Most businesses think of a website's goal as straightforward: you try to attract visitors, and convince them about your brand to help them convert to customers. But any experienced marketer knows that in reality, customer conversions are more complicated.
In fact, referrals play a major part in how and why new customers choose to do business with you. In fact, the New York Times found that 65% of new business comes from referrals. That's probably because of the credibility factor; 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. So how can you use your Website to Increase Client Referrals?
But how can you encourage referrals to maximise conversions? How can it attract and convert new visitors by leveraging the power of existing customers? Your website is, and should be, a crucial part of that process.
Your Website as a Research Tool
When potential customers want to learn about you, they visit your website. For reasons we have outlined in this space in the past, that's what makes effective business web design so important.
Your audience may seek you out through a search engine, find a social media post or digital ad that leads them to your website, or type the URL into their browser directly. Regardless of the individual channel, they need to be presented with a quality and relevant presence that addresses their pain points and reinforces your position as a valuable brand in your industry.
Understanding Your Website as a Referral Machine
The above is a well-understood concept. But what you might not know is just how successful your online presence can become if you account for the power of referrals.
If your current customers, for example, have an easy way to share content on your website with their family and friends, they will be more likely to do so. Regardless of how much they love your product or services, they will be quiet about it online if you don't help them spread the word.
Satisfied customers who don't express that satisfaction publicly are a considerable missed opportunity. Your current customers will always be more credible than your own message, because your audience knows them to be authentic. Get them to share your message or actively refer new customers, and your business can grow significantly.
3 Ways to Use Your Website to Encourage Referrals
At this point, you may be wondering just how you can accomplish the above possibility, and turn your website into a referral machine. As it turns out, all you need to incorporate these possibilities into your business web design are three simple steps.
- Make Your Content Shareable. Include social share buttons in all of your content, and explicitly encourage your customers to share it. Keep URLs short and easy to remember to maximise off-line referrals, as well.
- Gather Social Proof. Social proof has been scientifically proven to work. Particularly testimonials and case studies can play a large role in leveraging your current customers to attract new ones, so be sure your web design incorporates them on all pages.
- Encourage Product/Service Reviews. In communicating with your current customers, encourage them to leave a review on the channels through which your products and services are available. These reviews will play a major part in convincing your audience that your products or services are actually valuable to them.
Of course, the possibilities don't end there. A digital referral program, for example, could be another way for your business to maximise the power of referrals. But it all starts with successful web design, which enables you to build a digital presence that engages your current customers and encourages them to spread the word about your brand.
Are you looking to build or rebuild your website to encourage referrals? Given the power of this marketing strategy, you probably should. For help in designing a website that leverages your customers in order to grow your business, contact us.