Of course you want more conversions! Every business owner wants more conversions. How can you get more conversions?
A client once told us that his website’s performance was like a domino cascade: set up 50 dominoes, push one down, and they all go down neatly one after another. He saw that his traffic was increasing and that the visitors to his website indicated growing thought leadership. He saw that they visited his blog several times and then went to visit his product pages. Some then went on to visit pages where they could opt in for an offer, and some went on to place orders.
But not enough. He figured 50-100% of the visitors who clearly responded well to his website ought to go on to convert. “It’s like domino #47 is stuck,” he said, so the domino line didn’t continue all the way to the end.
Unfortunately, online conversions are less like a domino cascade than like a funnel.
The blog posts answering people’s questions and giving them useful information are at the top of the funnel. People come to them by searching with Google, from social media, from email marketing links, by subscription, or directly to find information or entertainment — not to buy the product.
This is like someone walking past a bakery with enticing scents wafting out the door and stopping to look around or ask a question. If they’re not hungry, they’re probably not going to buy at that moment.
The blog is the equivalent of the enticing aroma. What’s required to get those sweet scents out the door? Excellent, regular posting, with social media and SEO to serve as the open door.
Some people, while they’re at the blog, go ahead and check out the product pages. This is like the bakery passerby who takes a minute to come in and look at the wedding cakes. You can encourage this by adding calls to action at your blog posts.
Opt in opportunities include signing up for a newsletter, downloading an ebook, signing up for a webinar, or trying out a trial version of your software. This is the equivalent, in bakery terms, of buying a cookie. If it’s a good cookie, your visitor might come back for a wedding cake.
But not until they actually have a wedding coming up. If your customer isn’t actually in the market for what you’ve got to offer, you’ll just have to wait until they are.
You should have the largest number of visitors at your blog, and then a somewhat smaller number going on to sample your wares, and then a smaller number still will actually buy. 50 to 100%? Probably not. Probably not even 10%. That’s why the top of the funnel is just as important as the bottom of the funnel.
So how can you get more conversions?
First, you can increase the total number at the top of the funnel — your web traffic — by having plenty of good, fresh content and spreading the word. You can promote your awesome content through social media, ads, and linkbuilding. As long as your new traffic consists of people who are actually interested in what you have to offer, more visitors should lead to more sales.
Next, increase the total number moving from your content to your opt-in pages. Do this by crafting compelling calls to action, great opt-in offers, and easy opportunities. Add them to all your pages. It should be easy for every visitor to find out what you have to offer — and to get it.
Finally, increase the number going on from opt in offers to actual sales. Depending on your goods and services, that can mean anything from having sales people contact the leads to offering free shipping to bring customers back.
A strategy for each stage will make your funnel work better.
Domino #47? It might still get stuck. but that doesn’t have to keep you from getting more conversions.