You’ve spent countless hours and dollars increasing your website traffic, but you are finding it nearly impossible to convert visitors into customers (whatever that happens to mean to you).
What are you doing wrong?
Well, when people visit your website, they need to be both guided and motivated to take action. According to Chris Dayley, who is a VP of a site testing agency helping businesses learn what users want on their website through psychology based testing and analytics, to ensure that you are converting as many people as possible, it is necessary to optimize what he calls “motivation factors,” of which there are three. In our recent conversation, he explained how improving your website’s content, value proposition, and call to action will dramatically increase your conversion rate.
1 – Content
One major driver of conversions is the content offered on your site. It’s also one of the first factors Chris analyzes when optimizing a client’s site. “What content do you have on your site, how much of that content is there, [and] is it relevant?,” he will ask. The type and amount of content you offer on your website is highly dependent on what your website offers (more on that in section 2) and the audience you are targeting.
For my website, my primary target audience is accredited investors interested in passively investing in apartment deals, and then secondarily, individuals interested in becoming apartment syndicators. Therefore, my content needs to be highly relevant to those specific audiences. For example, content about wholesaling and fix-and-flipping, while valuable to a large percentage of the real estate investing population, isn’t helping to convert my target audience.
If you are not achieving your desired conversion rates, start by questioning your website’s content and making the necessary adjustments. One way to accomplish this through by A/B testing. For example, Chris said, “Maybe our audience wants a lot of content, maybe they don’t, so let’s ask a question – how much content do they want? And then let’s test three different versions of our site – one that has a lot of content, one that has a medium amount, and one that has hardly any.” Based on the results, you can determine which option results in the most page views, conversions, or some other metric. Then, you can conduct a similar A/B test on content type to work towards understanding which content results in the most conversions.
2 – Value Proposition
The second major driver of conversions is the website’s value proposition. “What value do you have for your audience?,” Chris said. For example, “for realtors, this is going to be you’ve got a home; people looking for a home, and you’ve got a home. Then it may be certain aspects of the home that you want to highlight. You’ve got a home that has a pool, you’ve got a home that has a great location, you’ve got a home that has a great view – whatever it may be. That’s your value proposition. Whatever value you have for the audience.”
The goal is for someone visiting your site to easily and immediately identify your main value proposition. If they can’t, then in their minds you aren’t adding value, so why would you expect them to contact you for your services? Figure out what it is the most valuable thing you are offering a visitor of your website and then figure out how to make highly visible and accessible. Similarly to optimizing your content, this can be accomplished through identifying and understanding your target audience, and then A/B testing different propositions or call-to-actions (more on that in section 3).
A common mistake people make with value propositions is distracting visitors with other offers. Chris said, “you might have a ton of other homes that people want to check out, or if you’ve got them to a relevant page that has a value proposition that will be valuable to them, you don’t want to take them to other homes, you don’t want to take them to other pages on your site. You want them to sign up or to reach out and contact you now. So we try to identify anything that could potentially be distracting.” If you are failing to convert visitors and your site is riddled with other offers, that may be your problem.
3 – Call-to-Action
You’ve optimized the content to get visitors to your website and you’ve placed your value proposition front-and-center so visitors understand how they can benefit from your offering. Now it’s time to convert them with a powerful call-to-action.
“The call-to-action is a critically important one because if you want someone to reach out to you, if you want them to give you a call, that needs to be the thing that stands out on your site more than anything else.”
Similar to the value proposition, Chris said the call-to-action “needs to be very obvious. It needs to be colorful, color contrast on the page. It just needs to be very obvious.”
To determine the ideal call-to-action, you will conduct even more A/B testing. Test different call-to-action designs, pop-up locations and timing, offers, etc. and see which one gets the most conversions.
Now, at this point you may be thinking, “Joe, the call-to-action and value proposition seem like they are the same. What’s up with that?” Well, according to Chris, you are correct in that observation. If you want to achieve the highest conversion rate, you want to combine the two.
He said, “I ran a test for a client of mine… It’s just a content site, so they want people to come and read content, read articles, engage with things, so they obviously want e-mail subscribers; that’s a big deal to them. We were testing for what is going to prompt people to actually give us their e-mail address. Will they just give it if we say ‘Get regular updates from us?’ or do we need to have some kind of an offer? I’m going suggest that you should always have an offer on your e-mail pop-ups. It could be something like Five Things That Every Person Should Know Before Buying a Home, or an e-book, or some kind of free content that you can offer people and say ‘Sign up now to get our free e-book on…,’ whatever. That can be hugely beneficial to figure out what kind of content do people want there. That’s your call to action AND your value proposition.” In other words, you call-to-action is used to offer your value proposition in exchange for what you want from them (i.e. their email address).
The main mistake people make on call-to-actions is causing anxiety in their visitors. When analyzing a client’s call-to-action, Chris said, “we look at things that could potentially cause anxiety. The things that cause anxiety a lot of times are if I can’t figure out what to do, if I have to take multiple steps in order to actually do what you want. So if there’s a button that says ‘Click here to contact us’ and then I click there and then it takes me to another page and I have to click another button in order to get a form, that’s a high anxiety process.” To avoid that mistake, minimize the number of steps from the initial call-to-action pop-up and the submission of their information.
To increase conversions on your website, optimize the three “motivations factors”:
- Content – Attracts and engages visitors
- Value Proposition – What you offer that will add value to a visitor
- Call-to-Action – Guides the visitor to take an action step you want
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any securities or to make or consider any investment or course of action.