Converting traffic to customers may sound like a difficult concept to master, but it’s actually quite simple when you follow a few tried and true suggestions from marketing professionals. While you may not always follow these steps in order, or need to complete each step when it comes to every individual client, knowing that these methods work – and are available – can be very helpful. There are seven things to remember when it comes to converting visitors to your site into leads, and in turn into lasting customers.
First, you’ll need to know your target audience. This is more than simply deciding what types of people you want to appeal to with your site and your product offerings. To be effective with this aspect of lead conversion, you’ll also need to know these people (or businesses) more thoroughly. In order to craft sites and products or services, you’ll need to focus on the things that these leads will want and need. By appealing to the intricacies of individual audience members, you’ll likely be more successful in grabbing – and keeping their attention over time. While no two leads will have the exact same needs or expectations, setting yourself up for success by finding the right ways to appeal to them is essential.
Having a defined offer will show these visitors that you can provide them with a specific product or service that will be beneficial to them. This offer doesn’t need to be a laid-out plan for a specific marketing campaign, (because this will need to be personalized to individual leads and clients) instead it should be highlighting that you, as a business, will be able to meet their needs, no matter what it is that they require. This offer can be simple or complex, but it needs to be intriguing, because the goal is to entice site visitors to reach out for more information about this offer. Individuals and businesses look for ways to boost their SEO and other marketing reach by working with experts, but it’s not enough to simply have them look at what you’re capable of – they also need to interact.
Using social proof may seem like bragging, but there’s nothing wrong with showcasing past (and even current) success stories. Providing links or summaries of marketing initiatives that have been proven effective in the past can help boost visitor confidence in your capabilities, especially if these success stories are for organizations that are similar to theirs. Commonly used forms of this proof include case studies, certifications, awards and proven results. Although you may not want to give out detailed information about past campaigns and past work, being able to show that your efforts were able to help others by providing numbers and feedback received can go a long way. The more information you can provide in a concise and appealing manner, the better. One important thing to consider, though, is that while it’s perfectly fine to let the results speak for themselves, they should still be presented in a way that is logical and relevant to the scope of your business.
A clear call to action (CTA) will motivate visitors to take that next step. A CTA is only considered successful when it leads to a conversion – clicking on a button or a link, making a phone call, or even sending an email are all examples of success. Simply presenting this CTA on the page in a visible location isn’t enough; the CTA will also need to be clear in intent as well as compelling. Most visitors won’t be inclined to take action unless they know what this action’s result will be, so even though it may seem like a good idea to focus on the appearance of this CTA (be it a button or a link), you should also be focused on the textual content and explanation. Websites may have multiple CTAs, and this is actually recommended, because not every portion of a site, or every individual page will require the same action in order to convert. As long as the visitor knows what to do when they click this, though, you’re likely to seek the results that you desire. Figuring out where to place these CTAs on your website pages ties into knowing your target audience, as well as another step – optimizing your landing pages.
When you create landing pages, making sure that these landing pages are optimized is just as important as having them exist in the first place. There are five things to remember when it comes to choosing the best practices for optimizing landing pages.
Finding a way to capture information is important. There are plenty of different ways to do this, and some of them include integrating a chat feature for visitors that may have questions while browsing the site, forms that allow them to ask questions, email input for them to join a mailing list, receive a newsletter, video or a PDF, or even simply allowing them to ask for more information from you. This is where a great CTA can be crucial, because it will provide the motivation for visitors to seek out more information than you’ve already provided them. The more visitors feel that they can interact with a site, the better, because this also allows for a personalized feel. They aren’t simply a name or a number, they’re an individual.
Today, people that use the Internet are used to being able to access information easily – and they may not want to give up their information without a good reason. Anyone can ask them to add their email address to a mailing list, or to provide information for a follow up… so you’ll need to make them understand that their time and information are valuable to you. This can be done by offering something (typically for free) as discussed above, or even crafting a CTA that is targeted instead of vague. You need to prove to them that you’re not just asking for their personal information without already having thought through the next steps – and how you can provide them with something that they want or need to succeed.
When thinking about the best ways to turn website visitors into leads, and then eventually into customers, there’s a lot to consider. With that being said, there’s also a lot that can be overlooked, especially for those that are unfamiliar with the different parts of the marketing process and the best methods for appealing to these visitors in the first place.
In order to have a successful marketing strategy, all of the different aspects of it need to fit together and work well with one another, because often, these pieces flow from one to the next with very little pause inbetween them. For one to be successful and provide value, the previous one as well as the next one must do the same. Despite the fact that there is a clear, linear way that we imagine the inbounding process to go when it comes to obtaining new visitors and leads, the truth is that things don’t always follow this order… and we need to prepare for it accordingly.
While a Call to Action (CTA) is meant to motivate these visitors, it will only do so if it requests something very specific that they are looking for. Someone isn’t going to click on a button to be taken to a page that offers them something that they don’t feel like they want or need. The idea behind a successful CTA is that by presenting it, you’ve given your visitors something to look forward to – or something to look for. The deeper a visitor gets within your page or your site, the better, because this will expose them to different options, and more opportunities for conversion. In some cases, these visitors will visit a site thinking that they are looking for one thing, but when presented with a different option, find that it suits their needs better.
