When it comes to marketing and generating sales, getting visitors to your site is only half the battle. The other half is to make sure these leads complete the sales process and turn into paying customers.
Let's look at a scenario:
Consider your marketing department has done their job brilliantly. Visitors are flocking to your site from different sources - be it through your marketing emails, your PPC ads, high ranking on SERPs or through social channels.
Now, that your website traffic is going up, what should be your next step to ensure these visitors turn into customers and don't just simply abandon your site and land up on your competitors' websites?
Here is the list of steps you need to take to ensure visitors turn into customers and clicks turn into cash:
Your very first step, once a visitor visits your site, should be to ensure he stays for a sufficient amount of time on your site and does not leave abruptly.
So, what should you do to make him stay longer on your site?
Make a great first impression. It is always said that - 'First Impression is the Last Impression.' This phrase completely holds true in the case of online businesses.
But then how can you do that when you have got less than 5 seconds (Yes, that's true; only five seconds) to impress them?
The very first thing is to ensure your site loads quickly. Even a 'second's' delay brings down the conversion rate by 7 percent.
Next, ensure the landing page of your website is impressive and unique and sports an attractive visual design. This will make people stay and go through your website. Also ensure the structure of your site is simple and organized so that visitors can easily find what they're looking for. Offer clean, consistent and intuitive navigation through all Web pages.
It's also imperative that images on your homepage help explain what your company is really about. Apart from images, write an informative and magnetic headline to attract prospective customers.
So, you were successful with the first step. They have stayed on your website and now are browsing your category pages or product pages. Great!
Moving ahead, how can you make sure all those clicks get converted into cash?
The best way to deal with this issue is to address all consumer concerns that stop them from completing the sales funnel. Research shows that one of the biggest concerns of online shoppers is the credibility of the site.
A website that doesn't look credible leads to high bounce rates and low conversion rates.
If a visitor thinks your site is not trustworthy, he will immediately leave your site in search of something credible. This makes it extremely important for business owners to ensure their site looks professional and credible. To convert visitors into loyal customers and clicks into cash, a business needs to get this particular aspect absolutely right.
So, here are some of the ways to build upon those reassurances: provide complete details about your business in the 'Contact Us' page, add live chat feature, provide social proof, include trust seals, clearly display all your business policies.
Prominently displaying this information on your website will instill confidence in your visitors, which is crucial for conversion.
According to certain studies:
• 45 percent of online shoppers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations.
• 56 percent of online shoppers are more likely to return to a site that recommends products.
It is quite evident from these stats that consumers love personalized recommendations. Businesses can leverage this opportunity by offering personalized shopping experience to its visitors. This is known as behavioral marketing.
A business must collect information about the source from which the visitor landed on the page and what the visitor does while on the site. Based on this information, their profile (if they are a repeat customer) and their past visits to the site (a unique ID cookie stored on their machine helps here), it should offer recommendations that are tailored to their needs.
For example, a visitor might land on your landing page from one of your PPC ads about smartphones and clicks on a specific model that interests him, to learn more about that product. If this visitor is checking other products in a different category (say for example TV) on your site, you can produce targeted messages announcing special incentives or additional useful information related to the product that he checked earlier.
On-site behavioral targeting is a powerful tactic that enables businesses to create personalized experiences for each visitor and thus increase their sales.
There are chances that even if you have paid attention to all the aforementioned points, a visitor simply leaves your site without taking the desired action. The reason that would have stopped him from going ahead could be varied.
For e.g. he might have been simply comparing the same product on different sites or planning to buy the item in near future or was showing interest in the product because one of his friends had purchased it recently.
Irrespective of the reason they didn't complete the sales funnel, you should use retargeting and remarketing strategies to bring them back and complete their purchase.
Send shopping cart abandonment emails offering special incentives for the product they added to their virtual shopping cart or for the products they simply browsed on your site.
Another strategy is to use retargeting. The moment a visitor leaves your site, an ad about the product that they viewed follows them when they check different sites on the Internet. Retargeting brings the second highest return on investment, right after shopping cart abandonment emails.
The more your website visitors are reminded of the product they didn't purchase, the more likely they are to return and buy it.
Look at your current website traffic. How many of your visitors click away after only checking your landing page or homepage without completing the desired action? If you're unclear about visitor tracking and analysis, view this article on how to track website visitors.
The inbound marketing ideas mentioned in this article will point you in the right direction and help you boost your conversion rates. Start putting these ideas into action today to see the returns it brings to your business!
John Siebert is the President and CEO of Tranquil Blue - A Tampa Web Design Company that focuses on all kind of website design, mobile app development and search engine marketing.