I write about conversion optimization a lot, but clients always ask more about SEO, Social Media Marketing and PPC. They want to know how to get more traffic and how to rank higher in Google and other search engines.
All of those things are important, but if that traffic isn't being handled correctly when it gets to your website, it’s all a waste of time and money. Converting that traffic into leads and sales is the most important thing to consider before you worry about where to get more traffic.
Conversion optimization also applies to your email marketing, social media marketing, PPC, descriptions and titles in search results and more. But here, we are focusing on your website where we close the sale.
There are several elements you need to optimize and have ready to convert that traffic into leads and sales.
1. Conversion Optimization for the pages of your Website.
2. Conversion Optimization for your Blog.
3. Conversion Optimization using Landing Pages.
1. Conversion Optimization for Your Website
Any page of your website can be the first page that a visitor sees, not just the home page. Take a fresh look at each page of your website and think about the ways that your visitor might land there first.
Do the images on that page tell them they are in the right place? Images are an important part of conversion optimization. Do the images on that page directly relate to what that specific page is about or are you using some generic image that is the same on every page at the top?
If they landed on that page first, then the content on that page relates to what they searched for or responded to wherever they found the link. The first thing they see is the images. So the images on each page should be unique and match the content on that page. That will get them to read what is written on that page.
Now, for the text. The first paragraph is important. It should address the problem your visitor is having that made them find that page in the first place. It should not be a we-we paragraph.
A we-we paragraph is where your pages start out with something like; Welcome to blah blah blah inc. We are the number one company in our industry and we have won awards, many of them that we just made up or paid for, and see what our friends and family pretending to be customers have to say about how great and wonderful we are. And by the way, we love puppy dogs and kitty cats and like to take long walks on the beach. Our professional staff will blah blah blah. For a real parody about how some websites are written, click here.
The first paragraph is what gets them to read more or click through to a form they can fill out to get the answers they need. So it needs to summarize what the stuff on that page will help them with. Then a call-to-action to get them to contact you. A phone number, link, free download or whatever it is you are offering them.
So, to summarize where we are so far; They see the images, It seems they are in the right place, so they read the 1st paragraph. It tells them how you can help them, so they either click the link or read further down the page if they aren’t quite ready to contact you yet.
What’s next? If they needed to read more, the next couple of paragraphs should break down the first paragraph into more detail about how you can help them. Then another call-to-action written differently from the one you used after the first paragraph.
Then what? Then 3-4 more paragraphs that go into even more detail about your offer, then one paragraph that summarizes all of the above, possibly using bullet points, then yet another call-to-action written differently than the previous calls-to-action.
Each call-to-action is another chance to convert them into a lead or a sale, so put some real thought into what you are writing there. Forget keywords. Close the sale.
Conversion optimization means making sure every page in your website is ready to convert leads and sales.
2. Conversion Optimization for Your Blog
Just as you shouldn’t think of the front page of your website as the place people first land on, the main page of your blog is seldom where people land first. If you use social media and share your blog posts, they likely land on a single blog post.
How is your sidebar set up? What’s at the top? Search? Why? Do you really want them to search around and read more or do you want them to become a new lead?
Things that should be priority and easily found in the sidebar include;
- Links to landing pages or specific pages in your website that relate to what you write about in your blog.
- Subscribe to my blog or newsletter.
- Free consultation, free download, free analysis or other special offer.
- Upcoming Events
- Press Releases
- How to follow you on social media.
Forget calendars unless they have events you want them to know about. Forget telling them what time it is. Forget search unless you place it below all of the more important stuff. Tag clouds are useless. You only have so much room in your sidebar. Focus on conversion optimization and make it count.
How about the blog posts? A blog post is a lot like a web page in some ways.
Conversion optimization applies to the blog posts as well. Are you using an image that really relates to the post you made? Is the image interesting enough to get people to click on it if they find it on social media?
Is your title interesting? Or did you think it should just be a lot of keywords for the search engines? Number 1 Priority; You should write a title that is interesting to people. If you can also get a couple of keywords in it naturally, then that’s a bonus and second to being interesting to readers.
Your post needs to either entertain your readers, teach them something, help them find something they are looking for, provide information they need, help them solve a problem, or tell them a story.
Don’t stuff calls-to-action and links all through the post. Especially don’t link all your keywords to pages thinking that is good for SEO. Also, if you do that, your blog posts will be shared by others on social media a lot less. Don’t think about SEO first. Your post should focus on your readers and be interesting to them. That is the number 1 priority if you want to generate more leads and sales.
There’s room at the bottom of the post for a link to a related page in your website or particular landing page or special offer. Plus, if you set up your sidebar correctly, and focused on conversion optimization, they see what you have to offer anyway.
3. Conversion Optimization using Landing Pages
If you follow the guidelines above about the pages in your website, then every page can be a landing page, but here I’m talking about more specific content for campaigns and offers.
You should be creating new landing pages often. Landing pages are the most important element in conversion optimization. One strategy is to create one new landing page per week, then blog about the same topic all week with a link to the landing page from each post.
You can also share that landing page in your email marketing, direct links on social and with PPC.
For instance; Say you sell real estate. You get a new listing. Create a landing page all about that new listing with pics and the most important information about the property.
It should have a great title, a couple of really nice pictures, with real estate, maybe 4-6 images. It should just have the most important info, possibly bullet points that give the reader enough info to get them interested enough to contact you or fill out a form to get you to contact them. If you can add the ability to schedule a showing, that’s even better.
Then all week, blog about that property, with each post bringing up new reasons why that’s a great area to live in or why that specific property is under-priced, etc. Each post has a call-to-action that takes them to the landing page.
You can set up a PPC campaign and drive traffic to that landing page. You can share that landing page in your emails and on social media.
next week, a new landing page and lather, rinse, repeat.
This post is general information about conversion optimization that applies to almost any business. But there are unique elements to your business and your marketing plan. Take advantage of our free personalized website and marketing analysis. We’ll help you create a conversion optimization plan that fits your specific needs.