Because so much time is spent on attracting new online visitors through organic, paid and social channels, many marketers and business owners forget that this is only half of the equation. While it’s great to bring in a steady stream of targeted visitors, all of these opportunities are going to go to waste if they aren’t converted to leads or customers. Although talking about conversion rates may not initially sound as exciting as discussing how to drive tons of traffic, this topic is the one that will actually add to your bottom line.
Know What You Want to Accomplish
Before you can get visitors to take action, you need to know what you want them to do. The initial thought of most business owners is they want visitors to buy their product or sign up for their service. While it makes sense that this is what a business owner would want, there’s one issue you have to keep in mind. Actually completing an online transaction requires a visitor to trust you enough to pull out their credit card and enter it into your website. While huge companies like Amazon and Apple eliminate this obstacle by saving their customers’ payment information, you don’t have that advantage.
As a result of this hurdle, you may find that you ultimately convert more visitors into customers if you don’t initially focus on making a transaction. Instead, you may experience a better conversion rate if you define the action you want visitors to take as simply signing up for your email list or newsletter.
There are two main reasons this may work better. First, it means you’re going to waste less visitors. If a visitor comes to your site and submits no information, you know nothing about them when they leave. But even if all they do is submit their email address, you at least have something to use as the basis of your relationship. The other reason is sending emails allows you to build trust. As long as you don’t take a spammy approach, the leads you email will learn more about your business and become more comfortable with the idea of buying from you.
Limiting Options Isn’t Bad
Many bloggers and website owners mistakenly believe that web design means they should add more flashy elements to their blog or site. This is why you see so many online properties that have dozens of social buttons and sidebars that are crammed full of items from top to bottom.
In reality, good design should make it easy for visitors to get around your website. It should also emphasize the action you want them to take. Once you know what you want them to do while they’re on your site, you can actually improve your conversion rate by getting rid of elements that are just a distraction from this primary focus.
Are you planning to make conversion optimization one of your main focuses in 2012?