You’ve Got the Traffic, Now Get the Sales: CRO Guide (Part 2)
In our first article of this two-parter, we covered the issue of maximizing your sales revenues by either increasing traffic to your site or improving the conversion ratios. Of the two, improving the sales conversion ratios for the traffic you already have is the fastest and most profitable way of achieving revenue optimization.
There are two broad categories for techniques to improve sales conversion ratios – we dealt with traditional sales copy strategies in Part I, many of which have been borrowed and adapted from the direct copy advertizing industry, which traditionally handles “hard copy” or “old” media such as newspaper and magazine advertizing, or television and radio commercials.
Here with Part II, we shall cover online and on-site strategies which you also need to consider to get the most out of your website traffic.
You can loosely consider these techniques as falling under three headers:
- On-site Techniques – dealing with how you set up your website and again, there is considerable overlap with traditional copy techniques(see Part I);
- The Sales Process – dealing with establishing a streamlined, highly efficient sales and order taking process; and
- Online Advertizing – remember you will have copy elsewhere aside from the website, such as PPC ads and banner advertizing; all must work as an integrated whole with your website and offline activities.
At this point, you should re-acquaint yourself with Part I of this series because there is great deal of overlap.
Formatting for Online Users
Online users scan or skim content, they do not tend to read copy unless they have been attracted to it; this is where good headlines and use of sub-headers is important as well as the use of bullet-point style layout.
Keyword Usage with Hyperlinks
Creating an easy-to-navigate site and portal, from PPC ad to landing page and out into the website is crucial, but you can do this in a far more persuasive way than simply picking a keyword and using that as the anchor text for the hyperlink.
Use your keywords in context, and Google is increasingly concerned about delivering contextual results, for instance, including your location; this will only help increase your rankings in the search engine and deliver more relevant visitors to your landing page.
The Sales Process
We wrote about how to avoid sales cart abandonment last month, and you’ll find this useful in the context of improving sales conversion ratios too. 75% of shopping carts are abandoned because of a variety of issues, the key ones being:
- the checkout and payment process is too slow or asking for too much irrelevant information;
- hidden shipping charges and other ancillary fees are added to the final payment notice, which causes buyers to abandon the purchase;
- you don’t offer the customer’s preferred payment option;
- your site is being used for research or comparison only, with the customer buying offline or through another site; and
- Security issues over the safety of financial information turn the customer off from buying.
Simplifying the sales ordering and payment process, from the customer’s perspective, is a highly important step, but there is a great deal of overlap with traditional sales copy techniques used to build trust and confidence in your product, your business and your site.
Sales copy and content isn’t restricted to your website; your online advertizing campaigns, especially banner ads and PPC will play a crucial role in improving conversion ratios.
You need to ensure there is a good fit between the search term and the online ad, and segmentation of your target audience is a very powerful technique. A simple example would be to treat your audience as split into experienced users of your product, and those who are new to it. You could segment them by age, by gender, by geographic location or any other demographic which you feel best suits your business model.
So, we have experts and newbies. Now, take a look at your keywords and assign those keywords and phrases to whichever segment of your target audience you feel it is more appropriate for. For instance, “experts” like the numbers, e.g. performance rating, durability, consumption, processor speed, comparisons. Newbies will be more attracted to emotive headlines such as, the “fastest”, “cheapest” or “best value for money”.
Now, create different sets of online ads which cater for your specific segments and their needs. What you end up with will be much more highly targeted ads, using better aligned keywords and phrases, which will in turn appeal more directly to the segment of the target audience you are interested in. That means higher conversion rates.
Improving sales conversion rates is the fastest and most cost-effective way of optimizing sales revenues. There are a myriad number of ways to do this but broadly, you will use a mixture of traditional direct sales copy techniques and online strategies to increase customer confidence and trust, catch their interest and make it easy to do business with you on your site.