Your website is your 24/7 salesperson
When a prospective customer lands on your website - most often having gotten there as a result of your investment in search engine optimization or paid search advertising - it’s critically important that the website do what a good salesperson does: find out what the prospect needs, showcase the offering you have that can best satisfy that need, answer questions about it.
And if need and offer look to be a good match, make it easy for your prospect to satisfy that need by taking whatever conversion action has value for you. Depending on where that visitor is in the buying cycle - researching a product category, comparing various products, getting an idea of prices, ready to buy - that might be a newsletter subscription signup, a downloadable brochure, or an actual on-the-spot sale.
Only when your website converts well you get the full benefit from your investment in the marketing and advertising that attracted well-qualified prospects.
Why conversion ratio is important
Getting 1000 visitors to your website and converting 1% of them and getting 100 visitors and converting 10% of them both give you 10 conversions. But with the website that converts at the rate of 10%, your net value of each conversion will be much greater because it will have cost you significantly less to get.
Unfortunately, any website lacks a key advantage that a human salesperson has when dealing face-to-face with a prospect: feedback from the prospect, and the opportunity to adjust the sale pitch accordingly.
So to do the best possible job of converting prospects to customers, your website needs to have the flexibility to address the needs of people with different kinds of personalities as well as those at different stages of the buying cycle.
Traffic is good, but conversion is better.
For both organic and sponsored (PPC) search, the objective is to prequalify site users to increase the likelihood of sales, and maximize the return on Internet marketing investment. Getting more traffic doesn't always make for the best ROI.
Example: There's no intuitive way to know that the conversion rates of these seemingly interchangeable keywords (below) would be so different. Accurate conversion analysis makes the difference between paying $8.72 or $0.54 for a conversion. (Actual client data):
Conversion Analysis - Vacation Rental Site
|Keyword||new hampshire vacation rental||nh vacation rental|
|Cost Per Click||$1.09||$0.18|
|Total Cost||40 x $1.09 = $43.60||12 x $0.18 = $2.16|
What makes a website convert well?
First and foremost: persuasive copywriting. The Internet may be a “visual medium” - and good imagery is important to attracting and holding interest - but words are what gets the sales job done. (And image captions are the next thing most people read on a page after the headline.)
And emotional appeal is necessary - because most people buy on the basis of emotion, then find some logical basis on which to rationalize the purchase.
It's also important that your website use calls to action to tell people what you want them to do, and not simply leave them to their own devices to figure out what they should do next. Because indecision will immediately set in, and indecision leads to inaction, not conversions.
Sales is a tough job, but your website needs to do it.
And we can help you with that.
Or, if you have questions about Conversion Rate Optimization that we haven't answered:
Please use the form below to send them to me, and I'll get back to you shortly. Please complete all 3 form fields - thanks! - David