As a part of my work, I see many companies trying to generate conversions. may it be in the forms of Leads, Downloads, Purchases it all ends up with the same goal – Get the user to make this 1 action you have built your website for.
While this is the cause for the website and all the time & money they invest in Online Marketing, I see many forget or even completely ignore from the goal itself – Conversions! making decisions based purely on looks and made-up thought without properly going through a real process of identifying they’re user needs, and what will make their pages convert more.
They will upload a new design based on what looks pretty and will write text according to what they think the users will react to. Even though you might say that many hire experts and even that after some time online people “Get” what the users are looking for, there is nothing that can replace a real Conversion Optimization process which usually can end up with 100%’s improvement in conversion rate.
It is the safest and easiest way to raise your conversions & save money while doing it!
The conversion rate process
Though most people look at conversion rate optimization as only Landing Page optimization, But the optimization itself can get much deeper into your campaign. I will try and show you a full conversion process going from the top to bottom (though most people only do the bottom part).
1 – User reach (PPC / SEO / PR / …)
This is the first time a potential buyer see your company or product, whether it’s by a PPC ad or a Query to the search engine. This is the part where you need to start segmenting your potential buyers into different places in the buying cycle. Ask yourself about his process in this cycle and reach accordingly
Many people don’t even know there is a problem with something they do today. The user may not even realize that he is not downloading files from the internet in the most efficient way and he could actually download X10 times faster with your download manager. While reaching these users you should be talking about the problem – raise awareness. User will not buy a solution to a problem he doesn’t have!
This user already knows that he is not downloading as fast as he can. Now you can start telling him about the Benefits of your product.
Is the solution Aware?
A user that already knows that he is not downloading fast enough, but not only that, he knows that there is a software called “Download Managers” that could increase his download speed. This is when you can start showing him your Claims & Proofs of the product.
Is the product Aware?
This is some really high-end user. He knows that he doesn’t download at full speed. He knows that there is a software called “Download Managers” out there that can solve his problem. He also knows that “My downloader Pro” – your product, is one of them. This time you need to show him almost the final trigger to purchase, Discounts & Deals.
He has already researched the market, knows the prices and the special holiday deals coming up. This time all you need is to show him the price and buy button and get it done!
Every time you put a new ad online and target it at certain keywords, think who looks for them. What kind of users will type this keyword? Where is he now in the cycle? Show him the relevant ad and get him to this specific persona landing page.
Your CTR will go up, Your Conversion rate will go up and you might even realize that you can monetize those users even more! maybe the first 2 type of users will better convert with E-Mail newsletter offer that you can later monetize even further than just your 1 current offer?
2 – The Landing page
This is the part that most people think about when you say Conversion Rate Optimization (And sadly the only part most people optimize). While this is a huge subject that would take entire books to cover here are a few pointers that you could try and optimize in your pages from the big to the small.
What’s the page theme?
How do you design the page? is this a background picture with a headline and registration box? is this a new Windows 8 tiles design or a mini-site with 4 pages about different aspects of your product? Try and see what type of design works best. Try and combine between what you need to show the user (according to the last segment), how much information is he currently looking for in your product and what it takes to fully show him that.
A user that is in the last buying cycle and is fully aware probably doesn’t need mini-site packed with information that could only confuse him and take him away from your target while users that are unaware may do need this type of mini-site to register as only prices and small info about the product wouldn’t suffice to convert them.
What components make the page?
Have Pictures on the page? Have testimonials? Break down your landing page into different components and try to play with them a bit. Mix them up! change positions, connect them together or break them apart. Maybe some of them can even be taken off or maybe something you dedicated a whole page to can be inserted in one little box to the main page?
Try a few combinations each time and get your conclusions from testing.
What makes the component?
This is the time to get deeper into each component. Have clients logos to show who support you already? Try changing them – even though you have the US government use your product and it’s a huge organization with a lot of credibility and awe, it may relate to the NSA and raise privacy concerns that will make your users think twice before downloading. Change your text and headlines, Change the benefits and positions inside the benefits list to see what works best.
Change HOW the text is written, maybe the “Speed up your download by X10″ can be written as “Reduce your download time by X10″ or “Save 90% time on downloads” and even there, maybe you can use different colors / fonts / bold to further emphasize what’s important to the user. You may find out that a Green download button get 10% more clicks then a Red one.
3 – The Offer
Many people don’t realize but you can actually test your actual offer with testing. Are you asking for Enough money? maybe you could have asked for 20% more and still keep the same conversion rate. Maybe the 5 licenses you offer in the 100$ pack could have been 3 or maybe even you could add a new category for the buyers that would attract a new untapped segment of your customers and raise your business by 35%?
A few pointers for ongoing work
TEST, TEST & TEST! i cannot stress enough how important that is. There should always be some type of A/B testing going on in your campaign! The markets are never static. New products launch every month, new campaigns appear on a daily basis and the users themselves are changing. The only way to keep up with the market and improve is to continually test every step of your campaigns. Even when you think you had reached saturation look around you to what your competitors are doing or what related markets are doing right now and get new ideas. Even if after a while you only get 1% increase per A/B testing cycle in the long term those gather up to a lot of percentage and a lot of customers you wouldn’t have acquired before.
Always think –
1. How you can better segment the users in your campaigns
2. How you can better approach those users with different personas / text / pictures / videos / etc…
3. What trends are showing up in your field / Related areas / The whole marketing world trends