9 Ways To Convert Website Visitors into Paying Clients
The big questionToday we answer the single most asked question by any webmaster, or any business owner that seeks a return for investment on their website and web marketing. How do companies get clients from website visitors? Businesses tend to spend loads of time and money into driving traffic to their websites, but here’s the thing: that’s the easy part. As a business or marketer, you’re probably wondering what to do to make your website visitors sign up for your services after visiting the website that you’ve paid so much money for? We’ll tell you and its not so complicated, we call it the art of conversion optimization.
Conversion Optimization In ActionHere’s an interesting example of just how effective conversion optimization conversion rates can be. Back in 2007, the campaign team of former US president Barack Obama tried out a total of 24 different website design options to push for more fund raising. Their strategy was to use a variety of layout for simple pieces of promotional content and sign-up buttons. The team’s chosen design showed a sign-up rate (conversion) of 8.26%, but after some testing, they discovered that a different design option, with just a few minor differences to theirs, had a significantly higher rate of 11.6%. During the online campaign 10 million people signed up, and with each donating an average of $21, the team was able to achieve a difference of $60 million in fundraising! This is a good example of how a small change in layout can have a big impact on conversion rate.
Important terms to knowSo we know that conversion optimization works, but we can’t practice it properly without understanding its basics. We’ll next go over some basic terms to understand before diving into our 14 tips on how to convert website visitors into paying clients. You need to understand these five important terms.
What’s ConversionConversion is what happens when a visitor to your website performs an action that you want them to do on your site. This can be buying a product, clicking the “Email Us” button, signing up to your newsletter, filling out an online form for getting an estimate. Essentially you find ways to lure them into performing tasks that help you get responses that push for a sale. There’s two main types of conversion. Each plays a role to your end game: Make money from online visitors.
Micro-conversions and macro-conversionsEvery time your site gets visited, there’s an opportunity for a conversion to happen. With the exclusion of fake bots and spiders ( automated software ) the majority of conversions (81%) happen after a customer gets to know your website or your company. This normally takes a number of interactions (research points to an average of 7 or more). The main conversion goals are known as macro conversions, while the number of smaller interactions on your site that lead the visitor to make a macro conversions are known as micro conversions. Most user journeys involve completing a number of smaller conversions – micro- conversion. Most user journeys involve completing a number of smaller conversions – micro- conversions – before committing to a bigger macro-conversion. Unless of course your site has some other unknown magic tricks that’s be-known to nature, or pure luck. Micro-conversions might include: • Visitor signs up to your newsletter • Visitor adding a product to his or her shopping cart • Visitor following your website’s Twitter account through a link on the website Macro-conversions include: • Visitor requests a quote for your services through a form on the website • Visitor purchases a product on your site • Visitor schedules for a live demo of your product Next comes the part where you want to start taking down notes..
What’s Conversion RateConversion rate is calculation usually in % that results when you take the number of times a site visitor completes a goal (makes a conversion) divided by the number of visitors to your site. Let’s say your goal (conversion) is to have site visitors click a specific “Email Us” button on your homepage. And in a single day the button was clicked fifty times by ten visitors, then your conversion rate is 5% for the day (50 divide by 10). The higher the rate the better and as a site owner, you ideally want to get as many conversions as possible in order to maximize your conversion rate. Conversion rate is perhaps the single most crucial calculation highly successful websites use (including our very own). Because even the slightest difference in your conversion rate can make a huge impact on your online sales – trust us we have experienced this first hand. This theory is backed by online marketing studies which prove that if you were to increase your conversion rate by 1% you double your revenue potential. So remember, CRO, CRO, CRO…..
What’s conversion rate optimizationConversion rate optimization, or CRO, is the process of convincing more visitors to complete an action (convert) when they visit your website. It involves designing or tweaking your website and its pages in a way that increases the chance of visitors converting before they leave your website. CRO depends on understanding how people behave when they come to your website, and most importantly, what is stopping them from completing a site goal (converting). CRO is crucial part of on-site SEO as well the entire SEO strategy. It’s a key to the end game – getting more actual clients. Still reading? We’ll tell you how to turn those visitors into paying customers in the next few paragraphs, let’s keep piecing all the details by discussing the value CRO bestows to millions of online businesses that practice it.
