Increasing the number of clicks through to your website is a job well done. But your job doesn’t end there. If your bounce rate is high or your subscriptions or sales aren’t increasing despite increased traffic, you need to turn your efforts to an even more rewarding task: conversion optimization. With the right tactics, you can significantly improve how many leads convert into paying customers.
Here we take a look at some of the key tactics you should be employing to watch those conversion figures sky-rocket, or at least start heading in an upwards direction.
1. Clicks versus conversions
What is the difference between clicks and conversions?
Clicks are measured in terms of click-through rate, which is the percentage of people who click on your ad or search engine link after seeing it. Conversions, on the other hand, occur when a user completes an action on your site that is considered to be of value. This could include a purchase, subscription, download or request for further information.
A lot of time, money and effort can be poured into increasing your click-through rate – from creating a beautiful website to paying out on online advertising and ramping up your SEO and social media efforts. If your percentages increase, great. But for your business to reap the benefits, you need to go further. This is where conversion optimization comes in.
2. What is conversion optimization or CRO?
Conversion optimization or conversion rate optimization (CRO) is ‘the process of creating an experience for your website visitors that will convert them into customers’ (Hubspot). Conversions can happen anywhere on your website, from your home page to your blog. So, in order to make CRO work effectively for your business, you need to apply conversion optimization universally.
Essentially, conversion optimization is about gently pushing your customers further down the sales funnel – from an eager to find out user to a fully informed prospect ready to take action. Now we’ve covered the what’s and why’s, let’s move into the how’s.
3. Know your target audience to a T
The first and most essential step in turning your clicks into conversions is making sure you have a full and complete understanding of your target audience. This includes identifying their unique persona as well as the different stages of the sales funnel or customer journey they may be on. This last part is important as every customer might be at a different stage and respond differently to certain tactics.
How do you get to know your audience? Use your existing knowledge and research, research, research.
4. Take direct action
The two most obvious areas in which you can focus your conversion optimization are your copy and your calls-to-action (CTAs). These are your sales tactics; your direct opportunities to convince and persuade users to take action. Executed correctly, they can be extremely effective in reaching your conversion goals. Here are some pointers to getting it right:
To encourage conversions, your copy needs to be persuasive. It needs to educate the user about your product or service, highlight the features and specify strong benefits that will inspire them to take action.
- Push a clear and compelling value preposition – what makes your product/service better?
- Be specific to the stage of the customer journey you are targeting.
- Create anticipation – make them want the next step.
- Cut the industry jargon – fancy business language doesn’t sell.
Call-to-actions are you gateway to conversions. By understanding what you customer really wants you should be able to create ones that drive action. Be careful you don’t add them too soon into the customer journey – prioritise content first – this way users will be more likely to click.
- Position it where people click – follow Nielsen Norman’s F bar pattern.
- Make your call to action button look clickable e.g. define it as a rectangle and put it against a contrasting background.
- Make the copy short and compelling with power words such as ‘instant’, ‘no obligation’, ‘free’ and ‘secure’.
- Add urgency – e.g. ‘today only’, ‘free to first XX subscribers’.
Best practice when creating a landing page is to focus on converting a highly targeted audience to take one specific action. Because of this, they can be very effective places for increasing conversions.
5. Be more subtle, but just as effective
As well as using direct sales tactics, you can also increase your conversions by applying a range of other more indirect tactics. These methods can drive people to take action by building trust and improving the user experience.
6. Indirect tactics
- Pepper authentic testimonials which tell a story throughout your site.
- Use detail laden case studies to demonstrate your value to individual customers.
- Highlight how many people have already signed up or how many are currently using your products or services e.g. ‘10,000 customers can’t be wrong’.
- Display logos of companies you have worked with and any awards you have won.
- Include your social media follower count.
- Try using ‘limited access’ e.g. only offer users full access to your content if they sign up.
- Remove risk e.g. offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
- Improve your page navigation and load speed – so they don’t click away before they convert.
By employing all or some of these tactics, you should be able to communicate more effectively with your target audience and, in doing so, turn your clicks into conversions and paying customers. Conversion optimization is a continuous process, so make sure you track your efforts, do A/B testing to see what works and keep ploughing on even when you hit roadblocks – your efforts will pay off in the end.