How to convert website visitors into leads and sales

Space rocket boostingCorrect me if I’m wrong but the point of a website is to increase the visibility of a business and ultimately generate quality leads that are likely to convert.

By implementing an effective lead generation and conversion strategy you stand to dramatically increase your profits, or engagement, or whatever objectives you are pursuing.

Whilst on the surface this might seem like quite a daunting task, the reality is that it’s actually relatively straightforward. In fact you have done the tricky bit already by building a beautiful website – now you just need to add the polish. So, lets role up our sleeves and and start the process of boosting your business into the stratosphere.

And joy of joys, look what comes up first…

1) Search Engine Optimisation

First things first – you have to begin by attracting quality traffic to your site. This fundamentally means you need to have a good SEO strategy in place. Google prides itself on matching people’s queries with the most relevant web pages and so it’s in your interest to help Google understand the content on your website as clearly as possible.

Bringing low quality visitors to your site is as useful as a chocolate teapot.

chocolate teapot

Granted your might get lucky and convert them further down the line, but this will be more by luck than judgement. By writing regular quality content and optimising site structure, Google will naturally drive quality traffic to your site.

So, now that you are reaching out to your target audience you need to ensure that your site’s functionality is at the optimum in terms of speed and ease of navigation. As we’ve mentioned in other blog posts involving SEO, negative bias is especially strong in relation to online activity and so the user experience needs to be top draw.

Employing SEO for lead generation is generally, but not exclusively, implemented for non-eCommerce products/services/goals in that you’re trying to entice the visitor into making an enquiry, thus moving them a closer to conversion and a little further down the much talked about sales funnel. SEO for eCommerce is a slightly different kettle of fish which we’ll get into later.

One important thing to remember is that search traffic is among the highest quality traffic online in that the user has already expressed an interest in what they are looking for, otherwise they wouldn’t be there. So, make the most of it!

What is the point in encouraging unqualified or low quality visitors to hand over their email addresses? The juice simply isn’t worth the squeeze and you’ll end up waisting valuable time trying to convert somebody that simply doesn’t want to convert. A far more effective way of operating is to only attract those who are interested in your service or product from the outset. Whilst this might mean less traffic, this doesn’t equate to less conversion.

 

2) Move them down the funnel

Sales funnelIn most instances in life people like to choose the easiest route possible and so the job of the website host is to not only to encourage the visitor to stay on the site, but also urge them to take the next step, whatever that might be,  by guiding and engaging with them every step of the way. This needs to be done subtly so as not to annoy the visitor but it also must be proactive – never simply ‘expect’ people to do what you want them to. Encourage them, entice them, dangle a delicious looking carrot in front of their nose and lead them to the next step.

3) Overlays

It is well known that people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. There are many tools available today that allow you to maintain the focus of your visitor.

I bet that anyone who spends even a short time browsing online each day will encounter what is known as an ‘overlay’.

marketing overlay exampleAccording to Justin Rondeau of Econsultancy: “A site with an overlay garners up to 400% more email opt-ins than a site that relies on an in-line form will”.

Read Justin’s insightful article on how to increase email opt-in rates.

Who are we to argue with Justin?!

The trick with these is to ensure that you don’t annoy the visitor – quite often you come across a website that abuses these tools and ultimately this will have a negative effect. Whilst they are invasive and a quite aggressive way of approaching potential customers, the reason why you see the all of the time is that they work.

Overlays are aimed at first time visitors and the objective is to quickly obtain their information before they leave the site. In most cases they will appear as soon as a visitor arrives.

 

4) LEAD MAGNETS / LEAD HOOKS

These are not as in your face as overlays as they can be triggered as a response to the manner in which your visitor is moving around your website and, generally speaking, they offer an immediate benefit for the visitor, like ‘20% Off’ or ‘Free Shipping’.

Overlays are enticing little pop-ups – for want of a better expression – that appear after you have spent a certain amount of time on a webpage and they’re designed to encourage the visitor to convert, whether it be by proposing a one off offer should they go to the checkout or a free consultation if they get in touch.

