Conversion Optimization Made Easy


Conversion Optimization Made Easy - Eric Sachs SEO

It’s one thing to drive traffic to your website; it’s another entirely to convince the people who visit your homepage or your landing page to take a very specific, desired action. Even the most sought-after products and hot ticket businesses struggle in this area sometimes; that’s where conversion optimization comes in.

If you’re not familiar with that term – or even, really, if you are – this article is for you. First, I’ll take it back to basics and describe conversions from the ground up. Then, we’ll stretch our wings a bit and get into some nifty tips to make 2019 your best year ever.

Let’s dive in.

What are Conversions?

“Conversion” is a marketing term defining when a consumer or audience takes a specific action. For example, if people come to my website and sign up for my newsletter, they have “converted” to a subscribing newsletter member. In the case of an e-store (like Walmart), a visitor “converts” if they buy a product before leaving the site.

Ultimately, goals are defined by the industry, business, and product or service being sold. They can and will differ entity-to-entity. You can simplify the idea down to just thinking of anyone who completes your goal as “converted.”

Conversions also come in different sizes depending on the goals you have for your business. You may start with a micro-conversion goal, such as getting someone to sign up for your email list, before moving onto a macro-conversion goal, like using a series of emails to convince a person to make a purchase.

Calculating Your Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate is calculated using a very simple formula. Take the number of people who “convert” and divide it by your web traffic statistics. If you have 100 visitors and 20 sign up for the email list, this leaves a 20 percent conversion rate.

You can also calculate conversions based on individual customer activity. Let’s say you have a customer who visits your website five times. The first two times they do not make any purchases; the third time they purchase a single small item. The fourth visit they buy 2 more items, and on the final fifth visit they buy several additional products. Three of the five visits converted into sales, giving you a 60 percent conversion rate.

Overhaul Your Content

Are your pages blabbing on and on about who you are and what you do (me! me! me!)? I see this often on pages that tout why they’re so fabulous without really telling people much about what they offer. Read your content over carefully; if you see “we” and self-praise in every second paragraph, you may need to tweak it to be more valuable.

Visitors love when companies share valuable information with them. Maybe you help potential customers solve a problem or show them how to DIY a simple fix. Either way, try to ensure your content contains a lot of subheadings and very short paragraphs. This one simple step lets your content shine (no matter its type).

Vary your content types, too! Videos are great – but only for people who like watching videos. Don’t force your visitors to watch a video to find out about your product or deal, and don’t force them to read text walls, either. Combine everything together in a way that lets the content stand for itself, including videos, stunning visuals, images, infographics, and yes, even text, too. 

Have a strong copywriter look over your text, too. Make sure your call-to-action includes a question, speak personally to your audience (you, you’re, etc), and don’t overthink your position. There is no reason to stuff your pages with unnecessary words. Say what you have to say and be done with it.

Include Video

Video is important no matter what other forms of content you decide to include on the page. Think outside the box. You don’t need to have a simple video of a person sitting behind a desk talking about your product, but videos showing how your products are made or offering customer testimonials can be very persuasive. Similarly, putting together a series of how-to videos to provide product use guidance shows you care about their enjoyment even after purchase – and that can be persuasive, too.

Eliminate Distractions

So how do we get awesome conversion numbers? It’s not as tough as you might think. Start by making a few tweaks to your landing page so that your potential lead stays focused on the task at hand.

How? Start by keeping your landing page very simple. There shouldn’t be a navigation bar like the one on your core website. Any links you do have should take your client directly to the task you want them to complete, whether that’s signing up for an email list or adding an item to a shopping cart. Never let your client navigate away from the page in error. Either have links, such as to privacy policies or terms, open in new tabs or appear in pop-up boxes.

Incorporate Split Testing

There is no reason to avoid split (A/B) testing. Start by running ads to one landing page to make sure everything is working well from a technical standpoint. Then start running ads to two different landing pages and keep track of which converts better.

Keep the one that’s running better and start working on a different version of the page so you can split the test again. You may need to modify your check-out process, add a sense of urgency, improve your product images, or even change your color schemes.

Also be on the lookout for issue points you may have missed. For example, your customers might be looking for a money-back guarantee; if they don’t find one, they aren’t spending any money because don’t see one on your pages.

Surveys and Data

It’s important to study your website’s traffic and data:

  • Which pages are performing well and which are causing visitors to bounce?
  • How do your landing pages rate compared to other pages?
  • What’s the difference between well-loved pages and well-hated pages?

Sometimes you can see what pages people are landing on most, but can’t get a clear idea as to why they aren’t converting. Real-time pop-up surveys let your visitors give you feedback in real-time; they’re excellent at gathering data.

Alternatively, you might try using radio dial surveys or text boxes to simply ask the question: why are you leaving? What could we have done better?

If you find you’re getting similar answers across the board, you’ll know exactly what needs to be fixed to increase conversions.

At the end of the day, conversion optimization isn’t nearly as difficult as some people make it out to be. Monitoring the numbers is critical, but so is taking intuitive action so you can constantly improve your results. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and don’t feel as though you have to limit yourself to a simple A/B test, either; you can run three or four at a time to keep things moving.

Once you start split testing and then making changes to your content and layout, things will start moving more fluidly for you. There is no reason you shouldn’t begin to see progressive changes to your conversions month after month.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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