So you’ve done a lot of work blogging and using social media, plus paid web ads, to drive traffic to your website, but visitors don’t stay very long, and even when they do, most don’t contact you. Bummer. But why?

There’s no one single reason for poor website conversions, but let’s go through a few common reasons and some solutions.

1) Your website is unattractive and/or out of date. Going to a website for the first time is like a blind date. You’ve heard good things, but meeting the website in person doesn’t live up to your expectations.  When people arrive at your website, they’re looking for a trustworthy solar adviser, but if your website looks homemade or something from 2005, that can make people move on quickly. You can only make one first impression, and if your website isn’t attractive with nice solar images or videos, there’s a very good chance that a person will click away.

The solution:  Ask friends and family about your website. Better yet, get a consultation from several web designers. Get specific reasons for what’s not right, and if you agree with their critiques, consider investing in a professional redesign.

2) You don’t provide enough useful information. Perhaps your website looks great, but you provide too little information. Installing solar is not a quick decision. It’s an expensive purchase, and consumers want to trust that you’re the honest, local, solar expert. Be sure to have a FAQ page, including basic cost information. And don’t give too much information either. You don’t want to confuse people or overwhelm them with solar engineering. Despite good intentions, this may backfire.

The solution: Be comprehensive but not overwhelming. Try to be as visual as possible. Explain the technology, costs, and your company’s solar experience with short videos, testimonials, case studies, and project photos.

3) You don’t have effective “calls-to-action.”  “Calls-to-action” are little phrases that should be somewhere on every page of your website. “Contact us now for a free quote” is an example of a basic, vanilla call-to-action text. Often that text is placed inside of a website button, and web designers say that the color, shape, and size of that button can affect conversion rates positively and negatively. So, if you have poor or non-existent calls-to action, you may be losing potential conversions.

The solution: Creating effective calls-to-action is somewhat of an art form. As mentioned previously, web designers have different theories about the most effective colors, sizes, and shapes, let alone the text. A different image on the page might also make a difference. Because you really can’t predict the perfect call-to-action, the solution is to test various versions via “A/B testing” testing programs. These programs allow you to create two or more different versions of the same web page. The program then randomly allows visitors to see one of the versions, and track how many visitors press the corresponding call-to-action message/button.  Run this program for a month or two on key pages. Obviously, the version that gets the most conversions to contacting you is the one to keep.

4) You’re not offering something for nothing. This is related to calls-to-action, but often the best way to entice a visitor to contact you is to entice them with something for nothing, or a discount. This can be anything from a free “need to know solar e-book” download, or perhaps a free $10 Starbucks card for signing up to get a solar quote.

The Solution: Once again, you won’t know what works until you try it, so do an A/B test for a month with different giveaways, or simply compare different giveaways over a two-month period.

Unfortunately, even when you’ve found great solutions to the above issues, the website, information, call-to-action, or gift may need to be updated again. So, shake it up every six months. Do A/B tests, experiment, refresh your website content, and as always… UnThink Solar.

Tor Valenza a.k.a. “Solar Fred” advises solar companies on marketing, communications, and branding. Want more solar marketing info? Sign up for the Solar Fred Marketing Newsletter, or contact Solar Fred through UnThink Solar.