A Story of How Optimizing Your Site for Conversion Can Increase Lead Flow by over 100%
If you have more money than brains, you should focus on outbound marketing. If you have more brains than money, you should focus on inbound marketing.
FORMER CHIEF EVANGELIST, APPLE!
One of the things I stress to all of the career colleges and trade schools that contact us for help with online marketing is the importance of improving their website before investing any money in driving new traffic to the site. In a previous article about site optimization, I talked about some of the things you can do that will have the biggest impact on increasing your site’s conversions. Today we’re going to use a real life example to illustrate just how big of an improvement these types of changes can make.
Author’s Note: Clearly not all websites have the same issues, or the same organic traffic, so these changes may not bring the same results. However, this should give you a baseline of what could be possible with a little time and effort put into a redesign.
West Michigan CDL has had a web presence for many years, and were not new to many of the online marketing concepts schools use. They had invested time in growing their site through backlinking and content generation, and were even using a local marketing service to assist them in generating additional leads through pay per click advertising.
All of these things are important, but putting them first before taking the time to design a site that converts the valuable traffic generated can (and did) cost a lot in missed revenue opportunities.
Here is a screen shot of their website prior to redesign:
If you’ve read my previous blog post on site optimization, one of the first things that will stand out to you should be the lack of contact form. There are calls to action several times on the page to “Contact Us”, but that’s a call to action for customer service organizations, not sales organizations.
So, the first thing that needed to be changed is to add a contact form on every page with a call to action such as “Request Free Info” or something of the sort.
The next thing to change would be to make better use of the available real estate on the page. Most of the pages had a similarly sized image as the one in the screenshot, taking up nearly a third of the page.
I’m a strong believer in imagery on websites, believing that a few well-placed images can have a dramatic effect on how your site’s content can connect with its readers. However, images need to be organized neatly, and fit in well with the individual page’s content in order to be effective.
Displaying images “inline” with content is usually the best way to integrate them into your message.
The navigation on this site is a great example of trying to categorize your content rather than answer your readers’ questions. While “Employment Partners” is a great summary for a list of companies your school works with, does it answer the reader’s question of “Where will I work after I finish training?”
Making just a few verbiage changes in your navigation can have a tremendous impact on whether or not your visitors will click through to the other pages and eventually request more information.
Lastly, the design in general is good for a sites created 5-8 years ago. However, internet users have been exposed to a higher quality of graphic design over the years, therefore expecting more from the sites they visit. In fact, there is a direct correlation between the quality of your site’s design and the perceived quality of your products or services.
Below is a screenshot of their new site, and some things we changed to improve the performance of the site:
First off, the design was updated along with their logo. You’ll also noticed that contact details such as number and address sit clearly at the top of the page away from other content.
You’ll also notice that the navigation has been given it’s own area away from other content. The page titles in the navigation have been changed, and subtitles were added to the bottom of each tab to help the user identify the content that they are looking for,
There is a contact form on the top of the page, above the fold and neatly organized.
Trust factors have been added to the page in the form of trucking company logos the school works with. This helps the user identify major carriers that trust the school for new employees, in turn helping them trust the school with their training.
You’ll also notice the imagery is smaller, inline with the text and compelling.
These are just a few major changes that can improve your site’s improvement by 100’s of percents. There are many, many more things that can be done to fine tune your site, but none of them will have the kind of impact that some simple redesign and reorganization of content can have on your conversions.
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To learn how the pmc360 approach can help dramatically increase your internet lead generation efforts, please feel free to contact us here, or give us a call at 800-800-9204.