conversion rate marketing

Conversion Rate Marketing: How to Increase Conversions on Your Site

Last updated on Posted in Tutorial

Is your blog starting to gain some traction, but has YET to generate a single conversion? Are you sitting there thinking, “What is the deal?!”

Been there, pal.

Conversions are prospective customers who take a specific action you want. This could be anything from:

  • Signing up for an email list
  • Downloading a course or ebook
  • Making a purchase
  • Doing the macarena

Obviously, your goal is to have high conversions on your site. But what if you don’t? What if you have all the right stuff going on…but your site isn’t converting?

In this post, we’re going to talk about the aspects of conversion rate marketing:

  • What’s a sales funnel?
  • What roadblocks your customers could be hitting in the funnel
  • How to fix those roadblocks
  • How to test your funnel

The best part? You can put this information into practice as soon as you finish reading!

Awesome. Okay let’s roll.

What Is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is the journey you lead your customers on from the moment they enter your site.

The funnel begins when the customer arrives and it ends at your goal point, whatever that may be (it’s probably a sale, because we gotta make some money, know what I’m sayin’?).

At every point along the way, you have to convince the customer to take the next step. If you get them to each next step successfully, you will be rewarded with a conversion.

Here’s a visual of a sales funnel, from the prospective customer’s eyes:

landing page guide

At each step of the process, the customer is asking questions.

  • What do you do?
  • Why should I care?
  • How do I believe you?
  • Where do we begin?

When your funnel is set up correctly and you’re answering all the right questions with all the right answers, you will get conversions all day long!

If at any point your answer does not satisfy the customer, though, you run the risk of losing them and the conversion.

Let’s talk about some roadblocks that could be happening in your funnel.

Sales Funnel Roadblocks Your Customer Might Be Hitting

It could be that you aren’t getting the conversion numbers you want because your customers are hitting a roadblock in your funnel.

What could those roadblocks be? Here are some typical ones:

  • Your offer isn’t clear
  • Your call to action (CTA) isn’t clear
  • The customer doesn’t know if you’re trustworthy
  • The sign-up process is too complicated

The good news is, those things are fixable. Let’s take a look at some ways to fix those common problems.

How to Fix Those Sales Funnel Roadblocks

Your offer isn’t clear

If someone is asking “What do you do?” and you don’t answer that question quickly and well, they’re not going to stick around.

Your site’s landing page is your first and only chance to present 1) what you’re offering and 2) what next step you want the customer to take.

Here are some things you can change on your landing page to make your brand and your offer more clear:

Headlines

Your headline is usually thing first thing your customer reads, and will either encourage them to keep reading, or make them exit your site immediately.

The main headline should grab the reader’s attention and move their attention right on down to the subheading, where you can go into a little more detail about the benefits of your offer.

Remember: this first step in the funnel is your chance to convince the customer they should want what you have.

Keep your copy short

When it comes to your landing page copy, here is a rule of thumb from Quick Sprout’s Neil Patel: take what you have, cut it in half, and cut it in half again.

Lose the cutesy, long anecdotes and meandering bunny trails. No one needs a novel right now. Be clear, concise, and informative.

Clarify your value proposition

Your prospects and customers are thinking exactly one thing: “What’s in it for me?” Your landing page must answer that question loud and clear. Tell them what they’re gaining and why it’s well worth their time to continue. Convince your prospective customers to do business with you.

Boost the incentives

Offer a promotion or giveaway to encourage prospects to latch on. This can be anything from a discount to a free download, just so long as it sweetens the deal enough to get people interested.

Your call to action isn’t clear

Here’s the thing about CTAs: you get to have exactly one per handing page. That’s it. Your goal is to make people take a certain text step into the funnel. If you give them too many options, they’ll get confused.

Also, your CTA button should say something way more descriptive than “click here”. The CTA is what helps guide the reader through the conversion process. So tell them what the next step is right on the button.

Here are some examples of action-based CTA buttons:

  • Learn more
  • Download ebook
  • Try free demo
  • Sign up now

Make the CTA incredibly clear by giving only one option, then guiding the reader to the next step by making the CTA button specific.

  • The customer doesn’t know if you’re trustworthy

You know you aren’t a scam, but your new visitors might not. It’s important to prove you’re trustworthy right away, so prospective customers feel good about giving your their information.

Here are some trust signals you can use to put people at ease:

Clear contact information

Prove you’re “real” and there for your customer by providing contact information in an obvious place. That can be a phone number, email address, or live chat options. Anything that lets the customer know you are readily available to answer any questions they may have.

Social proof

Social proof lets your prospective customer know other people think you’re legit. Customer testimonials, case studies, or icons from well-known brands you’ve worked with will almost always increase conversions.

Pro-tip: Don’t put all your testimonials only in one place, like a “Testimonials Page”. Put them where they will actually do some good! Put quotes from happy customers or endorsements from well-known brands on your landing pages. That way, the prospective customer will see all those glowing reviews while they’re making a decision.

Guarantees

Offer a guarantee to give your customers more confidence in your offering. Longer guarantees (e.g., 60 days vs 15 days) will generally increase conversions even more.

  • The sign-up process is too complicated

This is the last step of the funnel, so maybe you think it’s all smooth sailing. Wrong. Even if you get someone all the way to a sign-up or purchase step, you could still lose them. Don’t let that happen!

Keep your web forms short

If your sign-up or purchasing process is too long, you might lose people along the way.

Don’t ask for information you don’t need. Keep your forms short and to the point. If you only need an email address, only ask for that. You don’t need to know people’s physical address (unless you’re mailing them something) or their favorite color.

Create step-by-step instructions

Walk your customers through the sign-up process like you walk a toddler on the beach. Step by step. Thoroughly explain each step before you ask the customer to take it.

No surprises

For the love of everything, don’t surprise your customer with a hidden fee or an extra step in the middle of the sign-up process. I promise you they will run away immediately.

How To Test Your Funnel

We’ve identified some potential problems in your sales funnel, and what you can do to fix them.

The next step is to test out your theories.

The best way to do that is with A/B testing. A/B testing allows you to create a couple different versions of the same page, then test it to see which performs better.

You can run the same test for a few weeks, or a few months. It’s up to you. But don’t test everything all at once.

Try testing things one or two at a time. Some good options:

  • Headlines
  • Subheadings
  • Page layout
  • CTA button placement
  • CTA button text
  • Images on your landing page
  • Customer testimonials
  • Sign-up forms

In case you’re freaking out about how to A/B test, don’t. There are websites that will do it for you. All you have to do is create the pages.

Visual Website Optimizer has more than 100 features that let you split website traffic by geography, run multivariate tests, and segment user behavior. You can run tests in just a few minutes.

Optimizely helps you test website elements and track results with a single line of code. You can change copy, colors, images, and CTAs.

So there ya go!

You now have all the information you need to fix any potential problems in your sales funnel.

Remember: your goal is to get a potential customer from the landing page to the final action you want them to take.

Make sure to answer each question they will have along the way thoroughly and in a way that coaxes them forward.

Happy funneling!