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Conversion Optimization: The Biggest Opportunities You're Missing

Conversion Optimization: The Biggest Opportunities You're Missing

By Annie ZelmMar 12 /2019

Would you rather have 100 casual acquaintances or 10 close friends?

It’s nice to know 100 people to invite to a party, but better to know people you can count on to show up. The same is true when it comes to marketing. It’s easy to get hung up on quantity — think website traffic — when you should really be focused on quality conversions.

Here’s why conversion optimization is so important and how you can improve yours.

Conversion Optimization Statistics For Quick Reference

Consider these conversion optimization statistics:

  • Only 22% of companies are satisfied with their conversion rates, according to Econsultancy
  • For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 is spent converting them, according to Econsultancy
  • Only 52% of companies that use landing pages test them to improve conversions, according to WordStream
  • Across industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.3%, according to WordStream
  • The top 10% of companies have conversion rates of 11% or higher
  • The top 20% of companies surveyed by Econsultancy are 88% more likely to engage other departments in testing for conversion optimization

The bottom line?

Focusing on conversion rate optimization is one of the most effective things you can do as a marketer.

Some Conversion Optimization Basics

While strong calls to action (CTAs) are essential to conversions, conversion rate optimization is more than just testing different text or button colors.

There’s no magic bullet formula, but there are some fundamentals you need to get right before you do anything else.

1. Understand your buyer’s journey.

If you don’t understand your buyers and how they make decisions, any conversion rate optimization tactics you try will just be lucky guesses. If you haven’t done buyer persona interviews in a while (or at all), that’s a good place to start.

2. Put yourself in their seat.

Once you have some good insights from your customers, try to see your website from their perspective. Take the time to navigate it from your desktop and your mobile phone and evaluate all conversion opportunities. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Are the CTAs what you would expect to see at this stage (and on this page)?
  • How far down do you have to scroll to get to them?
  • Is the offer enticing?
  • Does it make sense?
  • Does the landing page design match the rest of the site?
  • Does the form include only the essential fields?

3. Let data lead the way.

Unless you can see how visitors are actually using your website, you’ll just be going by your best guess. That’s why heat-mapping tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg are so valuable. They show actual video footage of how users navigate your website, how far down they scroll before dropping off, where they click and more.

6 Overlooked Opportunities For Conversion Optimization

Once you have these foundational pieces covered, here are six good places to start optimizing for conversions.

1. Your Website Homepage

Your website homepage content — starting with your hero area — is where you tell visitors who you are and what your company is all about.

Conventional inbound marketing wisdom might tell you the top of your homepage is too soon to close the deal. For some visitors, that might be true. Others may have already done a fair amount of research, and they’re ready to request a demo or talk to someone right away.

The placement of homepage CTAs and the language you use can make a big difference. Try testing offers, such as “request a demo” vs. “start your free trial.”

Using marketing automation tools like chatbots can also greatly improve conversions from your homepage.

2. Your Blog

If you’ve been using content marketing for some time, you should be generating the majority of your website traffic from organic search. Your blog plays an important part in that by answering common questions your buyers have. But once they arrive at your blog, what’s going to bring them back? A static CTA at the bottom of each blog post probably isn’t enough. Try implementing pop-up forms that capture attention and invite them to subscribe or check out your latest resource.

3. Your Landing Pages

If you’ve been cloning the same landing page for every resource for the past few years, you’re missing a huge opportunity to optimize for conversions.

That’s because your buyers’ habits and the way they consume information is constantly changing. What may have been good enough two years ago might not be cutting it today.

You need to experiment with different layouts to find what works best — like how much information to gate behind a form or whether it’s worth gating at all.

However, there are some tactics that stand the test of time. Check out these examples of high-converting landing pages for more tips.

4. Your Emails

According to the 2018 Litmus State of Email Marketing Report, the average person will spend eight seconds reading your email.

That means it’s more important than ever to ensure your emails are both clickable and skimmable on any device.

To improve conversions, remember the three Cs: keep it concise, clear and clickable. More specifically:

  • The format should allow the reader to digest it within seconds. Use bold text and bullet points to help important words stand out.
  • The message should tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do, leaving no room for ambiguity (clarity beats cleverness).
  • Call-to-action buttons should be at least 40 pixels tall by 40 pixels wide to ensure they’re easy to click on any device.

5. Your Videos

There’s no question video needs to be part of any modern digital marketing strategy. By 2021, 75 percent of all mobile data traffic worldwide will be video, according to Cisco.

Not only that, but viewers are far more likely to retain what they watch compared to what they read. Make your video marketing count by including strong, relevant calls-to-action at the end.

6. Your Confirmation Pages

If your website visitor is seeing a confirmation page, it means you’ve gotten them to convert! The only thing left to do is thank them and follow up with them later, right?

Confirmation pages might be the most overlooked opportunity for optimizing conversions because another conversion typically isn’t the goal. But you can plant the seed for future conversions.

Take a cue from e-learning websites like Udemy, which recommend related courses you might like once you’ve signed up for something.

Conversion Optimization: The Job That’s Never Finished

Conversion optimization isn’t a tactic as much as an ongoing strategy. It’s a constant iteration of testing, improving and testing again.

Once you’ve made updates, go back a few weeks later to see the result. Are you getting more conversions? More importantly, are the right people converting?

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The Author

Annie Zelm

As the content manager, Annie manages a team of brand journalists and is the driving force behind the content strategy for companies in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, technology and professional services. Relying on interviewing skills she developed in her seven years as a journalist, she uncovers insights about what motivates buyers in these industries and uses that knowledge to shape client websites and editorial calendars.
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