The importance of having a good website is many fold, but the main thing is that it serves the purpose of fulfilling a goal. Usually this goal is a sale, but sometimes it can be something else, such as people joining a mailing list or gaining the information that they need.
A conversion rate is the ratio between the number of visitors to your site and the number of people who buy/sign up. It is, after all, a lot more efficient to have a higher percentage of those who are already visiting your website, sign up than to be continually looking for new visitors. It is not always a simple task, to convert a visitor to a customer, but there are ways to make the probability better and here are 5 of them.
Understand Yourself, Your Product And Your Market
The most important thing that you can concentrate on your website is that it`s clear. Make sure that you are clear in yourself as a business and brand, but also in the navigation and set up of your website. By understanding who you are as well as where you are in the market, you can then put this across to your website visitors. Understand what your USP is and make sure that you show your visitors this.
Be Professional And Trustworthy
People are still scared, or at least wary of conducting any business online, so try to put their mind at rest. This means that if you want people to part with their money or personal details you show that you are trustworthy. The main way to do this is by being honest and professional. Engage with them and show that you are professional, keep your site organised, don`t use inappropriate language, keep your content accurate and well written, try to show that you have procedures for everything and respond quickly to queries.
Keep Your Customers Happy
One great way to grow your business is through word of mouth. The rise in social media and other web platforms means that people are talking more than ever. Make sure that your customers have a really good experience and not only will they not talk badly about your business; they will also tell their friends about how great you are. Ensure that you respond quickly and accurately to queries, give them expected delivery dates and make sure that they know exactly what they will be receiving for their money. Be polite and professional in any communication and be honest – don`t just tell people what you think that they will want to hear.
A lot of consumers first research various companies online before buying, so you need to make sure that you stick in their memory for them to come back to you. This doesn`t mean that you have to create an all singing and dancing website, but could be as simple as engaging with people. Once they see the human side to your business, they are much more likely to do business with you, than a faceless, robotic and corporate looking company. Show your personality whilst remaining professional.
Ok, so you have already `persuaded` someone to buy a product. Now you can try and add value to this by offering them extras. If they have just bought a pressure cooker from you, why not offer a wooden spoon, other pans or a cutlery set? If they have just bought a bed, how about pillows or bed linen? A bouquet of flowers? How about a card, extra ribbons or some chocolates as well?
Improving your rate of conversion can seem like a complicated task, but really and truly, the simplest idea is to put yourself in the shoes of your consumer and think about what you would want to see, for you to buy/sign up. By understanding what is important to them, you can then set about providing this experience and watching your conversion rate rocket.
We spend a lot of time and money making sure that our websites are looking and working perfectly, producing great content and driving traffic towards them. So how do we know that all that hard work is paying off? How can you measure the return on investment (ROI) of your online marketing?
Anyone in business knows that it’s important to be able to quantify to some extent the results of your time and money, and especially with the use of social media this can be more difficult.
The best thing you can do at first is to get Google Analytics. This will give you important information about the traffic on your site.
You can use Google Analytics to check the number of visits and return visits that you have had in any given date range. As long as the movement is going up, you’re doing well. You should also look for spikes in visitors during marketing campaigns.
A good figure for returning visitors is about 15%. This means that your website is engaging enough to keep people coming back. One of the best ways to drive this figure up is by continually producing interesting and engaging content.
Look at the sources function in your Google Analytics. This will tell you how people have found your website. It may be through search engines, social media links, directly or through another channel. With this function you can see what is most and least effective.
If your referral traffic is 20-30%, this is a good sign that you are putting out good and useful content, and that people are linking to you. Whilst putting out great content is good for building referral traffic, so is commenting on other blogs and including a link to your site. If your comments are knowledgeable and useful, you’re likely to see your referral traffic increase.
3. Popular Pages
Google Analytics allows you to see which pages are the most popular. Whilst your older blog posts may fade into the distant past, there may be some which stand out as being useful for years to come. Have a look at what you wrote about and how you put it out there to see its value for you, and, ultimately work out why it was so successful.
4. Landing Page Conversion Rate
Sometimes it’s easy to tell the number of people who’re taking the desired action that you’re after. If you’re looking for sales, subscribers or followers, it’s not difficult to work out. Sometimes, however it’s not so easy. Google Analytics can tell you accurately these details. Obviously in this case, the higher the percentage, the better.
