How to increase page conversions (it’s not all about copywriting)Blog, 02/02/18
If we were to pick only one metric or KPI that matters to any online marketing (or business, really) campaign, it would be your conversion rate.
Many beginner business owners fall into this trap in thinking that more traffic equals more success. Here’s the truth; having 1 million people visit your site won’t mean anything if it doesn’t lead to something meaningful – sales.
Of course, sales are not the only form of conversions out there to track. Just to name a few, you can track conversions like purchases, downloads from your website, contact form submissions, or the number of clicks on your CTAs.
There are a variety of metrics to track down but you have to make sure that all of them either generate money immediately, or move visitors into the next stage of your buying cycle.
So, what’s the solution here? You should just “improve” your conversion rate, correct?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple and if you’ve tried to optimise your conversion rates before, then you’ll know that there is no magic solution to get it done.
First off, there are nearly infinite factors that decide whether or not or not a visitor converts, some of which do not make sense even to the most savvy of business owners.
So, why should you bother about increasing conversion rates anyway?
Online shopping is the #1 medium for transactions in the modern world. Based on a recent study, over 70% of adults in the world make a purchase at least once online.
However, conversion rates (not just sales) for many online businesses are still very low. According to an industry by e-commerce giants, BigCommerce, conversion rates of 1-4% are the average for online businesses.
While you may be in the average, it’s incredibly important for you to increase your conversion rates to grow your business quickly. Let’s show this with an example.
Assume that you have 1000 hits on your $1,000 per month business coaching landing page per month. At an average conversion rate of 2%, you get 20 conversions which is equal to $20,000 – a very respectable amount.
Now, imagine that you increased the conversion rate to 3%. The revenue that you get per month is now $30,000, a staggering 50% increase with just a 1% increase in conversion rates.
Obviously, the more you increase your conversion rates, the larger the snowball effect will be which leads to more money and more growing potential for your business.
In this post, we’re going to cover some effective tips and strategies to improve your conversion rates.
The most important rule to remember
If there’s only one rule that you need to apply for your funnels, let it be this one.
Every visitor to your page comes to your site for a very specific reason.
Knowing the reason is the key to increasing conversion rates. Each of your visitors has their own questions and needs, hopes and problems to solve.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to help them find a solution. The key to converting your visitors starts with your ability to understand them and to solve their issues.
Think of this way; each of your prospects is doing a cost-benefit calculation every time they visit a page. In their mind, they’ll think…
Does the reward outweigh the effort I put in?
What’s in it for me?
If the perceived value of your services is greater than the effort required for your visitors to get that value, you will get conversions.
In other words, if the motivation to engage in your solution is stronger than the friction acting against their needs, your visitors will move forward and take action.
1) What are motivations and frictions?
Motivations are things that guide your customers to taking a positive action on your website. For example, compelling and authoritative content on the subject of your niche is a good way to build trust in your visitors.
There are also other things that motivate visitors such as:
- Having a good and well-designed website
- Having a website that is easy to use
- Having a website that makes it easy to take action (short sign-up forms, visible CTAs, etc.)
Friction, on the other hand, are things that slow down or resist against your target audience’s decision to act. Think of friction as obstacles that build a wall between your visitors and the final goal (conversions).
Things that cause friction include (but are not limited to):
- Having weak or generic content that does not deliver enough value
- A website that is poorly designed and confusing to navigate
- Too many promotional content instead of valuable, educational content
- No CTAs
Your goal is very straightforward: increase their motivation and make it easier for them to take action.
The key to achieving that is to understand the mindset of your prospects. If you know what they’re thinking, you can find a way to convince them that you are the solution to their needs as well as increasing their trust and confidence in your business.
The easiest way to start off is by identifying the questions and concerns of your target audience. Over here at SBPC, we’ve come up with an excellent pathway for you to figure this out.
Here’s how it goes:
- Identify questions that your target audience usually have. For example, if you’re running a fitness coaching business, you may find out that your target audience are always wondering about their diets.
- Next, you want to answer these questions. If you know that diets are a huge talking point among your target audience, come up with blog posts or content solely on diets and how to manage them.
- Then, you want to show evidence that your solution is the best for their needs. The best way to do this is by showing testimonials of previous clients and show the results that you’ve achieved with them.
- Finally, you want to give them an easy way to make a decision. This means your CTA should never be complicated. A call, e-mail, or face-to-face meeting is more than enough. The tougher it is to take action, the less likely your audience is going to convert.
