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You Have a Website, Now What? Lessons to Optimize and Maximize Response
Session recap: You Have a Website, Now What? Lessons to Optimize and Maximize Response
In this session, Becca Searns (Director of Creative Services) and Victoria Kenward (Co-CEO) discuss how to optimize your staffing website to build an effective sales funnel. Capture attention and drive action – get employers to place job orders and job seekers to apply.
Becca, are you with me? I think this is the very first mother-daughter summit presentation ever. We’re going to go with that. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but we’re going to go with that.
Don’t forget international.
And international. I was just going to ask, where in the world is Becca today?
I am calling in from Valencia, Spain.
Where were you yesterday or the day before?
I was in Morocco in Portugal.
Yeah. This is a crazy life she lives. Becca, where are you going tomorrow?
I’m going to Beza tomorrow.
If you’re not a little jealous right now, you probably should be. This is the life of a digital nomad. If you don’t know Becca, she heads up our creative team. She joined me for this session because I don’t know much about websites, and she knows a lot. We have 20 minutes. That’s all David allowed us. We want you to come away with some actionable takeaways.
You Have a Website. Now What?
Think about how much you invested in your website. It’s probably a large number. Brad Smith mentioned earlier in his talk that your website is the hub of your marketing. If you’re thinking about that hub and how much you spent on it, think about the investment you are making with your marketing to drive people to that website.
As Art mentioned, the website’s a tool in your marketing strategy. I think Brad, Prudence and Stephanie, were talking about how they drive traffic to your site with digital marketing, SEO, and PPC. You might also be doing integrated direct or email marketing, but all of those efforts drive people to your website. What happens when they get there, and you’ve made all that big investment?
They land on your site. Then what? The whole point of that site is that you need to maximize your return and get visitors to convert to leads and prospects.
Does Your Website Convert?
You want your visitors to take some sort of action on your website. For most staffing companies, this means getting clients to complete a form or getting job seekers to complete an application. In the end, you want to get them through to a thank you page so that you can capture their information to continue to market to them.
Before you can do that, do you know why people come to your website? Do you know what their problems are? Do you know the solutions they’re looking for? What are their goals? Why are they coming to your site? What are they trying to achieve? At the end of the day, visitors are on your website because they need help, but you need to know who they are to understand what they need.
Take a look at your current customers and find out who your target audience is. Are you targeting job seekers? Are you targeting employers, current employees, clients, partners, and vendors coming to your website? Then think about what their questions or needs, or problems might be. Why are those people coming to your website, and how can you solve those problems?
They’re on your site because they have questions. They have needs or a problem, and you need to answer. They come to your site, and you have about five seconds and probably not even that much for them to understand what you do and who you are. When they get to your site, you want quick answers. What does this company do? How do they do it? Can they do it for me? Have they done it for people like me? Can I prove that? Am I in the right place? These are the questions that are going through their head.
The next question is how much does it cost, and how do you compare to others? It’s about what’s in the visitor’s mind. It’s not what you want to sell. It’s what they want to buy. If you have more questions about that or want to dive deeper into those questions and answers, I recommend a book by Marcus Sheridan. I think somebody mentioned it earlier, maybe Brad. It’s called They Ask You Answer.
Start With Your Value Proposition
Clearly state how you can solve that problem and make that headline the first thing they see within a second or two. Every single, and I’m sorry, and then every single time you do that, you want to prove, you’ve got to provide proof. You’ve got to build credibility and trust.
As a visitor is scrolling down your page, you’re building more and more trust by providing evidence and proof. Don’t just make a marketing statement. You need to provide evidence. That can look like a testimonial. It can look like a case study or some social media sharing you’ve got out there. Some certifications, press mentions.
Somebody mentioned earlier, the Inc 5,000. If you’re on that list, put it on your site. User-generated content is powerful. See if you can get somebody you recently placed your job to make a video testimonial. Maybe a client can talk about how you strategically have staffed for them. Then think about where your testimonials go. You want to put those on your most popular pages. Put them on your homepage and other places where your site performs well. You want to make sure you’re placing the testimonial that answers the question you’re answering.