If your conversion rate’s high, you’re getting your content right and it’s reaching the right people. If however, it’s low, but your traffic is high, you should have a look at the content that you’re releasing for it to not be misleading.
5. Bounce Rate
This is the number of people who leave your site having only viewed one page. If it’s high, it’s most likely that the content that you’re putting out is misleading. It’s also worth looking at the navigation about your site. Is it easy and straightforward? A high bounce rate can badly affect your search engine rankings, so it’s worth concentrating on getting this one right.
6. PPC Monitoring
If you’re using pay per click (PPC) advertising, make sure that you’re monitoring your spending against your sales. Check that it’s worthwhile doing and spending that money. AdWords can give you detailed information about your PPC campaigns so make sure that you use it.
Although it may seem complicated, measuring your ROI isn’t hard. Remember that with social media, a lot of its effect is immeasurable at the beginning, but maybe within a few months is paying back. The most important thing is that the trend is always going up – with obvious spikes around the times of a specific campaign or marketing push.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
At first it seems a little bit odd, the idea of giving away free stuff to be able to grow your business. Actually, when you really think about it, it is perfectly logical and really is something that everyone should be trying to do.
The world of business is changing. With the growth of the internet, consumers are a lot more clued up on what products are available, for what price and how well they perform.
Companies can no longer pull the wool over consumers’ eyes to make them buy their products, now they really need to offer something of value and at the right price.
There are a number of reasons why it is a great idea for businesses to give something away for free, and here are just 3 of them.
Risk Free Trial
By offering a free trial of a product or service, you are giving your potential customers a taste of what they could have. People often make decisions more on familiarity than anything else, so by automatically making them familiar with your product or service, if they do decide to buy something, they are more likely to choose yours.
People are also more likely to try something that they normally wouldn’t if it’s free. If they like it, more often than not they will come back for more.
This could be anything from a free trial yoga class to a new flavour smoothie – something that they didn’t even know that they needed in their lives!
Get Customer Information
Here’s a little secret…you’re not actually giving something away for free. By giving someone a ‘free’ product or service, you are exchanging it for information.
Offering a ‘free’ guide to the basics of yoga, or a voucher for a ‘free’ energy drink, means that you can get a website or newsletter subscription, automatically getting information about your potential customer base, and being able to build your list up quickly.
Once you have contact and demographic information about your customer base, or even just those who may be interested in becoming your customer base, you can contact them and work out the best marketing campaigns.
Build a Relationship
Due to the changing nature of the internet, the lines between our business and friend relationships are becoming increasingly blurred. People comment on everything in their lives on social media and through review sites.
People want to be engaged with, and feel like they matter. It is almost as if we are going back to the old feeling of community which seems to have been lost over the last few years.
By giving something away for free, people feel special, and like they are gaining. In a similar way to how you feel when we go to the local bakery and they give you an extra bread roll, because they ‘like’ you.
And these days, with social media, people are much more likely to comment on something like this, automatically marketing your business for you. People are much more likely to listen to friend recommendations that to anonymous or even direct marketing, so it’s worth trying to keep these people sweet!
So by giving products tasters, services or even information for ‘free’, your business can potentially gain a lot. The most important thing to do now, is work out what you’re going to do with the information that you’ve gained and how you are going to cope with the influx of business.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
With the growth of the internet the role of the consumer is changing. The abundance of information available at our fingertips means that consumers are better informed than ever, not only about products and services available, but also with regards to customer feedback. This means that they now have different parameters by which they are making decisions about what, when and whether to buy.
These changes mean that the most successful businesses are changing their marketing strategies to benefit from this customer empowerment. Whereas in the past, businesses have tried to limit choice for consumers, the opposite is now happening. Businesses are finding that the more that they empower their customers, the better results that they get. Human psychology suggests that the more freedom we are given, the better we respond and this is the premise behind consumer empowerment.
Here are 5 ideas about how to empower your customers in a way that will benefit your business:
1) Create an App
Giving people information can create a problem which you can then solve. For example, an app which gives nutritional information about food can be used to promote your healthy food company. By giving consumers more information they will seek a resolution and by building an authority in your specific area, your business will be the one that they turn to, to resolve their problem.
