So, you started your own private investigations business, and everything went great – but you noticed that the calls were not coming in. You decided to hire a website designer to build you a website to attract sales and leads, fell in love with the design, and are excited to have your phone blown up by all your potential customers. You check your analytics on the daily basis and realize that you are getting people to come to your site, but none of them are filling out your contact form or even calling you. As the days go on, you become more and more concerned f that your website is not working as intended and you might have wasted your money.
If you worked with us, the chances are that we discussed Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) metrics and installed tools to help you increase conversions. If you did not work with us, and now you are wondering why the website is not converting, this article can help you address some of your concerns.
A website is a powerful tool for private investigators, and if done correctly, they can provide you with a constant flow of leads – if they have the right conversion tools. This article should help you better understand why your visitors are not converting into clients.
They are not ready yet
The most common reason your visitors are not converting is because they simply are not ready. Hiring a private investigator is a big decision, one that they might not be ready to commit to right now. Most people are simply just looking around trying to find information on private investigators in the area. They want to know what a private investigator does, how much they charge, the legalities around the industry, can they do it themselves? etc.
Private investigators have the power to impact a person’s life, business, and future. You are not going to hire a plastic surgeon after the first Google search result. So why would you expect your visitors to hire an investigator who can end their marriage, after the first click?
Most of our clients get leads and cases from people who visited their website one, or even two weeks, prior to reaching out.
Ineffective call to actions
This is a MAJOR website killer that is also the easiest to nip. A call to action is anything on your website that tells the user to perform a specific action. A call to action can be a button or phrases such as “Request a consultation today” or “Call Us Now!”. You can also use a call to action to request your visitors to fill out forms.
Now let’s not get carried away, you do not want to put buttons everywhere on your website, but you want to have a button in a location where your visitor will anticipate a call to action button to exist. There is a lot of psychology behind how calls to action work, but to keep it short and simple, a visitor is anticipating a call to action based on their experience with the content they are reading.
Don’t try to sell a television from a lemonade stand… it simply makes no sense. Clients are anticipating a beverage, not a 4k TV.
One good way of trying to find a good placement is to look at your website and try to create a sales flow. Your website is a sales pitch. You want to guide visitors through your website and create anticipation via your content.
If you are talking about infidelity services, include a call to action that compliments the service – “Free Confidential Consultation.”
On the other hand, if you are talking about legal investigations, you could include a call to action that says – “Request a Case Evaluation.”
When building Call to Actions onto a website, keep these tips in mind:
- Make them Action-Oriented: This button guarantees that I have a plan of attack for your case. We are the professionals you need.
- Use relevant & persuasive Text: The text on the buttons match what they are reading, and the text is instructing them to perform an action.
- Create a sense of resolution: Something good will happen when they press the button, fill out the form, or place a call.
- Create a sense of security & privacy: This button will keep my information secure, and NO ONE will know I am hiring a private investigator.
You chose design over functionality and usability
As a designer, my job is to find a balance between functionality, aesthetic, and usability. You don’t need a website with all the bells and whistles, you need a website that will stay on brand, give your visitors the information they are looking for, and help educate your visitors about your services while they are in research mode.
You can think of this like a triangle and on each of the apexes you have one aspect of a website. The more you focus on one side of the triangle, the more “abstract” the triangle begins to look. Your website works the sameway – the more you focus on aesthetics, or content, or design – the less functional they become.
Keep things perfectly balanced, as all things should be – Thanos.
What this means for you is that in your attempt to create a website for your business that looks cool and has all the bells and whistles, you have essentially made your website more difficult to understand and more complicated to use. While this might work for certain industries, it does not really work well for the private investigations industry. Think about where your visitors are coming from, they are dealing with a problem large enough that they feel the need to look for a private investigator. They are looking for answers, the last thing on their mind is, “wow what a cool looking website”. Focus more on providing the information your visitors are looking for and making sure they feel their information is secure, and you will see a rise in conversions.
Don’t get me wrong, aesthetic is very important to the functionality of your site. You don’t need a million-dollar website, but you do have to keep it clean, and look better than your competition.
