Need a boost in leads and sales from your website? As a business owner, focusing on improving your conversions should be your number one priority.
So what is a conversion?
A conversion is a measurement to track a goal being met on your website that helps you to grow your business, whether that’s someone downloading a free ebook from you, buying a product or even picking up the phone to respond to an offer. This gives you leads and builds your marketing lists. Building marketing lists/leads are crucial to helping your business grow. It gives you the ability to start a relationship with a potential client that knows nothing about you or your company and then you chip away at their preconceptions by giving away free valuable information. That helps to build you as an authority in your field and slowly gaining their trust. If you gain their trust, you make your selling process a lot easier. Types of conversions:
- Receive a download you are offering on your site
- They fill out a quote or a callback form
- Subscribe to your marketing lists – newsletter. (You’ll be lucky)
- Someone buys a product from you.
- Requests a demo or sign up
- Calls you to respond to an ad or offer.
The web average for site conversions is just 1.2%. So for every 100 people that visit your website only 1.2 people will give you any information. Thats 98.8% leaving with taking no action, meaning you will never see them again… what a waste.
So what do we do to reduce the waste?
The most logical thing to say would be to double traffic you need to double the conversions. That’s not going to be easy without throwing money at paid traffic or you really ramping up social and email content. So that logic is flawed. If you go to all the effort and expense of doubling your traffic would it not make more sense to spend time and money to double, triple or even quadruple your conversion rates?
The conversion swing
If you increase your conversion rates from 1% to 2% you’ve doubled your conversion rate. This now means if you double your traffic you’ll have a 200% boost in conversions, increase your conversions from 1% to 5% and then double your double your traffic you’ll have a 1000% conversion boost. I’ve seen conversion rates go from 0.5% to 52.2% in a matter of days by simply putting into practice a few simple tried and tested tactics which are included in this guide.
Why is conversion important?
If you can increase your conversion rates you will be in a much stronger position than your competition. The boost in conversions will mean you are spending less on traffic, less on capturing a lead, so the money you save can be re-invested back into your marketing or driving more traffic. Meaning you can afford to spend more on a customer then your competition. The benefits of conversion optimisation:
- Your marketing lists will grow faster.
- Your cost per lead will be reduced
- You can afford to buy more traffic
- Saves time in the future as you have a proven method for your market
Some basics maths: (dust off the calculators)
If you spend £200 on a new marketing campaign and you capture 20 leads that equates to £10 a lead. If you followed up on the 20 leads and converted 4 leads into a customer with an average spend of say £1000 you’ve just brought in £4000 for just £200. So you’ve spent 5% per customer – before you begin work out the number you’re willing to spend to capture a new customer.
The simple thing to remember is the more leads you generate for your business the more people you can promote and sell your services to.
Where’s your online marketing at today?
I’d happily take a bet that you are just like 94.6% of the business owners that have a website and you have no knowledge of how many people hit your site and have taken any action on your site, whether that’s where they spend most of their time on the site, watching a video, downloading a free guide or filling in a contact form. I’ll also bet that you’re doing no or very little marketing to promote your business online or offline to drive traffic to your website or landing pages and then to convert these visitors into leads.
If you are part of this 94.6% you are missing a MASSIVE opportunity to turn your website into an effective promotion tool. A lead generator and marketing and sales machine in one, a site that can help take your business to the next level and propel you miles ahead of your competition. Leaving them sat with the other 94.6.% wondering how you did it.
The good news is…
Most websites suck – I look at on average 10 different websites a day and I rarely see one that makes me think WOW…they’ve got their sh*t together! I’d be willing to bet that your site isn’t in a great place either. (I’m placing a lot of bets) Some sites look awesome but they don’t speak to the target market. They have no clear calls to actions or data entry points for visitors to leave their details. They have been clearly designed by a designer and a business owner who has no grasp on marketing or your target market’s needs. Theses types of site may look great but they don’t fulfill their true purpose or give the user the opportunity to discover the benefits of doing business with you.
