This blog forms part of an article written for the April 2020 edition of Fires and Fireplace magazine. The full article can be found in the magazine once released.
Chris’s mission is to enhance the profile of the fireplace industry by creating innovative digital products and services. Chris has spent the last 15 years working across many fields honing his skills in design, marketing and technology. He has worked exclusively in the fireplace industry for the last four years. Last year, he co-founded wowfires.com, a technology and marketing platform for fireplace showrooms. Most recently he launched upsparkdigital.com, a marketing and website design company aimed at small businesses in the industry like chimney sweeps and installers.
Chris will be writing a guest blog which aims to help educate those of our readers who want to learn more about how their digital assets such as their website can help grow their business. You can also follow his own blog @ upsparkdigital.com/blog
Upspark Digital recently reviewed 50 showroom and 50 chimney sweep websites across the UK. We looked at several different areas that impact sales leads – such as, how businesses are demonstrating their online credibility, how easy their sites are to navigate, and how optimised they are for generating sales leads across all devices. The results can be found here: upsparkdigital.com/reviewresults.
The following is the second in a series of three articles written for Fires and Fireplaces magazine. We have used the findings of our research to detail the most effective ways you can generate additional sales leads through your website.
Convert more website visitors to sales
Are you using Google Analytics?
From our analysis only 20% of chimney sweep and stove installation businesses are using google analytics. Once installed Google Analytics can be used in a variety of ways that help you gain a greater understanding of your customers. You can see where your website traffic is coming from, for example are you getting traffic from Google searches? Are people typing your name directly into the address bar? Or are people finding you via social media channels?
Google Analytics will also help you understand which pages your visitors visit the most and what they do on those pages. You can see which devices your potential customers are using and their location.
Once a few lines of code is installed on your website you have access to this data through a free online dashboard.
This free tool can be a great way of better understanding potential customers and therefore knowing how better to serve their needs and market to them.
A couple of examples:
Looking at location data can be helpful in understanding if there’s a specific hotspot in your service area that is looking for services like yours. You can then create a marketing / advertising campaign from this data and look to reach these people with an offer or call to action.
Checking out where your website traffic comes from gives you an insight into what sales channels are working best for you. E.g. If people are typing your name directly into Google, that could be an indicator that you are known in your local area and have good word of mouth or that they have seen your name somewhere, like on the side of your van or in a newspaper.
You can take this analysis one step further by coming up with unique links for each sales channel so you know which channel is working best. For example, how many times have you advertised in the newspaper and wondered how many people actually took an action from that ad? What you can do is set up a unique page on your website, say ‘https://yoursite.co.uk/uniqueoffer’, then have a call to action in your advert that asks potential customers to visit that page to redeem your offer. You can then monitor the specific traffic to this page to understand how successful it has been.
Google Analytics can also be used to optimise the design of your site by working out where is the best place on your site to put your contact details, call-to-action button like ‘Contact Me’ or ‘Free Survey’ and so on. In other industries, testing these webpage elements and making minor changes to even things like the colour of buttons can lead to very significant increases in clicks and enquiries. Here’s a link to a Crazy Egg blog post that talks about this very thing:
Do you have an above the fold value proposition?
If you haven’t heard the term ‘Above the fold’ before, in this context, it simply relates to the area of your website that a visitor sees as soon as they land on your site. (Remember this will be different on mobile to desktop so it’s important to be optimised for both.) Most visitors to your website will quickly scan the page for information. Large or even medium amounts of text most likely aren’t going to be read unless you’ve got them hooked straight away. People are drowning in information and its getting increasingly harder to capture the attention of the audience. Also, with the advent of Google, people are used to getting the answers they want, quickly and efficiently.
That’s why it’s important to quickly grab the attention of the user. You want to be able to make a quick impact on why your potential customers should want to do business with your company and not with your competition. That’s your value proposition, what makes you uniquely valuable to the visitor? What do you do differently? Have a real think about that, distil it down to a few words and place that at the top of your website along with a few words on what you do. Then, you’ll have produced a clear, concise message that your competition takes a whole page to try and write whilst their visitors have got bored and left.
In our analysis only a third of chimney sweeps had a clear above the fold value proposition and around half of showroom websites. That means a large number of you aren’t communicating your value effectively to potential customers. If you want to increase the number of enquiries through your website then this is certainly one area you should be looking at.
You need to have a clear above the fold call to action
In our research around two thirds of chimney sweeps and stove installers don’t have a clear call to action above the fold on their websites, and only half of showrooms do.
Don’t let customers browse your site and disappear to a competitor’s website without leaving an impression. Give them a reason to stick around or a reason to come back and do business with you instead of your competition.
Strike up an instant customer relationships by offering a free downloadable resource like your own brochure, flyer, buyer’s guide etc. This ‘free gift’ creates a psychological link between your business and the customer. It offers the customer a chance to sample what you are about and how you or your company conducts business without any risk to them and with very little effort. If they like what they see then it will increase the likelihood they’ll do business with you in the future as you will have already established a relationship.
The rest of the article can be found in Fire and Fireplaces’ April edition.