Be the Website Tour Guide and Increase Your Conversions

by: | December 10, 2012

Have you ever shopped at Ikea? You walk in, and you’re immediately greeted with two choices marked by giant arrows—walk through the marketplace or go immediately to what you already know you need. Once you’re in the marketplace, they lead you very clearly through each of the different rooms, with furniture set up that paints a picture of what being an Ikea customer is like in real life. After you’ve gone through the whole marketplace, then you get to the warehouse where you pick up all the stuff you saw and decided you wanted.

Your website isn’t an Ikea store, but you can still employ this brilliant strategy to convert more customers. On the Web, you’ve only got a few seconds to captivate visitors and convert them to leads or customers. Without a clear guide, they run the risk of getting lost in information overload and never getting to the information or products you want them to. Identify the primary goal of your website and lead visitors to that goal through clear calls to action and simple navigation. Essentially, let your website serve as tour guide of your products or services.

What is Your Goal?

Do you go to Ikea looking for, well, just anything? Of course not. You go there because you need furniture or fixtures. So, why do people go to your website? Is it obvious on the homepage what your company does? Figure out what a successful conversion is for your website, whether it’s buying your product, making an appointment, downloading your application, education, etc. Once you’ve clearly decided what a successful conversion is, you can start to create a path to lead customers to that conversion.

Some customers will need more information before making a decision. Others come to your website looking for alternatives to a product they are replacing. Some visitors are just “checking out” what’s out there and not necessarily actively looking for a solution. Make sure the path you build on your website caters to all of these people. Whatever their reason, don’t assume these people are just going to know what to do. You need to take them by the hand and tell them what to look at next and tell them what to do next. The best homepages make it easy to buy or sign-up and gives concise information, with links to pages that expand on that information.

3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Website Experience For Customers

  1. For customers who are ready to buy, download or sign up, put a clear “Buy Now”, “Download”, or “Register Now” call to action button front and center on the homepage. Even for those who aren’t ready to buy will appreciate the ease of knowing exactly where to go when they are.
  2. For people who need more information, put a description of your product or service, complete with testimonials, and link to any relevant pages that expand on the information. Be sure to segment various topics into relevant sections like Testimonials, Benefits, Screenshots, etc.
  3. For non-customers not yet convinced of your business, offer a free report or some other sort of downloadable or actionable item, like the option of signing up for your newsletter or email updates. Social media is key for these people, too.

The calls to action are paramount in getting people to act and become customers, either now or in the future.

Examples of Companies Who Do It Right


This website has a very clear three-item menu, with a bonus item specific to those who have an iPad. Each of these menus expands on the benefits and experience of either buying a Boxee box or downloading it and running it on your computer. It shows the information people unfamiliar with their products need clearly and concisely and makes it very easy for people to buy or download.


Tumblr’s website is very advanced, but the basics of what we covered here are still in effect. They immediately give you a way of signing up quickly and easily, and if you’re looking for more information, they give you a big call to action that expands on what Tumblr is and what it can do for you.


I mention this company a lot because they are great at marketing and Web design. It’s immediately clear what they do, and they have a clear call to action to sign up. Immediately underneath that they profile the success companies are having and other benefits of using Basecamp. Each of the sections has links to more information. At the very bottom, they have links to stay in touch with them.

Use these three steps and learning from these examples to improve your website’s usability, you’ll begin to see more visitors becoming customers.

What are you using to lead your customers through your website?

Posted in: B2B, Content, E-Commerce, Featured, Social Networks, Usability

About the Writer:

Born in England and raised in the U.S., Charles Forster is the marketing director and partner at Vine & Grain, a company that creates management technologies for bars and restaurants. Prior to that position, he ran a graphic design company, Call Me Chaz, in Philadelphia, PA and Orlando, FL. He focused on branding, websites, print, video and marketing for small business clients up and down the east coast. He's a self-prescribed car nut and foodie. He's also the curator for This Is Visceral, a site devoted to poster art.

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