If a client has a question, or a prospect or visitor on your site has a question, put the evidence there so that somebody else is giving the proof, not just you. What you say is marketing. What they say is proof. Every page must have a purpose on your site. You must know that purpose and where it fits in your marketing funnel. Every purpose must lead a visitor to a specific action.
What is the Purpose of Your Site?
When you’re thinking about the purpose of your site, here are a few questions to ask yourself while you’re looking at each page. What is the purpose of that page; what questions does that page answer? What action do you want the visitor to take? Do you have a specific place you want to drive them to on that page? Where do you want to take them? On the visitor’s side, are you addressing their concerns? They might have some questions or concerns about working with you. Are you addressing that on the page?
Are you providing that evidence and social proof that Vicki just talked about to build that trust with those visitors, their job seekers, or employers, and then are you making it easy to take action? The easier you can make it to take action, the more likely you will be able to get somebody to convert. You want to make your website about the visitor, solve their problems, and make your content useful.
Now I can go forward. The goal is to bring someone from a traffic source to your website and then to a thank you page. That sounds a little odd, but that’s our goal here. We’re trying to convert. We need to understand their journey from awareness to lead, to drive conversions and know that where every page on your site has a piece in the journey, it will facilitate that journey.
Usually, somebody comes to you through a blog post because they’re searching for something. They’re looking for information. That’s going to give them awareness. Then maybe they move to a service page. They want to know what you do. They’re starting to show interest at that point. Then maybe they go over to your About page.
Why do you do what you do? Who are you, and why are you doing that? You’re going to build trust on this page. Then ideally, we’re going to get them to click a CTA and go to the contact page. It’s going to be simple and short form. That’s how we get them to keep in touch with us. That could also be a chatbot or something like that. The contact page is just a way to get in touch. Then ultimately, they hit that thank you page. You’ve got a conversion, a new lead, and you should use that thank you page to continue that dialogue.
How do You Make that Conversion Happen?
That’s important. The conversion is the action. Just keep that in mind. We need people to take action. It’s not enough just to come to your website and read. We want them to fill out a form. We want them to do what is next in that journey. We need to know what it is on this page and what we want them to do. Then we want to remove all the friction around that. We’re going to use CX, and Bec will talk a little bit about that in a little bit to make it obvious. What do I do next?
I think Matt mentioned this earlier. You’re going to walk through your site as a job seeker. Are you making it easy to apply? Go ahead and test it yourself. Walk through as a prospect. Is it easy to figure out what you do? Is it easy to get the information you need and take the first action?
On mobile, include a sticky bottom screen with calls-to-action like “search jobs” or “call now” that are immediately available for those quick conversations. Bec, you have more examples?
“Click Here For More Information” is not specific enough; you want your CTAs (calls-to-action) to be more descriptive. “Contact Us To Get Started,” “Download Our Sample Onboarding Plan,” or “Sign Up For Our Webinar Or Video,” for example. Most staffing firms have two core audiences. For job seekers, create specific calls to action specifically for them – “Apply Now,” “Submit Your Resume,” “Save A Job Search,” “Create Customized Job Alerts,” or “Refer A Friend.” For your clients, “see our services” or “request talent,” You want to target each specific audience with CTAs.
It’s not always about going right for the sale. You want to build trust that you’re able to help them solve their problem and meet their needs. They might be in a different part of the marketing funnel. Maybe they’re not quite ready to fill out a form. Send them to a resource that could help them or answer their questions. Make sure that you’re targeting them with the right point and not trying to push too much, but also directing them where you want them to go and to the resources that they are looking for.
After that, you want to know if this is all working. You’ve done all this work on your CTAs. How do you know it’s working?