Benefits of CROLarge traffic visit numbers are irrelevant if they don’t convert. Think of renting a store in downtown Shanghai to only have many people come enjoy window shopping or walk out empty handed. Your paying for light, electricity, and shop employees only to have visitors ask questions and enjoy free heat or air-condition. It’s a loss. The same applies to online businesses that hires a web agency like ours to manage its website and server plus spending on online Ads / SEO. – CRO can reduce your web development expenses by helping you avoid bloating your site with unwanted features that won’t help you get paid. – Enhances your return on investment by giving you a set of achievable goals and measurement analytics. – Gives you valuable insight into what motivates your target audience which means you can adjust your marketing efforts to better meet their needs. – CRO also improves helps you improve overall website user experience, which in turn helps to enhance trust and brand recognition online. It all sounds very easy to do – push more visitors to make perform an action you want (conversion), and you’ll get a better ROI and more sales. But here’s a fact to consider. It’s a well researched fact in the digital marketing industry that 96% of visitors leave websites without even making a single conversion. More facts, according to Funneloverload the average website conversion rate is 2.35% while the best websites have conversion rate of 11% or more. Good CRO obviously requires you to not make mistakes that result in low conversion – people leaving your site without performing any indented action that we set as a goal. Let’s take a look at some of the things to avoid.
Common reasons for low conversion ratesThe industry defines 11.45% as a “good” conversion rate”. With 2.35% as the average conversion rate across industries. Depending on the business model its obvious that some industries naturally have a high conversion rate or a low one. These numbers are backed by the reputable search marketer Larry Kim. However, if your conversion rate is extremely low ( like below 1% or 0%) then you need to analyze your website. There are fundamental elements on your site that could be preventing visitors from converting. SEO guru and influencer Neil Patel has identified 4 core potential issues that any website owner can easily address to improve conversion. We’ll use his wisdom as its very spot on according to our experience over the past 15+ years of conducting SEO for our global clients.
Lack of CTAA call to action (or CTA) is an element on the site which acts as incentive for your visitors to convert. Effective CTAs tie into a problem a visitor is trying to solve, it guides on how they can achieve this through the website. A good CTA is clearly visible, accessible, gets the visitor to do what its designed to do. To ensure a CTA click or action, get creative with its content, placement, color, or animation. A simple CTA example could be a big red Contact Us button at the very top of every page on a dark themed website that leads visitors to the contact us form. If a CTA is hidden, not clear, and obtrusive to browsing user experience then visitors typically ignore it. Lacking a CTA shows that a website doesn’t know what its visitors are there for and indicates the site is wasting a visitor’s time, forcing the visitor to leave without a conversion.
Lack of Value PropositionOnline visitors browse hundreds of sites. A good customer does research and will compare several of your competitor prior arriving to your website. Your site is where you explain why they should choose your business and not those other guys. You do this by explaining how your business ads value to them. This is mostly done through copy of case studies and service benefits. If visitors can’t find your value proposition then they leave. We recommend you place your value proposition text, like for instance “2 years product warranty” on the top area of the landing page. Remember visitors have a few seconds to decide if they stay on your site or skip to the next one without converting.
Intrusive Advertising and Pop-UpsTo be honest, studies show visitors don’t like Ads. Unless of course these Ads add value to them. Obtrusive advertisements on your website can disrupt and flow of user experience on your site. This in turn will leave visitors without a chance to see your CTAs, value proposition and convert. A common complaint is for example pop-ups that greet visitors before they even see your website logo. Visitors are more likely to not even see your logo or company offering at all and simply close your page.
Ineffective CopyContent is king. Visitors flock to your website to read, see, and hear about what they typed on a search engine or web browser site address bar. Appropriate content that’s formatted correctly and effectively communicates the value proposition is super important. The quality your content speaks mountains about your business as this is your public online presence. First time visitors are not very forgiving to poorly written CTA’s, typos in articles, old crappy images. Worse is incorrect contact information or links to irrelevant pages.
Key tactics for improving conversionsThe previously mentioned are just a few factors identified by experts. There is no silver bullet as every web site is unique, every visitor is unique, and the way it responds to the needs of the target audience will ultimately define the percentage of the audience that converts. Now we get to what this whole article is about. Effective steps you can take to optimize the conversion rate of your website right away.
Video - Getting things right, better website numbers.
1. Craft quality contentThe best user experience won’t result in a conversion if you’re not speaking their language. Your website copy is your core message; it included your CTA and your unique value proposition, informing your visitors on the journey towards converting them. In simple terms bad copy leads to bad conversions. Ensure that your content is factually correct and free of errors. Copy should support your value proposition not make you look unprofessional. Use experts to empower your message, and write with authority on topics you understand very well. Most importantly write with your target audience in mind first then search engines a close second.
