If you want to eat chicken, you have to cook it. As fun as salmonella can be (read: not), it's crucial to make sure the food you eat is prepared properly. But without eating the chicken, the cooking of it has no real purpose. The ultimate goal is to eat the chicken.
So you're probably wondering, why am I talking about chicken? Because in Internet marketing, conversions are the eating of the chicken.
It's true that there are a lot of essential tasks to complete before you try securing conversions, like actually frying up some traffic (not literally, of course), but the ultimate goal is always conversions. If you can't get people to go through to a merchant and buy a product, all your efforts are for naught.
That is why this week's blog post is all about getting a healthy website conversion rate.
1. Use First Person Statements
Do you know what works even better than a CTA that tells people what you want them to do? A CTA that tells them what they want to do. Add them into the equation, literally, via first person statements.
Spot the difference:
- "Get your free report now" vs "Get my free report now"
- "You need this [product]!" vs "I need this [product]!"
- "Sign up for your account" vs "Sign up for my account"
Replace "your" with "my". Replace "you" with "I". A case study by Unbounce revealed that "Your" performed 24.95 percent worse than "My."
In the case of "Get your 30-day trial" vs "Get my free 30-day trial", the result was even more dramatic, at a 90 percent increase in CTR for the latter. There's no helping it: you need first person statements, especially in your CTAs, for better conversions.
2: Analyze Your Site Activity
More traffic often means more conversions, simply because with more traffic you get more chances at conversions. You need to go a step further and think about which parts of your website are getting the most traffic, and you need to take advantage of this. You could have a content page that gets some fantastic attention, but if all your conversion-optimization efforts have gone into a landing page or a squeeze page, then you could be missing out on a lot of potential conversions!
One great way to monitor this is to check which areas of your site are performing at their best with AffiloTools. Log in and head to the "Traffic" module. Once you've linked your Google Analytics account with AffiloTools, you'll be able to start monitoring which pages are getting the most views:
Make sure that you also check the average time visitors are spending on the page to really get a thorough idea of which pages give you the most exposure. Once you know where their attention is going, make sure you include an opt-in form either in the side bar or below content. If you can, promote a product in the content itself.
3. Analyze Your Page Activity
Let's take this one step further again. Once you know which of your pages are the most popular, you can track where exactly on the page is drawing the most attention with a heat map. This is really simple to set up via CrazyEgg.
I would just like to take a moment to point out the first-person statement used in the "SHOW ME MY HEATMAP" button...
When using a heatmap, you want to start with the popular pages you found via AffiloTools, because the more traffic you have, the more accurate your result will be.
This is really important for your conversion optimization, as visitors could be looking in a completely different place than what you thought they might, or want them to. Take your button, sign-up form, or other conversion prompt, and put it as near as you can to where they're looking, without disturbing the design of your page. It's a lot easier to take a button to your audience than vice versa.
4. Cleanse Your Website of Off-Putting Errors
This might seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people neglect simple elements, such as page speed or broken links, when constantly barraged with more 'advanced' strategies. These are the essentials people! Here's a snippet from a KISSmetrics infographic titled, "How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line":
Shave as much time off your loading speed as you can (we've talked about this on a previous post here), and check for any other errors that could be alienating potential conversions with the AffiloTools Health Check module. It's super simple to use:
Select "performance" for focusing specifically on the types of issues that could get in the way of your conversions. Clicking on the issue will pull down information on how to fix it.
5. Make it About Them
Last but most certainly not least, you need to make sure that any conversion optimization you perform revolves around your target market. You might not be the merchant, but you're still trying to sell a product to make money. If you have a banana advertisement for monkeys, and put it in the ocean where only fish can see it, let's face it: that ad is unlikely to do well until monkeys grow gills (and even then it's not guaranteed).
Here's a checklist for 'customer thinking' — be sure to check that you can answer yes to all!
- Is the gist of your conversion prompt (squeeze page, landing page, affiliate link) easy to understand within seconds?
- Does it explain how the product will directly benefit your audience?
- If they've been directed to a landing page via advertising, does the landing page directly reflect the promises of the ad?
- Do you have one clear, simple CTA for them instead of multiple distracting ones?
- Have you personalized their experience with first-person statements?
- Have you let them know that it's urgent? Tell them why they can't wait before doing X.
- Have you thought about what issues they could be apprehensive of, so you can soothe their fears about a product or entering personal information into a form?
Get in your audience's heads, or their shoes, or yes, even their social media feeds. Wherever you get into, make sure you're focusing on the persona of your target conversion. You want your website to be like an understanding friend who has just what they need. This is the best way to build strong relationships and encourage conversions.
So Where to From Here?
One cannot know the wisdom of one's actions without testing the outcome.
"Check your conversions, you must." - Yoda
Maybe I made that up....but my point still stands!
Different things work for different websites for different reasons. I hate to tell you, but any guide you get can tell you what has worked for some people, and what is common sense, but ultimately you need to find out what will work for your website.
The most basic way to test affiliate sales conversions (since you're already in AffiloTools), is to connect your account to ClickBank and study the changes in revenue.
If you use a different affiliate network, you'll need to keep an eye on your sales via their system. Either way, try making one change at a time, and checking if it adds or subtracts from your conversions, then try something else and repeat! Trial and error is ultimately your friend when experimenting with conversions.
What are your favorite conversion optimizations? Got a question? Either way, we love to hear from you!