Communication Coach: 7 website elements to convert visitors into paying customers

September 26, 2018 -  By


The only way a website can do its job is with a design and framework that predictably attracts and converts leads into revenue.

Many landscape company websites profile elegant photos and captivating videos because that’s what buyers expect. In fact, for my clients, Google Analytics proves project galleries and case studies are the website pages visitors most frequent.

However, what happens after that is what really matters. Do those visitors convert to buyers?

It’s up to the business to decide what the conversion step should be and build that intent into the website design. Google Analytics can inform the decision because nothing predicts future behavior like present actions.

A modern website can get a business found. It can and should nurture relationships once it accomplishes that. But if it cannot convert interest into revenue-generating customers, it’s ultimately not doing its job.

You need to hold it accountable to that.

Website intent determines design

Successful businesses carefully evaluate what buyers are seeing, thinking, feeling and doing throughout their journey to becoming a customer.

Traditionally, the sales funnel has characterized this path: Marketing attracts leads that enter the top of the funnel and salespeople filter the right ones to guide them through the process.

The funnel assumes a linear path, but in our digital world consumers are bombarded with information that takes them on a journey that often includes going up, down, and sideways.

To provide a more realistic perspective, the Duct Tape Marketing System employs a Marketing Hourglass that identifies buying behaviors that give insights into website design.

The behavior sequence a buyer generally experiences throughout his or her journey to becoming and remaining a customer is: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat and refer.

Given that the website is likely the first point of contact with prospective buyers, it should be optimized to encourage those behaviors, and it should be regularly tested to make sure that it does.

All of the stages in the Marketing Hourglass are important, but nowadays the trying stage is essential because it minimizes or removes risk. It’s what built online retailer Zappos into a billion-dollar brand that many retailers have since copied.

While it may be impossible to try out a landscape, it’s possible to create content using the following seven must-have website elements to help buyers try out the experience of acquiring and enjoying a landscape.

7 must-have website design elements

Long, scrolling homepages are the expectation these days, so consider designing that prime digital real estate to accommodate these seven must-have website elements. They will inspire visitors to take the actions that are right for them.

1. The Promise
Your homepage should have a headline that clearly states your business purpose. What problems are you solving?

2. Core Services
A website visitor should have no doubt about what you do. They want to know about the products and services you offer that promise to solve their problems.

3. Trust Elements
Testimonials and other social proof build trust. It’s always beneficial to curate the key words of happy customers to validate yours.

4. Fresh Content
Recent content updates, including blog posts, podcasts or a video series are an indication that your website is a happening place. This encourages visitors to return for more.

5. Premium Content
One of the surest ways to build your subscriber list is with premium content downloads. It’s a great way to get a conversation going, too.

6. Your Story
People don’t buy from companies; they buy from people they believe they can trust. Video is now a popular way to show personality and give a peek into how a business works its magic.

7. Call To Action
Your website must make a call to action—actually, a series of them. Around every corner, there should be a nudge to subscribe, join, engage, call or buy.

No website is or will be perfect, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Prioritize the weaknesses and address them over time.

For now, give your website a self-evaluation by checking off as many of these must-have website elements as you can. Even if you can check them all off now, it’s possible a few may be ripe for a refresh.

And never forget that Google is always watching. When your website does its job, it makes Google look good, too.

Jeff Korhan

About the Author:

Jeff Korhan is the author of Built-In Social, founder of Landscape Digital Institute, and a Duct Tape Marketing Certified consultant. He helps green industry owners, marketers and sales teams craft and communicate branded customer experiences that sell. Learn more at

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