This article provides rich insight on how to create great conversion rate optimization, grow your metrics, and win customers at the flick of a switch.
“Content is king” – that’s what they’ve been saying for years about the Internet marketing. True indeed, you’ve got to have quality content to generate leads for your conversion funnel. Still, there are a lot of people who don’t really have any marketing or content strategy.
Marketing channels all have their own limits. There is also a limited number of potential leads; that’s why you should approach the content of your website or blog with great care.
Why Top-of-the-Funnel (TOFU) Is so Important
Before we get into that, let’s take a look at what a typical funnel looks like as a whole:
- Stage 1 is usually called “Awareness.” During this stage, marketing specialists do everything to attract as much of their target audience as possible to the website or blog;
- The next stage is “Consideration” – that’s when potential customers are being bombarded with various marketing tricks;
- Up next is “Conversion,” which is the action that visitors take to go beyond a casual website visit; this action corresponds to your marketing needs;
- The final, fourth stage is called “Advocacy.” During this stage, you’re desperately trying to convince the customer to return to your website and/or recommend it to friends.
Without further ado, we (only pretending to be serious) proceed to the main course, which is the funnel and its stages.
- “Awareness”: do whatever it takes to draw visitors to your site, even if it requires posting pictures of sexy girls and kittens.
- “Consideration”: you really want to get in your customer’s pants and seduce him/her for an action, using all available marketing tricks.
- “Conversion”: for this stage, employ “bait and switch” technique.
- “Advocacy”: after all you’ve done to your customers, you can only hope they’ll spread the good word about your company. 😉
One of the main aspects of conversion funnel is the so-called “word-of-mouth” promotion. Loyal clients can secure your company a permanent market share and that’s why you should pay close attention to the conversion funnel.
Working on just the lower stages is not enough; you need to cover all the stages, including the top of the funnel. In other words, you should care not only about your existing customers, but people in general. If you are able to engage in a “mutually beneficial relationship” with all of your visitors, they will be more likely to recommend your company to the others.
A well-balanced content marketing strategy will inevitably drive more clients to the top of the funnel as people heavily rely on the Internet to get the information they need.
If you fill up your site with the quality content, you will earn your visitors’ trust and become a respected resource. Quality content is what makes you interesting. You use it to tell your visitors great stories, thus letting them about your opinion on various subjects. Chances are one of these stories will eventually help you sell your product or service.
Quality content + word-of-mouth=TOFU, full of leads
7 Things You Need to Know About Content Marketing
If your goal is to improve the quality of your website content, you’ve got to know how to create effective content. Below are 7 key lessons “Hiten Shah-a Co” had to learn the hard way while consulting many companies:
1. Content=marketing. Every time you use words to get the message across to your potential clients, you’re doing marketing. Marketing is not just blunt advertising.
2. People generally tend to ignore advertising, but they do like quality content. Make sure your website content is worthwhile all along. People are most likely to share the information, which is carefully structured and presented.
3. Content can be reused and reiterated many times. Information has many different ways of presentation – for example, you can turn your old blog posts into an electronic book, graphic materials, online courses etc. Possibilities are endlessly amazing, and there are basically no limits to how you can reuse the content.
4. It’s all about headlines. Catchy headlines rule. You’ve got mere seconds before the visitor makes his/her decision whether to click on your link of not, based solely on the headline.
5. Organic search is the main source of traffic in content marketing. This basically means that the search engines deem your content worthwhile and ensure its availability to users.
6. Content is there to tell your own unique story. You can write about what really matters to your company and your clients.
7. Quality content increases your conversion rate. It informs your clients and makes them want your product. No other tool can do this for you as nice and smoothly as good quality content.
Content Is King
When used properly, content can make wonders. But before that, you should find out as much as possible about your clients and their wishes, thus creating a nice customer profile. If you do so, you will be able to fill up your conversion funnel with the high quality leads. I’ll talk about the Buyer Persona in my next article.
Your conversion funnel is only effective if you have enough quality leads. And the quality of leads, in its turn, depends on the quality of the content. That’s why you should care about the content more than about anything else. Don’t hesitate to employ the tips I’ve provided above or contact me to get professional advice.
Wide Choice Is not Wise
Wide choice is not a good thing when it comes to conversion rate optimization. Just imagine – you brought your child to a candy shop and let him choose whatever he wants. Chances are your child is going to lose it trying to get a little bit of everything.
Wide choice can often become overwhelming for customers and generally worsens their user experience, making them unable to complete the purchase. It’s not only about the problem of making an initial choice, it’s also that bad feeling that you get afterwards, asking yourself “What if I chose the other thing?”
If you keep adding that tiny insignificant pieces of functionality to your website, you won’t make your user interface more intuitive, but rather complicate it. The paradox of wide choice is that people will tell you “of course, we want more, give us more,” but when it comes to reality, they’d rather prefer less options and simple choices.
The same process goes on in the heads of online users, who have to sift through gigabytes of worthless content daily. Giving them too much of a choice (or asking them too much questions), you risk losing your conversion rate. For example, just by simply getting rid of 3 out of 6 fields in your lead generation form, you may increase your conversion rate by 66%.
According to the latest neuropsychology and physiology reports, the “impatient” behavior pattern displayed by the Internet users is a totally new type of behavior. It is heavily intertwined with the concentration and attention patterns in the central nervous systems of modern man.
In short, the more incoming media channels you have and the easier it is to switch between them, the less time you will have to process and respond to an individual commercial offer.
