Win Customers Online- Mthods

In marketing lingo, when a prospective customer takes the marketer’s intended action, that is what we call conversion. This can be a visitor filling up your contact form, downloading your brochure, buying something from your website, registering for a webinar or any similar action.

A “Conversion Rate” is the percentage of unique visitors who take a desired action upon visiting a website. Conversion Rate Optimization is the art and science of creating an experience for website visitor with a goal of converting the visitor into customer.

It sounds pretty simple. And logical. It’s a concept that was borne out of a need to improve website results for e-commerce and lead generating websites. Currently this service is generating a lot of buzz. You see, marketers feel that instead of spending more money on their internet marketing, they should first try and improve their website’s conversion rates. But how does that work?

A real world example

You may have noticed that many companies display their awards, certifications and press mentions in their lobby or conference room. Why do they do that? So that visitors get a better impression of their company. And, other things being equal, if they have to choose between two companies, they will probably select the one which has more of them. They help a company create a “brand” in the customer’s mind. The same is true online. So if visitors find awards and other mentions on your company’s website the probability of them filling up a form or taking another action increases.

Let’s take another example. Many of us in India are wary of online shopping because of credit card fraud. That is why smart e-commerce websites display certificates by authentication companies like VeriSign which say their website is secure. Similarly, they also show positive customer reviews which increase the confidence of visitors to buy products from that site. In turn, this is likely to help the e-commerce website increase its conversions.

Test it out first

Will displaying awards and showing off your customer reviews automatically increase your website’s conversion rate? Hmm… not always – because it’s hard to predict what exactly will work best for your website. Hence, the key to Conversion Rate Optimization is to keep testing it out. The way of going about it is to create two similar landing pages which differ in one element. This can be the tagline, an image, the placement of contact forms or a call to action, like clicking on a button or a link. The idea is that by sending, say, 100 visitors each to these two pages, you can see what difference a single element makes on your conversion rates. Keep testing various elements and once you know what works, keep that element as part of all your future landing pages. To gather enough data, you need to give each test a minimum time frame. Does this sound tedious and time consuming? Yes, it is. But these “testing experiments” are the foundation of any successful conversion rate optimization campaign.

Here are a few tips:

– Keep the page focused on your primary objective. Avoid having flashy images or banners that would divert your visitors away from the conversion goal.

– Improve the clarity of offers on the Web page. This could range from a free email newsletter to a free monthly trial. This should be the first thing to capture the visitor’s attention.

– Highlight the business “Value Proposition.” This means clearly articulating what makes you different from your competitors and should be strong enough to appeal to visitors.

– Make sure your primary “call to action” stands out on the landing page. This will help visitors identify the first action they have to take when they arrive there.

– Keep your headline clear and concise. It should entice the visitor to want to dig deeper for more information.

– Write in customer-friendly copy. Lists generally work better than big paragraphs. They should spell out what advantage the visitor can draw from the site or how it can help solve their problem.

– Contact details should be prominently displayed on the page. A contact number with your organization’s physical address or even a contact form will help your visitors get in touch with you.

– Highlight your testimonials and customer reviews. Many people will search for what other people are saying about your product or service before doing business with you.

– Show your certifications and awards on your landing page.

Remember that startups are free to do a lot more experiments on their Web pages than big companies. This is a clear advantage and hence startups should not hesitate to explore how they can experiment with different elements of their website in their bid to increase their conversion rates.


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