2) Give Information
Release a blog, podcast or video which gives vital information to the public. This could anything, from legal advice, to hotel reviews. By giving out knowledge for free, consumers not only will make the right decision about what to by (gaining your business respect) but also making your business their main source of information and the first company that they think of when looking to buy again or something similar.
3) Get Customers Involved
Businesses can spend a fortune trying to create and develop new products, but who knows better than the customers which will be buying them, exactly what they want. By involving consumers in the creation and development of products, and getting feedback, not only are you engaging with them, making them feel involved and creating the right products, you are also almost guaranteeing sales.
4) Be Consistent
Consistency is perhaps the most important factor in the success of any business’s online presence. By being consistent, the face of a company is professional and uniform, whilst maintaining the brand identity, and this makes customers know that they can rely on you. Reliability is very important in helping customers decide from whom they want to buy.
Consistency isn’t just about using the same visual, same slogans and same colours, it’s also about putting out content at regular periods, with the same tone and responding within set timelines.
By engaging and conversing with your customers, you are treating them like people, and they will react like people. Consumers these days like to see a human face on businesses. By showing them the respect of conversing with them and asking them for feedback, they will in turn show you and your business respect and loyalty that we all have towards our friends.
It can be surprising how much sway the consumer has on other consumers. Social networks have meant that it’s increasingly easy to see customer feedback, hence arming consumers with still more information. By engaging with customer and empowering them, their view and respect for your business will only grow and this can only be beneficial for you.
It’s one thing getting potential customers to visit your site, but it’s another thing actually getting them to do what you want them to do. Usually this is buying a product or service, but it could also be signing up or engaging with you. Obviously not everyone is going to comply, but it is worth investing some time into making sure that your website’s conversion optimisation rate is as high as possible. Otherwise there’s no point in putting so much effort into getting them there in the first place, right?
There are two main areas to make sure that you get right – having the right people there in the first place, and then making sure that the website is conducive to people taking the right actions.
So, bearing these in mind, here are 8 improvements that you can undertake to make your website as effective as possible.
Get The Right Keywords – Especially if you rely heavily on search engine traffic, make sure that your keywords are used properly to ensure that the right people come to your sight. It may be that people are coming to your site expecting something different.
Be Transparent – Make your prices transparent from the go. There is nothing more off-putting than expecting one price and billed another after all of the add-ons.
Use Clear Language – Make sure that you are clear about what services you are offering so that people don’t get misled. There is a big difference between a local clothing repair service and a premium fashion boutique.
Get the Navigation Right – It’s a good idea to ask someone who isn’t associated with the business to try to navigate your website. See if they can easily find what they want and ask for their comments. This will help you to find the weak spots on your site and then fix them. Common problems are, more than one menu, or too many (or unclear) drop down categories
Get Mobile Friendly – Increasing numbers of people are using smartphones to access the internet. Make sure that your website is easy to navigate on a mobile and that it doesn’t suffer or become confusing when being viewed on a small screen.
Copy, Copy, Copy – Try to make the website copy as compelling and interesting as possible, without being too wordy. Boredom is not really conducive to making sales! Try to get the copy to reflect your personality or the personality of the brand. This will give a more consistent and professional overall view of the business. It’s also a good idea to freshen up the copy on the whole website from time to time.
Calls To Action – It is vitally important to get in calls to action as much as possible. “Buy now” or “Get in touch” buttons are perfect for this. It not only reminds potential customers what they are there for, it also makes it really easy for them to carry out the action.
Make it Look Nice – Professionalism goes a long way in business. Whilst it is beneficial to be friendly and personable, nobody wants to buy something from a Mickey Mouse outfit. Get your website looking professional and organised.
We are often so focussed on getting traffic to our websites that we forget what we will do with people when they get there. Make a few changes to ensure that your website’s conversion rate improves and this could make all the difference to your business.
Getting a lead is only the first step in the sales process. You still need to convert that lead into a sale. The following secret strategies are used by top Internet marketers to maximise their conversions of leads, by focusing on the behaviour of each individual prospect rather than treating prospects as a mass of identical beings.
