Traffic and leads. The two are intrinsically linked. You can’t generate leads without traffic. And traffic means nothing if you can’t convert visitors to leads.
But just one in five companies are satisfied with their conversions, according to Hubspot.
If your company is invested in inbound marketing, optimising your website to maximise conversions should be a necessity. But with conversion rate optimisation such a changing landscape, what are the best practices you should be embracing in 2018?
Here are our top tips for increasing your conversions this year.
1. Prioritise personalisation
Personalisation is no longer a novelty - it’s expected. But how can B2B companies use personalisation to convert visitors to leads when at this stage, they know little about them?
Providing a personalised experience is easy for companies targeting consumers that have already bought from them. They can use a customer's past buying behaviour to recommend new products, like Amazon, or to advise on what size clothing you should buy, à la ASOS. Unfortunately, your opportunities to wow at the awareness stage are a bit more complex.
But there are simple ways of using personalisation to up your chances of a conversion. Targeted calls-to-action are one option. Research shows that targeted CTAs convert 42 percent more visitors into leads than generic CTAs. So when a visitor first lands on your page, you need to be showing them awareness stage content that will warm them up to your business, rather than offering a consultation or a demo.
There are easy ways to delight visitors too that may help them warm to your company and increase chances of becoming a lead. For example, if someone has visited your site for a second time in a short window, just a simple welcome back message can acknowledge that you recognise their interest in your business.
2. Use video as a hook
According to 52 percent of marketers worldwide, video is heralded as the content type that delivers the best return on investment. Videos can be a powerful way to communicate your brand, explain your value proposition and build relationships with prospects. They grab attention, allow you to ‘show not tell’ and help you inject more personality and depth to your messaging.
Research shows that including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by a whopping 80 per cent. For example, an explainer video can be a great way to warm a visitor up to downloading an eBook, providing a more compelling and easily digestible method of persuasion.
Video can be a powerful marketing tactic for increasing conversions. But quality matters, so to make an impact you’ll need to follow some video best practices. For example, keep them short, personable and authentic. And avoid the biggest video mistake of all - autoplay. If your video is well positioned on the landing page and you’ve got your headline and lead-in text right, your visitors will want to watch it.
3. Make sure CTAs stand out
It sounds obvious, but as the key to unlocking conversions, your CTAs need to stand out. But companies don’t always get it right. A CTA button at the end of a long page, or a cluttered design with the CTA lost in amongst an abundance of other buttons are amongst the biggest mistakes.
Try breaking up your blog posts with inline CTAs. Make sure your eBook offers are bold and contain compelling copy to entice clicks. And try breaking up your blog posts with inline CTAs to increase your chances of converting customers. But be careful with including too many. Just one inline CTA in a 750-word blog post can enhance your conversion opportunities without being disruptive or making the page too busy.
4. Use A/B testing
As much as you understand your buyer personas, unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict the exact behaviour of your prospects. This is where A/B testing can help. Whether you’re testing different versions of a CTA button, a line of copy or a whole web page, it’s an invaluable way of exploring which variants are most likely to lead to a conversion. There are plenty of tools for conducting A/B tests, such as Optimizely, VWO, Convert, Unbounce, Google Optimise and Maxymiser. This comparison chart can help you identify the right one for you.
5. Make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for
To bring it back to basics, put yourself in the shoes of your customers and look closely at your website. What questions would you be looking to answer? And is it clear where to go to find them?
First up your prospects will be looking for relevance; confirmation that your company does what they are looking for. So clear messaging on your homepage that sums up your core proposition is non-negotiable. But driving conversions is about more than that. It’s about having clear signposting that encourages visitors to explore your website (and your company). It means having an FAQ page that covers any questions or concerns a prospect may have. And a chat facility or meeting request option that offers a route for further engagement.
6. Optimise your page load times
Thankfully, the days of painfully slow-loading pages and buffering videos are largely behind us. But page load time still matters.
Just a one second delay in page response can result in a 7 per cent reduction in conversions. It’s a scary thought - we are so used to getting everything instantaneously that just one second can make such a difference.
Things like extra large images, dense elements of code, too many plugins and unnecessary redirects can all contribute to slowing things up. Take a look at how fast your pages are loading, using tools like Google Analytics or GTMetrix. They’ll also indicate areas that need attention and how to fix them.
Inbound marketing isn't just about driving traffic to your website. You need to be concerned with proactively finding better ways to convert visitors to leads. And conversion rate optimisation lets you do that.
The tips in this blog post aren't new, but conversion rate optimisation is a never-ending game. Hopefully, they will have served as a good reminder or prompt to check you're doing all you can to make visits to your site count.