Increasing website conversions (enquiries & new contacts)
In late 2018 we were given the opportunity to redesign the Genius Homes website. Their original website had served them well for several years but there was definitely room to present the business in a more modern light to meet their exemplary offering. We were lucky enough to work on other elements of their marketing for over a year before the redesign, so we had a lot of baseline data to work with. The site as a whole was doing OK. However, the Genius Homes team thought it could be working harder for them.
The image above shows the above-the-fold aspect of the homepage. This would be the part a visitor sees as soon as the site loads.
The mid-section would be delivered on the first full-screen scroll.
The third image contains the footer elements.
We identified a couple of key aspects that could be affecting a visitor's ability to learn more about Genius Homes and set about addressing a very specific brief - making the website work harder for their business. The sales team were keen for more, quality leads, and the brief contained the need to offer information and plenty of opportunities for ready prospects to discuss their options with a specialist.
One of the areas we identified as a potential area for improvement was the plethora of CTAs (Calls To Action), the two header menus, and a design that wasn't using its full potential to sell the uniqueness of the awesome team at Genius Homes on the old site. We had a great company before us, was the website telling the world how brilliant they are?
What was the problem?
Genius Homes had good website traffic, and a few other smaller changes to the website had meant that quote requests were slowly increasing. However, the housing market is very competitive and potential customers are looking to work with someone they trust. For such an emotive, and high-value purchase, we needed to ensure the website built trust and confidence Genius Homes could deliver. Prefab homes are growing in popularity in New Zealand and as competition and awareness increases Genius Homes needed to be at the forefront of this growth.
The site needed to convey the excellent reputation Genius Homes has, and the happy customers they have all over the South Island of New Zealand.
Increasing the conversion rate would capitalise on their great search rankings and high quality traffic, by creating more opportunities to begin sales conversations with the right prospects. Vanguard 86 were asked to deploy inbound marketing practises, and the HubSpot platform, to deliver exceptional business growth.
What was the solution?
The solution involved several new focuses, including:
- Giving clear direction on actions to be taken
- Creating a design that conveyed modernity and innovation
- Building trust with potential customers
- Utilising the HubSpot CMS to its full potential
The new design delivered on the above, with a refreshed homepage design that ticked all the boxes. We changed the layout, helped it tell a story and began treating it as a silent salesperson.
The new home page (above the fold)
Above-the-fold we added a hero video playing in the background that showed Genius Homes delivering houses. We wanted to introduce people to prefabrication by showing them, rather than telling them, what it is. We built a main Call To Action (CTA) to download the brochure and refined the menus, giving one a more prominent design. The new design asked 'what is a potential customer looking to do when researching Genius Homes?'. The answer may seem obvious but showing off the homes became a new focus for the website. The CMS made this easy, and the Vidyard integration enables deep analytics on views and video performance.
The middle element gave way to building up trust in the brand, and educating newcomers with content. When people are looking to make a large-ticket purchase they often want to know more about the people they are buying from and hear from people that have bought already. The menu became 'sticky' so the houses could be accessed no matter how far down the page the visitor went. The language was also softened to make it more human and conversational.
As the journey down the page continues, the opportunity to learn more about what Genius Homes does continues too. Educating visitors on all aspects of prefab homes also becomes key, as some visitors may not know of the significant benefits. We added a premium content offer, in the form of a downloadable brochure, to capture prospect details and add them to the HubSpot CRM to enjoy our monthly email marketing efforts. This helps to nurture prospects into leads (helped by a lead-scoring system in the background notifying the sales team of a warm or hot prospect).
Just before the footer, the site offers further education on things like funding - a question that could already be on the minds of a potential customer. Enabling people to sign up for the monthly emails was also an important part of increasing the conversion opportunities of visitors. This CTA leads to the blog, which is also hosted on HubSpot. The benefit of having this linked to the website means greater depth of data in how a contact in the CRM has interacted with website, downloadable content, blog and then contact forms meaning more leads before an enquiry has even been submitted.
Did the website changes yield results?
Yes, and immediately.
Website traffic remained consistent both before and after the change. In the graph below the vertical bars represent website traffic and the horizontal line indicates contact conversion rate.
