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Struggling to Gain Customers Online? Your Website May Be to Blame. Here's How to Fix It. Getting people to visit your website is hard. Converting them into leads and customers is even harder. These five tips will make sure your hard work is paying off.

By Todd Stansfield Edited by Kara McIntyre

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The average conversion rate of a website today is just 2.35% — yet those among the top 10% achieve nearly five times this number.

The term "conversion" is marketing speak for getting your prospect to complete the desired action: signing up for a demo, buying a product, subscribing to your service, etc. If you're struggling to achieve high, consistent and reliable conversions, your website may be the reason. It may lack the key elements that distinguish the best-converting sites from the average ones.

Here are five tips to increase conversions for your website.

Related: 3 Ways to Improve Conversions on Your Website

1. Appeal to your website visitors immediately

The purpose of a website is to sell your visitor on the promise of transformation — the end of a thorny problem or the realization of their dream state. That promise starts at the hero section, the top of your webpage and the first thing a visitor sees when landing on your site.

The hero section should capture your visitor's attention and stimulate their interest to read more. It should tease a problem or dream state, rather than provide visitors with a complete thought.

Three general kinds of heroes exist:

  • Value proposition hero. Describes the value created by the solution.
  • Problem-based hero. Describes the problem state that the reader is facing.
  • Dreamstate hero. Describes the ideal state your reader desires to reach.

A hero consists of:

  1. Headline: The title of your hero, which appears in large font.
  2. Body copy: In smaller font than your headline, this appears directly below it and provides further explanation of support.
  3. CTA: Whether a button or link (or both), this enables users to take action without needing to scroll down the page.
  4. Image: Graphic or vector that appears at the top of the page that reinforces other hero elements.

To write your hero:

  • Choose your hero type. This should be based on the type of page you're creating, your goals and what you know about your website visitors.
  • Tease what you want to convey. Create a desire in the reader to consume more of your page.

Related: 4 Ways to Get Visitors to Stay on Your Website Longer

2. Establish your credibility

Your readers don't buy opinions — they buy results. So when it comes to your webpage, they want you to back up your claims with proof.

Proof bars, which are sections of your website providing third-party validation for your product, service or company, are crucial vehicles to earn the trust and confidence of your web page visitors. They demonstrate your ability to deliver on what you promise.

The three general types of proof bars include:

  • Client logos. A collection of logos that represent the reader's peers.
  • Testimonials. Quotes from clients, partners or influencers that offer support for your hero section, and come from a source that your reader knows and respects.
  • Ratings. Reviews by respected independent third parties of your company, product or service.

To create your proof bar:

  1. Inventory your proof. Find what proof you can use to support your promise of transformation.
  2. Get approval. Seek formal, written approval before using a client logo or testimonial to avoid future headaches.

Related: How Customer Testimonials Can be the Best Marketing Tool

3. Show how your product or service works

Your prospects want to know the answer to the question, "How do I get from Point A to Point B?" In other words, they want a process section, which showcases the features and benefits of your solution or a process map that highlights their journey of transformation.

The process section focuses on solving the problem state or dream state established in the hero section and tells readers how they experience the transformation.

To develop the process section:

  1. Focus on outcomes, specifications and benefits. Identify the most important features of your solution. Then use each to discuss its outcome and benefits. The outcome should answer, "What do I get from this feature?" Specifications should list the features that drive the outcome. Benefits should answer, "How does this make my life better?"
  2. Rinse and repeat. Repeat Step 2 for each feature you identified in Step 1.

4. Address your visitors' anxieties

By selling a solution, you're asking your reader to give up something in their life. This may be an existing solution or the absence of one. Whatever the case, your reader must make a leap and this elicits an emotional response.

The "leap" section of your website should neutralize the perceived financial, emotional, social or psychological costs of adopting your solution while establishing the true costs of sticking with the status quo.

To develop the leap section:

  1. Refer to your research. Use your research about your buyer persona to understand their frame of mind when visiting your page. Document this information and prepare to use it.
  2. Address the costs. Use the information in Step #1 to neutralize negative emotions, reinforce the ultimate dream state or solve the challenges of making the leap.

Related: How Emotions Drive Our Shopping Behavior

5. Make your value proposition undeniable

No page is complete without a compelling close. After deploying the four tips explored previously, you finish by selling your visitor on the promise of transformation and the pathway to reaching it.

This "close" section once again presents your value proposition and calls your prospect to action. Yet it may include other elements such as information on pricing, summaries of features, etc. Choose whatever you need to remove the barriers that keep your prospect from saying, "yes."

Related: Most Effective Ways to Turn Your Website Visitors Into Subscribers

Bringing it all together

Converting web traffic is difficult work, yet you can improve your chances by focusing on these five essential tips championed by high-performing websites.

A 2-3% percent conversion rate for your web traffic is not bad, but you can do better. Just follow the formula described above, trust the process and buy into your own journey of transformation.

Todd Stansfield

Content Marketing Manager

Todd Stansfield is an accomplished ghostwriter and content marketer with more than 10 years of experience helping B2B and B2C brands. He earned a master of fine arts in creative writing from the City College of New York and a certificate in publishing from New York University.

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