This is good news for you because if you can get your sh*t together and get a website that’s even 50% optimised to convert people into visitors then you will already in a better place then 94.6% of your competition. Just by reading these words and understanding the importance will put you ahead of the game.
So what is the purpose of a website?
A website is a crucial part of your marketing machine, it’s your shopping window for your ideal customer to find you and then start the beginning of a relationship with potential new clients. There are two types of website.
A brochure information site.
This will tell the user just how great you are but will not build marketing lists or start the relationship with potential clients.
A conversion site.
The sole purpose of this type of site is to grow your marketing lists, build a relationship and then engage with and sell to your new found friends.
What type of site is yours? Which would you prefer?
The true purpose of your website is to help grow your business it’s that simple. But how I hear you ask?
You need 3 elements to create a conversion machine for your business.
- Traffic ( the right traffic )
- Conversion ( data capture – leads)
- Follow up
Let me explain in a little more detail…
Traffic (the right traffic.)
Driving traffic is easy. You could go out and buy Google or Facebook Ads tomorrow and get hundreds or thousands of hits on your site but will the people who visit be the right prospects for your business? This approach is like throwing uncooked spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks! Sure. you’ll attract a few leads but the outlay to acquire them will be higher than it should be.
Building marketing Lists (conversions – leads)
So when a visitor to your site lands where you want them to, do they take the action you want them to take? Conversion plays a huge role in helping you achieve better quality leads, reduce ad spend, more effective marketing and sales funnels.
Follow up is generally the difference between the winners and losers! All your hard work and expense in driving traffic to your website and then converting that traffic will have been thrown down the toilet if you don’t follow up.
Follow up should be a key part of your marketing machine.
Note: don’t just jump straight in for the sale on the first follow up email (unless they ask you to). This never works.
Automate your follow up.
Autoresponders – We have some very sophisticated marketing tools available to us these days to suit any budget. The bare minimum requirement the tool that you choose must have is (autoresponders) to have a set of automated emails going back to the person who converts.
This will help you continue the conversation and promote and upsell different offers you may have.
Re-targetting – Even if you don’t manage to get the conversion you’re after and get the visitor onto your marketing list, make sure you have the ability to place a tracking pixel on your pages. This way you can continue to show ads across the internet and Facebook to these users tryng to encourage them to come back to you and your site.
Lets start at the beginning… what you’re about to read over the following pages doesn’t just apply to websites and squeeze pages. They should be considered right from the beginning of any marketing campaign even before you put pen to paper.
How well do you really know your customers?
What’s the point of putting so much effort into your marketing and conversion if the right people aren’t there to hear it or see it? I hate to break it to you – but not everyone is going to want to hear every single thing you have to say. And this is one of the golden rules of marketing: know your audience, and market to the right people at the right time.
Sounds simple, right?
It is, if you know just a few key tips to pinpointing exactly who your audience are, and how to reach them with the right message. Follow these three steps and BOOM: you’ll be able to create highly targeted content and offers that have a much higher chance of converting. So, let’s get down to it.
Step one: Identify your target audience
Let’s start at the beginning. Who’s actually buying your product? Is it quite niche, or are there many different groups who might buy it for different reasons? Let’s look at different types of businesses, and how to identify their target audiences.
On the one hand, we have a plumber based in Glasgow. His target audience are people in the Glasgow area, who have some kind of plumbing issue they need fixed (we won’t go into the gory details). That’s a very specific and relatively niche audience – he’s unlikely to want to target home owners in Cornwall who need their gutters cleaned.
On the other hand, we have a copywriter based in London. She is likely to have more than one subset in her target audience. She might want to target local businesses, but also companies further afield in her areas of speciality: medical and well being. She therefore needs to pinpoint the different types of businesses she wants to connect with, and the individuals at those businesses.
