.

"Make sure your business website is mobile-ready or you're losing business today," warned Lategan. He said to simply type your web address into the mobile website testing site DeviceAnywhere.com or search for Google's mobile-friendly test.

Contact forms are all important, put them everywhere, advises Lategan. © Catalin Pop – 123RF.com
Lastly, Lategan says to put an enquiry or contact form on every single page of your website. Don't expect your visitors to visit a contact page or link on the side of the content you feature. Add it below the main content on the page, as this is where the eye goes naturally.

In closing, Lategan said not to act as a one-man database. You probably love the website you've put together but remember that it's not about you. Check with people who haven't seen it before to get their opinion. If they get confused and ask where they need to click, you have a problem. It's that simple.

Clicktale.com and Mouseflow.com give really good data on your website in terms of where people are looking, and remember that you need to optimise a page to make money. You'll only know what your potential customers truly think by looking at your analytics.

About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com and one of our Lifestyle contributors. She loves milkshakes, word play and alliteration, and can be reached at .
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