A website’s very existence is to turn a prospect into a sale, but for many businesses, their average conversion rate sits at around 2% of all unique visitors. It’s essential for businesses to align marketing and sales and these steps will help you to generate inbound traffic and leads, and convert them into sales through conversion rate optimization and buyer’s journey tactics.
- The customer wants what they want
The first step in getting your head around converting your traffic is to understand that every visitor to your site wants something different. Some are there to buy, some to investigate, explore, or evaluate, and some are simply browsing or stopping by. It’s important to always keep this in mind so that the content and optimization you employ is reaching all parties.
- The technical stuff
Your website needs to hum, through its navigation and design, as well as the simple technical aspects such as loading time. This is where conversion rate optimization (CRO) really comes in as a powerful tool for marketers. Loading time, for instance, should ideally be less than 3 seconds. Plenty of research shows that more than this equals a dramatic loss in the number of visitors who stay on your site. Tools such as Pingdom are great for testing your site’s speed – adjust your site accordingly until you hit that sweet spot.
- Testing, testing and more testing
We’ve optimized the shopfront of the website through CRO and great navigation that makes sense to the consumer, not the company. Now, it’s time to thoroughly investigate your lost customers. Use analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to decipher how and why you are losing them, and be sure to include tools that can help you visualize the breakdown in the buyer’s journey, such as heat maps. Once you’ve developed an idea of why you might be losing your customers, it’s time to test your theory out. A|B tests and surveys are great ways of establishing what content works and why as a start. From there, it’s a case of listening to what your customers want, and then rinse and repeat.
- Give the customer what they want
Let’s go back to our first point where we took into account the different types of customers on a site at any different time. Do a content audit of your website as each of those customers you’ve identified. Do each of them receive premium content tailored to their needs at every step of the buying process? If you’re unsure, try implementing these tried and true methods:
- Valuable content – create engaging and relevant content that your visitors will appreciate. An interesting video will captivate visitors regardless of why they are on your site. For those investigating and evaluating, ensure that you have the answers and information to any question they could possibly ask, and to those they haven’t even thought of. Be transparent about your product or service to build trust. Provide value through knowledgeable content, for instance, free e-books and industry guides if you are a B2B company.
- Personality – whatever you do, don’t shy away from personality. Not only is it great at building your brand, it also builds trust between you and your customer. Look for unexpected ways to connect on a genuine level, for instance, making terms & conditions checkboxes more interesting.
- Trust and transparency – ensure that each part of your website makes your company look credible and trustworthy. If you have guarantees, place them on each page. If it’s appropriate to add an ‘About Us’ section, do so, add pictures of yourself and, again, connect on a genuine level.
- Opt-in – many marketers create the essential opt-in database capture form to generate leads from the perspective that they are doing something that will inevitably annoy their customer. Create an attractive, compelling opt-in form, full of your brand’s personality from the perspective that you’re truly adding value to this customer’s life by being able to converse with them directly. You’ll be surprised how much a change in attitude can lend itself to great results.
- Incentivize – Again, you can align marketing and sales by asking how you can use incentives to make your customer’s life better. Incentives are always mutually beneficial if they compel a visitor to buy. Bundling a product together at a discounted rate, providing free shipping, or creating a sense of urgent excitement are all great places to start.
It’s often the very simple changes that can help increase the conversion rate on your website. Be your own inbound marketing agency and employ these steps, starting with getting the basic technology right, to creating rich and compelling content that suits your visitor’s needs. Mostly though, it’s important to understand who your visitor is. Analytics tools can provide you with data and numbers to help you figure that out, but it’s the deep understanding of why your consumer is there in the first place, and why they leave, that will bring you dramatic results.