Pay attention to anonymous visitors
Most people do not pay any attention to their site visitors, other than general website analytics to analyse their behaviour, until they have become a lead. The top Internet marketers know that much can be determined about a visitor’s interests and sales readiness by paying attention to which pages are visited and which actions are taken. This information can be tracked and assigned to an anonymous record. Then, when the visitor finally sees an offer that is too good to resist and gives you their lead information, you can tie that lead with all of the website activity that occurred prior to creation of the lead. This is especially valuable in that it tells you which offers the person saw on your website that weren’t compelling enough to act upon, so that you can incorporate more of what was successful into the offers that were not.
Base reactions upon behaviours
Common Internet marketing practices provide similar website experiences to everyone who enters the website through the same landing page. Top Internet marketers, on the other hand, pay close attention to every action a visitor takes while on the website, and deliver a website experience designed to maximise the conversion of a visitor with those behaviours. For example, the person who takes action after reading the headline of your landing page is exhibiting different behaviour from someone who scrolls to the end of the landing page, carefully reading the entire text, before taking action. The second person may have required more information to become convinced, or may be a more cautious person who wants to know all of the available facts before making a decision. Someone who views information on all of your products has a different buying mentality from someone who jumps directly to the product page for a specific product. By studying their behaviours, you will be able to make your sales offer when it is most likely to be accepted.
Top Internet marketers know that prospects need to complete certain actions on the website before they make a purchase. Someone who downloaded a free ebook may not be ready for a high-ticket sale just yet. Rather than bombarding all leads with offers for all products indiscriminately, top Internet marketers monitor visitor behaviours to determine where they are in the sales funnel and treat them accordingly. Someone who has downloaded free items may be offered more free items, with an option to buy a product, while someone who has already purchased many products may be offered a chance to buy a new product, with a bonus of something free.
Before I sign off, here are some more articles on lead conversion that you might be interested in:
You’ve spent a lot of time and money directing traffic to your website. Unless you can then convert that traffic to sales, all that time and money is lost. These five tips can help you to optimise your landing pages to increase your conversion rate and make sales from your traffic.
1. Eliminate confusion
People may have come to your website from many different places. If they clicked on a link in a Facebook ad, Google text ad, Twitter tweet, or other limited character advertisement, they may not be entirely certain where the link will take them. By reiterating the question posed in the ad at the top of the landing page, you’re reaffirming that they’ve arrived at someplace that will answer that question for them.
2. Clearly answer the question
People don’t want a long, convoluted explanation. They want a short, concise answer to their question. Give them that answer as quickly as possible. If the answer is complex or has multiple parts, use a bullet list to keep it brief. Most importantly, make sure that the answer focuses on the value of your product or service for the person. You can then elaborate on the elements of the answer, if they’re not convinced to click on your first call to action.
3. Streamline your page
If you want to give your landing page the same look and feel as the rest of your website, you can do so with colour, font, images, and other elements of branding. Don’t use the same navigation as the rest of your website, since it allows people to leave the landing page and explore the rest of your company website rather than focusing their progress to a converting sale. Limit the number of things that require the newest browsing platform, distracting special effects, or, even worse, things that play automatically without giving the user a way to stop them.
4. Track calls to action
Give every call to action on your page a specific link so that you can track visitor progress. Are visitors clicking at the top of the page, somewhere in the middle, or after reading the entire page? Does that behaviour change based on where the visitor came from? This also allows you to spotlight where people are abandoning your sales funnel and test the results of changes to your wording or layout more precisely.
5. Limit registration fields
Once you’ve finally convinced the prospects to buy, they can still change their minds if the registration form requires them to supply what they feel is intrusive data. It’s generally accepted that each additional field on a registration form beyond the email address loses you about a third of your prospects. Therefore, only include those fields you absolutely need to qualify the sale.
Before I sign off, here are some more articles on optimising conversion that you might be interested in:
To increase your conversions from website visitors, you need a professional website that visitors feel can be trusted. A clean, uncluttered website design that can be easily navigated lends a professional feel. One simple way to make your website more trustworthy is to use certification logos from your shopping cart system or other authentication system. The best way to make your website more trustworthy, however, is to use testimonials.
The most believable testimonials are video testimonials. After all, people have a finely developed sense of when another person is lying. They will trust someone giving their testimonial in video format more than they will trust that exact same testimonial in text format. The keys to making a convincing video testimonial are to connect the video with the product or service. Instead of simply filming a “talking head” against a boring backdrop, show the person using the product or service while talking about how wonderful it is. This engages the viewer and makes your product or service seem more familiar even while it stresses the value and trustworthiness. You can also intersperse video of a customer speaking with voice over still images. That lets you demonstrate the before and after nature of the testimonial much as a showcase does while keeping the power of video.