2. Have a unique value propositionA unique value proposition (UVP) clearly states your products or services benefits to your website visitors. It is your with a UVP that you can communicate what makes you stand out from the crowd. For example, “we serve a few clients to offer very strong customer service experience as evidenced by our 200 clients of more than 10 years commitment”. Or, “the only auto dealer that lets you extensively customize your dream car from the comfort of your coach”. CRO Fast Fact: You have just 3 seconds to capture your site visitor’s attention before they decide whether to stay or leave. Make sure they’re easily able to figure out your UVP in this timeframe and that its short and clear. Like “Free consulting forever.”
3. Include testimonials and case studiesPeople browsing the internet are bombarded with all types of information. This leads them to do a bit more work into confirming facts from fiction. It is the truth that is important as they are not in front of a real person. With this in mind, persuasive onsite content with facts and stats to validate lead to more conversions. Publish case studies of your work with client permission, include reviews, include awards and events from other well-known communities that confirm what your saying. This is a great way to improve the trust that visitors will have in your site, ultimately resulting in a greater chance of conversion.
4. Focus on your landing pagesLanding pages are entry point pages. These are pages that are highly likely to appear on search results as top level pages. Pages such as your, a services page, or product page or a services page are meant to be high-conversion pages. These pages are where the majority of purchases or downloads will be initiated on. Your website home page is a very important landing page. This is where you get to make your first impression on visitors, and guide them to explore your website further. Ensure that your landing pages are well-designed and provide a good UX ( User Experience). A good user experience is for example: easy to navigate. Include clear copy and links to other pages which helps them solve their problem. Ensure that the content on all landing pages is optimized to encourage visitors to take action. For example, if you are a business consulting company, your home page should include a CTA, services overview, links to case studies, reviews, credential, and most importantly a way to contact you. CRO Fact: Studies suggest that you can increase your conversion rate by more than 80% by simply adding a relevant video to a landing page.
5. Empower your blogYou’ve probably herd of bloggers. Businesses (not all) can benefit from creating a blog on site or on other platforms. How frequent you blog depends on how much relevant content you are able to produce. Not every company can write ten blogs a week. However, your company blog provides you with endless opportunities to convert interested visitors. A blog is your opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your industry. Whether you plan to educate or entertain, a well-crafted relevant blog with regular updates will keep readers coming back to your site. This in turn will increase your chance for a conversion.
6. Enhance Your CTAsWe have covered what CTAs are already. Make sure any calls to action on your website are tweaked to lead to better conversions. They should be simple, clearly visible, and to-the-point. Ensure your CTA is specific and generic. For instance “Contact us a for Free Demo” is a better call to action than “Download now”). Ensure that it’s a quick and easy process for the user to complete the action. A qualified SEO consultant can help you to optimize and improve the calls to action on your website, as part of your overall CRO strategy. CRO Fact: Using strong calls to action of 10 words or less usually will result in increasing conversion rate.
7. Make smarter use of your pop-upsAs previously mentioned in our assessment of Advertisements and conversion, visitors are not fans of Ads. Pop-Ups face a similar situation. This however doesn’t mean that Pop-Ups are bad. It depends on how and where they are placed. For instance, you’ve probably seen some promotional pop-ups that appear after you scroll past a certain piece of content. Depending on the offer of the pop-up and content, it can actually help visitors convert more quickly. While visitors are busy browsing your website, make sure you place Pop-Ups in areas that support your CTA. Ensure that such pop-ups are unobtrusive, add value, and won’t interfere with potential conversions.
8. Secure your websiteInternet security has been a growing concern for both online users and website owners. This is particularly important for sites that allow visitors to make payments directly online. Even the biggest sites get hacked with millions of user data stolen or leaked online. In light of this and media coverage of such events, website visitors are aware and play close attention to online security. Building trust helps you to earn conversions, and security plays a major role in this. If your site allows online payment then be sure to display verification tags. Verification tags like VeriSign or Symantec SSL to let users know your payment systems can be trusted. This in turn can help to make prospective online shoppers feel more confident and safe in making a purchase. Research shows that approximately half of your visitors will check your website’s security before providing any personal or confidential information. Its uncommon for visitors to check for SSL presence on a website (i.e “lock” sign next to your website address on web browser). Visitors will also read your privacy, terms, and visit your about page to see who you really are before committing further to converting.
9. Speed up your siteNo one likes a slow website. Sluggish websites are so frustratingly a time killer, you can expect plenty of visitors leaving the site before initiating any action. Use a site speed test tool such as GTMetrix or Google Page speed.
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