If your business website isn't converting as effectively as you had hoped it would, fault for this may not lie with the usability of your site, the readability of its text or even the relevance of the product or service that you offer. Instead, you may simply be failing to convey your company's value proposition - in other words, why prospective customers should do business with you.
Your firm's value proposition can be defined as the benefits of your product or service, minus the costs - or to put it in terms that the buyer might understand, its pros and cons. The pros obviously need to far outweigh the cons when you are marketing your business's offerings via your website, but here are three ways in which companies can so often get it wrong.
1. Not being clear about what the product or service does
Many products or services, especially those of a more technically complex nature, can be difficult to explain. This makes a more traditional brand marketing approach potentially disastrous, as customers often need plain English explanations that they may be more likely to find on a Wikipedia page for your product or service type than your actual homepage.
Look for signs that customers are struggling to understand what your product or service really does - such as an admission that "I'm still researching" - as many of them are unlikely to directly say, "I don't understand the value proposition."
2. Not mentioning certain valuable benefits
It's easy to forget to refer to all of the extras and other benefits that may apply to your product or service. Sometimes, you may only realise this when a customer provides feedback about a certain aspect of your product or service that they appreciate, but which isn't covered well on your website.
A good tip is to order your product or service yourself - what great things do you notice that aren't mentioned in your online marketing at all? It's also advisable to ask your customers why they purchased your product - they may have certain perspectives that aren't addressed on your site.
3. Not explaining what happens after a sale
Services-oriented companies, in particular, often fail to make clear the post-order experience. It is common in Japan, for example, for companies to use cartoon flowcharts that clearly communicate each stage after the customer says "yes" - including delivery of a product, how the customer may then use it, any subsequent payments that may be made to the company for additional services and so on.
Such a 'future pacing' technique helps the customer to envisage the role that a given product or service will play in their lives, long before they hit the 'order' button.
Methods like the above can make all of the difference to your business website's conversion potential, with great results potentially obtainable from just a few relatively small steps. Good luck!