Prudence and Art both mentioned this topic in their presentations earlier. It’s about testing, measuring and adjusting. Test, improve, repeat. Test, improve, repeat.
Use Data to See What Pages are Converting
Look at analytics, look at heat maps to see how visitors might be interacting with your website. I’ll talk a bit more about that in the next section because we did an interesting short experiment with heat tracking on one of our websites to see how people interacted with the site.
Look at which pages people are staying on the longest versus the ones people are just not engaging with or staying on. What’s the difference between the two? Is there awesome copy on that one page and people keep looking at that, but on the other one, they can’t quite figure out what they’re doing, so they’re not staying on that page.
The CTAs might not be strong enough on a page where they’re not clicking through. It could be the design of the page. Maybe that low-performing page is just lackluster and does nothing to draw people in. The high-performing page may have an awesome design or something that keeps drawing people in. Compare the two and see how you can improve those low-performing pages.
Can you show us some UX and some design? That’s your job and your forte.
Make UX (User Experience) a Priority
UX is one of my favorite things to talk about. This is the landing page for our Smart Ideas Summit 2. There are just a couple of little things that I want to highlight on this page, just to get you thinking about your own websites, little things that you can do. This is a landing page, and something as simple as putting a sticky nav on this page can make sure that people have different actions they can take right away.
You get to that page, and you already know the date, and the time, and can register right away. There’s a button in the header. The nav will take you down to the speakers. If you want to see the speakers or the agenda before you decide to register, all that information is right there for you at the top of the page, easy access, very few barriers for somebody to interact with the page.
A little bit further down the page, we’re continuing to provide those two different CTAs. Maybe somebody’s ready to register now. Here’s a button for you to register now. Maybe you’re not quite ready, and you want to see what all the talks are. We’ll take you down to the agenda and then also reiterate that it’s free and put that kind of as a call out, oh, hey, this is a cool event I want to attend, and I don’t have to pay for it.
Put Essential Information Front and Center
Remove barriers; make it easy for whoever lands on the site to figure out that information. Then at the very bottom, we made sure that we included some social proof, and some testimonials from our last event to make sure we can build some of that credibility.
We’re guiding the person on that page to ensure that they’re taking the journey we want them to take and getting the information they need as they scroll down that page so that they’ll take action.
This is another one of our landing pages. It’s for a staffing website performance review. That first picture you see at the top of your screen, where it says staffing website, performance review. All of that information there is above the fold of the page. We’re quickly getting a headline. This is what this page is for.
Address Specific Pain Points
You’re addressing the pain points of whoever’s coming to the sale. They’re losing candidates and clients. What can we do with their website to make it better? Then there’s a CTA that’ll bring you right to the form so that you can get your website review. Then a little bit of fun factor. We added this slider element that would let you see old sites versus the new sites.
People like those little interactive elements. I’ll talk about this a little more on the next slide, but we notice that people like to play with those elements. Those little moments of delight that you can add to your website are what keep people on your site longer. Also, on this page, you see simple forms and we also added some proof. Instead of using testimonials on this one, we say we’ve been building staffing and recruiting sites for 19 years and we’ve built more than 1200 sites. There’s just a little bit of proof and a few numbers to back up the other data we put on that page.
That’s awesome. That’s a lot of websites. All right. This one is an example of a website that we might have built.
This is our Eldorado site. This is the site I was talking about where we put some heat tracking on it to see what people did on the page. Most people did not scroll very far down the page. They mostly stayed in that first header section, which is the image that you can see with hiring made easy. Right in that section, we’ve got the title, got a little subheader with some more descriptive words and then two CTAs for those two different target audiences, one for job seekers and one for employers.
Then on the other side of the page, this is the piece that stood out to me when we were doing this. Along with the heat tracking, we did some mouse tracking to see where people clicked and where people spent the most amount of time. They loved this little toggle switch. We kept seeing where people who were just playing with the toggle switch to see how it worked. It was an awesome insight into something that we can then apply to other sites we’re building, to create those little interactive elements.