It may occur to you that the pathway looks similar to a sales funnel – it is! The key to increasing conversions is by having a funnel that makes sense and the exact same rules apply to conversions too.
If you’re still confused, no worries. We’ll go into this pathway in more detail in the next section.
2) Answering your target audience’s questions
If you know your audience and their questions, finding a solution to that isn’t tricky. Ask yourself (or your sales/marketing team if you have one) this question:
- What are the main questions that people always ask before buying or hiring us?
Now, pin those top questions and answers on the landing page for the particular product or service. It’s that simple.
Here are some things that you can try around for your landing pages:
- What makes us different than our competitors? Have this answer on your landing page or homepage.
- Why did we start this company and what are our visions and goals? Answer this question on your landing or about page.
- Who are the people running the business? Answer this question on your team profile page.
One of the main purposes of your website is to answer your prospect’s questions!
Your website should emulate a conversation between a sales rep and a prospect – the prospect needs specific questions answered in a specific order.
A good website increases conversion rates by doing this in a smooth, frictionless way by writing effective copies on their landing page.
A tip to remember is to never put answers to important questions only on your FAQ page. Instead, they should be both on the FAQ as well as the relevant landing page for your services.
3) Adding evidence and support to your claims
There are two kinds of evidence to support your claims about your business.
The first type is called quantitative evidence. Quantitative evidence are things that help you to show the benefit of your services. For example, here are some common quantitative evidence for online businesses:
- Our service can save you up to 25% of your annual expenses
- We can get you 100% more clients in 10 weeks
- Increase your business’ revenue by $10,000 in just 3 months with us
Basically, you use numbers and statistics to show that your service will incur some kind of benefit or advantage to your target audience.
Whitepapers and case studies are also included as they revolve around using data to convince your prospects to take action.
The next kind of evidence is based on references by other individuals. These include testimonials, mentions of your business on publications and media, as well as establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.
To improve your conversion rate, make sure that you achieve both of the two points mentioned above. Some prospects want to see data to make decisions while others are influenced more by first-hand accounts and social proof of your business.
In marketing, we all claim to be the best in our respective niche and customers are getting more and more confused in finding the solutions to their problems.
The pathway that we’ve mentioned above is one way to make sure that your prospects choose you instead of your competitors. There is also another way to improve trust which will be discussed next.
4) Using video testimonials
Words aren’t the only way to deliver a message. In fact, words shouldn’t be your only way of delivering content to your audience.
Engaging visuals are powerful and compelling ways to deliver messages to your prospects.
Here’s what the industry has to say about video and images for businesses.
People have become so used to using this kind of social proof to make decisions that as of last year, 78% of customers say they trust online reviews almost as much as they trust recommendations from their friends.
The more you can do to make your testimonials relatable, the more effective they will be – seeing the person behind the testimonial is a surefire way to achieve that.
With the price drops in high-quality video cameras as well as smartphones that rival them, video testimonials have become even more popular and cost-effective for websites.
They aren’t even hard to record!
Here are some reasons why video testimonials help you to improve conversion rates.
Video testimonials can connect with your prospects emotionally
When prospects see plain-text testimonials on a website with no name or picture attached, they feel a little skeptical. Text testimonials are hard to verify and prospects may question the honesty and integrity of it.
The beauty of video testimonials is that not only do they show you who the review is coming from, but give you an emotional connection with the person’s story.
You hear the facts, but you can also see the authenticity and emotion in the person’s face. This emotional connection opens the door for trust, which is vital to a great business-to-customer relationship.
Trust is conveyed more effectively through video testimonials
Word-of-mouth marketing is a very effective tool that has become even more important with the rise of social media.
When devoted clients agree to film video testimonials, you should share them not only on your website, but also across your social media networks.
Consumers are more likely to trust people they have a relationship with.
What else is more powerful than having real people vouching for you and your business in front of your network and their own friends and connections on social media?
Quality video testimonials bypass the skepticism and immediately build trust, even with someone who has never heard of your business before.
They can play a major role in establishing brand credibility, and compared to questionable plain-text testimonials, videos can establish a valuable connection with your consumers.
Pair this with the fact that 100 million people watch videos online each day, and it’s no wonder that businesses are seeing such positive ROIs from their video testimonials.
Video testimonials are incredibly cheap
The best thing about video testimonials is that you can create them with something that’s in your pocket right now – your smartphone.
