Want to add value to your website with custom calculators? Check out our guide to creating your own calculator using a variety of different methods.
Websites that only have passive content are boring. They only convert 36% of visitors, whereas websites with interactive content can convert 70%. If your website is filled with passive content and nothing for visitors to do, ask yourself why you have a website because the purpose of a website is to convert.
Whether you want people to get you on the phone or to buy your product directly from your website, you want them to convert.
Interactive content comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from slideshows to videos. One type of interactive content which is sometimes overlooked–and shouldn’t be–is a custom calculator.
A custom calculator can convert visitors on your site by providing them with helpful information and collecting marketing data for you at the same time. Keep reading to find out how to make one that will grab users’ attention.
Conceptualize Your Developed Custom Calculators
This is your chance to get creative. Just like building a website, you want to map out how your calculator will work and why.
Throughout this process, keep asking yourself, “Why would a potential customer care about this? What problem am I trying to help folks solve?”
In addition to those centering questions, you need to figure out the following:
- Information users need to enter in order to get a result and the background data to go with it
- Information you want from users to track their buyer journey
- How to simplify the calculation process
Sharpen your pencil and let’s get started.
If your visitors need to calculate the five-year cost to own a car, they need to enter the year, make, and model. In the background, your custom calculator needs to match that data with monetary values based on the MSRP, typical maintenance, gasoline consumption, average insurance rate, etc.
Take the time now to list information users will provide and information you’ll provide, the latter in the background.
Buyer Journey Information
Custom calculators can do more than just calculate; they can collect valuable marketing information for you and your team. Email addresses, names, companies, and job titles are just some of the valuable data you can collect with your calculator.
For example, if you’re a personal trainer and you’ve created a calculator to help users check their body mass index or BMI, maybe you want to collect their contact information so that you can talk with them about how to get in shape.
You can use supplied personal data from your users to guide them on their buyer journey. You might want to collect their contact information or know whether they’ve purchased similar products or services before.
Keep It Simple
Mapping out how your custom calculator will work before you create, it will keep you from creating a convoluted interaction. Knowing which types of information you need, will help you determine the fields your calculator will need.
It’ll also help you decide how those fields will flow.
Before moving on to the next section, take a minute to make sure that none of your data points are redundant. Check for flow from one field to another. After that, you’re ready to decide how your calculator will work.
We’re not talking two plus two here. In this step, you’ll decide how your users will interact with your calculator–you’ll determine its operation.
Will your calculator include interactive graphics or only a series of fields? To see an example, witness a calculator in action.
This is a great opportunity to make some additional decisions about your custom calculator.
For example, do you want the results to show up right away? Or would you rather the results get emailed to the user? Maybe you want to receive the results, and you plan to call the user to discuss them.
Do you want to invite them to automatically share the calculator on social media? Perhaps you want them to be able to email the calculator to someone else.
Allowing users to share your calculator boosts its ROI, so you don’t want to ignore this option. A 2017 study shows that of the 53% participants who use interactive content, 79% of them think interactive content has “reusable value.”
The Devil’s in the Details
You’ve got your fields. You know how your custom calculator will operate. You’re done, right?
Wrong. You still need to determine what you new custom calculator will look like. Details matter, and if your calculator design clashes with your branding, or is awkward to use, people will notice something is off.
Users will feel that way if your calculator isn’t properly designed. Determine the fonts and colors you want to use, and how the form will be laid out.
Again, this is a chance to unleash your creativity. Have a brainstorming session with your colleagues, break out the crayons, and don’t be afraid to explore the different looks your calculator can have.
Export and Use Your developed Calculator
The final step in creating your custom calculator is to export it. You’re ready to add it to your website and engage users while capturing lead information. Congratulations!
Let’s do a quick recap of this simple, four-step process:
- Choose your fields.
- Decide how your calculator will operate.
- Craft your design.
- Export and enjoy your new interactive content.
Once your custom calculator is live on your site, test it out. We also recommend that you track your metrics before and after custom calculators installation. Then you can see how this piece of interactive content positively impacts your website and business.
We mentioned social media and email earlier in this guide, but we want to take this chance to remind you to market your new calculator like you would any other content.
Well, almost like you would other content. This is interactive content, which will excite users, so emphasize that interaction in your marketing.
Remember too that you’re providing a service for potential customers. They should always be at the center of content creation and marketing.