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Increasing Conversion

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Social Sharing and Driving Traffic to your Website

You have a great product, idea or service. You’ve devoted in putting together a solid website. Social media marketing is important, so you have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts – maybe even a Tumblr account too. You know social sharing is a key element of success online, but you want the results of your efforts to improve.
Follow these ten guidelines to use those social media channels to engage with customers and draw traffic like never before.

  1. When – and how often – to share
    Think about how you interact with different types of content on the web. Unless you run across your dream customer/employer, you’re probably not poring over their tweets from months ago or even last week. And what about how people interact with content that you post? After a couple days, that adorable picture of your kid/dog/car probably isn’t generating new ‘Likes’ on Facebook anymore – no matter how cute you know it is.
    Tweet often, as tweets have a short shelf-life. Facebook posts last somewhat longer, but similarly get lost in the shuffle after only 4-5 hours. Blog posts provided longer-lasting, searchable contents.
    Get to know the unique blend of needs, habits and personalities that typify your customers, and share content on a timetable that encourages them to interact. Best practices for a knitting needle company and a designer vodka will look quite different, regardless of where on the web you’re posting.
  2. Maximize the size and visibility of your posts
    If eyeball attention and space are so precious on social media, than any way to claim additional real estate must be incredibly valuable. It is. Facebook continues to tinker with its News Feed formula and presentation. Recently, it has expanded the space given to a link preview post, from 154×154 pixels to now displaying previews x3.5 times larger. This has turned the previous best-practice of sharing photos with commented links on its head.

    Preliminary research shows that these new link-preview posts dominate photos on engagement metrics. Considering that clicking on the picture, link or caption all direct readers to your linked website, this is no surprise. Don’t send your customers clicking away to a jpeg – post links and send them to your site.

    Either way, the value of including images in posts in undeniable: posts with images receive almost 40% more interaction than those without. This holds true on Twitter as well: images make up 20% more of the links on Twitter than the next-closest content type, and they similarly dominate engagement stats.

  3. Get to know your customer
    Social sharing gives you the chance to say whatever you want, to the entire world. Do you want the world to know you’re out of milk? Or do you really want the audience that cares that you’re out of milk?
    Everyone is a brand now. From massive corporations to a lonely pre-teen, everyone has a personality and presence to cultivate online. Consider your audience when identifying popular social content to re-post on your own social channels. It’s great that you’re interested in something you’ve seen online, but take a second to make sure it fits the tone and focus of your brand.

    Think backwards from your customer: is the person who will click on what you’re sharing a person you want visiting your site? Is that person going to be pleased to end up on your site? If you can answer ‘Yes’ to those 2 questions, share freely and prepare to welcome additional traffic to your site.

    Even if you’re not online to make money, it’s reasonable to call your audience ‘customers’. They’re spending their time, clicks, and advertising eyeballs on your content, so reward them with value in return. Use analytics tools to learn about your followers on each of your networks and track the performance of various styles of posts and types of content.

  4. Benefits of (regular) blogging
    The Internet is giving you an opportunity to post lasting content – content that you control, on a site you control. Exploit that opportunity.

    Your tweets will disappear, buried under a mountain of billions of fresher, sub-140 character messages. Any message on another medium is just that: not fully your own. Your blog benefits you in search, gives you a platform to become a reputable source, garners links to your work, and drives traffic directly where you want it: your website. Choose compelling images to accompany your posts. As with posts directly on social media platforms, this increases engagement and makes your content virally shareable on various networks.
    So, do it. Blog regularly. Current research indicates that blogging 15 or more times per month can increase traffic by 5X. Even if you’re a small organization, make this a part of someone’s job description. If you’re part of an even smaller enterprise, then find a way to make blogging work for you – the same research shows your business stands to benefit the most in terms of traffic increase.
    f you’re not already posting frequently, these numbers may seem daunting. Don’t worry, there are ample resources for blog post ideas. Post a weekly round-up of the most important news in your industry. Compose a How-To article related to the work you do, and shop it around to other content sites. Write a profile/review on a company you admire (maybe one you’re interested in working with/for), and link to their site. Share this on your social channels, also tagging their appropriate profiles. You get to associate with an established player in your industry. And maybe they’ll return the favor by sharing your work with their followers.

