Everyone loves a gorgeous looking website. When you go to websites of Ferrari or Lamborghini, you can practically hear the engine and smell the rubber of the tires burn. The websites of the Four Seasons and the Marriott place you in their hotel lounge and it’s hard to escape Amazon deals that seem to be just what you were looking for.
Working on the emotional side of your brand, getting leads, and actually converting them is challenging enough but one of the most difficult things is to decide what’s worth your time (and what isn’t). If you are like most successful professionals, you don’t have the time to try out a gazillion different things and then deal with frustrating fights over refunds because it didn’t work.
Well, let’s put an end to this. May be you are about to start a new advertising campaign that will drive traffic to your website or may be you just need to supercharge your website to beat the competition. Whatever the reason might be to improve your website, you probably don’t want to hire a team of programers, web designers, and copywriters for a website makeover that will take you several weeks. Fair enough but you actually don’t have to put yourself through a painful process like this in oder to make small but significant changes to your website.
There are a couple of great tools out there that are quick to implement (even if you are not a technical person), easy to personalize and very effective. From infographics to animated videos and live chats, this list includes five tools that will supercharge your website. Concrete examples on how to use them have been included as well. The best part: you can do it yourself, most tools are free and the entire process from A-Z will take less than an hour.
#5 Install The Hello Bar
The Hello Bar is one of the most genius creations for websites ever. The idea is that a little bar with a call to action shows up at the very top of your website. It’s free, always a good thing, and can serve a number of useful purposes.
How To Use It:
There are three ways to use the Hello Bar. The first one is to drive traffic to a specific page. For instance, you could install the Hello Bar on your home page and have a call to action that asks your visitors to step by your blog or even read a specific blog post. You could also just include your phone number and email address in the Hello Bar with a link to the contact page. Additionally, you could drive traffic to the landing page of an information product or online store.
The second way to use the Hello Bar is to grow your email list. Whether the Hello Bar leads to a squeeze page or a simple sign up page, there are no limits to what you can offer in return for an email address. Most people send visitors to a free white paper or information product page that is accessible in exchange for an email address or Facebook like.
The third way of using the Hello Bar is probably mostly used in Europe because of the strict cookie policies. It is also frequently used by bloggers that don’t have an info product to sell or another website or home page to drive traffic to. The hello bar serves as an excellent disclaimer for either of the described scenarios. A concrete example would be to inform visitors that you are using cookies like Google Analytics to improve their experience on your site (legally required in Europe). If you are a blogger, you must declare affiliate links as such – no matter where you are – and the Hello Bar is an excellent way to mention it once on top of your website instead of inserting it into every post.
#4 Create An Infographic
Infographics have been trending for some time now but have become the norm for any blog and social media account in 2013. People love to share infographics because it’s like reading a post by looking at an image. It’s a new way of story telling that is unique, easily adaptable to your web design, and applicable to any topic.
That said, most business owners haven’t started creating their own infographics yet because a) they don’t know where to start or b) they don’t want to hire somebody to create it because there is currently no standard prize.
There are a couple of tools out there to create your own infographics but the easiest to use and prettiest tool on the market seems to be Infogram. Infographics created with Infogram’s can be shared free on social media accounts like Facebook and offer a huge selection of templates that speed up the creation enormously.
How To Use It:
Creating an infographic is great for any blog post but is also a great replacement for information products. Infographics are a great choice if you already have great information products but need a free product to grow your email list or simply don’t have the time to create an infoproduct.
Infographics are free to share (on your Facebook page for instance) but if you want to download it, you have to upgrade to the pro version for $18/month.
#3 Create An Animated Video
Animated videos are great because not many businesses have incorporated them in their website yet and they visually display what you are all about in a nutshell. Wideo offers the creation of template based animated videos that you can personalize. That’s the ideal choice for anyone who wants an animated video without spending a lot of money (Wideo is free if you leave their branding and $29 if you want to remove it).
How To Use It:
There are countless ways to integrate animated videos, so let’s have a look at the most common one. Above the fold, animated videos ideally serve the purpose of explaining what you do, why you should be hired, and what to do to hire you when the video is over. The area on your website that is above the fold is basically everything you see without scrolling using a normally sized laptop (a MacBook Pro for instance).
Wideos are free if you keep the Wideo branding on there. Otherwise it’s $29 per wideo.
#4 Get A Live Chat
Most small businesses don’t have a live chat because even though it sounds tempting, a live chat requires a person that can respond to potential inquiries. It’s less complicated (and less costly) than you would think because as long as you have someone available to answer the phone during office hours that same person can respond to chat inquiries. Live chats don’t have to be online and available 24/7 and often have 30 day free trials.
For example, try Website Alive free for 30 days (no credit card information needed) and test if it increases the number of phone calls and clients you are getting. If it’s not working out for you, you looked like a super expensive website for 30 days and tried something you have always wanted to try.
How To Use It:
Live chats are best run during office hours. If you want to put in extra hours or have someone who doesn’t mind working after hours or on weekends, a live chat is a great way of increasing leads.
Website Alive offers a 30 free trial, no credit card required. After that it’s $29.95, less than a dollar a day.
#5 Display A Skype Button
The Skype button is a great and cost effective alternative to a live chat. There is really nothing special to it then a button on your website that leads directly to a Skype account of your company. Website visitors can click to call or click to chat and use their own Skype account to connect with you.
The distinct advantage over a live chat is that you can adjust your Skype privacy settings in a way that people must add you to their contact list to be able to chat with you or to give you a call. Once added, chances are that you won’t be deleted after all questions have been answered because it makes people uncomfortable to delete contacts. By being on their contact list, you constantly brand yourself every time your potential client logs in.
How To Use It:
A skype button is best placed on the sidebar of your home page, blog or contact page. Naturally, the goal of the page where you place it should be to contact you. The trick here is to not simply place the button somewhere but to combine it with a call to action, meaning a reason to contact you. Skype buttons are great to ask for free quotes, discuss questions potential clients have about the product, or to discuss what can be done for a specific project.
Skype buttons are free and you can choose to offer calls, chats or both.