This contact conversion rate means more individuals entering the CRM, which enables email marketing to nurture these contacts with informational updates and value-added content. As the contacts become more knowledgeable of the products and exceptional service Genius Homes offer, the likelihood of good-quality leads becoming identified increased. The conversion rate for the new website doubled within the space of a month.
This wasn't the only improvement that was seen - the quality of leads increased as 'tyre-kickers' were able to find basic information on blogs and web pages that they would have had to enquire about before.
Marketing automation meant a quote enquiry could be handled by the platform's workflows, giving pricing and plan information to a prospect where a sales support team member had to handle those before. The end result was an increase in opportunities, but a decrease in handling allowing the team to focus on the best opportunities and adding value to their customers.
If you're looking to begin a website redesign project there are a few things worth noting if you are looking to redesign your website in the hopes of similar results.
6 reasons why an optimal website leads to sales
There are a number of dials to consider turning before resorting to a website redesign, or assessing whether one is worth your marketing budget. Many existing websites have lots of untapped potential and a few small-scale changes could make the world of difference.
1 - Website traffic
Many businesses hunt increasing website traffic. This is important but is also one of the most challenging aspects of digital marketing, a good website will help you increase the amount of traffic to your brand.
An optimal website increases traffic and knows what to do with them. A good website has a good Domain Authority, has easy navigation and a clear, focused message. All of these things can help increase your ranking on search engines, which creates a cycle of increasing traffic. This can increase sales because even if these people aren't filling in forms on the website they might be picking up the phone instead.
2 - Conversion rates
Understanding what a conversion is helps identify the changes that would be required to improve these metrics. Enquiries are obviously good but a good sales team will be able to nurture warm leads if they are identified as a good fit for your business. Using forms that feed into your CRM means no manual inputting of data for each brochure download or quote request.
This integration between the front of your business and the inner workings of your lead management and marketing saves time and enables sales people to focus on good quality leads. Consider changing the questions on your forms to ones that give salespeople an indicator of whether someone is worth a phone call.
3 - Content
People need different types of content as they are on different paths to purchasing. People that are close to buying may need brochures, plans or price lists. But what about people earlier in the education process? Guides, checklists and comparison infographics can also add value to their experience with your brand.
60% of buyers want to connect with sales during the consideration stage, after they've researched the options and come up with a short list. It's important you have content on your website that helps them research their options, and positions you as one of the solution providers.
4 - Lead generation
The forms you use for people to access the research content needs to be balanced to the value of the content requested. The form is a transactional gateway - how much personal information will someone give for the knowledge and insights you offer them? On the other side - what is the information needed to identify a good quality lead for sales.
An optimal website is likely going to use progressive form fields. These forms change questions so that if a contact has already answered a type of question a new one is presented. This is perfect if you have multiple conversion points on your website and use them to build a picture of a prospect.
5 - Lead identification
With the right software you can use explicit data (the information given on forms) and implicit data (data gathered from behaviour) to identify a good lead.
This is important as website enquiries are very good leads but there may be people in the research process who could become a customer before they've submitted an enquiry. Measuring how many emails they've opened, how many blog articles they've read and how much content they've downloaded may present you with the perfect customer, before they are reaching out to a competitor.
6 - Lead nurturing
Once a contact is in the CRM they may be far away from being a qualified lead for sales. These people will need nurturing, and this is done through effective content and email marketing. Segmenting them into interests based on the content they interact with enables you to only send them valuable information and not spam them with sales promotions.
In summary a website can be your greatest asset, or it can be acting like a leaky sieve and turning people off your brand. But the website is only one piece of the puzzle, and without the before stages (SEO and advertising) and latter stages (email, CRM and sales) working in harmony your online lead generation results will be significantly reduced.
Delivering a great website is partly about design and technical optimisation, but it's also about understanding the customer. If you don't give them what they want then they will find someone that does. You may have the best product, service or team in the industry but if people can't discover that before they sit down with a sales person then you may as well have the worst.
In marketing it's not the best business that always leads the field, it's the best at communicating that they're the best.
words by Thomas Emmerson