Tuesday, October 17, 2017 | Today's Vending Industry News
Three Easy Ways To Get More Calls From Your Vending Company's Website

by by Nate Freedman
Posted On: 10/10/2017

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When you think about it, your website is at the core of all your marketing efforts. Whether you're investing in Google AdWords, search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing, what you're actually doing is driving visitors to your website. And the main purpose of your website is turning these visitors into customers. In marketing, this is called "conversion."

So a bad website will actually cause you to waste money on other marketing methods, while a website that's optimized for conversion will help you get a better return on your marketing investment. In this article, we're going to focus on a specific type of conversion -- a phone call. We'll show you three ways to increase your phone call conversion rate and get more potential customers calling you.

The advice here is based on the experiences of my company, Sherpa53 Web Design & Marketing, working with businesses across the country, helping them get more conversions from their website, including our recent work with Ackers Vending Service Inc. in Dorchester, MA, which we'll be using as our case study.

Why is your website important to getting more calls? According to a recent study on business-to-business buying habits ("2014 State of B2B Procurement" by the Acquity Group), more than 80% of customers report that they do Internet research before making a business purchase. For the vending industry, this means that potential customers are no longer using the Yellow Pages and calling up blind -- they're more than likely going to visit your website before they ever call you on the phone.

WHY MORE CALLS? Because potential customers who no longer use the Yellow Pages are likely to visit a business's website before they call it on the phone. More than 80% of the participants in Acquity Group's most recent "State of B2B Procurement" study said they do Internet research before making a business purchase. (Acquity Group LLC is an e-commerce and digital marketing company that was acquired by Accenture, a Fortune Global 500 company.)

Step No. 1: Make your website mobile optimized

The same business-to-business study showed that more than 40% of buyers will be doing their research and visiting your website on their smartphones. So if your goal is to get your prospective customer to call you, this is a pretty good opportunity to make that happen ... I mean, they've already got their phones in their hands!

A mobile-optimized website will display correctly on both a computer and a phone. If you've ever gone to a website on your phone and had to scroll all over the page to find something, or had to zoom out and could barely read anything, it's because the website is not mobile optimized, or "responsive" to the size of the screen or Web browser with which you're viewing. A mobile optimized website, on the other hand, will provide easy navigation and readability on any device -- phone, tablet or computer.

With Ackers Vending Service, we developed a responsive website design that completely changed the experience for mobile users. Instead of seeing just a corner of the desktop version website (and not having the ability to easily scroll through the site), the site now has the look and feel of a mobile app. Visitors have all of the most important information they need as soon as the site loads on their phones: the name of the company, the location and the local phone number.

The mobile website makes it easy to navigate and scroll to the different inner pages and service offerings from Ackers. There's a "mobile menu" and the "contact us forms" are optimized for mobile as well.

The result for Ackers was a 40% drop in "bounce rate" from website visitors. Bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors who leave your website without making any clicks, visiting any inner pages, or filling out any forms. If someone "bounces" from your website, there's a good chance that they won't become a customer. And this decrease in bounce rate has had a direct relationship to the increase in calls from prospective customers.

Step No. 2: Add your phone number as a click-to-call link at the top of each page

A click-to-call link means that when someone using their phone clicks on your phone number on your page, it automatically brings your phone number up in their dialing app, making the transition from website to phone call seamless. Click-to-call links are simple to create, so you have no excuse for not using this technique to get more customers to call you.

When we installed the click-to-call link at the top of the Ackers website, we also tied it to an "event" in Google Analytics. This has let us track the number of users that actually click the link to make a call.

Ackers has seen a healthy conversion rate on its click-to-call link, which lets us know that the work we've been doing is producing real results.

If your phone number is set as a click-to-call link, then a user can simply touch the phone number on their phone to start the call.

 
BEFORE AND AFTER: Photos above show the difference between a website that has not been optimized (l.) for mobile viewing and one that that is optimized for mobile devices.

Step No. 3:  Add a call to action

A call to action, or CTA, is a direct instruction to your website visitor. For a vending operator's website, this means if you want your prospective customers to call you, then tell them that! Your CTA could be as simple as "Call Us!" or "Call us for a free price quote."

No matter what you do, let your website visitor know that calling your company is encouraged, and their call will be welcomed. Sometimes customers don't feel comfortable calling a company (especially if their website is outdated or unwelcoming.) Giving your website visitors permission and motivation to call you will make a difference.

With Ackers Vending Service, the calls to action are part of a holistic conversion-focused approach to design and copywriting. Along with the "Call Us" CTA placed in the header of each page, we have a number of other strategically placed CTAs that have all led to one thing: higher conversion rates.

CLICK-TO-CALL: A phone number set as a link allows a website visitor to simply touch the number on their phone to start the call.

With so much attention paid to driving visitors to your website, converting those visitors into customers is often overlooked. But even a small increase in your conversion rate can mean big differences in your revenue.

However, if you implement these same steps to getting more calls from your website, we can't guarantee that you'll see the same results that we've seen in our work with Ackers. There's a lot that goes into a successful lead-generation campaign, and these three small but important steps to attaining more phone call conversions will help, but are not a complete solution on their own.

With Ackers, we also did extensive work on search engine optimization and Google AdWords, which made sure that we had the right amount (and the right quality) of website visitors that we could convert into new customers.

These steps will work best if you are in a similar position -- and already have a steady stream of website visitors from your target market.

What's Next?

It's our mission to help business-to-business companies get more customers from the Web, so if we can help the vending industry with more articles like this, then it's a win-win for everyone. So I have a question for you -- what do you want to read about next? SEO? Google AdWords? Facebook ads?

Email me at nate@sherpa53.com or call me at (617) 275-4738 (see my clever call to action?) and let me know.


» NATE FREEDMAN is the owner and "chief sherpa" of Sherpa53, a Swansea, MA-based digital marketing agency. He specializes in helping B2B companies generate more leads through conversion-focused websites and strategic marketing campaigns.