Skeptical about website leads?
Maybe you’re like most small businesses: you realize that word-of-mouth is your biggest growth factor. (Source: CNBC/Surveymonkey)
Referrals are your main source of new leads and customers.
So if your growth is being driven by referral, why bother investing in a website?
Because a website is a logical and convenient way to engage with prospective customers, and to convert them from prospect into buyer. In this post, we’re going to break down 4 ways that a small business website can be an essential tool for referral-based business.
#1: Websites Help Customers Find You
Let’s say you have a loyal and engaged customer base: the cornerstone for any good referral-based business. You ask for referrals and they deliver. They talk about you and your company to their friends, and they recommend you highly.
The question is… where are they sending that referral traffic?
Do they walk around with a stack of business cards in their back pocket, just waiting for that referral opportunity? Do they have your phone number memorized, ready to drop at a moment’s notice?
Probably not. What they will do is recommend your company name, and leave it up to the referred party to find you on their own. So be sure to make that easy to do!
It’s crucial for your business to have a digital home base. As we discussed in our post on professional websites for the self-employed, most people today don’t reach for the phone book to look up a business they’ve heard of- they Google it. And, to be Googled, you need a website. Simple as that.
So have a digital storefront that is easy to locate. Have a home court advantage for when interested referrals are looking for you!
#2: Websites Tell Your Story
A referral is a valuable thing. These are folks who have been introduced to you through a trusted voice. They are coming to you at from a place of interest, which means you are already starting with a huge advantage.
But that doesn’t mean that they’ll buy from you. Yet. The ice is broken, you have their interest- now it’s time to show them who you are as a company and why you’re the best business to work with. To do that, you need to tell your story.
- Show off your portfolio.
- Keep a business blog with consistent and quality content, related to your area of expertise.
- Talk about your values.
- Have engaging photos & videos of your location or your process.
- Display more testimonials from satisfied customers.
When prospects and referrals come to your digital storefront, make the experience an accurate and welcoming reflection of what it’s like to do business with y
#3: Websites Are A Place For Offers & Incentives
If your referring customer base isn’t walking around with a stack of your business cards in their back pocket, they probably don’t have a sheet of coupons in their wallet, either.
Want to offer a discount on their first order? Provide an incentive for signing up for your newsletter? Maybe offer a value-based lead magnet that walks them through the buying process for your industry?
You need a place to offer those, that’s both easy to find and consistent. Social media content can be overbearing, and it changes every day. And you can’t count on a referral to walk in and grab a brochure from your reception desk.
A small business website allows you to provide offers to referrals in a way that is compelling, and easy for them to encounter and engage with on their terms.
#4: Websites Convert Interest Into Decision
For the referral-based business, a customer recommendation is worth its weight in gold. It’s a foot in the door for growth.
But the goal isn’t to get more traffic. The goal is to get more satisfied customers. Who can then go on to recommend your business to others.
So how do you convert interest into a buying decision?
In terms of ways to engage with customers, websites are versatile. They can inform and educate, to provide clarification to prospects who are showing interest, which we’ve talked about above.
They can also convert that interest into engagement. How?
Informative site pages lead prospects to landing pages. Landing pages are designed to convert interest into action.
Do you want prospects and referrals to come to your physical location? To make a purchase from your online store? To sign up for your newsletter? Or maybe just call you or send you a message for an estimate or consultation?
Landing pages can accomplish all of these, and more. And they can keep track of customer information to help you keep better track of your lead!
Do you have a website? Does it tell your story? Can customers find your business and your offers? Can you convert prospects into happy customers?
Sign up for a free consultation. You’ll meet with a Pro to discuss opportunities to grow your referral business with a well-designed and optimized business website.