Figuring out who your audience actually is and mapping it out in a clear way will help you start to realise the best places to reach them, what to say, and if you need to change tact between subsets.
Step two: Building customer profiles
When you’ve got these pinned down, it’s time to start fleshing them out a bit. Take every type of customer you might want to be targeting, and turn them into a three-dimensional person. Give them a name, an occupation, a family background and list of hobbies. I even go as far as downloading some random’s face from Google images and putting it with the profile so I can identify with them.
The aim here is that you get to know your customer and understand their motivations, desires and ultimately, what they’re looking for from you.
Our ideal customer
Here’s my current ideal customer avatar (yes, she’s just from Shutterstock). Meet Karen She’s a 26 year old business owner who runs a sales consulting firm that she set up 17 months ago. She is doing ok, and has 2 employees. 90% of her work is from referrals, but she knows she needs to do more to market her business. She’s relatively computer savvy, and has done basic marketing training so knows the importance of marketing to makes sales. However, she hasn’t got a clue where to start or the time to learn. Despite this, she is open-minded and willing to try new things to get her business’s name out there and attract her ideal clients. She’s happy to pay for value and results – but isn’t interested in shopping around for the best deal as her time is so limited. Karen is the ideal person I want to attract.
On the flip side, I have also set a list of characteristics of people I DO NOT want to do business with. Our idea of a horrible client includes:
- Start ups on very limited budgets
- See no value in what we do
Building similar lists will help you to identify what to go for – and who to avoid. Don’t know where to start? Just take a look at your current clients. The ones you love and the ones you don’t enjoy working with. Ask yourself why you like and hate working with them in equal measure, and this will help you to form your ideal client a lot easier.
Conduct incentivised surveys to your current customer. Are they mostly male or female? Where do they live? What do they make in a year? What job do they have? It’s your job to turn private eye, and use the data you get to build up a comprehensive picture of your ideal audience.
Step three: The right message for your market
So, now you’re pretty well acquainted with your audience. Great! Now what? Now you need to work out what marketing method and content message is most relevant and effective for them. For example, if you find out most of your audience is 65 and they don’t really use social media, you’ll know not to spend your budget on newer platforms like Snapchat or Instagram whose average demographics are a lot younger. You’ll use more conservative copy than you would with a younger audience – It’s safe to say a 65 year old would not get the meaning of a BOOM! 🙂
Perhaps you’ve identified that your customers respond best to 2 for 1 deals. You therefore need to demonstrate more reassurance of your credibility and value they will receive, as they are less likely to buy on impulse like a 25 – 45 year old would.
If your offer isn’t right you won’t see many conversions no matter how well thought out you ideal customer is and how well the message talks to them. Your offers need to be of high value and help solve the problem your target audience faces.
When putting together a free guide, ebook or sales page ask your self these questions.
- Whats the number 1 problem our product/service solves?
- Why would anyone say no? – If they say no how can we fix their objection.
- Is the offer a fair value trade – i.e an ebook may only require the user to give you a first name and email. If your selling a £3000 service – the user may have to fill out a longer form and have a 30 to 90 min call with you.
Clarity. What do you want the user to do. Nothing can kill conversions more than an un-clear objective for the user to take when they hit your page.
If you want them to download a free guide by getting them to fill out a form – Tell them they need to fill out the form and hit the Download Now button.
I see so many examples of forms just thrown onto a page with no title or instruction to the user on what the form is for and what they need to do. If you want them to take advantage of your fantastic new offer by giving you a call make it very clear what number and who they need to call.
Be consistent – don’t confuse people
If I click on a banner ad on a website offering me the 7 top reasons I need to buy a BMW, and then I end up on a landing/squeeze page and its talking about the benefits of owning a Seat car… there is no consistency in the ad and the page and now I’m confused. Did I land on the right page? Why are they talking to me about Seats!? I leave the page without taking and action.