You provided too much information
Yes… this is a problem. You want your website to be informative and provide information to your potential clients so that they may make an informed decision when it comes to hiring a private investigator. However, there is such a thing as providing too much irrelevant information.
Keeping your website short, concise, and sweet helps defend against the limited attention span of your average visitor by giving them what they want before they get tired of looking for it and move on to your competitors.
Again, think about your visitors and the situation they are in – they need answers, solutions, and results – not a history lesson on where private investigators come from and why you started an agency. While this might be important to you, your visitors are looking for information about how you can help solve their problem.
Consider writing a short summary of who you are, and how you will help them. A quick summary will encourage your visitors to stay on your website and continue to drive down your sales funnel.
Quick Tip for Service Pages:
Do not list out an A-Z service list of the industry. Instead, narrow down your services to 3-6 categories such as Domestic Services, Insurance investigations, litigation support, Corporate Investigation, Surveillance Services, etc.
At the end of the day, your website should contain enough information to ensure your visitors understand what you do and how you can help them, providing too much information might cause some of your visitors to become intimidated and leave your website. Keeping it simple and providing basic information will allow your visitors to feel comfortable and willing to reach out for more.
You didn’t guarantee enough privacy
Let’s use the example of cheating spouses for this one. A visitor comes to your website because they believe their spouse is having an affair. After reading your website, they end up with more questions than answers. (You provided too much information). Now, they’re worried about privacy.
Your visitor has a few concerns about investigating their partner to begin with. Some examples being: what if my friends find out? What if my spouse wasn’t cheating on me, this could put a strain on my relationship because I didn’t trust them? What if they are cheating, and they find out that I hired an Investigator?
It is your job to ensure your potential clients understand that all the information on your website is completely confidential and all your services are completely discreet and confidential. This way, they will not feel like they are risking a lot by hiring an investigator.
Don’t even get us started with SSL Certificates. Without one, when a user is submitting a form, they could get something along the lines of “The information on this website is not secure, your data and email could be intercepted by hackers.” Now, their fear just went into overdrive. Here is a good article on how SSL Certificates work – Is your private investigator website leaking confidential information?
If your visitors do not feel completely secure, chances are, they will find another investigator who gives them that feeling of security.
Not engaging with your customers when you have the chance
Engaging with your potential customers while they are looking for information could be the deciding factor for whether they stay with you or find themselves a different investigator. If you have the ability to engage your visitors right there and then, you can easily address all their concerns, without having to rely entirely on your website to warm up your lead.
We recommend using a LifeChat system – we have a great guide on how they work here: Livechat for Private Investigators. LiveChat allows you to answer questions and message your visitors directly on your website using your mobile or desktop.
Being able to directly approach a potential customer and talk to them personally will increase your conversion rates. Think of it like you just opened up a store and people are walking by constantly, but none of them are coming in, so what do you do? You place a sign in front of your store. This sign is essentially your website. It has information about who you are and what you do. Now you notice that people stop and read your sign, walk in, look around, and leave. This is basically the problem here, no one is buying anything. To fix this, you need to go out and engage with your potential customers while they are looking around. This is how a live chat system works on your website – it gives you the ability to engage with your visitors while they’re looking around.
A simple, “Hey my name is Jonathan, can I help you with anything today?” will engage your client enough for you to be able to guide them down your sales funnel and generate a successful sale or turn a visitor into a lead.
The best part about it, you do not necessarily have to be sitting at your computer to be able to help, most if not all live chat services have an app for your phone which will notify you when someone reaches out to you on your website. We recommend using LiveChat since that is the system we are most familiar with, and their trial is an impressive – 60 Day Free Trial – when you tell them you are working with us. (Yes, we make a small comision from them, but this doesn’t cost you anything and we legitimately use and love the simplicity of their system.)
With all this out of the way, it is important to remember that the purpose of the website is to generate more of the right kind of leads, not just generate leads left and right from unqualified buyers. Your website will not do you any good, and may even cost you time and money, if the people calling you are the wrong fit. This is why the design and flow of your website needs to be carefully considered and implemented. We take the time to carefully educate our clients on how their website works, thus preventing them from making these mistakes from the beginning.