One of the first things I tell prospective customers is that I can send them millions of visitors each month.
I have some hacker friends that can bring in the traffic for us.
The problem is, none of that traffic will convert.
In fact, all that traffic will merely act as a bandwidth drain.
Bottom line – if the SEO traffic we send to our client’s sites doesn’t convert, we get fired.
I don’t like getting fired and am willing to bet you don’t, either.
Let’s take a look at a few proven conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics you can use to move the needle in the right direction.
Conversion Rate Optimization Can Get Expensive
I am a huge fan of CRO.
But true CRO requires significant testing.
Significant testing requires high-level tools, personnel, and a lot of time.
If you want to have statistically significant proof that your landing page is going to work, you’ll have to spend some significant time and money.
But most people can improve their conversion rates by double-digit percentages simply by following the best practices in this column.
1. A Form On Every Page
Having a form on every page increases conversion rates.
One of the most popular questions I get is, “By how much?”
And the answer is, truly, “It depends.”
But I’ve never seen a site that implemented forms on every page that didn’t see a significant increase in conversion rates.
The reason that forms work is simple.
Consumers typically visit several sites that meet the criteria they have set for a vendor.
In the B2B world, this could be an intern tasked with finding the best solution for a CEO’s problem.
On the B2C side, it could be a list of top sellers of a hot product.
Granted, in an ecommerce situation, the top vendors of a hot product will simply see their ecommerce sales rise.
However, in the case of a product sell-off, vendors with forms collect far more customers to follow up with once stock is replenished.
These customers are also amazing to re-connect with when your company is having a sale, getting rid of overstocked inventory, looking to boost sales during slow times, or merely adding to mailing lists promoting targeted offers.
2. Unique Selling Proposition Is The Best Bait
First, if you don’t have a unique selling proposition (USP), it’s probably a good idea to go and create one.
For those not familiar, a USP is simply a reason that people should buy from you instead of somewhere else.
Your USP not only helps you make the initial sale or get the contact, but it should also serve as one of the reasons your customers keep coming back.
Think of your USP as the extra bait on your hook.
Consumers, whether they are looking to buy a physical product or provide their contact information to become a lead, need something to move them from being a prospect to being a customer.
The USP is frequently the gravity that moves a consumer through the sales process.
A good USP is frequently the difference between a sale and a skunk.
However, a well-crafted USP will not appeal to everyone.
By definition, it can’t.
A USP is meant to appeal specifically to the customers you want for your product or services.
In fact, in some cases, your USP will be specifically formulated to appeal to certain customers, and not appeal to others.
For instance, if you have a high-end product, your product is probably not going to be right for a customer that is budget-conscious.
In order to write a proper USP, you’ll need to understand your customer base and create a message that appeals to them.
Don’t be afraid to give them a specific message that will appeal directly to them.
It’s ok to lose a customer that wasn’t that into you.
But it’s a crime to lose a customer that is ready to pull out their wallet and purchase directly from you.
3. Chat – Front And Center
You can work to answer every question that has come before, but that doesn’t mean that your new customer doesn’t have a question you haven’t thought of.
Having chat on your site is a game-changer when it comes to conversion rate optimization.
In my experience, chat alone on a site can increase the rate of conversion by up to 30%.
And you don’t even have to have full chat on the site.
What do I mean by that?
On our site, we have chat, but it acts more like another form than an actual chat.
Our chat is not monitored.
It acts as an answering machine.
When a customer visits our site after they have interacted with a couple of pages, a chatbox pops up saying, “Have a question about our price, our services? Want to see more? Chat with me now!”
Once the visitor starts a chat, they are met with a dialogue stating we aren’t available right now but if they leave a message we will get back to them.
I come into the office at least five to seven times a week where someone has filled out that form.
Those were leads that most likely would never come through the door without online chat.
4. Phone Number In The Upper-Right-Hand Corner
More and more, I run into prospects that don’t think it’s necessary to provide their phone number on their site.
In fact, for many, a success metric includes cutting down the amount of time on the phone.
I think this is a mistake.
Not only should you be happy when your customers call you, but you should also be recording their phone calls and looking for things you can make better or more efficient.
If your business is technical in nature – say you sell a SAAS product or other item that requires some training for the customer – then cutting down on tech support phone calls is a legitimate goal.
But if you are selling a product or service, you want your potential customers to pick up the phone when they have a question.
In fact, you may learn something from those customers that pick up the phone that is keeping your shy customers from entering their credit card number in the first place.
Having your phone number buried on your site is almost like an admission of guilt to some consumers.
These consumers figure if you are scared to talk on the phone you don’t have confidence in your product or service.
In reality, most website owners simply look at a phone call as the failure of their masterful communication on their website.
But Web consumers are trained to look for a site’s phone number in the upper-right corner of the site.
Place it there and put call tracking analytics on it to see how many calls you get.
Record the calls and have an operations person regularly listen.
You’ll be surprised at the insights you can gain.
You don’t have to spend a million dollars to increase your conversion rates.
There are simple things you can do.
Rely on your USP, your chat, and your phone number, and I suspect you’ll see your numbers increase in a short period of time.
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