Don’t try and trick people into getting something they won’t when they come through to your page.
Friction comes in lots of ways, if you run a shopping cart and the cart isn’t secure this can give the user cause for concern. Will my payment be safe? can someone hack in and grab my cart details? Adding a security cerfificate and displaying secured payment logo’s to the cart can only help you to reduce the friction (doubt’s) a user may have. Maybe the user has doubts about your product or service – Use specific, detailed testimonials to help remove these frictions.
Clear calls to action
So many sites I see don’t have a call to action. Tell the user what you want them to do, Call Me NOW on XXXXXXX or Hit the BIG Green button below.
The difference beteen a successful campaign and a failed one is the quality of the headline. Check out sites like http://www.buzzfeed.com and www.reddit.com. The content is generally prettyuseless but they have mastered the art of a good headlines that make you click. Go check it out and before you know it you’ll be taking quizzes to find out “Which Game of Thrones character you are most like” that’s the power of the headlines. This also applies to your email subject lines, facebook ads, and ppc ads.
Headlines make all the difference.
Benefits Not Features
A user isn’t really looking for a feature more a benefit that your product or service can solve.
Use bullet points to emphasise these benefits.
Putting it all together
So now we get to the good stuff… I’ve given you the fluff now its time for the buff!
Over the following pages we’ll run you through the ways to start building your marketing lists and then how to boost your conversions.
The tools you need:
WARNING – There is no single magic fits all solution for every business and marketing. These principles are solid and well tested and can be applied across all markets but you need to tailor your message to your market, getting this right is crucial to the success of anything you do.
Squeeze Pages – 2 -88% Conversion Boost
A squeeze page is a landng page sitting behind the scenes on your website or on a separate domain you may have. Their sole purpose is to help you to “Squeeze data from the visitor to your page” this type of page has proven to be one of the most effective ways to grow your marketing lists. They are so effective because they are only giving the user one task on the page – No shiney buttons to destract them or draw them away. By focusing website traffic to a squeeze page – I’ve see on average conversion rates improve by 13% – Record conversion rates I’ve seen we’re 88% on free website offer we ran during my time at Botti Creative. The following are examples of simple squeeze pages. There are numbers of ways to deploy squeeze pages in your business. If your web designer is half decent a basic squeeze page should be a walk in the park. I’m lucky to know how to build and customise my own pages inside my own site but very simple tools are available.
- Squeezepage Toolkit
- Optomise press
Data capture forms around your website – 3-49%
A data capture form is a key part of capturing marketable data from your audience on your website… this should be connected to your marketing system or CRM so when a form is filled out an automated action is triggered. Whether that’s telling a sales man to give them a call or trigger an automated email sequence to follow up on.
Tools for the job:
- Active Campaign
Pop up forms 6-12% Conversion Boost.
These come in a number or Formats.
1 – Button Pop – Click on a button and a pop up box with an offer will appear.
2 – Timed cookie based pop ups – Ever had a form just pop up 10 seconds after hitting a page? That’s a cookie based pop up in action. You can set a number of these in action on your site – Different offers for different pages, time on page – time before the ad is shown again. Cool Stuff!
3 – Exit Pop – These will launch when you go to exit a website and you receive an offer to try to entice you to stay.
Tools for the job:
- Sumo Me
- Click Funnels
- Popup Domination (wordpress)
- Lead Boxes
Blog post downloads – 10-26% Conversion boost
Are you currently running a blog but not seeing the results you hoped. This a good one that I’ve seen work very well for myself on vaious sites I’ve owned and ran a blog on. By adding a call to action box haf way through or at the end of a blog post you can boost conversions nicely and see the hard work of writing your blog posts finally bare some fruit. You will also receive better quality leads because the user is more engaged with your content. The beauty of this as well is – If you have a flexible website bloggingtool you can change the offer based on the category of content the blog post falls under. So, for example – If I blog about websites, I’ll have a web related offer. If I was to blog about branding and design I would change the offer to something to brand related. This would then boost the conversion chances as the user will be more interested in relevant content.
