Conversion... the Real Bottom Line

By: Christopher Carter

Search Engine Marketing, whether its Organic SEO or PPC, even spectacularly done, is limited to getting searchers to find you and land on your home page, a specific landing page or another internal page that is most relevant to the search performed. It does not equal CONVERSION.

Successful SEO gets the right user to the right page on your website. Now your website must take over from there to grab the attention of the visitor and very quickly ... 5 seconds.

Conversion, therefore, begins with grabbing the attention of the visitor. So the "headline" of the landing page is critical. It must be no-nonsense with a direct and obvious relationship to the original keyword phrase.

The buyer is looking for something. But, if you are selling mattresses, don't fall into the trap of believing that the buyer is trying to buy a mattress. The buyer is looking to buy a good or better night's sleep. Let be more sweeping here in my point. ALL BUYERS, and anything that you have ever spent your hard earned money on, seek to buy to gain one or more of the following benefits:

&bullSave Money or Make Money
&bullSave Time
&bullEase of Use / Convenience
&bullPeace of Mind / Pleasure
&bullReliability
&bullConfidence

Very general and very basic; by design! Once you have successfully grabbed the attention of the visitor with a relevant headline, make certain that this is immediately followed by a "problem" and "solution" relationship where you are the solution provider; the solution generating one of the basic benefits listed above. This further holds the buyer on your site. It also begins the process of the buyer following the "treasure map" you are seeking them to follow to the desired action or conversion.

Once they have identified with the problem and the solution you offer, the next desired step should involve one click without any need to scroll. This link will be a product, service or description of some kind to more fully "sell" the buyer on exactly what the product will do for them while offering links to further information, for those that also need to know the "hows" and the "whys" of the product before they reach their conclusion.

ASSUME SKEPTICISM

Throughout the process or funnel towards conversion, you must assume that the buyer is skeptical or requires some sort of PROOF. So make it very accessible (links) and tailor it as appropriate to your product or service. Some forms of proof are:

1.Product Reviews and Ratings
2.Samples and Galleries
3.References and Testimonials
4.White Papers
5.Warranties and Guarantees

The next step should be the so-called CALL TO ACTION. This is the ultimate job description of the website itself. What is it that you ultimately want the buyer / visitor to do?

&bullBuy online
&bullCall to buy
&bullFill out a lead form
&bullEmail
&bullSetup a phone consultation
&bullSign up for a newsletter
&bullAccept a free offer
&bullLink to an affiliated site

Ultimately, the percentage of buyers that come to the site that actually perform the ACTION of choice is the relative measure of success of the website from a business perspective.

So, what kind of conversion should you use? The same question put differently is how do you want to be contacted by the buyer?

1.Buy online - should be obvious for all shopping carts by definition. Here you are selling the type of product that can be fully described and understood online without any further human interaction. This being the case, your shopping cart should be EASY TO USE AND NAVIGATE, providing a fast purchase process, easy to understand terms and conditions, guarantees, etc, offer secure transactions and flexible transactions.

2.Lead Form - make it interactive and live online. Don't use forms that need to be printed out and faxed; while this is always available option, you will lose many conversions without this feature.

3.Phone Call - your phone number should be accessible on every page both above and below the fold of every webpage. The impulse or decision to pick up the phone can come at any nano-second. Don't make the buyer search for it.

4.Email - as long as it's a secure email to prevent spam, make certain your Contact Us link is as easily accessible as the phone number for those preferring to contact you by email. Remember, website buyers are busy and sometimes want to get the ball rolling before they have time to speak to someone live.

5.Newsletters, Offers, Links to Affiliates - as with phone and email information the easy accessibility to this final step in the CONVERSION process needs to be easy to find and complete.

You should have a pretty good idea of how you want the buyer to interact with you. The more flexible and customized your product and service is, the more likely that a shopping cart is not a conversion utility and you will want a phone call, form filled out or some other follow through that is initiated from the website.

Remember SEO only landed the buyer to your site. The website then must CONVERT. Get their ATTENTION with a relevant HEADLINE; create INTEREST AND DESIRE with one or more CORE BENEFITS; EXECUTE THE JOB of the website by landing the buyer on the ACTION page by making the action EASY and ACCESSIBLE.

Technology
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