In order to make sales, you can either cold call, blindly hoping to stumble across someone interested in your product or service, or you can follow up with leads that have already let you know that they are interested in your product or service. Which sounds easier to you? But even when generating leads, there are easier ways to get leads, and harder ways to get leads. One of the easiest ways to get leads is with a well-crafted free offer.
Offer something truly valuable for free
To get someone on your mailing list, you probably already know that the best way is to offer your website visitor something in exchange for giving you their email address. However, often people make the mistake of offering something of little or no value, or a private-label version of something that is available from a number of other locations on the Internet. Instead, it needs to be something unique, and applicable to the interests of your customers. (The Internet Marketing Academy offers visitors 6 “cheat sheets” that cover the basics of Internet marketing in exchange for their email addresses.)
To further enhance visitors’ desire to give you their email addresses in exchange for your offer, make your offer time-sensitive or exclusive with a limited availability. You can also add social proof of how many other people downloaded your offer. All of these elements encourage a visitor to get your offer now, rather than thinking about it and coming back later, which they will rarely do.
Offer something newsworthy
This practice is known as “newsjacking”. If you are the first company out of the gate to offer something related to a hot trend in the news, people who are searching for information about that news will see your offer in the search results. You can also pay for ads related to those news terms. Just be certain that your offer is actually related to the news item, and is not misleading a person into responding in return for something that does not address the issue in which that person is interested. The best offers are how-to guides that match whatever the hot news topic is, capturing leads who want to take action.
Catch the eye quickly
Your potential lead is scanning a page of search results or reading a web page. How can you catch their attention in less than a second? Create a headline that promises to deliver a benefit that they need, or that promises to save them from a situation they fear. Use attention catching words such as “secret”, “surprise”, or “unknown”. Phrase your headline in the form of a question, to further engage your potential lead. If you can get them responding to your headline, it’s an easy step to getting them to respond to your offer.
Looking for more ways to generate new leads? This article might be of interest to you:
There are really just three ways to make more money from your website traffic: increase visitors, get each customer to buy more on average, and increase the conversion rate of visitors to customers.
Obviously, these are all desirable. However, the one that’s going to have the most long-term benefit is increasing your conversion rate. Think of your conversion rate as a measure of efficiency. The higher it is, the more money any other investments in marketing will make for you.
An Example Of A High Conversion Rate
Consider a business run by one man out of his home. He has only about 3000 visitors to his website per month. He is an affiliate marketer of high-end appliances retailing for roughly £250, and 30% of the visitors buy from him. He makes well over £63,000 per year, and runs his business on a part-time basis. He offers an unconditional satisfaction guarantee for 30 days and rarely has a product returned.
Think about that: in a world where 5% conversion rates are considered great, he must be doing something extraordinary. A close inspection of what he does shows that it will work for most businesses that want to work on the basis of integrity; especially those are offering a genuinely superior product at a higher price.
He spent almost 4 years building his business from nothing to its present level of success. He did so slowly, with a lot of care, and didn’t make very much money in the first year. But he was never playing a get rich quick game; he was in it for the long haul.
His website is extremely information rich. He provides lots of good information in an easy-to-read format, and he never misleads or exaggerates. He shows the value of his products through concrete examples and testimonials, as well as offering point-for-point comparisons between his high-end products and those that are less expensive.
Because he’s actually offering the best product of its kind in the world, based on objective tests and evidence that the customer can verify, the sale really requires no hype. He’s not looking for everyone to become a customer; he’s looking for those who appreciate quality in this kind of appliance and are willing to pay for it. That’s an important lesson to achieving a high conversion rate: don’t try to be all things to all people. Instead, focus on one particular demographic of customer and offer them something that’s of unique value to them. Become the expert.
The Secret Of Seven
Here’s an insider secret that applies to most, if not all, online businesses. It’s been called the secret of seven. Research has established that online customers tend to purchase products with a price ending in the number seven at rates that can be as much as 50% higher than the same product priced differently. Pricing your goods and services in numbers that end in seven will also increase your conversion rate.
Looking for more tips on improving conversion rates? This article might be of interest to you: