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Sunday, December 05, 2010

Improve Website Conversions!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Improving your web site conversion rate is the most important thing you can focus on this holiday season if you want to increase revenue. Almost every website loses potential customers due to lackluster sales funnels and poorly designed websites. Now is the time to review your site to see why it might fail to convert interested prospects.

Have you ever listened to a group of online marketing professionals discuss their websites or landing pages? Their conversation more often than not focuses around traffic - misguided and partially irrelevant. Bragging about traffic alone is missing the most important point of a website or online asset which is simply to convert prospects into buying customers.

Savvy marketers talk about what happens to their traffic. We all know that generating traffic is relatively easy compared to conversions. I mean, you can buy traffic but you can't buy conversions (unless you consider a click a conversion but personally I do not)! The hard part is increasing the percentage or rate at which you convert traffic to qualified leads or sales.

Here are some basic tactics you can use to increase conversion rates on your website or promotional web pages:

1. Understand the intent of your traffic. Site visitors at different stages of the sales cycle will need different content and landing pages with different offers and information. For example, deep in the sales funnel, a qualified prospect may be looking for a quote or a demo. Creating engaging offers are appropriate at this point because the prospects are willing to invest the time to make their purchase decision.

2. Google analytics. Make sure you are tracking the on site behavior of your audiences. I can't tell you how many executive board rooms I've sat in where everyone had an opinion but no one had data. Don't assume you know how your web site traffic behaves. Use data to clearly understand the behavior of your web browsers and prospects.

3. You'll need a different process and different offers for less qualified prospects that are still in the research stages. Business to business buyers for example may require months of nurturing. Sub-offers such as mini conversion tactics and opt-in forms are appropriate for these leads.

4. Align traffic source with landing page messaging. Users need a consistent and seamless user experience. By making sure that the source of your traffic is tied to the landing page, you stand a much better chance of keeping browsers engaged and moving through the purchase decision funnel.

5. Spend time developing and testing your landing pages. A/B split tests, multi-variate testing and so on can be the difference between break even and generating large profits. Begin with a well designed landing page and start testing.

6. Vary your rate of follow up with prospects. Don't shove prospects down a rabbit hole and make each of them buy in the same time frame. Some prospects need to compare and evaluate similar offers. Perhaps you can help them with appropriate follow up campaigns and special offers that differentiate you from the competition. Not everyone is looking to buy on the spot. Give them an opportunity to buy at their own pace.

These are just a few of the tactics you should think about when focusing on landing page and webs site conversions. Over time, your testing will give you a significant edge over the competition and take the guess work out of converting your prospects into paying customers.


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