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Get business website results: Focus on conversion optimization

November 16th, 2012

man with binocularsIn our first five articles in the How Anyone Can Get More Results From a Business Website series, we discussed how to create, optimize,  promote new content , measure results, and choose the right keywords for your website in order to attract more visitors. In this last article of the series, we’ll show you how to turn more of your online visitors into leads and customers by making a few simple changes to your website.

In this article we’ll be talking about marketing conversions and how to get more of them from your website. A conversion on a website is any action or goal that you are hoping to have a visitor accomplish. A few examples include filling out an online form (to become a sales lead), buying something from an ecommerce store (to become a customer), or providing contact information to download a coupon.

Almost anything can be defined as a conversion point on your website, depending on your goals. But for the sake of this exercise pick a single goal that is most important to your business. Before we go any further be sure you take a second to answer the following question:

What do I really want a visitor to do on my website?

Got an answer? Great! Now lets look at how you can make sure as many of your website visitors as possible actually reach this goal.

Place Calls-To-Action on Every Entry Page

Visitors to your site are going to arrive via a variety of sources such as search engines, referring sites, or your social media pages. And they are going to arrive at different pages on your site.

So the first thing to understand is all possible entry points, which are often referred to as entry pages. Some common entry pages include the Homepage, Product or Service Pages, and Blog articles. Common website analytics tools like Google Analytics will show you these pages in a report that is usually just called Entry Pages.

Once you know your most entry landing pages you need to make sure that each one contains a strong Call-To-Action (also called a CTA) on it. A CTA is a linked button, piece of text, or image that pushes visitors toward your primary website goal.

For example, your CTA might be a button that allows a visitor to add an item to her shopping cart, or it might be a link to a Request a Proposal and Quote online form.

Create a strong CTA for each of your entry pages. Read our article, Your “Call-To-Action” – Getting visitors to meet a website objective to learn a few tips and tricks on creating CTAs that your visitors will notice and click on.

Create Distinct Landing Pages

Once you get a visitor to click on your Call-To-Action they’ll be directed to a page that is optimized for one purpose, conversion. This is called a landing page. A good landing page contains only the vital information your visitor needs to make a decision. Provide the necessary information about what they will get if they take the action.

For example, in the case of an email newsletter subscription form, you would want to clearly state what type of content each newsletter will contain and how often they should expect to receive them. For a coupon download form, be sure to state the full details of the discount provided and how the coupon can be used after it is downloaded.

Remember, your landing page is all about one thing, turning your visitor into a lead or customer. Keep your message clear and avoid the urge to make other distracting offers on the same page. If you have other offers to make, create new landing pages and build new CTAs that link directly to them. Here are some additional tips on building landing pages and a great small business landing page.

Make an Offer That Matters

The offer is the item or service (or discount) that you are enticing your visitors with. It’s mentioned in your Call-to-Action and it’s described on your landing page. In all that you do, don’t forget that success comes from having the right offer. The offer is often the most neglected part of the website conversion process.

A good offer is clear and specific. If its free consultation, how long is the consultation? If it’s a gift basket, be sure to describe the contents and when you’ll ship it. It’s easy to assume that your visitors already understand why your offer is so great. They don’t.

Be sure to ask yourself, “if I was a visitor on this website, would I be willing to provide my personal information, or spend money, in order to receive this offer”? If the answer is maybe or no, update your offer to make it absolutely and completely irresistible.

Wrapping It All Up

The basic conversion optimization process that we’ve described above will help you begin pushing more of your website visitors through to the goals you have set for them. Create your plan by building your offers first, then create landing pages that describe each offer, then writing short statements that describe the benefits of each offer (that you will use as the Calls-to-Action on your entry pages).

After you have implemented these basics, you can also begin experimenting with dynamic CTA and offer testing. This is often referred to as A/B testing. A/B testing is a good way to let your visitors tell you which CTAs and offers they prefer, so you don’t have to guess on your own. Be sure to follow our small business web marketing blog to stay updated on these tips and more for getting the best business results from your website.

We hope you have enjoyed this six-part series on Do-It-Yourself Web Marketing and we wish you the best success growing the number of sales leads and customers you get from your website.

Remember, your website isn’t going to optimize itself. Put a 15 minute weekly-recurring appointment on your calendar, work on the methods described in these articles, and in a few months you’ll have a $100,000 web marketing program for the cost of just a few hours of your time. –By Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith is co-founder and CMO at BoostSuite.  Daniel is a car enthusiast, world traveler and wanna-be wine snob. When he’s not at BoostSuite helping small businesses succeed you can find him skiing, wake-boarding and driving fast cars.

BoostSuite is a web marketing optimization product for small business owners. Unlike current products that bewilder and discourage small business owners, BoostSuite allows novice web marketers to build more website traffic and convert more online visitors into customers and leads for their businesses. BoostSuite is free and takes only one minute to set up, is easy to learn, and can be used by anyone.

 

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One Response to “Get business website results: Focus on conversion optimization”

  1. Brian Burt says:

    Hey, I enjoyed reading your post. I liked the emphasis on simplicity and how it’s important not to throw too much at the customer when you really have one main mission on that page.
    Thanks for the useful info!

    Brian

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