It’s inevitable that at some point in your life you’ve done the Hokey Pokey—most likely when you were a kid. It didn’t matter if you knew how to dance or if you had ever even heard the song before. All you had to do was listen to the very clear instructions and do exactly what you were told to do. No thinking, just fun!
Well, it’s time you started to use the Hokey Pokey principle in your business. Take a lesson from this simple song and you can give your website visitors this same experience and in the process start generating more leads and making more sales.
No, I am not talking about telling them to “shake it all about.” I am talking about making sure your website clearly conveys to visitors the actions they should be taking. You need to be giving them clear instruction on what you want them to do.
For instance, an author friend of mine recently released a new book. I went to his website to check it out and was amazed at what I saw. There was no place to click and purchase his book ANYWHERE. I looked and read and clicked around . . . and read some more . . . and finally realized that in order for me to get more information about the book, I would have to fill out the contact form. Seriously? Wow. How many people do you think will put up with that sort of nonsense? If you’re selling a product on your website then you should have a clear call to action for customers who are ready to give you money!
Here is a quick experiment for you.
Go to your website right now…
- How many steps does it take to book an appointment or make an inquiry?
- Is your call to action (i.e.; book appointment, contact us, click here , etc) well defined and clearly understood by visitors?
- Are there any simple changes you can make right now to improve your process?
You see, when someone hits your website, there isn’t a lot of time. The current thinking about website user experience is that you have 7 seconds to capture the visitor’s attention before they click off your site. With this thinking in mind, you need to make sure your website is ready to take people where you want them to go and make the process of doing business with you as easy as possible.
One of the worst mistakes a business owner or marketer can make is falling into the website brochure trap. This trap is when you create and develop a website that is nothing more than an online brochure. It may contain a lot of words and pictures, but no real call to action. Most of these brochure websites have a “contact us” link—usually in the website navigation (where people don’t notice it) and include simple contact information such as the address, phone number, and contact email address.
If you are selling something, SELL IT! Don’t just talk about it. Design a process that is clear and easy to understand from the user perspective. While the “contact us” link seems easy, it uses passive communication to elicit a result that people are not motivated to provide you. It’s your job to be very direct about what you want, where they should click, and what actions they should be taking.
Go to your website—right now—and take the steps necessary to click through and purchase your product or make an inquiry. Really dig into your process and think of anything you can do to make improvements. In addition, select a small group of targeted contacts and ask them to visit your site, test out your process and send back any ideas for improvement. Make sure these people are committed to providing real feedback (not just friends). Providing incentives, like a discount offer on products or services, can help motivate people to take the time and give you some valuable comments.
Remember, marketing is about designing a process to create a desired result. In order to know you’re effective, you need to analyze the behavioral patterns within the process, request and review feedback from customers, and make the necessary improvements to increase your conversions. This complexity remains behind the scenes. For your customers, the process should be as clear and simple as doing the Hokey Pokey.