by: Thomas Young
The goal of these blog posts and the objective of your digital marketing action plans, are increased sales revenues for your company. The sales process starts with an online conversion. Sales growth is driven by various forms of website conversions and your strategic digital marketing strategies must be tied to a conversion path or target. In part, website conversions are defined as any contact or interaction from a website visitor to your company generated from your strategic digital marketing efforts.
There are many ways to set and monitor website conversions. This includes the process of moving your website visitors toward contact with your company. This is the online sales funnel, and Google Analytics can be used to monitor the steps users take along this path. The user path along the online sales funnel may not be a direct contact, but should be a step in the right direction toward contact with your company.
Website Conversion Funnel
It is important to structure your website navigation and content as if it were a sales funnel. This is the natural progression the average web visitor takes as they move toward a conversion. For example, a website visitor will first start at the home page and determine what your company is about and where they can find value. From there they will gravitate to more information about the company or your products and services. At this point, some users will dig deeper for more detailed content as they do their research. Others will gravitate toward their preferred conversion method following this content review. Tracking the sales funnel in Google Analytics will provide insights into how to increase conversion rates. The online sales funnel often begins with various content pages and usually ends at your website’s Contact Us page.
The Contact Us Page
The Contact Us page is one of the most important pages on your website. Its goal is to drive visitor contacts and should be included in your main navigation menu. The Contact Us page must include various contact methods because website visitors have different preferences for getting in touch with your company. Include the following contact methods and information on your Contact Us page.
- Website dedicated phone and fax numbers
- Address and locations
- Driving instructions
- Office hours
- Web submission form
- E-mail contact information
Communicate to website visitors that you want to hear from them, and let visitors know how long it takes to get a response back from your company. Website visitors appreciate a quick turnaround from their inquiries and quick responses lead to higher close rates when selling to these prospects. Also, include contact information on every page of your website in the footer or header.
Calls to Action
Website “calls to action” (sometimes called CTAs) lead people toward a conversion point. Be creative, as there are no limitations on the types of conversions you can establish and track online. The better you understand how website visitors prefer to contact you and what motivates them to make contact, the better your conversion rates.
Should website visitors have to sign up as a call to action before you send them more information or content? It depends, but it is not usually a good idea, because users don’t like it. Test variations and see what happens. Be generous with your content. You will see results and more conversions and if you don’t provide this content, your competitors will.
In addition to the contact methods found on your website’s Contact Us page, include these key conversion points on your website and in social media.
- E-mail newsletter sign up
- Blog and content RSS feeds
- Share buttons for social media and e-mail
- Free downloads of specialty content or white papers
- Call to action buttons for special offers
- Likes and follows in social media
Website Submission Forms
Always include a website submission form on your site. Keep in mind that shorter forms get more conversions and longer forms get fewer conversions, but tend to better qualify the sales lead. Visitors often prefer forms because they may not be able to easily e-mail from their computer or device and they may be researching your business after hours and no one is available to take a phone call. Also, forms are easily tracked in Google Analytics and are generally excellent online conversion methods. Respond quickly to form requests so you can maximize your conversion rate and close more sales.
Tips to Generate More Website Conversions
Here are a few ideas for generating more conversions from your website:
- Website visitors are impulsive, so keep content scannable and links simple.
- Set the right message and call to action in your content.
- Place calls to action near popular content and on every page.
- Allow for more depth of content for analytical people.
- The shopping cart must be first rate, easy to use and intuitive.
- Use color photos with captions.
- Avoid objects that look like ads or large graphics. Online advertising is a turn-off.
- Customize landing pages for unique web search terms.
- Content and knowledge drives conversions, not flash and graphics.
- Product photos on all pages and detailed descriptions are very important.
- If possible, offer a money back guarantee.
- Call your website the official website for your company.
- Use unique web phone numbers on every page.
- Test special offers and incentives, especially free shipping.
- Is the motive of the website to sell stuff or help people? Make the site’s purpose to help people.
- Draw qualified traffic from the search engines.
- Have a professional, high-quality design.
- Use consistent branding and messaging on the site.
- Be very well-organized in navigation and usability, as this builds credibility.
- Load the website with content and media that excites visitors.
- Use a compelling offer that moves people to action.
Website conversions, in their most basic form, can be defined as either a direct sale via e-commerce or the generation of a sales lead. These are the two most common forms of online conversions. People that buy from your company or make contact in any way should fall into comprehensive stay-in-touch program. Remember, solid conversion rates come from a strategic process, great content, an excellent understanding of your users and solid digital marketing planning.
- Make sure there is a link to your Contact Us page in your main navigation and that it is present on all web pages.
- Include various call to action buttons on your web pages and understand your site visitors’ preference for conversions.
- Set up conversion tracking in Google Analytics and in AdWords to track ROI.
- Establish a conversion rate goal of 1 percent or more of total website traffic.
- Monitor which type of website traffic converts, and build on that data to refine your strategic digital marketing strategies.
- Review your competitors’ conversion points and make use of best practices.
- Test several conversion options to determine what types of conversions work best.
- Include spam prevention methods on your contact forms and e-mail addresses.