Top Bars – 4-8% Conversion boost
Top bars are great for promoting a core service or offer you may have. They offer a very subtle way to driving traffic to squeeze pages or where a user needs to register for a demo or an offer too good to be true. Add a top bar and see a small but significant boost to clicks and conversions.
Here’s a collection of consistent things we have found to work better and help to boost conversions. Some have only added 2% conversion boost’s but some have seen 20-30% boosts which can be game changers in many businesses.
Red headlines on a white background always win.
Blue follows in a close second
Red is an attention grabbing colour and is very effective at getting people to take notice and read what you have to offer. Blue is perceived as a trustworthy colour.
Massive headlines don’t work Don’t try and force your offer down someone’s throat by using overly big fonts on pages. People can read normal sized headlines, this tactic will scare off most visitors or make it too obvious. In 78% of pages where we’ve used massive headlines the bounce rates have shot up.
I hear more myths about buttons then any other element on websites and squeeze pages. Colour Myth – Orange and Red buttons get more conversions I’ve never seen a button colour actually boost conversions to a dramatic degree. In fact if your website design doesn’t suit a red or orange button you can reduce conversions as the button seems to obvious and forced. Keep the button colour in line with your site with a good contrast to the form backing or page background.
The Call To Action on a button will make the biggest difference
By actually instructing the user what they have to do on a button will make a bigger difference then any button colour change. Make the button call to action in their language. This is a very subtle one but time and time again can see a nice – 2% – 8% boost in conversions – By making the button CTA in the users language you touch into the psychology of the user as if they are making the decision themselves.
This is a great example from Beachbody.com selling their insanity workout programme.
Images can make a big difference to the conversions you receive. If you use images that sub-consciously cements what
the web page is or what the offer is. If your a printer and you use pictures of tree’s the users needs longer to marry the images and the words together causing doubts. If you’re offering an e-book or selling a product you need to show pictures or what the user will receive.
A well produced video can make a big difference in the conversion rates you’ll receive on website, squeeze page or sales page. Some users will prefer to read but 72% of users will prefer to consume information in a video. It will help them to get a feel for you and what you have to offer – Lights camera and action, get filming- I’m yet to see a sales page with a video on that converts worse then it’s text only equivalent!
Ditch the double opt-in
Increasing the steps a user has to take to get your free guide or demo request will reduce the amount of people you actually receive. Something I discovered recently was that about 15% of people who were subscribing to my lists were NOT clicking the link in the confirmation email that gets sent out… this means that although they’ve entered their details, they’re NOT an active subscriber. Your spam subscribers will increase slightly – but it’s a price I’m happy to pay for the additional 15% on my lists.
Add social proof to your offer
You’ve got clients that love you, use them! People won’t seek out your testimonials but when placed in the right place with the right place they can be the difference between someone filling out the form and not. – Adding testimonials to anything you do will boost conversions. I’ve never seen or heard of a campaign out performing a campaign without using testimonials.
Make your sign up box stand out
Put the form in a colourful or contrasting block so it stands out from the rest of the page. – Draw the eye to what you want the user to do.
What to drop from your website now
Newsletter sign up box
They just don’t work. They offer no immediate benefit or value to the user. If someone downloads one of your free guides just put them onto your newsletter anyway.
Drop the slider
Very common trend on websites are these big page headers that slide around every 5-10 seconds. These take up lots of real estate and your user won’t just sit there and wait for all your slides to finish. The click through rates on each slide decreases by 20% each time so by the 5th slide you end up with 0 clicks. Simply add a nice static image with your number
Twitter and other social feeds
Why go to all the effort of getting people to your site and then giving them the chance to click off and go to twitter where there are no Call’s To Action and lots of distractions.
