Everyone knows the importance of search engine optimization. There are millions of pages on the web devoted to explaining the methodology necessary to increase traffic to a website. The real shame is many sites that are successful in driving traffic are failing at maximizing the revenue potential.
Don’t be that guy. By applying a few simple, but proven and effective principles, you may not always double your revenues, but you are very likely to achieve a meaningful improvement.
Communicate UVP in 8 Seconds or Less
A 2015 study by Microsoft, as reported by Yahoo, concluded the average attention span is now 8 seconds. This is down from 12 seconds in 2000. If you fail to deliver a unique value proposition that is attention-grabbing and easy to understand, you risk losing a customer.
In order to make that happen, your UVP (unique value proposition) needs to be clear and relevant to your customer’s wants or needs. It should emphasize benefits like how to solve a problem or improve a situation, not just a long list of features. Finally, a UVP should explain WHY someone should buy from YOU and not your competition.
An effective UVP or unique selling point will contain the following elements:
- Headline: Defines the problem or situation that will be solved or improved
- Tagline: Provides added details like who benefits and how
- Bullet Points: Lists features (maybe), but, more importantly BENEFITS
- Image or Video: A visual element to convey the proposition
Never assume your customer understands your product, service, or market. By doing so, you are likely to leave many questions unanswered and many objections unchallenged. This leads to a negative impact on conversions.
Instead, directly address the most common questions and concerns expressed by prospective buyers. Consider any objection you can think of related to your product or service, then address it on your category and product pages.
Alternatively, you could create an FAQ page. If you have a customer service department, the phone and chat logs are perfect for discovering questions and objections. Forums and Q&A sites are also great resources for turning up questions.
Some examples of common objections that need to be addressed:
- Why pay you when I can do it myself?
- You charge too much – it’s not worth it
- Will it work?
- What if it doesn’t work?
- Why should I trust/believe you?
Nobody likes getting ripped off. When you are selling a product or service that people aren’t familiar with, this is a very real and legitimate concern. By overcoming this fear you will have one less objection AND a distinct advantage over your competition.
How? The best way is to offer a no hassle, money back guarantee. Prominently display your guarantee and policy on the home page as well as every category and product page.
The benefits of offering a no hassle guarantee include:
- Removal of a friction point (by taking away the risk) in closing a sale
- Increasing credibility and trust by standing behind your product or service
- Having a competitive advantage over those unwilling to stand behind what they sell
- Keeping you “honest” by forcing you to provide a fair value all the times to avoid chargebacks
Highlight Social Validation
The importance of social validation in online marketing is difficult to overstate. One of the most persuasive types of validation is the testimonial. Because prospective buyers are much more likely to trust a consumer’s opinion over that of a business, reviews carry an incredible amount of weight.
According to a recent Consumer Review Survey:
- 92% of consumers now read online reviews
- 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews
- Star rating is #1 factor used by consumers to judge a business
- 44% say a review must be written within 1 month to be relevant
- Only 13% of consumers consider using a business that has a 1 or 2-star rating
- 68% say positive reviews make them trust a local business more
The best testimonials contain elements that validate the UVP
- Explain what problem or situation was solved or improved (Example: Sales doubled).
- Explain what happened to arrive at the desired outcome (Example: As soon as the widget was installed the phone began to ring.)
- Emphasize benefits (Example: The stain disappeared) over features (Contains 27% phosphate).
- Discuss how your product or service performed versus a competitor. (Example: 25% more effective).
- Bonus: Up the ante with audio or video testimonials for maximum effect.
Tweak Your Product or Service Offerings
Put Google Analytics to work for you and determine what customers are buying. Next, consider what products or services naturally compliment the top sellers. (Think wine and cheese). That’s the concept behind complementary products.
A happy consumer of your product is likely to buy from you again. It just makes sense to sell a product that complements one they’ve just bought. It’s also convenient for the buyer to make a purchase on a single website. Offering a discount when “bundling” products can further improve your sales.
Here’s the catch – too many choices can overwhelm a customer and actually lead to less sales and conversions. The classic study validating this paradox was performed by psychologists Sheena Lyengar and Mark Lepper back in 2001. In the study, two jam displays were set up in a supermarket – one with 6 different jams and another with 24 choices. Not surprisingly, the 24 jam display generated a lot of interest, but the 6 jam display outsold it by a factor of 10.
You can also give away a complementary service. If you are selling kitchen cabinets, offering a free design service could give you an edge over the competition. Many online business card printers offer a free template for DIY design. Some digital marketing companies offer a free SEO report. Is there an opportunity for you to give away a service that could lead to a sale?
Tweak Your Pricing
I’m a big fan of tiered pricing. The concept is simple – bundle a set of products or services and offer each bundle at incremental price points. First, determine what price points the market will accept. Next, determine what products or services to deliver in each tier.
Advantages to using a tiered pricing model
- Broadens market opportunities
- Offers a path to existing customers to move up the tiers
- Requires no additional products or services
- Gives the consumer a choice
How to execute a tiered pricing model
- Scale value – As the price increases so should the value, so offer a bigger bang for the buck at each tier.
- Add perks – As the price goes up, the types levels of service should also increase.
- Bonus: Add value based on commitment – for example, offer one month free with a 12-month agreement.
Make it Easy to Pay
There is nothing more aggravating than navigating through the sales process just to get bogged down when it comes time to pay. Difficulty in checking out is the mortal enemy of sales and conversions. Having an easy to use checkout page is essential.
Elements of a good checkout page
- Does not redirect payment to another page (like PayPal)
- Does not require a user account to make a purchase
- Does not ask for more info than necessary
- Is highly intuitive and easy to use
- Makes it easy to fix mistakes
- Offers multiple payment methods
- Offers proof the site and customer information is secure (secure site badge)
By removing friction points, instilling trust, and making the buying process easy, you are almost certain to increase your revenues in a very meaningful way by making the most of the traffic you are already getting.