Website visits are important, but they don’t always equal sales. Having that traffic number go up and up is an exciting feeling, but there’s more to it than that when it comes to converting these visitors into actual, paying customers.
How can you get the ball rolling and turn those visitors into people who are willing to hand over their (virtual) credit card? It’s no longer as simple as slapping together a website and calling it a day. The world of business is changing rapidly across industries. What worked in 2018 isn’t guaranteed to work in 2019, and we could all use a little life in our strategy.
Believe it or not, a startling 40% of marketers claim to have a conversion rate of under 0.5%. Don’t admit defeat when it comes to your own numbers. Achieving a higher rate is possible with the right know-how. Are you ready to make a real impact online? If so, try these 7 simple ways to convert your visitors into customers today.
1. Less isn’t always more
When you’re introducing yourself to a business colleague for the first time, you use your elevator pitch. This is a brief introduction to who you are and what you do. It’s not your life story, and it’s a much more effective way to share your value.
Do elevator pitches work the same way when you’re talking to your customers? While you might think less is more and people aren’t likely to scroll through more information, that’s not always the case.
Giving detailed, relevant information that addresses your customers’ pain points is worth the extra space. According to Crazy Egg’s A/B test with a long vs. short landing page, the longer page performed better 30% of the time.
That being said, don’t start including huge chunks of endless text on your website or landing page in hopes of engaging customers. The rule of short and sweet still applies to the way you break up your text. In addition, you don’t need to go on and on about things your customers already know.
For instance, if you’re selling t-shirts, you don’t need to wax poetic about how they work. Your customers already know that! Instead, focus on their pain points and establishing trust. Let’s look at an example below. Basecamp, a project management platform, includes more than just the signup form on their free trial page. Notice how they could have just stopped at the top segment of content, but instead went on to address customer concerns.
Screenshots via Basecamp
2. Build social proof that converts
People love to buy what other people are buying. If you don’t have social proof, you don’t have a way to establish trust. Social proof is “the influence that the actions and attitudes of the people around us (either in real life or offline) have on our own behavior.” You’ve likely experienced social proof in action in your own life. How often has your friend bought something cool and you’ve instantly wanted it too? It’s human nature.
The proof is in the numbers. According to a report by Nielson, 83% of consumers in 60 countries trust recommendations from friends and family about any other type of advertising. What exactly is social proof? It comes in a few different forms:
- Expert social proof – This could be a blog post from an expert in your industry or even just a quote from a leader or influencer.
- Celebrity social proof – This is the most well-known type of social proof. Having a celebrity or influencer back up your product or service is a powerful tool.
- User proof – This is a fancy way of saying customer reviews. People want to see that other “real users” have tried your product or service and love it.
- ‘Wisdom of the crowds” proof – This sounds complicated, but it’s really just FOMO or the fear of missing out. If a lot of people are buying something, other people want a part of it too.
- “Wisdom of your friends” proof – Finally, this means people want to buy from companies their friends and family recommend. This carries the most weight since we all trust the people we know more than strangers on the internet.
So how do you actually build social proof? It’s simpler than it sounds. Testimonials, reviews, influencer reviews, and previous client logos are all great ways to show that you already have a base of customers or clients who love you.
The best example of social proof in action is the popular fitness tracker Fitbit. Fitbit has an entire page of their website dedicated to social proof. See how real customers have had their lives changed by Fitbit with their stories below.
Screenshot via Fitbit
3. Use video to establish trust
While written content might still be king, we can all agree that video is quickly climbing up the ranks. This is probably because your brain loves watching videos. No matter how much of a bookworm you age, it’s true that our brains process video 60,000 times faster than we process text.
You can use this knowledge of the human brain to convert your visitors into customers. The trick is to make short, entertaining, and informative videos that capture user attention and emphasize your value. People can’t engage with your content for a long period of time. They naturally lose focus. If you’re able to hit that sweet spot early on, you can improve your conversion rate.
There’s nothing wrong with text. In fact, text is amazing. But video is amazing too, and it’s a new way to establish trust and build your authority. Remember how people trust other people? When you appear on screen, your customers see you directly, not a computer screen. Monday, a workflow platform, uses videos on their homepage to share their client’s success stories. Who doesn’t want to click on such a smiling face?
