How to convert website traffic

converting website trafficBy Haydn Rowe

Usually when we first review a website, we notice that the site has lots of traffic, but little conversion.

In this situation (unless you are developing a new website from scratch), often the fastest and easiest way to improve results is to focus on conversion techniques first, and creating more traffic later.

A Conversion occurs when a visitor to is compelled to take an action based upon your website’s content.

This action could vary in nature from filling in a contact form, to making a purchase online, to signing up for a newsletter to picking up the phone and calling you.

The action you wish visitors to take will be dependent on the objectives of your website.

However, the techniques for increasing your conversion rate (the percentage of traffic to your website that takes action) can be increased by using the following techniques:

Landing Pages

Many websites fail to ‘grab’ and convert visitors because they either haven’t created specific landing pages, or fail to direct traffic to the most appropriate landing page.

This results in a ‘bounce’ – the visitor quickly scans the page, doesn’t find information relevant to their search and ‘bounces’ back to Google or Yahoo to select another indexed website and continues their search.

When you are designing the structure of your website it is crucial to include a topic specific landing page for each of your products, services and offerings.

The golden rule is that you discuss only one product or service per page.

Search engines can only search web pages; they do not search websites as such. Therefore, a search engine will examine the content of each webpage and decide which search keywords are relevant.

Creating landing pages that are highly relevant to certain searches is the key to getting your search engine optimisation and pay per click advertising to work, and is critical to maximising your chances of converting a website visitor.

Call to Action Copy

Another one of the most common failings of underperforming websites is that they make little or no use of call to action devices, beyond having a Contact Us page on their site.

If your objective is to generate sales leads, build your prospect database or get a sale online, then as you lay out your compelling reasons for choosing your product or service on each landing page, you must ‘ask for the order’.

You do this by asking your prospect to “fill in the form”, “contact us”, “sign up now”, “subscribe”, “request”, “buy now”, “order” or “telephone now” throughout your sales copy.

Many sites do this at the end of some pages, however test results show that asking for the action throughout the copy maximises conversion.

Call to Action Banners

It will be no surprise to discover that some visitors will not read your sales copy.

While good copy WILL turn ‘scanners’ into readers (and readers usually become buyers), some people come to your website ‘pre-sold’ or with such an urgent need that they are ready to take action right now.

The use of small on site Graphic Banner Ads (often seen on the right hand side of many web pages) and/or simple text based links (like a Google Adwords ad) can be used with good effect to generate response.

These can be as simple as “Call Us Now on 01234 567890 – Lines Open 24 Hours” through to an ad promoting a White Paper or Buyers Guide.

Packaged Information

A significant majority of Internet searchers are people looking for information.

Think about your own searching activity and you will realise that you are almost always looking for some kind of information.

The readily available wealth of information on the Internet, indexed and organised by search engines such as Google and Yahoo, has created a vast pool of prospects that EXPECT to find information.

If you offer the information that prospects are looking for, you will get the conversion – the prospect tells you who they are in return for the information (report, guide or white paper) that you are offering.

Creating valuable reports, buyers guides and white papers has long been one of THE most successful ways of generating enquires in any type of marketing.

In today’s world, offering packaged information often proves to be even more relevant in online marketing.

Newsletter Signup

For some businesses, an offer to send a prospect your newsletter with latest product developments, hints and tips, case studies, articles and special offers can generate significant ‘conversion’ with many of your website visitors.

This allows you to identify and stay in touch with that, often large, proportion of website visitors who are not yet ready to buy from you but are willing to give you their email address and contact details.

Autoresponders

Testing and measuring shows that it often takes between 5 and 8 contacts before a prospect is willing to say yes to your offer.

This can be as significant as placing an order or as subtle as moving to the next step in your sales funnel, such as agreeing to request your “more information” package, to phoning you or requesting an appointment.

An Autoresponder is an automatic email sent in response to an action taken on your website – usually involving the prospect ‘opting in’ to an offer such as a mini-course, email newsletter or packaged information.

Autoresponders automatically send pre-written emails over a set period of time to the prospect.

A ‘constant contact’ campaign of well written and appropriately spaced email communications can increase top of mind awareness, educate the prospect, create a level of trust and relationship, and significantly increase your chances of ‘getting the order’.

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