Make CTAs Specific
Also, within that element, there are CTAs directed at each of the target audiences, and there are CTAs for people who are ready to apply for a job, are ready to commit a job order and request talent, but also for people who aren’t quite ready and want to read through the services or get a little more information before moving forward.
We use this information to determine how we build the next site. We’re using all this data that we collect in our builds for when we build the next website. You can also use it for updating your current site and making it work better. That’s what this is all about. We promised you some actionable takeaways. We’re going to do just a rapid-fire, and go through what we can do to increase conversion. These are changes you could make right away to your existing website to make it work better for you and to maximize your return. Are you ready, Becca? Do you want to take the first one?
Answer Visitor Questions
Know your visitors and make sure your website answers their questions. We talked a little bit about this before, or we talked a lot about this in this presentation but take a look at your site now. Who are your visitors? Why are they coming to your site? Use blog posts or other resources to address their concerns and make sure you’re adding relevant information into your site.
Check your nav. Is it easy to find what your visitor needs? That navigation bar is the second thing they’ll look at when they come to your page. They’ll see your headline first. Then they’ll maybe over your here image or whatever your top of your site. Then they look at the nav. Are you making it easy? Are you adding keywords in your nav to help explain what your company does? That’s an area where a lot of times, we use standard nav. About us or something, but it could be about my staffing company, about something more and you can actually use that in your keywords.
They see a question about H1s and H2s, and if it’s relevant in Google, yeah. Use those keywords in your nav and use them in your headers as well.
Back Up Your Claims
Yeah. We’re just going to nail this point home, make sure that you’re building trust and credibility by adding evidence in social proof. Did you know that roughly 89% of customers won’t take action without reading a review? Social proof is incredibly important, and you could highlight portions of the testimonials. You don’t necessarily have to use the whole thing. Use the most important piece. Include pictures, videos, names, company, and logo if you can, anything that you can do to continue building that social proof and that credibility will create trust.
If you set your website up once and just use those same testimonials and so not add more, you’re losing out on an opportunity to continue to add credibility.
Make CTAs Clear and Easy to Find
Another one we’re trying to hit multiple times because we know that sometimes it takes seven times for you to understand and hear something. Again, your CTAs need to use keywords. They need to be easy to find. You need to have a clear purpose for every single page and use those CTAs to drive that journey.
Re-Assess Your Firms
Vicki mentioned this briefly but take a look at your forms. Are you only asking for the necessary information? People are more likely to fill out the forms if they’re short, easy and concise. The more fields required, the more likely people are to leave and not fill out the form. More barriers to actually get them through to that thank you page. Look at your field to see if there are things you can remove. See if there are things that don’t necessarily need to be required. Make it as easy as possible for those people to fill out forms.
Check the analytics on your forms to make sure people aren’t dropping off. If people are dropping off from a form page, that form’s probably too long.
Compare your Best Performing Pages
I think Becca mentioned this a little bit. Compare your best-performing and least-converting pages. Not only to improve your least-converting pages but also to drive more traffic to the better-performing pages. If a page already performs, use that to your advantage. Send more traffic there. Maybe with a social media campaign, or maybe you mention it in an email marketing campaign, but you can drive people there because you know that page will perform for you.
Increase Conversions with an Offer
A great way to increase conversions is to use downloadable resources, white papers, case studies, how-to guides, eBooks. You can put these on a landing page and promote them, put them behind a form so once they get to that thank you page, they can download the resource, but they’re filling out a form ahead of time and you are getting that lead. It’s a great way to drive home resources, but also gives your clients and your job seekers a little bit more information that may answer some questions they may have.
This one, I have a love/hate relationship with. I’m not a huge fan of bouncy fly-ins and things popping up in front of me, but that said, they work. You should use them sparingly. Fly-ins can be a great way to encourage a visitor to take a specific action to collect email addresses or go to a landing page.
