Let’s get something out of the way: not everyone who visits your website is a potential buyer. You can take a number of steps to ensure that more of the right type of traffic lands on there, but even so, you will still get a large percentage of people who are not necessarily interested in your services. Your role is not to cater to everyone who checks out your website; that would be a waste of time and resources. Instead, try attracting only those who are most likely to use your services. That is your target audience or target market.
To influence your target audience into taking that step, you need to use content marketing and meet their expectations as an online buyer. A lot of that latter part has to do with their psychology and needs. So let’s look into a few points that can help you out.
User Experience and User Interface (UX/UI)
As you land on a webpage, you intuitively know how to navigate it, right? You know that a “Sign In” button would go to the top right corner, a blue and underlined piece of information signifies a link, or that a pop-up should have an “X” that would close it out. This is all part of UX/UI. The user interface makes sure that all the elements needed for your website to work well are present, properly connected, and functioning. A user experience, on the other hand, is reading a visitor’s mind about what they may need to find and where they would go searching for it, as well as guiding them in those directions or making sure new options come along as soon as they need them.
That is UX/UI at the most basic level. However, UI also involves creating an esthetically pleasing design, accentuating different features and important points, and ensuring that whatever input one collects from the user on the website (the frontend part of website development) is properly connected to and stored in databases (the backend part of website development).
But, the aspect that you need to pay most attention to, is your user’s experience. Your site’s beauty and what happens behind the scenes are only the beginning. The ability to navigate, get in touch, and pay with ease, as well as not overwhelming the user with options and information, or providing the appropriate hyperlink at the time he/she may need it… all of these are elements of the user experience and a crucial part of turning your leads into buyers.
The step above explains the most basic elements you need to incorporate into your website. Now we need to go a bit deeper. Understanding what goes on in a user’s mind is important for both your content and user experience. Principles like Hick’s Law, the Ziegarnik Effect, cognitive biases, color psychology, AIDA, and more play an important role in winning a potential buyer over. So you should get familiarized with as many of those as possible.
At the end of the day, your user comes to your website with expectations, prior experiences, judgments, a mindset, a need, preferences, and, possibly, questions. They may or may not have tried a service like yours before. They may be well-versed in your industry or not. They may have purposely arrived there or by accident. They may be forced into looking for services like yours or want to. Whatever their background, you have to take into account all their thoughts and all the principles mentioned above, and then proactively guide your prospects to purchase.
I recommend getting feedback from real users on their experiences with your website to see what blind spots you may have missed. You could create focus groups, pay users to test it, or use specific platforms that help with such endeavors. The exact way you do this is not as important as simply doing it.
The above might get a visitor interested in you but did you know that the percentage of abandoned carts is between 70-95%? As a service provider, you may think that doesn’t relate much to you, but it does. A prospect may change his/her mind just as easily about paying for a service as they do for a product. So your website needs to grab their virtual hand and take them all the way to the finish line.
In order to convert an interested user/prospect into a buyer, you will need to understand the ultimate goals of your current clients and remind your online visitors about them frequently throughout their browsing. Do not think that once they’re looking at a shopping cart it”s game over. You have to continue encouraging and reminding them about the benefits even then. Reassurance, not only in the form of reminders but also in the form of guarantees (e.g. 30 day refund policy, warranties, etc.) can truly make a difference.
A useful field for this, that’s related to psychology, is behavioral economics. It describes additional factors that may influence a prospect and how to address them. These factors are not only related to economics but also to areas like math (e.g. probabilities) or culture. Behavioral economics brings a much bigger picture to your entire business strategy, so it is worth looking into at length.
In the end, your website is one of the main ways to influence a prospective client to buy from you and the most convenient way to make that purchase happen. It definitely isn’t a straight road nor an easy one, but I am here to help out with that.
As long as you pay attention to your UX/UI, as well as understand and attend to both a user and a buyer’s psychology, you will be making progress toward your sales targets. You know the old saying, “every journey begins with the first step.” Just focus on your next step and, before you even know it, you’ll be at the top of the stairs.