    Finally, remind your readers of the excellent content you’ve already created. Do a post highlighting your most engaging content of the month or build posts that reference some of your most successful previous pieces. Blog content is longer-lasting, but this is still the internet – it takes concerted effort to get your desired content onto your customers’ screens. Focus that effort on promoting your best work.

     

     


     

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10 Things to Boost Your Website Conversion Rate

No matter how streamlined your marketing campaigns are, boosting conversions should be top of your daily to-do list. Once an advertising campaign works, companies tend to neglect testing different variables to improve their conversion rates. Here is a list of the 10 tests you cannot afford to miss.

  1. Identify the unique selling propositions (USPs) that convert the most. 
    All of your products or services have strong selling points but not of equal importance to your customers. Test all USPs in your ads, prominent placements of the site and social media to figure out which of these improve your conversion rate the most. Once you find the best unique selling propositions, you will be able to plan your communication strategy in a way that maximizes customer acquisition.
    Related: The 3 Most Important Online Marketing Metrics to Monitor
  2. Landing page design
    You can test the landing page design in two separate phases. Phase one consists of testing several page designs in order to find the one that appeals most to your target customer. Try comparing image versus content based pages.
    Phase two consists of applying changes to the top performing design in order to test how different versions of the same page affect the success of your website. You should focus the majority of your time on the top section of the page.
  3. Landing page calls to action
    The majority of marketers decide what call to action to use based on the answer to the question: what do I want customers to do on my page? However, clever marketers would rather answer another question: what is the action customers can take on my page that will maximize profits? Testing calls to action will have a significant impact on your bottom line.
  4. Landing page text
    Make sure to test the positioning of text: where do you place the testimonials? Where are you going to analyze your benefits and features? What headlines will you use at the top of the page to maximize visitor interest? Use metrics such as sales and average time on site to evaluate the performance of your pages.
    Related: How to 'Split Test' Your Website to Engage Online Customers Better
  5. Mobile vs desktop traffic return-on-investment
    Mobile and desktop traffic are likely to convert at a different rate. Compare how much marketing budget you are spending on each device with what you are getting in return and then decrease the budget of the least profitable.
  6. Pause traffic sources based on bounce rate and average time on site
    Analyze the quality of incoming traffic from each of your marketing channels and decide which are not worth targeting due to low average time on site and high bounce rate. You can then reallocate the budget to those channels with a higher conversion rate.
  7. Adding a chat button
    Many of your website visitors might prefer to discuss business before jumping on a call or buying a product. Installing a chat on your site is relatively inexpensive and will give you one more way to convert visitors into leads.
  8. Customize landing pages for top performing geographic areas
    Where are your sales coming from? Identify the most profitable geographic areas and create dedicated pages offering local deals (e.g. free shipping in New York.)
  9. Conversion rate of returning users
    Invest in users that have visited your site, spent enough time on it but did not convert. They are likely to be interested in your offer but prefer to compare all available products first. Create campaigns to target past website visitors and test different offers and/or unique selling propositions to incentivize sales.
  10. The checkout process
    Create a smooth and fast checkout process to avoid missing out on potential customers when they are ready to convert. Test guest checkouts, short billing information forms and one-step checkout pages!

Testing is the best way to improve the conversion rate of any site. While there are numerous methods you can test, the ten elements above are a great starting point. This process is neither easy nor quick but it is worth investing the time to benefit your business long term.

Related: 12 Ways to Increase Online Sales

Related Book: Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords

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How To Increase Conversion Rates

What are Conversion Rates?
Conversion Rates are the percentage of prospective customers who take a specific action you
want. For example, the following are specific conversion rates that an organization may track:

  • The percentage of website visitors who fill out a form, call your company, or purchase something from you online
  • The percentage of callers who are issued proposals
  • The percentage of proposals you win
  • Etc.

Increase Conversion Rates to Improve Profits
No matter how good your current conversion rates are, they can always get better.  And improving your conversion rates dramatically improve profits.

For example, if you spend $1,000 on advertising, you may bring 1,000 prospective customers to your website. If your online sales conversion rate is 5%, then you’ll secure 50 new customers. Alternatively, if your conversion rate improved to 6%, you would gain 60 new customers. In this latter scenario, you’d gain an additional 10 customer for no additional advertising cost, thus boosting your profits significantly.

