One of the first things I tell potential customers is that I can send them millions of visitors every month.
I have hacker friends who can bring us traffic.
The problem is that none of this traffic will convert.
In fact, all that traffic will simply act as a bandwidth drain.
The bottom line is, if the SEO traffic we send to our clients’ sites doesn’t convert, we’re fired.
I don’t like getting fired and I’m willing to bet you don’t either.
Let’s take a look at some proven conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics you can use to move the needle in the right direction.
Conversion rate optimization can be expensive
I’m a big CRO fan.
But true CRO requires significant testing.
Important tests require 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 will have to spend a lot of 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, really, “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 forms work is simple.
Consumers typically visit multiple sites that meet the criteria they set for a provider.
In the B2B world, it might be an intern tasked with finding the best solution to a CEO’s problem.
On the B2C side, it might be a list of top sellers of a flagship product.
Certainly, in an e-commerce situation, the main suppliers of a flagship product will simply see their online sales increase.
However, in the case of a product sale, sellers with forms collect many more customers to follow once the stock is replenished.
These customers are also amazing to reconnect with when your business is making a sale, getting rid of overstocked inventory, looking to increase sales during off-peak times, or simply adding to mailing lists promoting targeted offers.
2. The unique selling proposition is the best bait
First of all, if you don’t have a unique selling proposition (USP), it’s probably a good idea to go create one.
For those unfamiliar, a USP is simply a reason 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 be one of the reasons your customers keep coming back.
Think of your USP as the extra bait on your hook.
Consumers, whether they’re looking to buy a physical product or provide their contact information to become a prospect, need something to move them from prospect to customer.
The USP is often gravity that moves a consumer through the sales process.
A good USP is often the difference between a sale and a skunk.
However, a well-crafted USP won’t appeal to everyone.
By definition, it cannot.
A USP is meant to specifically attract the customers you want for your product or services.
In fact, in some cases, your USP will be specifically formulated to appeal to some customers and not others.
For example, if you have a high-end product, your product probably won’t suit a budget-conscious customer.
In order to write an appropriate USP, you will need to understand your customer base and create a message that interests them.
Don’t be afraid to give them a specific message that will appeal to them directly.
It’s normal to lose a customer who was not in you.
But it’s a crime to lose a customer who’s willing to pull out their wallet and buy directly from you.
3. Cat – Foreground
You can work to answer all the questions that have come up before, but that doesn’t mean your new client doesn’t have a question you haven’t thought of.
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 conversion rate by up to 30%.
And you don’t even have to have a full chat on the site.
What do I mean by that?
On our site we have a chat, but it acts more like another form than a real chat.
Our cat is not supervised.
It acts as an answering machine.
When a customer visits our site after interacting with a few pages, a chat box pops up and says, “Have a question about our price, services? Want to see more? Talk to me now!”
Once the visitor has started chatting, they are greeted with a dialog stating that we are not available at this time, but if they leave a message, we will get back to them.
I come to the office at least five to seven times a week where someone has filled out this form.
These were leads that would probably never come through the door without an online chat.
4. Phone number in the upper right corner
More and more, I meet prospects who don’t think it’s necessary to provide their phone number on their site.
In fact, for many, a criterion of success is to reduce the time spent on the phone.
I think that’s a mistake.
Not only should you be happy when your customers call you, but you should also record their phone calls and look for things you can improve or make more efficient.
If your business is technical in nature – say you sell a SAAS product or some other item that requires customer training – then reducing tech support phone calls is a legitimate goal.
But if you’re selling a product or service, you want your potential customers to pick up the phone when they have a question.
In fact, you might learn something from those customers who pick up the phone and prevent 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 for some consumers.
These consumers think that if you’re afraid to talk on the phone, you don’t trust your product or service.
In reality, most website owners simply view a phone call as the failure of their masterful communication on their website.
But people are trained to look for a site’s phone number in the top right corner of the site.
Put it there and put call tracking analytics there to see how many calls you get.
Record calls and have them reviewed regularly by an operations manager.
You will be surprised at the information you can get.
You don’t have to spend a million dollars to increase your conversion rates.
There are simple things you can do.
Count on your USP, chat, and phone number, and I suspect you’ll see your numbers go up in no time.
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