Registration To Buy
If you run a online shopping cart and you are asking users to register for an an account before they can complete their purchase, you will be seeing big drop offs in completed orders. People are lazy and don’t want too many obstacles to get in their way. Let them check out as a guest to see a healthy boost in conversion rates.
Look at how easy Amazon make it to spend money with them.
Multi Steps in your Checkout process
The less steps n your checkout process the better your abandon rates will be. I’ve seen sites with 13 steps to checkout! A great order page will be 1-2 steps. The rest are aimed at boosting sales with Up- sells and down sells.
Offers on abandoned carts
Add a pop up offer on cart exit. So when a user decides to abandon the cart you can offer them an extra incentive to stay and complete the order
Free Shipping Works Best
Every e-commerce store I’ve been involved in has always seen a more positive boost in sales when a free shipping offer is applied. For some reason people hate paying for delivery and will value it more then a 10% off coupon.
Test, Test, Test and Test again
Testing the effectiveness of your pages, offers and headlines are a crucial part of conversion optimisation. If you don’t know what’s happening how are you meant to fix it?
Again most people put all the hard work into building a landing page or new website and then spend money on driving traffic without giving any though to measuring how well this hard work is actually working.
Not measuring your results is a key sin!
It’s not the glamourous part but one of the most important. To be successful you need to keep improving. Measuring and Testing is key to improving your conversions. Once you know what results you are having you can make the decision to test, test again and then you’ll either know whether to pull the plug or continue to use that page as an effective on-going lead generator for your business.
Getting basic data…
Google analytics is an awesome free resource, granted not the easiest to understand but it gives you a great insight to the traffic you’re receiving and what the traffic is doing on your site.
Don’t base your success on HITS or worry too much on bounce rates -These are vanity metrics and the real gold you are looking for are your conversion rates.
How to track conversions
Conversion Tracking inside Goggle Analytics is very easy to set up – Just search inside You tube and watch one of the many video’s available. Once you know the conversion rates you’ll know if the changes you make are successful and actually boost or reduce conversions.
You can split test almost anything, a different headline, a different CTA, a button, colour of the headlines and buttons, email subject lines etc.
You name it you can test it.
Most squeeze page tools come with Split testing tools now a days. But there are also some great tools you can depoly to help test different elements on your pages. I’m lucky enough to have the skillset required to set my own tests up but a great tool to run various test on your site is https://www.optimizely.com/
See what people are doing on your site
One of the most effective tools I’ve found i and used in the last year is Crazyegg.com it allows you to see what users are actually doing on your website and pages. You can see where people are clicking, how far they are scrolling and what content they are engaging with. You can then make informed optimisation changes based on the results of the user interactions people are making on your site.
The screen shot below is an example from my own website meltdesign.co.uk. As you can see the promote tab actually gets no clicks, so my next move is to try a different tab name. If that doesn’t work I would consider losing this tab all together.
Another of my favourite testing tools is called usertesting.com. For only $50 you can get yourself and video fo upto 5 users going around your site giving you feedback. You can set them tasks, and goals to complete like, find this download, add X product to the cart in certain colour. This is a powerful way to see what people think and the challenges people face when looking around your site.
That’s it, I could have easily produced a guide double this size. I hope this guide has been a helpful introduction in your conversion needs and highlights the power and need for conversions for your business today.
Time to Take Action..
If you read this guide and understand the power of conversion optimisation… and then do nothing you’ll have wasted the 10 – 12 minutes you’ve taken reading this guide and you certainly won’t see any change in your online marketing fortunes. Just putting a few of these things into place can have a massive impact on your business.
If you have no clue where to start or as a busy business owner you have no spare time to put this in place we’d be happy to help.
Just pop on over to www.meltdesign.co.uk/unlock or give me a call on 0121 405 0452 to see if we can work together to boost your online fortunes.
Thanks for reading
Hit up the comments below and tell us how you’ve managed to boost the conversions in your business. I’d love to hear your success stories.