Simply put, this CTA doesn’t always need to be a flashy button or a standout graphic on the page. Contextual CTAs that are simply linked within other page text can be just as effective, as long as they’re showing the visitor that by clicking, they will get something out of it.
Using quality CTAs also ties in with crafting and presenting the right type of offer. Any company can make promises to visitors and tell them that they’ll be able to help them reach their goals… but it’s not about simply dangling the bait and hoping for a bite. There are a few things that can be done in order to craft an offer that can’t be refused, and it starts with remembering a few simple things.
Crafting this offer doesn’t have to be complex, but it needs to leave visitors feeling like it’s not stock, not standard – not something that they could get from anyone.
Once you’ve gotten the offers down and have created some compelling CTAs, it’s time to consider how you’ll best capture the data that site visitors and leads provide. Remember, getting them interested isn’t often the difficult part – it’s getting them interested enough to provide you with their contact information. Common ways that this information is caught and transmitted back to you is through the use of forms, which can be personalized to meet just about any marketing strategy, and having simple input options like email requests or even char windows.
When it comes to forms, it’s important to remember that at the beginning, less is more. If someone is still trying to decide whether or not they believe that you can provide them with what they need, they won’t want to give you an extensive amount of information, and they won’t go searching for this form. This is where quality site design – especially on mobile devices – comes into play.
The first step in using forms properly in order for them to convert leads is to place them where they are seen. This means that even if the visitor is still deciding whether or not to fill it out, they know where to go when if (when) they choose to do so. To be successful, your form should stand out, drawing the eye and making people want to utilize it.
Increasing the perceived value of providing the information and filling out the form is essential, too. Though this portion of a marketing strategy will differ depending on the type of form it is, people always want to believe that they are getting a great deal, even if it’s for something simple and without actual monetary value.
Another thing to consider is only requiring the relevant information for whatever the CTA or offer is. For example, for someone to receive access to a PDF file or a newsletter sign up, they won’t want to spend longer than a minute or two providing their basic information. To start, a successful form will only ask users to give up the information that makes sense, but that still creates quality leads. Suggestions? Limit the fields on each form to only the ones that allow you to build a short client profile, but won’t make people pause before providing them. An example of this is not always requiring a phone number, since so many people are wary of text or calls from unknown numbers.
Site chats with live people may not always be possible 24/7, especially for smaller businesses, but giving visitors the option to reach out if they have questions or concerns is a great touch. Sometimes, these chatbots can be programmed to answer the most common questions that site visitors have, and other times, they can be used to put visitors into contact with actual representatives whenever possible. This is a great way to appeal to visitors, because not only does it show them that you’re interested in what their individual questions are, but it also allows them to ask questions or schedule follow-up interactions on their own time. Chatting may not immediately lead to conversion, but it’s a great start, and is another good way to capture email addresses along with names.
Offering visitors a chance to chat with someone instead of allowing them to feel as if they need to navigate the site and your offerings by themselves shows a good-faith investment on their part, as well as on yours. Even though they are simply looking, you’re willing to guide them in the right direction.
This isn’t just about giving your visitors value, either. Chat logs can be analyzed in order to see which questions visitors have, what they’re looking for, and where they are reaching out from. This information can also lead to more pointed CTAs, a better location strategy, a new focus on keywords, and even more information about how long individual visitors remain on your page – as well as how many times they visit. It’s a simple feature to implement, but one that is very valuable overall.
Call tracking for local SEO is another important thing to consider because it allows us to see which avenues are producing the best – and most consistent results. Though it may seem counterproductive to have different phone numbers associated with different marketing options, this is actually recommended in order to see exactly what is working.
By having the ability to track calls, three things in particular can be done more effectively. We can see which areas are attracting the most visitors and producing the most leads. With this known, it will be possible to spend more time and effort on the angles of the campaign that are likely to see the most – and highest quality – results. This can result in increased ability for landing page optimization and keyword focus.
Moving forward, the other two huge benefits of call tracking are that it can be used to optimize the non-landing page leads that come in and that this type of tracking can help tell you how many visitors convert to leads and then eventually to customers. While it’s important to focus on landing pages, as discussed above, sometimes it’s another source that motivates the initial contact. The date that is gathered via this method can prove to be very valuable for businesses of all sizes, and should be treated s such.
One specific way of doing this is to use dynamic number insertion software (DNI), which is a method that will insert a different number onto the page for each specific visitor, even though they all lead to the same end result. By using this method, it will be possible to track things like the keyword that was searched, the page that led to the call, the lead’s phone number, where the caller is from and much, much more.
Converting traffic to customers is a process that takes time, since there are multiple steps and angles that must be considered, as well as considerations that must be made in order to effectively complete it. By following some of the steps and suggestions outlined here, you’ll be well on your way to developing an effective strategy for attracting, enticing and retaining these leads into lasting customers.
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SEO Consultant Roger Bryan
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Canal Fulton, OH 44614