Because of that, creating video testimonials take less than an hour in most cases. Like we said earlier, you don’t have to spend thousands on studio fees and advanced equipment to shoot a testimonial!
Creating a video testimonial isn’t something you need to do, but it’s something you definitely should consider. Seeing and hearing a customer talk about your product or service resonates more than just reading about it.
Get some of your best clients to create a short 30 second to 1 minute video testimonial sharing how your company has helped them.
Your prospects will be able to really see the appreciation and emotion from your current clients which will help you a lot in securing more contracts and gigs.
5 advanced ways for you to improve your conversion rates
1) Be consistent with your website
Consistency refers to two things:
- Consistency in the information you present
- Consistency in your website’s design and user experience
The first thing to talk about is how you present information about your business. Any inconsistency in the facts you present is a major red-flag and contract killer for prospects.
For instance, if your site says you’ve helped over 300 clients on your landing page, but have zero proof or testimonials to back it up, your credibility will immediately shrink.
Remember, even the slightest of inconsistencies in your copy is going to warrant an immediate exit for your prospects. Put time and effort into your copy to ensure your facts and numbers are consistent and valid with your actual efforts.
The next thing to mention is user experience and your website’s design. Just because the latest trend is this or that, it doesn’t mean you have to follow the pack.
In general, your website has to be consistent enough with your vision to make your visitors comfortable when visiting your landing page.
Here’s an example.
If Facebook and Google were to change their color schemes to black and green tomorrow, would you be annoyed at that change?
Of course! And so do your prospects if you keep adding unnecessary designs and additions to the website.
While it is important to continue innovating and improving the elements of your landing page, too many changes at once can overwhelm your visitors and cause drop-offs that decrease your conversion rates.
2) Test your changes slowly and do it bit by bit
Sometimes businesses are so focused on revamping their landing page that they forget to think from a client’s perspective. Complete landing page redesigns can lead to confusion and stress for clients who previously felt comfortable and confident when visiting your page.
Like the Facebook example earlier, you would be completely disoriented if Facebook was to suddenly change their color scheme and website design overnight.
In some cases, a complete redesign may surprisingly lead to lower conversion rates. Instead of letting this happen, ease your visitors into the process with gradual improvements that excite and educate them one step at a time.
Additionally, step by step changes allow you to monitor precisely which changes triggered an increase or decrease in conversion rates, rather than just guessing which features of your complete redesign had the greatest effect.
By gathering data and using that data to make incremental changes to your landing page, you will know more precisely what the cause of a drop off was and then reverse it.
3) Focus on one thing at a time
Your landing page should have one, and only one, intended action in mind. More calls-to-action means more confusion for the prospect, so make it as clear as possible for your prospects what it is that you want them to do.
A good way to start off is to cut your copy in half to ensure that everything you say is relevant to the one product or service you are trying to sell.
You should try to limit your value proposition to a paragraph at most in order to keep your content clear and concise. Get rid of excess distractions by providing only relevant images, a snappy copy, and concise forms.
You also shouldn’t have any links on your landing page leading somewhere else or you may possibly lose the potential prospect. This will make it immediately clear for potential clients what you offer and what they should do next.
The sole purpose of a landing page is to capture a user’s contact detail, and that’s impossible to do without a form. All your convincing content and images will be useless if users don’t trust the form.
Additionally, the only form fields that you should be asking for should be those that are most valuable to your company and do not cause any friction. So, if you don’t need your prospect’s address or business size, scrap that from your landing page form.
A general rule of thumb is that if you’re not targeting an enterprise client, just stick to asking for the customer’s email address.
4) Always split test your copy
The way you phrase your call-to-action, value proposition, and headline can make or break your landing page’s conversion rate. When presenting a call-to-action, make sure you don’t jump the gun.
Instead of cliche phrases like “Submit” or “Register now”, try something more unique like “Transform your body now!” or “Get started for free!”.
The first one sounds selfish, implying that submitting the form will only benefit you, whereas the latter reminds them of the benefits that are being provided to them.
Another tip to keep in mind is to make sure that your value proposition is simple and clear. Stick to what your business is offering and how it will benefit your client and limit it to two short sentences if you can.
For instance, a generic value proposition might promise to deliver “Fast results”. This is a very vague promise that would be much more effective when quantified, such as a promise to deliver results “in less than a week”.
Of course, never over-promise on what you can’t deliver!
When phrasing headlines, the most successful are those that use emotional triggers that insight empathy, humor, or any other comforting feeling. If you get your copywriting hooks right, a strong headline and copy can compensate for a poor design 99% of the time.
