Increasing the number of visits to your site is important, of course, but if your search optimization strategy stops there, you may not be getting any return on the marketing dollars you’ve spent to get that website traffic. The other half of the equation is where the real rewards are: turning (or converting) visitors into customers. If you’ve been putting the bulk of your online marketing budget toward lead generation, consider shifting some of it to website conversion optimization.
Types of conversions
To understand conversions, first think about the goals of your site pages. Let’s say your objective is to have website visitors complete a form to get more information. When they do so, the action they’ve taken is a conversion. Or perhaps you want them to join your email list; if they do, that’s a conversion. By successfully motivating your site visitors to take a desired action, you have transformed, or converted, their engagement with you.
For most business owners, these types of conversions should ultimately lead to the most important one of all — converting prospective consumers of your product or service into buying customers. Each smaller conversion along the way should be designed to keep website visitors interacting with you, making it easier for them to decide to do business with you when they are ready to buy.
Make your website conversion-friendly
Increasing leads is always on our list of ways to help our clients succeed. Even without our help, however, business owners who have enough time and money to put toward it can see gains in website traffic. But will they see that traffic turn into new customers if they haven’t invested in their websites?
As a web user yourself, consider how often you arrive at a website, spend just seconds scanning it, then leave because:
- You didn’t see what you were looking for quickly enough.
- The site appeared to be too much trouble to use.
- You saw no reason to stay on the site.
Now consider this: Those sites you spent only seconds on were probably very high in search engine results. Whatever those site owners invested in SEO or PPC to get you there was wasted, though, because they’ve neglected to also invest in providing a great experience for prospective customers.
To help keep visitors on your site, look at it from your own point of view as a consumer:
- Does it clearly offer something in exchange for taking a desired action, such as signing up for a free consultation?
- Does your business provide something of value, and does your site make this clear?
- Is there anything in the users’ way of taking the desired action, such as unneeded clicks to get where you really want them to be or forms that ask for too much information?
- Does your site keep the promise that your SEO or PPC makes elsewhere online?
If you can objectively review your website visitor’s experience from beginning to end and make the changes that will help them complete their tasks more easily, you’ll be well on your way to improving your site’s conversion rates.
Conduct tests to learn what users want
Assess what you’re spending on increasing leads to your site, then consider moving about a quarter of that to testing. By making incremental changes to your website, followed by gathering data, you’ll learn what site elements influence visitor behavior. Make just one or two changes a time, though, or you may have a tough time identifying just where your best opportunities are for improvement.
Here are a few areas of your site to focus your testing on:
- Messages: Make sure you clearly state not only what you’re offering, but what your product or service can do to make the buyer’s life better. There are exceptions, but for the most part, benefits inspire more action than features.
- Design: Has it been a while since you’ve updated your site? If it’s time for a fresh look for colors, fonts and images, find the room in your budget to make the changes. Site visitors will feel better about your company when they feel good about your site’s appearance.
- Usability: Consider the number of steps you ask users to take to get something done. Keep forms brief, and test variations of it.
- Users’ goals: If an ad is what brought them to your site, make sure the page they land on is in sync with the messages, look and feel of the ad. Consistency is one of the keys to a good user experience and inspiring confidence.
Need help with website conversion optimization?
This is just the beginning of what you can do to increase the number of site visitors who engage with your business. If you’d like to learn more about improving your website’s conversion rate, please contact us anytime.
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