Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Converting Online Visitors Into Customers



You probably spend a good deal of time and money trying to drive prospects to your website. Having lots of visitors every day is good, but if you don't convert a high percentage into customers, what's the point?

Would you prefer 100 visits a day with a 10 percent conversion rate or 1,000 at 0.1 percent? So, how do you increase your conversion rates?

Make it easy. Be sure it's easy for visitors to respond to a call to action or some kind of offering. If you are trying to get visitors to fill in a form for a trial or demo, make sure the form is simple and easy. You don't need 25 fields...at least the first time. Get essential information and then get more with further communications.

Test, test, test. Test everything from forms to landing pages. Testing will give you information that you can use to improve rates. Go slowly to test only one or two things at a time so you know what worked and what didn't.

Know your visitors. Understand who your potential customers are, understand how they speak, what matters to them, how they prefer to make decisions. Make your content and offerings relevant to them. To provide value, you need to know what your visitors value.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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