Let’s use some examples of CTAs as a way to show that good copywriting works.
Imagine you just read a review of a book on a fictitious e-commerce store. Now imagine these two different CTAs:
Add to shopping cart
That CTA is simple but it’s very attractive. It doesn’t give you any incentive to click that link or button. Besides, this same copy is used on almost every website out there.
Where’s the differentiation between you and your competitors?
Buy now – free shipping nationwide!
This CTA emphasises action and benefits. It literally tells you to grab the offer with an added benefit of free shipping. Just by changing some words, the copy is now much more attractive to the customer which increases conversions.
There are many different businesses in a variety of niches so there is no way for us to provide a complete list of CTAs. We do, however, have a few examples to help you start thinking about how to improve your current CTAs:
- Sign up -> Get your FREE fitness coaching plans – One just asks for a sign up, the other tells you what you will get.
- Click here -> Ready to 2x your revenue? – The first CTA doesn’t give you an idea of what’s beyond the link. The second CTA creates a desire by teasing the prospect with a benefit.
- Buy now -> Lifetime access for just $49 – The first CTA sounds like the start of a normal checkout process. The second gives you the exact price as well as the benefits of the purchase.
- Watch the video -> Take the 2-minute tour – The first CTA doesn’t give you info about the video at all. The second CTA not only tells you what the video is about, it also says how much time to spend on the video – a common risk-aversion technique for= prospects.
Those are just a few examples of the many CTA changes that you can do.
When examining your own website, think about what you are trying to get your visitor to do and what might be enticing to them.
Once you have some ideas, replace your old CTAs with your new ones. This will help to push your visitors further down the conversion funnel if your new CTAs are effective.
In addition to copywriting, test out different graphic elements on your page. Some things to try out include enlarging the button, changing the color of it, or changing the position of the CTA button on the landing page.
In general, the color of your button should be different from everything else on the site in order to attract attention to it. For instance, the color red typically denotes a sense of urgency while the color blue conveys calmness and is usually used to highlight benefits.
However, as with all marketing decisions, testing and making your own hypothesis is the only way to find out if your efforts are effective or not.
Do this as part of your incremental changes and run tests to measure the impact each change has on conversion rates.
5) Have a strong guarantee and risk-reducing policy
A guarantee fosters trust; when you’re so confident in your product or service that you’re willing to offer a refund if customers aren’t happy with it, they’ll feel they can trust you – and trust plays a major role in earning response, sales, and customer loyalty.
A guarantee is more than a simple offer to refund money to dissatisfied customers: it’s a promise that your customers will be satisfied.
No business would be profitable if it consistently gave out refunds, so customers reason you must have a track record of success if you’re willing to offer a guarantee.
Some businesses are hesitant to offer guarantees, fearing customers will purchase their products and immediately request refunds in an attempt to get something for nothing.
Even if the return of the product in question is a condition of your refund, handling returns and refunds would be an administrative headache and decidedly unprofitable.
If you have a great product, however, such fears are not needed; even though some people will undoubtedly collect on your guarantee simply because they can, the vast majority of your customers will be happy to receive the value you offer for the money they paid.
For most businesses, the rewards of offering a guarantee such as greater response rates, increased sales, better ROI, and more profits far outweigh the risk of having a return policy.
Offering a guarantee on our marketing materials is a great idea, but just any guarantee won’t work. If you want to yield a good ROI, your guarantee needs to resonate with your customer base.
How to write a good guarantee
Your guarantee should achieve four things:
- Tell the customer that you truly believe in the quality of your services or products
- Inform the prospect of the terms and conditions of your guarantee
- Specify a time period for the guarantee
- State what you will do if the client wants to activate the guarantee
Here’s a template guarantee copy for you to tweak.
If for some reason you are not fully satisfied with our program, give us a call within 30 days and we’ll return your money immediately, no questions asked.
In general, try to keep it short and sweet.
If you want to set limits to your guarantee, here are some good ones that have been proven to be effective and profitable:
- Having a time limit: “If you’re not satisfied, return within 30 days for a full refund.”
- Having certain conditions: “With downloads only” or “When used according to terms and conditions”
- You could offer consultations or 1-on-1 meetings instead of refunds: “If it doesn’t work as promised, we’ll personally contact you to help you out”
Avoid asterisks or tiny phrases that catch your clients off-guard. That is a guaranteed way to reduce your client’s trust in you.
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