How to Convert Website Visitors into Customers
If you don’t know what conversion architecture is, you’re in good company. You’re also probably not getting the most from your website. Over the past decade, website marketing has shifted significantly. Once upon a time, a business was ahead of the game simply because it had a website. Then, competition increased and the focus shifted to drawing traffic to the website.
Conversion architecture doesn’t ignore those steps, but recognizes that more is required. You don’t just want people visiting your website: you want them to take action. That means creating an integrated plan that begins with knowledge of your target market, identifies their needs and then provides them with information, resources and calls to action that move them along the path to taking that action.
Conversion in Context
“Conversion” happens when the visitor does what you wanted him to do on a given web page.
• Make a purchase
• Request more information
• Sign up for a webinar
• Subscribe to your newsletter
• Enter contact information in exchange for an e-book download or white paper
The bottom line is, your visitor has taken the step you brought him there to take. Often, the sales process involves more than one conversion. For example, your website should assist you both in converting visitors to leads and in converting leads to sales.
Converting Website Traffic
We’ve already talking about creating compelling content to aid in converting your website visitors. While well-crafted content is critical, it’s not enough. For example, if you bury your compelling call to action “below the fold,” only about 20% of your visitors will see it.
Thus, effective conversion architecture requires taking that concise, compelling content and putting it into a format that encourages conversion. That means carefully planning not only your content but the layout of the page, the design and placement of your calls to action, other elements that appear on the page and their placement, ease of navigation and a flow that moves the visitor toward the step you want him to take.
Conversion Architecture for Your Site
Despite the similarities in much current website design, there is no cookie-cutter template that will increase conversions for every business. You’ll need custom strategy for that.
While there are basic concepts you’ll want to incorporate, such as concise text, easy-to-follow navigation and clear calls to action that jump out at the visitor, there are also important differences. Architecture designed to convert website visitors starts with a solid understanding of your target market. Knowledge of that population’s habits in searching for products and services online and using websites will help you to sculpt a site that is intuitive for them and makes it easy and inviting for them to fill out a form, make a purchase, subscribe to your newsletter or take whatever next step you’re encouraging.
However, even that is only the beginning. Not every visitor to your site will be at the same stage in the sales process, so it’s important to provide content that moves a visitor along to the next step, whether he’s just beginning to consider your type of service or is at the decision-making stage. And, your first attempt likely won’t be perfect. Part of the conversion architecture process is tracking, analyzing and adapting based on results. If you’re wondering how well your website converts, try our free website grader.