A lot of time, energy, focus, and money is spent on different strategies to generate more website visitors. This is because most business owners believe their biggest problem is traffic.
They think, “If I can just drive more visitors to my website then I’ll generate more sales…“
However, that may not be the best answer. Traffic is only HALF of the equation.
The other half (and for many business owners the more important half) is your website sales conversion rate. The sales conversion rate is the ratio of sales to visitors. So if you generate 1 sale for every 200 visitors, then your website conversion rate is 0.50%.
Now if you can double your website conversion rate, then you’ll double your sales without any more traffic to your site.
In other words, you can double your sales WITHOUT spending any more money on your online marketing!
Well hopefully that got your attention..
Let’s now dive into the 5 crucial elements to increase website conversions:
- Relevant & Compelling Headline
- Unique Selling Proposition
- Social Proof
- Irresistible Offer
- Reason to Act Now
1. Relevant & Compelling Headline
The headline is the most important element on any webpage. This is the first thing your visitor will read to determine if she should keep reading or click the Back button to go to another website.
Your headline must answer two important questions on every visitors’ mind:
- Is this webpage for me?
- Should I keep reading to learn more?
That means your headline should be relevant for your prospects and compelling enough to encourage them to continue reading.
When ever possible relate the headline to where the visitor is coming from.
For example, if you’re advertising a webpage in the local newspaper (i.e. The Metro), then you could include “Attention The Metro Readers:” in your headline so the visitor immediately knows she is on the correct webpage and should keep reading.
2. Unique Selling Proposition
The worst thing a visitor can say when she starts reading your webpage is, “I’ve seen this before…”
As soon as your visitor says that, she’s gone.
That is why it’s so critical to include your unique selling proposition (USP) clearly on the webpage.
Your USP should answer the question, “why should I work with you vs. all other options?”
In other words, what makes your business uniquely qualified to solve the prospects problem(s)?
Your answer must be UNIQUE in your industry or else your prospect will put you into the dreaded “just like everybody else” category and start searching for another business.
Remember, nobody wants to work with an average company. When searching for a solution we all want the best.
3. Social Proof
Social proof (i.e. testimonials, reviews, case studies, and success stories) has become almost required to sell anything online because most people are very skeptical of websites.
Everyone has heard a horror story or two about fraud and false online claims so it’s extremely hard to earn trust online. And without trust, there’s never going to be any sales.
Social proof creates trust and when done correctly, it will reassure your prospect is:
- NOT the first person to try this product or service.
- SIMILAR to other people who have successfully used this product or service
That second point is important. It’s easy to read a testimonial and say, “well that person isn’t in my situation so it’s not going to work for me.” I’ve felt that many times when reading online reviews.
However, when I read about someone in my situation (i.e. similar demographics, geography, etc), then I immediately believe the product or service could work for me.
So when it comes to social proof, try to have enough examples so that you have one example for every different type of prospect. This will dramatically improve your conversion rates and is well worth the investment and effort to collect the testimonials.
4. Irresistible Offer
Crafting an irresistible offer is not something most business owners do well.
In fact most businesses screw this up.
First, let’s clarify one common misconception. An offer is NOT a sale. An offer could be a discount, but it does not have to be a discounted product or service. An offer could also be a premium, which is something you give away free as a bonus to your customers or clients.
So if you’re against discounting or running sales, then relax because this is still relevant and extremely important if you want to improve website conversions.
An offer consists of the following core components:
- Defined Value: This is basic economics. Your product or service must be more valuable than the price and you have to clearly explain this to your prospects.
- Reason for Offer: A reason for your offer eliminates skepticism and suspicion, which is always present when you make an offer that appears to be too good to be true. The reason could be anything: end of the year, celebrating an anniversary, opening a new store, founder’s birthday, etc.
- Risk Reversal: Everyone is scared of getting ripped off and this is especially true online. The most common risk reversal is the money back guarantee, which puts all the risk on the business to deliver excellent service or else they have to give all the money back to the customer.
- Call to Action: Every good salesperson knows you have to ask for the sale. This is true with your website as well and we’ll talk more about this in website element #5 below.
The key to crafting an offer irresistible is to first think of every objection your prospects may have before purchasing your product or service. Then counter each objection using the 4 core components above.
5. Reason to Act Now
Even if your webpage includes all of the 4 previously mentioned elements, you will still lose sales due to everyone’s innate tendency to procrastinate.
No matter how amazing and irresistible your offer appears to be, some of your prospects will simply not purchase because they think they’ll do it tomorrow… or next week… or when they have a free minute… etc..
The excuses to procrastinate are endless and there’s only one cure.
There must be a real or perceived deadline to your offer in order to combat procrastination and increase your website conversion rates.
To clarify, deadlines are not just for sales and they don’t have to be tied to a specific date. Here are a few examples of deadlines to help get the creative juices flowing:
- offer only available to the first 10 who qualify
- the first 25 will receive a bonus
- offer is only valid today
- this offer will never be available again
- offer expires this Sunday
Review Your Website & Track The Results
Now that you know the 5 crucial elements to increase website conversions, go back and review your webpages to make sure you’re not missing anything.
Then if you make any changes make sure you track your conversion rates over time using an online analytics program and/or an offline tracking system. For more info about how to track offline sales, check out “How to Track Online Advertising ROI for Offline Sales.“
Main Street ROI is an internet marketing training and consulting company, headquartered in New York City.
Our mission is to help small “Main Street” businesses earn a return on investment (ROI) from online marketing. And since 2010, we’ve helped hundreds of small businesses create profitable marketing campaigns. See what our clients have to say.
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