It happens all the time.
You spend hour after hour building a website that people will love and buy from.
Then you launch – with your expectations set pretty high – only to hear nothing but the infamous crickets at the end of the day.
That’s an understatement!
However, if this is something you’ve either experienced or are currently experiencing, know that you’re not alone. WordStream reports an average of only 2.5% conversion rate across a range of industries.
But put yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a second…
You visit a site, and it has been really well designed. You love every visual element on the site and feel enchanted with it. But that’s not why you visited the site. You’re not there to see how beautiful their design is.
You are there to get a specific value.
So when that value is not clear to see, easy to find or even there at all, you bounce. In fact, you probably never visit the site again seeing as you can get whatever you were looking for elsewhere.
That’s exactly what your visitors do, too. They bounce when they don’t find what they’re looking for on your site. No matter how beautiful it is, they still need that specific value!
Obviously, you don’t want people bouncing or missing the value of what you’re offering. You want people to come to your site, feel at home and ultimately convert.
Here are a few tips to help you more easily convert your website traffic.
1. Plain messaging = easy conversions
If you have the option to take the stairs or use an elevator, you’d mostly pick the elevator. We often react negatively to hard stuff.
A study from Ogilvy PR and Change the Equation revealed that six in ten Americans (63%) report that they’ve had difficulty doing some type of math, including estimating distances or weight (35%), figuring out how much savings they need for retirement (34%), and calculating tax (24%).
While this post isn’t about math, the study drives home the point that people nearly always prefer simplicity to complexity. Hence, if your copy is hard to understand, it’s equally going to be hard to get visitors to convert.
As a freelance writer myself, I know that simplicity is key. You should make what you are saying simple enough for anyone to understand. Sometimes you have to leave messaging for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes to edit.
And that’s okay – it helps avoid messaging that stresses visitors out.
Take Trello as an example of clear, easy-to-understand messaging.
There are a number of complex ways Trello could have explained their product.
Instead of “Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done”, they could have gone with “Use one reliable platform to collaborate with your team and expedite your work process”.
But that’s too wordy. It’s not as simple to understand as “Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done”.
Plain messaging makes conversions easy for visitors.
Here are a few tips that will help you write your messaging with simplicity:
- Use short, sharp sentences in your copy
- Avoid too much jargon
- Use anecdotes (stories) and examples to relay your points
- Write in the same way that you talk
2. Peer pressure = easy conversions
We’ve all been there.
That moment other people are doing something, so we want to do it too.
Often in the world of digital marketing, once we see how a company is using a new tactic, tool or strategy to get results, we instantly become copycats. We try to appropriate that new strategy and see how it works for our business.
Now, here’s a surprising bit of news: website visitors do the same.
When they land on your site and see that people actually come to your site and use your product, they get inspired to do business with you.
In a study by Stanford University Assistant Professor of Marketing Pedro Gardete, it was revealed that if someone next to you on a flight buys something, like say an in-flight movie or a Coke, you’re 30% more likely to buy something yourself. That’s the power of peer pressure.
I recently wrote a post on ProBlogger where I shared examples of how some startups grew from zero to their current positions. I could tell the post created peer pressure for some readers when a reader tweeted at me, saying:
Peer pressure convinced her to take an action (the tweet). She saw how other startups have grown from zero to millions and decided she should send me a tweet.
So how do you inspire visitors to take specific actions on your website?
Yelp uses user-generated content. Once you land on Yelp, you can immediately see other people sharing reviews about companies they’re doing business with. Hence, you instantly know that Yelp is trustworthy.
Sumo flaunts testimonials from well-known gurus, logos from reputable brands, and big numbers to implement peer pressure. The implication is that if you’re not using Sumo and 500K websites, gurus and brands are, there’s probably something you’re missing out on.
Peer pressure is a great tool to boost conversions. When people come to your site and can’t find proof that other people are using your product or service, they’ll have a hard time believing your promises. And that’s just bad for business.
3. No hard-sell = easy conversions.
People have different intentions when browsing the web.
Some are fine with giving over their personal info (or even spending money) to get whatever they are looking for. Others are not.
Experienced marketers know there are a huge chunk of people who need to be nurtured before they convert.
This is why content marketing strategies like content upgrades and expanded guest posts work incredibly well. They are both based on the idea of nurturing leads before making specific demands of them – thereby boosting conversions.
Expert marketer Bryan Harris recently shared how he had to nurture his 6,000 subscribers with seven different emails before launching a product. After those emails, the product brought him $25,000 in one week.
Generally speaking, asking visitors to convert as soon as they land on your site is often not the right approach. Nurture them with the info they’re looking for, and they’ll be more likely to convert.
Let’s say you run a coworking space, for example.
A freelance writer is looking for information on whether or not to start using a coworking space. She knows the space will help her take her job more seriously. But that’s the only benefit she knows it can provide. She’s not sure whether that’s enough reason to use a coworking space.
But that’s what she’s on your site for. She wants information.
Unfortunately, she visits your product or even homepage and the first thing she’s seeing is a list of prices for your different spaces. This would have been the right approach if she’s ready to buy. But it’s not at this point where she’s looking for information.
Look at this alternative scenario:
The same freelance writer lands on your site, and the first thing she’s seeing is a page describing the biggest benefits of a coworking space that she can’t ignore. And then, only at the end of that page does she see a BUY BUTTON.
So she’s a lot more likely to convert because she’s been educated on how much bang she’s getting for her buck first.
4. Breezy sign-up process = easy conversions
Sometimes, after all is said and done, one crucial factor that can make or break conversions is your sign-up process.
Rebecca Kelley, the former content marketing manager for Intego, wrote a post about how her company was getting decent click-through rates from a PPC campaign and everything was looking awesome… until she decided to track the amount of people who actually made a purchase. She found that less than 1% of users from all that traffic were actually buying their products.
Why? Their payment sign-up process was awful. Kelley says, “It was a no-brainer – our signup process was awful. We lose a lot of people in that process… ”
If you’re looking for inspiration for a good sign-up process, Canva provides a near-perfect example of a breezy sign-up process. Once you land on their homepage, you get the option to sign up via Facebook, Twitter or Email. Easy stuff.
Then if you wish to upgrade your account, they have a simple three-field form to collect your credit card info:
Easy as pie, right?
Make your sign-up process as easy as possible using the following tips:
- Remove any irrelevant CTAs and links
- Eliminate unnecessary sidebars
- Check your site speed
Conversions are an important goal for every marketer. They are a critical measure of growth. Personally, I always ask all my freelance writing clients for the conversions they’re aiming at per post that I write for them. I just don’t see why I should write content without a specific goal in mind.
However, once you’ve succeeded in converting traffic into users and customers, you need to continue to court them. The first thing you’ll want to do is thank them and ask them to take another action that’ll then contribute to your bottom line. I recently wrote a piece where I share 9 awesome things you can use your thank you pages for (instead of just using them to say thank you). You can access the piece here.
Don’t forget that converting website visitors is a long and ongoing process. I’d love to hear your tips and stories of success in the comments section below.
Guest Author: Victor Ijidola is a freelance business writer and content marketer for hire. He’s been featured on sites such Inc.com, The Next Web and MarketingProfs, and runs the business Premium Content Shop.