Screenshot via Monday
4. Discover how your users interact with your page
You don’t have to be a world-class computer hacker to sneak a peek at how your users interact with your page. While that might sound like something out of a spy movie, it’s much easier than it sounds. Using a mouse recorder tool, you can record your visitors’ movements as they scroll through your landing page or website.
Why is this important? You need to know what parts of your page are working and what isn’t. If you notice customers seem to scroll right past all of your calls to action, odds are you need to optimize those to actually appeal to your audience. If they’re clicking through to read more content, however, this is a great sign that you’re onto something.
Instapage Heatmap Tool
5. Offer a guarantee
One of the most important things you’ll learn in small business marketing or any type of marketing is that people like guarantees. Unless you’re a super well-known brand like Amazon, people don’t automatically know what to expect when they buy from you. How do they know they’ll like your product or service?
This is where guarantees come in. Offering some way for your customers to try your product or service before buying or a money-back guarantee will help them take the plunge. Let’s face it: nobody likes commitment. Help your customers overcome their fears with one of these options:
- Free trial – If you’re selling a service, offer a free trial. This is common for most online platforms or applications.
- Money-back guarantee – What happens if your user doesn’t like your product or service? A money-back guarantee shows them that they can get their money back if they aren’t satisfied. You can offer an unlimited guarantee or have specific qualifications. However, it’s recommended that you don’t make it overly complicated.
- Free sample – Finally, a free sample is a great choice for digital products. If you’re selling an e-book, for instance, offering a sample chapter helps users get a feel for your content and whether this is a good fit for them.
Online course creator Mariah Coz has mastered the guarantee. She offers a free e-course to get an introduction to her teaching style and ideas, and even a money-back guarantee for those who sign up for her paid course.
Screenshot via MariahCoz
6. Segment your audience and traffic
Not all of the people who visit your website or landing page will convert. That’s okay, it doesn’t mean you can’t convert them later on down the customer journey. You can have as many email lists and landing pages as you want, but if you aren’t segmenting, you aren’t properly targeting these users.
Some of the people who visit your page are first-time visitors. Some have no idea who you are or what you’re trying to sell. Others might have seen you before once or twice, while a select few are considering making a purchase.
Not every customer at every stage of the journey wants the same thing. Someone who’s never seen any of your work before likely would be more likely to sign up for an email list than to make a sale. Similarly, if a user has been exposed to your content and keeps engaging with it, now might be the time to make your big pitch.
To segment properly, make sure you have developed your sales funnel fully. You need to understand how your customer feels at every stage of the process and make sure you’re segmenting them properly with ad retargeting and your email list. Jordan Roper of Creative Revolt targets first-time users with a free guide as a lead magnet for her email list. From here, she can continue these interested leads down her sales funnel.
Screenshot via Creative Revolt
7. Optimize your landing page
Finally, your landing page or sales page needs to be optimized if you want to actually convert customers. This means knowing what your customers want, when they want it, and how to deliver. Whether you’re trying to convert your visitors into customers or just get them to sign up for your mailing list, start with what you know.
What questions does your audience have? What can you offer them as a way to ease their pain point? Your page needs key things: logo, simplified navigation, a clear headline, visuals, simple copy, and a call to action.
From there, you’ll want to test different elements. Does a short or long headline work best at converting users? Which photos stand out the most to your visitors? You can’t possibly know these things until you test them yourself. From woocommerce website design to branding your page, all of these small things add up.
If you’re not sure where to start, use the post-click method. This method of optimization means you utilize the same design of your advertisement within your landing page or sales page. With the post-click method, you establish relevancy and structure for the user that helps them understand where to naturally flow next.
LinkedIn does this well with their marketing services pages. They establish the users’ pain points while offering themselves as the best solution. More importantly, the design is consistent with the rest of their advertising and brand.
Screenshot via LinkedIn Marketing
Today, there are a lot of ways to stand out to your customers online. Are you positioning yourself as an expert with your marketing? If you don’t see the conversion numbers you’d like, odds are it’s time for an update.
These strategies above are excessively complicated. You don’t need to be a marketing expert to make them work for your business. The key is to do the work, learn more about your audience, and keep testing until you find what works. You’ll land on a winning landing page in no time.