Less Choice Means Higher Conversion Rate
Ask for less, and you’ll get more. For every 100 average conversions, that’s what usually happens:
- If your lead form asks for the client’s telephone number, you lose 5% of leads
- If you ask for an address, you lose 4%
- Asking for age loses you another 3%
- Asking for location loses yet another 2%
If you reduce the number of fields in your lead form to 5, conversion rate will increase by roughly 20%. But if you leave just 3 simple fields, you can expect 25% increase!
Each additional drop down menu item in the header costs your conversion 1%.
Wider choice leads to a lower conversion rate. Interesting, huh?
How Many Options Should I Offer to My Clients?
Based on the common e-commerce experience, 4 to 6 options/products per page is more than enough. Amazon follows this practice and usually places “recommended for you” products – this is usually called upselling/cross-selling.
For SaaS products, it is reasonable to offer 2 to 5 plans on the same page (Netflix does this).
If you’re still not sure about the amount of options, do a split-test – it’s the best way to figure out the optimal solution.
Finding the middle ground between possibilities and simplicity
We often want to distinct our products from those of our competitors by adding various features and enhancing functionality. Still, you need to keep a perfect balance between the amount of features and overall simplicity of the user interface.
In order to figure out the optimal amount of options, you need to consider a lot of aspects such as context, loyalty of the customers, their goals and personal qualities. It’s all about understanding what goes on inside the people’s heads when they’re deciding on something.
Easy Does It
People can only process a limited amount of information at a time and often take the path of least resistance, even if doing otherwise may yield better results. People are lazy in general and often gravitate towards simpler solutions, but only because they’re protecting themselves from a sensory overload.
Every choice you make requires an active thinking process. The harder the choice, the longer you have to think.
Therefore, a large amount of possibilities usually complicates user interface, because:
- People have more options to go through. Each of them takes up time
- There are more descriptions, tips and other texts, which have to be there by default for every piece of functionality
- More possibilities = more bugs = more chances of a wrong choice for users.
Mixing up different options can also complicate the system and mess with the users’ heads. Displaying too many options on screen makes it painful to look at and especially hard when it comes to making a choice. So people end up browsing your page mindlessly trying to get what they came for in the first place.
Perhaps, you’d love your visitors to spend hours studying the beauty of your interface and discovering endless possibilities, but once you get in their way with a weird solution, you will get a strong rejection.
In real life people don’t mind to wait sometimes as they are already where want to be. However, web users are much less loyal since they always have an alternative – find another website in a matter of seconds. Ignoring this can cost many customers and sales.
Adding useless functionality to your website, you’re making it difficult to comprehend. Keep the number of your features below the critical level and it will make life easier for both you and your visitors.
What Is Conversion Rate?
Whenever doing an online project, you want it to be successful financially. In order to get a profit, you optimize your website structure, improve its design, analyze traffic sources and try to increase conversion rate.
Conversion rate is that one metric that you’re investing your money and time into. The success of your business basically depends on this metric.
Conversion rate is usually considered a key metric when it comes to evaluating the efficiency of a website. Conversion rate is a proportion of website visitors who performed a certain target action (or reached a goal) and the total number of visitors. Visitors usually come from search results page, social networks or other traffic sources. For example, if an e-shop had 400 visitors a day. Out of these 400 visitors, only 5 people performed a certain target action (e.g. placed their order). Therefore, the conversion rate is 5/400=1.25%
Most common target actions are:
- Creating an account;
- Signing up;
- Downloading content;
- Purchasing a product or service.
Seems like a piece of cake on the outside but in reality it’s quite tricky.
Every day marketing specialists develop and test out various tools and tricks to convert visitors into customers. Still, they can never get 100% conversion, as people are always unpredictable.
6 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Doing Conversion Rate Optimization
1. Low page load speed
If you’re increasing conversion rate by improving design, don’t get overexcited, otherwise your page load speed will increase too. You can’t mess with the patience of your website visitors, as they might easily turn to your competitors.
2. Non-adaptive design
You can invest as much money and effort in web-design, but as long as your website is not mobile-friendly, you will lose clients. Mobile traffic is prevalent these days that’s why you might want to care what your website looks like on mobile devices.
3. Complicated navigation and weak usability
Conversion rate heavily depends on the website structure. Complicated navigation misleads visitors and messes with conversion rate. To avoid this, you need to draw out the visitor paths around your website to make sure every visitor finds what he’s looking for.
4. Content quality
Let’s not forget about the content and how it affects the conversion rate. Provide your visitors with quality visual and text content, which can be of practical use to your audience. This way you’ll increase the customer loyalty and get more orders.
5. Lack of personalization
You can’t treat all customers the same. Personalized approach is not a recommendation, but rather a necessity nowadays. This time-consuming process includes creating personalized information for every visitor, which often increases engagement.
How do you do that? For example, try sending out a “happy birthday” email to your subscriber. Refer to your visitors by name. Keep your visitor data and whenever a user shows up to your website next time, give him the list of previously viewed items.
6. Unclear call-to-actions
One of the most powerful conversion-increasing tools is creating clear and concise call-to-actions (CTA). Your CTAs should be light and visible, otherwise your visitors will have a hard time finding where to click on.
A Few Words About Offline Conversion
Conversion rate is not always about an online action. Sometimes clients need to physically visit the store and make a purchase. In order to calculate conversion in this case, marketing specialists often use call-tracking, referrals, surveys and even promo codes.
Conversion rate is the most important metric in today’s Internet marketing. It indicates how successful a website is, and requires constant optimization.
When it comes to making your website a success, conversion rate is your main priority.
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If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.