You should know that email marketing is still a cost-effective solution. You need to get those email addresses. It’s a channel with a higher median ROI than social media and postal mail. Think about that.
Add a chatbot for real-time conversations, conversational UI is a great way to get people to engage with your website. People want to feel like they’re talking to a human being and not just looking at a website. Art mentioned this earlier. He was talking a lot about AI. AI chatbots are a great opportunity for you to add this onto your site, add some conversation for your visitors, but you can use an AI instead of having to have somebody staff it.
That’s a good alternative, and they’re coming along pretty quickly. It shouldn’t stop when you have the lead. I know you’ve heard this multiple times in other presentations but use marketing automation to nurture those leads and turn them into prospects.
Retarget Visitors Who Leave
All right, last one. Only 2% of visitors usually convert on the first visit. You want to find a way to get back and bring back that other 90% of people. Retargeting is an awesome way to do that. You can keep your business in front of them and continue to drive them back to your website and hopefully get those people to convert as well.
All right, you can take a quick screenshot if you want to. Those are our actionable items that you can do starting immediately. Then I’m going to move forward. Final words, just remember your website is not set it and forget it. It should be regularly updated to ensure that it meets your visitors’ needs and provides a conversion path that works. Checking your analytics, and adding blog posts, testimonials, and case studies. That should be an ongoing process. Since I’m in Buffalo, not in Spain or where Becca is, go Bills.
Questions and Answers
Thank you both very much. There were some questions that came in. I can answer the one about H1 and H2 tags. I jumped in and asked the earlier presenters because they do the SEO. Prudence had a great answer. H1 and H2 are relevant for hierarchy. The H1 is a bigger headline than an H2. You actually want to follow the right hierarchy for the importance of information, not just because of Google, but also for ADA compliance.
A website will not be compliant if your tags are out of order. Sometimes designers will use an H1 tag because they think it looks nice bigger. That’s not great from an SEO perspective, but coming back to the conversion rate optimization, people need candidates right now. What’s something you’d recommend adding to a staffing site to increase applications?
Integrating your career portal into your website is a fantastic way to do that. Not just linking your career portal from your website but having that job search so people can search jobs right on your website. I think feeds of jobs on your website are also a great way.
You can put your featured jobs right in front of them and get them filled. People are more likely to click on them if they can see them right away and they don’t have to do a ton of digging to try and find those jobs.
The other thing is to remove as many barriers as possible. If you have anything standing in the way of somebody getting to your career portal, try and see if you can remove those barriers and remove those things. Fewer steps are usually a better way to get people to convert, and get them to submit those applications.
Yeah. I had a wakeup call on that one because I was, to have cleaner nav I was recommending to a lot of companies put the search jobs underneath the job seekers page and we found the number of people going to the job board went down when search jobs was not right at the top of the website, either in the main nav or above it. Becca, this one probably goes to you. Is there anything you’d suggest in terms of design that would immediately improve conversions?
Simplify your site. Try to remove as much as you can that’s not needed. Are there things on your site that are just adding extra overhead but don’t add to the story that don’t add any sort of value? Can you remove those things? On the other hand, I talked a little bit about adding that little piece of delight. Are there some places where you can add some sort of interactive element that would engage the user but try and make it some sort of useful element?
Don’t just add it to add it; add it to add some sort of value. In the case of the toggle switch, it allowed us to put both CTAs for job seekers, but also for employers. People like that toggle switch, but it also allowed us to target both audiences at the same time.
I think you can also use your headers and footers and you can use the headlines and subheads to make everything skimmable. People do not read websites like a book. It’s important to be aware of that. On your top pages, you want that to be very skimmable and as you get deeper into your site, then you can work more and more SEO keywords into it and have more text on those pages. You want to get somebody in there in five seconds. Are they in the right place? Answer that question right away.
It’s sort of ironic. Google reads everything, but the humans coming to your website, don’t. They’re skimming for, “what am I looking for? How do I get there?” They’re doing 17 things at once.
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