Mar 15, 2013

Turn online traffic into customers

After putting in place a well-developed marketing plan and generating traffic to your landing page or website, the next step is to turn your online prospects into customers. Improving your online conversion rate is a two-part process.

Improve targeted traffic

Before you make changes to the conversion tools on your website or landing page, it’s important to improve the quality and/or relevance of your in-bound traffic. Attracting the right people to your website is critical to increasing conversions at a lower cost. Begin by evaluating your lead sources and determine the alignment of your prospects with your product.

You can determine what traffic is best aligned with your products and services by carefully analyzing your Google Adwords campaigns. With the proper conversion tracking in place, it’s easy to determine which keywords are generating sales (as opposed to generating clicks alone). Focus on expanding your top converting keywords and driving truly interested prospects to your landing pages.

Take advantage of conversion tools

Once you’ve begun to attract the right prospects, you need to focus on converting them. The fastest way to improve conversion is through testing various landing pages. If you have the technology to rotate landing pages (a process we call “split testing”), then you can learn quickly what page has the highest conversion rate. If you are limited to testing one page at a time, run each landing page for a week and measure the results. Your data won’t be as accurate but it can certainly point you in the right direction.

Another method for improving on-site conversions is to use an automated touch program. With this technique, you can use an auto-responder that gives site visitors an opportunity to reconnect with your business.

One example would be an abandoned shopping cart campaign. If users begin the purchase process (and have given you their email) but fail to complete the process, an auto-responder can be used to send an email message within minutes or hours, inviting them back to complete the purchase – perhaps with a discount or other incentive. You can use email best practices to enhance conversion, and touch visitors numerous times to move them through the purchase decision process.

In addition to targeting visitors who have started a purchase, you can also use an auto-responder for visitors who sign up to receive valuable information from your website. Perhaps they sign up for your newsletter, free lessons, or a whitepaper. Once a person has registered, the auto responder goes to work, sending appropriate emails at set intervals. The result is a communications channel that was previously unavailable to you. Work on improving conversion of your automated touch program by testing both the content and the timing of messages.

By using the techniques of better targeting, improving landing page conversion rates, and using auto-responders you can significantly enhance the performance of your online marketing campaigns. Plan your programs carefully, measure performance and make appropriate adjustments. Over time, your results just might surprise you.

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