How to Increase Conversion Rates
There are numerous ways to increase conversion rates. Below are several ways to improve your rates, broken into two main categories:

Increasing Online Conversion Rates

  1. Social Proof:- adding social proof, via customer testimonials and/or case studies, to your website virtually always increases conversions.
  2. Clear Contact Information:- clearly showing contact information, perhaps a phone number and/or live chat options, typically increases conversions by giving visitors confidence that your company is “real” and is there to answer any questions they have.
  3. Credibility:- Having “trust” seals, such as from the Better Business Bureau or from web security firms like Verisign, will nearly always conversions.
  4. Guarantees:-  offering a guarantee gives customers more confidence in your offering and thus generally increases conversion rates. Likewise, having a longer guarantee (e.g., 365 days vs 30 days) will generally increase conversions even more.
  5. Headlines:- the headlines on your website pages are typically the first thing visitors read, and often compels them to read more or exit your site immediately. The right headline could dramatically increase your conversion rate. So test new headlines frequently.

Increasing Offline Conversion Rates

Much of the same strategies that improve online conversion rates should be used offline. For example, showing pictures and testimonials of other satisfied customers nearly always helps conversions.  Likewise, offering more credibility and longer guarantees helps too.

A couple other ways to increase offline conversion rates are as follows:

  1. Trial Closes:- trial closes are questions you ask prospective customers that don’t ask for a final buying decision. For example, you might ask the question, “If we were able to offer you this for a price that works for you, is this something you’d like to move forward with?”
  2. Get customers to invest time:- For bigger purchases, the more time customers invest in the process, the more likely they often are to buy. So, rather than quickly giving customers a price, it’s often best to have a few conversations. Perhaps in the first conversation you learn about their needs. In a second conversation, you present some research/information you think they’d find helpful. And in a third conversation, you present a proposal to work together. Although this process might slightly lengthen your sales cycle, it gets prospective customers to invest more time in working with your company; this often prompts them to want to do business with you. With such a question, if the prospect says “yes,” you’ll know that price is the only potential thing standing in the way of them buying. Alternatively, if they say “no,” listen to find out what their objections are so you can overcome them before offering your price.

Tracking Your Conversion Rates
Of critical importance, always remember that you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

That’s why you need to track your conversion rates on both a daily and monthly basis. Doing so allows you to immediately correct problems (e.g., why is our conversion rate so low today?, it’s because our website isn’t loading properly) and make sure you are improving your conversion rates over time. Use conversion tracking tools like Guiding Metrics, which is an amazing tool to expertly track your metrics and improve profits.

Your conversion rates are absolutely key to your sales and profits. So, figure out the most important conversion rates in your company (e.g., online visitors to sales, proposals won/lost) and start improving and tracking them today.

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How To Build Your Mailing List?

Convincing someone to give you their email address is much easier than convincing them to buy something, since it doesn’t cost anything except a few seconds of their time to sign up.

Advertise to drive traffic to a landing page.
Perhaps the quickest way to start building up your email marketing list is to send traffic to a unique landing page that has a clearly-defined offer and a clearly visible email signup form. By using ads you can target and send quality traffic – people who are more likely to be interested in your products and services.

Your marketing will be much more operational if you carefully choose who to spend it on. For example, Facebook allows you to show ads to people who are in your target audience. You can choose what age, gender, relationship status, location, and interests you want to target with your ads.

Offer something of value.
In exchange for signing up to your email list, try offering something of value. Create a good landing page free of distractions and focus on asking people to sign up in exchange for a downloadable resource, newsletter or free course of some kind.

Another way of getting email subscribers is to have a window that pops up and offers a discount code in exchange for an email signup (although, some people can find pop-ups to be annoying, so know your audience). When used well, this method can be effective for encouraging people who are already browsing your products to sign up to your email list. Many people will sign up for the discount code but won’t make a purchase right away, which is why it’s important to nurture that relationship over time.

Hold a contest or giveaway.
Giving away a prize such as one of your products or a gift card to someone who enters a contest on your Facebook page can be a great way to generate buzz about your brand and build your social following, in addition to collecting email addresses.

Have a sitewide email sign up box.
It’s a classic, but it never hurts to have a good old-fashioned email signup box on your website for anyone who wants to subscribe even without being motivated by one of the above options.

This is especially effective if you have a blog with high-quality regular content or a shop with new products being added all the time, as people will be more likely to subscribe in order to be notified when you have fresh content or new products.
 

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