The 5 Essential Elements of Conversion Optimization

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You can drive all the business to your website that you want, but if those visitors are not converting into paying customers than all that traffic is doing nothing for you.

Conversion Optimization

Most web marketing clients, as well as many consultants, are obsessed with website rankings. How many times have you gotten an email in your spam folder from some company in India claiming that they’ll, “get your website to the top of Google”?

I hate that phrase because it is so limiting, not to mention antiquated. If ranking and traffic are your only concerns, then you’re leaving a lot of business on the table.

Getting visitors to your site is only half of your digital marketing challenge. The other, and perhaps more important objective is your conversion ratio.

Conversion optimization is the art of getting a visitor to your website to take a specific action. That action can be a purchase, a phone call, an email or even a sign-up to a newsletter. Even so, a conversion is still not our primary objective.

As a business owner, everything you do should drive sales and enhance your return on investment. Clearly, you’re in business to make money. If your web marketing makes your business money, then we can safely determine that our objective has been met.

But a good ROI starts with a conversion.

1. Determine Your Conversion

Learn what your conversion is by identifying the precise action you want visitors to take when they reach your website. Are you a plumber, locksmith, HVAC contractor, attorney or chiropractor? If so, a likely conversion is a phone call or email to set up a consultation or job estimate. Maybe you want your visitors to fill out a contact form on your website.

If you are a retailer and sell products on your website then a conversion is probably a direct sale.

Perhaps you own a restaurant and you have a coupon for visitors to download. You can track downloads as conversions.

It’s Clear the Green Oil’s conversion is to get direct phone calls to their business.

Maybe you are a marketing consultant like me and you want people to join your email list because you know that the bigger the list, the more likely someone will purchase a product or consulting service someday.

Incidentally, if your objective is to build an email list, you better do it right. Never send junk and always offer your subscribers quality content that they can use to make their lives better.

2. Provide a Good UX

Provide a good user experience. User experience has become such a hot topic that some marketers specialize in it alone.

You need to provide a good UX because the more fulfilling it is for consumers to be on your website, the longer they will stay and the more they will come back. More time on site means more conversion opportunities for you. There are many ways to do this.

First, make sure your website loads quickly. Google provides a?free speed testing tool. If you fail it, get in touch with a webmaster. The tool provides many suggestions to speed up your page load times without compromising the look and functionality of your site.

I hate to pick on people, but this company should know better. Can you tell what you’re supposed to do on this home page for Critical Path? What are they offering? They’re trying to be too cute. It’s a good example of a bad user experience

When designing your pages, keep it simple. If you have to make your visitors work too hard because your navigation is not where it should be or they can’t figure out how to contact you, then they will bounce.

Your website is no place to be creative. You can look professional and contemporary, but put your page elements right where consumers expect them to be; navigation menu at the top, logo top left, contact info in the footer, main content area down the center of the page and call-to-action to the right or left, above the fold (usually).

Have an easy navigation and don’t confuse your visitors with too many options. Decide what the purpose of your page is and keep it at that. Make it informative.

Keep out the clutter. Clutter and busy pages confuse consumers?and make them uncomfortable. Uncomfortable visitors?don’t last long and when they leave, they’re gone for good.

3. Relevant Content

Don’t fill your pages with a bunch of fluff. The most important thing to remember about your content is that consumers don’t care about you, they care about themselves. They came to your website because they want you to solve a problem or answer a question. Find out what this purpose is and address it directly.

Your content should be relevant, unique and extraordinary. Spend a lot of time on it and make sure you are fulfilling the needs of your visitors.

Provide plenty of headlines and sub-headers and break up long content with bullet points. Most visitors skim so make important points stand out.

Use images, but make sure they support the content. Boring stock photos do nothing. Try to use real images of real people.

This is a screenshot of the content above the fold for a page on the Intech1 website. Not only is the content uncompelling and thin, but it’s incoherent. Furthermore, that stock image has been shared among thousands of websites.

Avoid trying to answer every question and addressing every objection a visitor may have. Give them the bullet points and try to focus on one key area. If interested, they’ll contact you with questions.

4. A Strong Call-to-Action

Your page should have one clear call-to-action (CTA) that compels your visitors to do something. Our experience shows that a CTA has best results if it is in some sort of box or specific area that stands out.

The general rule pf thumb is that if you can step back from your computer about five feet, the one thing that stands out from everything else on the page should be your CTA.

Tell your visitors what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it.

A clean page with a compelling and descriptive header and sub-header. The CTA tells us exactly what to expect. And if that wasn’t enough, they put a 3-step process to show visitors how easy it is and then they top it off with strong social proof – all above the fold.

Create an attention-grabbing headline with a compelling sub-header and button. The button should tell them exactly what will happen after they click it.

If you use a web form, don’t make them fill out too many fields or they’ll chose not to fill it out at all. Only ask for information that you absolutely need. Anything you can get later, skip.

5. Testing

You must test. Even we are wrong sometimes and we’re conversion optimization experts.?The only way we know for sure if our landing pages are working is by testing.

If you can create two separate landing pages, direct half of your visitors to one and the second half to the other. Run the test over time and see which page converts better. Then take that page and test it against another.

Once you found your best page, then start testing elements of the page. Change headlines, re-position calls-to-action, re-write content.

Keep in mind that testing colors of buttons usually has little effect on the performance of a page while content changes can have quite a dramatic effect.

Unbounce?is a very good testing platform. It’s easy to use and they give you a 30 day free trial. You can test multiple pages or multiple elements on a page.

Hand-in-hand with testing is the data you get as a result of tests. Make sure you have an analytics tool installed on your website such as the free?Google Analytics?platform. It will tell you what’s working on your site and what isn’t. What do visitors respond to and from which pages are they bouncing.

As always, if you need help with any of this stuff, let us know in the comments below or send us an email to discuss some of our custom services.

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