TL;DR Ask yourself this question: Is my business better for having 1,000 visitors to my website with 2% buying or 500 visitors with 10% buying? When you reach the answer, you’ll understand why conversion should always be at the front of your digital marketing mind. Follow techniques in this article and you’ll set your business up for ongoing success
One of the biggest challenges businesses face on their digital marketing journey is what to focus on to get the best bang for their buck.
Bombarded with promises of page 1 SEO rankings, articles on why they should be all over TikTok or guides to getting a dramatic return on Facebook advertising, it’s understandable that they enter a state of digital paralysis.
We’re not saying that SEO, social media or online advertising can’t or won’t work – far from it – but the digital marketing focus should always be on one area: conversion.
This is where your efforts will have the biggest rewards for the smallest cost and here I provide you with five practical ideas on which to concentrate.
It’s almost 25 years ago that Bill Gates coined the phrase ‘content is king’ and it goes without saying that the internet would not be half the resource it is without content. However, nearly two-and-a-half decades later we have a new heir to the throne.
With the digital landscape becoming increasingly competitive and with brands finding it harder and harder to differentiate, the key to setting yourself apart is in fact something totally different to what you may expect: It’s all about conversion.
Can you solve your customers’ problems in a better way, whether that be quicker, cheaper or maybe even more sustainably than your competitor.
Why? Because we are all up against it.
With appointments, meetings, discovery sessions, visiting existing clients, prospecting new ones, managing sports teams, supporting charities, visiting the gym, cooking meals, seeing friends and family I have very little time available.
And this is why you need to pay attention to this article. Your time is precious so let me help you with some practical advice.
Ensuring that the user experience you deliver effortlessly takes your customer from the page they land on right through to conversion or sale as efficiently as possible gives you that magic ingredient that marketing managers and business owners across the land strive for: Results.
Sales or leads – whether you are B2C or B2B – drive growth. Your website is a living and breathing sales machine that should enable you to achieve that growth.
Having a beautifully designed site is one thing but if it doesn’t deliver for customers seeking to buy your product or service then it has failed.
This is why: Conversion is the new king.
What is conversion rate?
Conversion rate is typically shown as a percentage. It shows the proportion of people that go from viewing your marketing material, advertising or website that then go on to buy your product or complete a chosen goal or action such as downloading a guide.
When asked for people’s biggest challenge the answer is always the same. Time. While we can’t create time, what we can do is save time by solving problems effectively and efficiently.
How often do you have a query and the first thing you do is ‘Google it’? That’s right, all the time. Your customers too have problems and it’s our job as marketeers to solve them.
Put customer problems at the heart of your work
Seek to understand before being understood – one of the 7 habits of highly successful people from the legendary author Steven Covey. Firstly, we have to get ourselves into the minds of our customers.
One generally accepted way of doing this is to create a user persona. This will help you:
- Understand how your customer is behaving
- Understand how that customer is interacting with your website and marketing collateral
- Pinpoint what it is that the customer is looking for.
Once you understand this you can begin to work out how you can solve their problems and drive them towards conversion. Once you find a way of quickly solving people’s problems and driving consistent conversions you can then look to reduce marketing spend and focus your activity on the marketing that works while parking the activity that doesn’t.
The importance of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
Rather than simply filling your sales funnel with new opportunities and leads and typically driving up marketing spend CRO allows you to make better use of the opportunities available in the pipeline. This means you can increase your revenue per customer, gain more customers and grow your business – all for less money!
You might think that your site doesn’t need a lot of work on conversion because you operate in a particular niche. Let’s take retailers. Customers know what they sell and how and where to buy. So retailers don’t need any Conversion Rate Optimisation right? Wrong!
They need it more than most.
Attention spans are getting shorter while the alternatives for your product are increasing so you should be prioritising those prospects which have been attracted to you.
A website will suffer a high bounce rate, signifying wasted marketing spend, if it:
- Is difficult to use
- Lacks trust
- Lacks authenticity
- Doesn’t quickly answer a visitor’s questions
- Doesn’t clearly showcase the company’s proposition.
All of which leads to the question: Why spend more money on advertising when you can make better use of the money you are already spending?
Conversion rate optimisation should be an absolute fundamental to any marketing strategy. Yet too often we see customers neglect conversion resulting in overspending.
So let’s put a stop to that right now!
Here are 5 simple conversion rate optimisation tactics to use today:.
- Install live chat software to quickly answer queries or concerns. There are hundreds of different solutions from Yodel’s manned live chat platform, to Tawk.to’s free self-managed platform, Facebook Messenger, chat bots and messenger bots the list goes on. There are no excuses for not being able to quickly answer customer’s queries.
- An FAQs section to showcase frequently asked questions. I suggest surveying all those who deal with clients in your business and asking them for typical questions asked. Examples will be: What time do you open? Do you sell those in a certain colour or style? What are your returns policies? Does your service integrate with other platforms? All of which you can answer very simply through an FAQs section on your website. And when new questions come in and you think it may be useful, add them straight in
- A fit-for-purpose hosting environment to ensure fast load times. Google continues to push the importance of fast page load times with the latest stats suggesting that sites should load in under 3 seconds. Making sure you are not sharing server resources and you have your own dedicated, secure and reliable hosting environment can be a really quick win to improving conversion
- A sticky navigation menu and a logical user journey. Too often we leave all the hard work to our customers. Finding their way towards your end goal and selling the next step in your sales process should be as easy as possible. Clear calls-to-action (CTAs), breadcrumb trails, a navigation menu that remains sticky as you scroll, the introduction of coloured buttons to persuade a chosen action to be taken – all are quick, easy and will help improve performance
- An optimised Google Knowledge Graph. The knowledge graph, often referred to as your local listing, provides your customers with a snapshot of your business before they have even seen your website. So what is the first impression that you paint? Are your opening times up to date? Have you added photos and videos? Do you have a telephone number listed? Have you collected customer reviews? The knowledge graph itself could contain an article and it’s a free tool and one that marketeers should make the most of.
The king is dead, long live the king. Content is the lifeblood of the internet and it’s why we visit websites and resources numerous times each and every day.
But turning prospects into customers is where the money is. It’s conversion which will drive your business forward, it’s conversion which needs to be right at the very centre of your marketing strategy, it’s conversion which sits on the throne.
*Recommended read: They Ask You Answer by @Marcus Sheridan