What is conversion marketing?
In marketing, a conversion is when a visitor to your website completes a desired action. Before you can create a high-converting site, you need to know what those desired actions are so you can measure success. Examples of conversion goals include:
- Sharing your content on social media
- Subscribing to your email newsletter
- Signing up for a webinar
- Learning more about or buying a product or service
Ideally, conversion goals should be something you can measure, and something that moves visitors closer to becoming customers. For example, having 1,000 people sign up for your email newsletter is great, but it's even better when a significant number of those subscribers actually open your emails and follow the links you share.
Understanding what matters to your audience
It's also essential to know your audience. You can use web analytics to get information on who's visiting your site and what they're looking at. That way you can tell whether your site is really catering to potential customers, or whether you need to tweak it to improve conversions.
To achieve high conversion rates, you also need to be aware of what customers are looking for when they visit your site. If you don't deliver, conversions will be low. Three questions your customers will likely ask themselves are:
- Am I on the right site, and can you help me?
- Are you trustworthy, and can you prove it?
- Do you have the information, product, or service I need?
If you keep those questions in mind, and follow the tips below, then your website has a better chance of winning conversions.
1. Design your site for a smooth customer experience
Site design is key when it comes to winning conversions. You want the customer experience to be as smooth as possible, because anything that causes friction or frustration can send them away.
First impressions count, so what people see when they land on your site really matters. To make a good first impression:
- Use colors1 that underline your brand identity and message. For example, you might use blue to suggest trustworthiness or red for urgency.
- Don't get quirky or cute with navigation labels. Use terms that most people understand so visitors can move through your site easily.
- Include a search bar to help people to find what they want if it's not immediately visible, and make sure the search experience works well.
- Ensure your business website is secure; if visitors' browser throws up a security warning, they're unlikely to stay on your site (or visit it at all).
- Optimize your site for mobile. Almost 49% of U.S. web traffic2 comes from mobile devices, plus people regularly use mobile devices to research and buy3 products. You could be losing business if your site isn't mobile-friendly.
2. Build trust and show value (and values)
Trust has always been a big factor in winning conversions. In uncertain times, it's even more important. The Edelman Brand Trust4 report shows that 70% of people say trusting a brand has become more important. In addition, 53% of people believe trust is second only to price in determining how willing customers are to purchase from a new brand. To help customers trust you:
- Provide the information visitors expect when they land on your site. If your social media update says they should click for a coupon, then they should get a coupon when they click.
- Provide reliable information on your website and blog (we'll talk about that more in the next tip).
- Use social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials.
3. Use content to attract leads
The right content is essential in making your business website convert. That's why it's a good idea to have a business blog. Content attracts visitors, visitors become leads, and leads generate sales. Think of every piece of content on your site as a chance to build a relationship with your visitors.
For every piece of content you create:
- Write headlines that show what the content is about and that make readers want to click.
- Create an introduction that reinforces the reasons for needing the content.
- Use the body of the content to deliver what you promise in the headline and introduction.
- Add a call to action at the end to tell readers what to do next. This can be a micro-conversion, such as sharing the content, joining your email list, or learning more about a product or service.
- Look after search engine optimization (SEO) by including relevant search terms so that people will find that content via search engines.
You can also win conversions with a lead magnet. This is a piece of digital content offered as an incentive for subscribing. If you're in the travel business, you could offer a destination guide. Or if you're running a restaurant, you could share some recipes. Real estate agents often offer home buying guides. Make sure your lead magnet is relevant to both your business and your customers' needs.
4. Make conversion easy
There's one final step: making it easy for visitors to convert by having relevant calls to action in the right places on your site. These might include:
- Social media share buttons alongside your blog posts (or at the start and end).
- A widget or link to recommend content related to what people are already looking at. For example, if your customer is looking at an article on home decor, highlighting a related piece on interior design is a good move.
- Email signup forms. You'll have to test to determine the most effective placement for these. Common locations include the site header, at the end of content, in the sidebar, or in the footer.
- A landing page where they can sign up for an event or access a resource.
There are lots of elements of a good call to action, such as being personal, minimizing risk, showcasing value, and giving visitors a concrete action to take. Instead of saying "click here," you can say "Get your free ebook today."
After creating a smooth experience for your visitors, building trust, crafting appealing content, and making conversions easy, you're all set to improve conversions on your business website.