One of the simplest ways to convert website visitors into customers is something that 60% of us don’t do.
Put a visible phone number on every page.
Seriously, this is about putting a phone number on every page of your website?
If you have a prominent number on every page, that’s awesome. You can stop reading.
But if you don’t, you’re not alone.
- 60% of small business websites don’t have a phone number on their homepage (we were guilty until a few months ago!)
- 75% don’t have an email address or link on their homepage
- 66% don’t have a contact form to allow people to leave questions, comments or request information (all stats from SMB Digital Scape)
Take a peek at some websites in your area of expertise, and you may be surprised to find how many don’t have a number on their home page, or bury it in their footer.
The Proof: KISSMetrics Case Study
An industry leader in measuring online metrics, KISSmetrics, explored the theory that having a phone number on your website will positively influence the number of calls and or customers you get.
Their hypothesis was that by having a visible phone number on your homepage, your trust factor would increase and therefore sign ups would too.
They invited companies to participate and create 2 versions of their website: one with a prominent phone number on the homepage, and one without (all other elements of the website remained the same).
KISSmetrics discovered that yes, a visible phone number increases the number of website visitors that you can turn into potential clients.
Their test showed that, on average, when companies had a visible phone number on their homepage visitors responded by signing up for the product offering 56% of the time, whereas when visitors arrived on the homepage with no number, they signed up only 46% of the time.
Having a phone number does bring peace of mind to consumers and people you do business with. If, at the very least, it instills trust in your visitors and removes any ‘fly-by-night-operation’ fear they may have. – Sean Work, Marketing Director, KISSmetrics
Flowr was one of the companies that participated in the KISSmetrics study.
As you might have guessed, they also had a higher conversion on their homepage with a phone number than without, but they showed the value isn’t just that people can call you, but that they feel they can call you.
Even though we didn’t receive a lot of calls, I believe that having a phone number visible on the website gives more credibility to our product and trust to our visitors. When we re-design our website we will definitely include appropriate space for a bigger phone number. – Davorin Gabrovec, Flowr
Pucker Up! Botox Seconds The Verdict
Verve Medical Cosmetics, a small business that specializes in botox and laser hair removal in New York, found that while they were getting a lot of visitors to their website, they weren’t converting many to potential clients.
(Remember, the goal of lead nurturing is to convert website visitors to potential clients, and build relationships with them over time, so when they’re ready to buy, you’re top of mind.)
So Verve Medical Cosmetics went through a website makeover – according to the Director, one of the best things they did was put their phone number on the top right corner of the homepage with a big message to “Call Us.”
They also stepped it up a notch and used a service called Twilio, which allowed them to identify calls that were from the website, making it easier to measure the impact of the redesign.
It’s important to track your marketing activities so you can figure out what’s working. And those tracking systems don’t need to be complex. These guys did a great job using Twilio, and I thought they deserved a shout out.
Calls increased by 54%, referrals on social media by 44% and not surprisingly, they turned more website visitors into clients.
While this difference isn’t huge, it shows that you’d be silly not to have a number on every page, especially because it’s quick and easy to implement.
Why? Converting Website Visitors Into Customers Is About TRUST
When you meet people “in the real world,” it’s easier for you to interact with them and build trust.
As a small business owner, your goal is to instill the same level of trust online.
Phone numbers help you do this, which is why they improve your conversion rate.
An Easy Way To Stand Out?
It might be all you need to stand out online.
Jacksonville University did a study to show that, surprisingly, over the last 5 years more local businesses are getting rid of phone numbers on their websites.
Their study explored small businesses selling products online that had no phone number on their site, so when an item got lost in shipping or needed to be returned, there was no way for customers to quickly follow up.
The results weren’t good: those situations bred unhappy customers = untrusting customers.
Business owners put themselves at risk with customers who want to speak to a live person and find themselves in an endless search on a website with no phone numbers and few answers to questions. – Angela Mattia, Information Management Professor, Jacksonville University
A phone number can increase the conversion rate even when calls are routed to voicemail.
So, stand out by having a reliable number on your site.
Take Action: 3 Steps
You know the obvious. Don’t burry your number in the Contact Us section. Make it visible on every page. But what else do you need to do?
- If you sell goods online or can service people in a larger demographic area, considering adding a 1-800 number. Check out a service like Grasshopper (affiliate link) to get started.
- If you have more than one location, include each phone number so your visitors will be able to call the right location.
- Make sure your phone number is text! We’re a mobile world, if your number is graphic people can’t tap your number and make the call.
Response Time Is The Secret Sauce
Here’s where it gets interesting.
If you call someone back within 5 minutes of their voicemail/message in your contact form, you have the highest likelihood of turning them into a potential client.
Those odds drop 10 times within 30 minutes of their message.
They drop another 10 times after 1 hour.
So, when someone contacts you from your website, respond as fast as you can.
Phone calls are one of the most valuable ways a customer can contact you.
And yes, studies show that if someone calls you, they are more likely to buy from you.
So let’s put this one to bed: put a phone number on every page of your website.