Your website is a tool to support your marketing efforts. It would be like trying to build a house without the use of a hammer. Sure you can get there, it’ll just take longer (way longer). And if you have a hammer, but it’s not the right one? That’s almost as frustrating. Your website is a tool to help build your business by increasing traffic, better conversions, and to continue to educate prospects and customers. It’s like having a digital 24/7 sales and service team at your fingertips. We get it, it’s hard to cut through the digital noise and capture the attention of new customers. The prevalence of ads and marketing messages means we rarely pay attention to even the most revolutionary ideas, let alone the more average ones. But we (and you) want your company to stand out from the rest and not get filtered out as more background noise. To help you get the right kind of attention, here are some ways to increase traffic to your website, improve conversion rates, and upgrade your digital presence in the eyes of your audience.
Conversion Rates: Is Your Site Lagging?
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who actually take the actions you want them to on your site, whether that’s reading an article, requesting a quote, buying a product, etc. If nine out of ten people visiting your site read your new top story, your site is doing what it was made to do. But, if just one out of a thousand people who access your site actually requests information or buys a product, your site needs work. Major work.
Average conversion rates depend on your industry, product pricing, and a wide number of other factors. So your first piece of homework is to do some quick Googling to find out what’s average for a company like yours, and then compare it against your actual conversion rates. How does yours stack up? Are you crushing it? Or is the competition crushing you?
You Have the Leads; Now What?
Knowing your conversion rates is great and all, but you still need to create a course of action based on what those rates tell you. Let’s say that you own a bike company and your branding, messaging, and designs all reinforce a romanticizing of the outdoors. It’s all very visually appealing and tells a lovely story, but site visitors rarely make it past your homepage. And, what’s worse, they even more rarely go to your product page.
Step one is to try to determine why they’re not feeling compelled to take next steps on your site, and therefore why conversions aren’t happening. Is the architecture of your site confusing? Are you lacking clear calls-to-action? Is the story your site tells either making you appear cheap or, on the flip side, overpriced – thus turning people away before they even find out your real costs? Of course, some of this detective work is going to be based on assumptions. But you can use your Google Analytics to help you get some clarity-based on data as well.
For instance, if the time visitors spend on your homepage is around a couple of seconds, your messages and/or graphics there must not be resonating with them. Try changing the value proposition you highlight on the homepage, and then checking your analytics to see if page time improves. Then, try changing your images and graphics, and reviewing your analytics after a certain period of time as well. There will likely be a lot of trial and error as you work to figure out what’s causing the lack of action and conversion, but that’s ok. In fact, that’s better than ok. It’s what’s necessary to improve.
Generating New Results
Now that you know your conversion rates, and are putting in the work to fix where things are breaking down, it’s time to get more eyeballs on your site in the first place. Here are just a few ideas for new lead sources:
- Gated Content – Offering valuable, actionable pieces of content that your audience could actually use is a wonderful way to entice them to leave some of their personal information with you. For instance, continuing with the bike company scenario, you could create a comprehensive guide to the top 10 bike races in the U.S. This sort of content piece is tangentially related to your product, but more importantly is likely to be of interest to your ideal customers (and, not salesy). This increases the likelihood that site visitors will exchange their name and email address to access the content, which gives you more leads to follow up with. What started as casual skimming around your site may gradually turn into a real sale.
- Social Media – The online world is a treasure trove of new customers, many of whom are ripe for the proverbial picking. Use social media channels to engage with prospects through sharing beautiful pictures (the aesthetic!) and showing, not telling, the benefits of your products or services. Interact with followers like human beings, not sales robots, and offer up posts that give some sort of value more often than you promote your offerings.
- Deals and Sales – How many times have you been snagged into looking at a company all because of a promised “huge discounts – everything must go!” type of sale? People love the idea of getting something at a discount or added in for free, and this tactic has been proven to work in an array of industries. Advertising major discounts or sales offers can bring in new customers that probably wouldn’t have given your company another thought otherwise. Prospects will often come to your site for the sale and, if they like what they see and receive, keep coming back after it’s long gone.
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