Generally speaking ‘lead hooks’ are triggered when the visitor reaches a certain point of your page. Essentially they have committed enough time on page to demonstrate that they are interested in the subject. This being the case they are more likely to engage in whatever you’re offering, whether it be a call-to-action, an offer or redirecting them to another page of your site. Like contact forms they can also be a method of capturing email addresses.Marketing Lead Hook Example

In both of these examples it is important to give your visitor an incentive. Especially nowadays with countless stories of data breeches, people are not willing to give up their valuable information for free so offering them something like a free handbook or access to an upcoming webinar is essential if you are going to convince them to part with their contact information.

This is also a chance to be creative – don’t just write a run of the mill, boring CTA like ‘Join our Newsletter’. This provides no incentive to your visitor. Get creative and make it worth there while!

As ever it isn’t as simple as offering them a juicy bone. Different dogs like different bones (I’m not sure if this is entirely true but regardless you understand what I mean!) and this is especially relevant now because there are three different types of leads; early-stage, mid-stage and  late-stage. You have to approach all three with a different strategy.

Read what Dummies have to say about the three different types of early, mid and late stage buyers

5) Intelligent Lead Generation

Understanding who your customers are, the tone of voice to use with them and the stage they are at in the sales funnel is an essential part in converting leads into sales.

On average over 70% of site traffic leaves your website never to return. So, if you were able to harness and convert even a fraction of this number, it could dramatically transform your business.Lead Magnet example

There are a number of tools that help you do this, Convert Plus, OptinMonster (as seen in the alongside image) and Sumo to name but a few.

Checkout exactly what the Convert Pro plugin does in this video.

These intelligent systems allow you to target specific users, whether they are new or returning, with specific messages depending on who they are.

These tools are designed to keep visitors on the site, encourage engagement and conversion and even contact visitors who have recently left the site.

Setting up ‘lead alerts’ that tell you when a new qualified visitor is on your site allows you to engage them directly thus giving you a greater chance of converting them.

73% of your leads are not ‘sales ready’ for a variety of reasons. Keeping in touch with recent visitors in order to keep them interested is an effective way of encouraging conversion but speed is a critical part of this. Infusionsoft is one of many tools that can send an automated email to recent visitors with differing messages depending on where they were in the sales cycle / funnel.

As ever balance is important and whilst you want to imprint your brand at the forefront of your customers mind, it’s important not to over do it or do it in an overtly aggressive manner – this might sound obvious but it’s something that many people get wrong.

It is often necessary to build trust with the customer before they convert and in some cases this might mean contacting them as many as 6 times before they edge the ultimate outcome. However, know your limits and disengage with people who show no sign of converting, not only from the point of view of not waisting your time, but also in order to remain within the confines of the new General Data Protection Regulation laws.

 

6) A / B Testing (Split testing)

Developing the correct tone of voice and working out what works and what doesn’t is an essential part of developing a lead generation strategy.

By implementing split testing at the beginning of your campaign you’ll be able to quickly determine which one of your strategies is converting more traffic.

Have a look at some examples of A / B Testing and how it can significantly effect the way you role out a lead conversion strategy.

Lead generation, conversion and retention is an iterative process that must constantly be massaged in order to know that you’re operating at full capacity. It doesn’t happen over night. Take your time, adapt and don’t be afraid to try knew things.

Be Proactive

The moral of this story is to be proactive. Don’t sit on your laurels and wait for traffic to convert.

But who am I to say that?

Take it from someone who’s done pretty well in their life/career…

Ladies and gentleman, without further ado…

Mr…. Stephen….. Coveyyyyyyy

 

(Who I hear your cry?  I admit I found this quote on Google – but don’t let that detract from its relevance…)

 

“The most important thing in this highly competitive world is action, and you just need to take matters in your hand, create your own possibilities, and be proactive. Whether it is your career or personal life, get going; take charge; make it happen; be proactive!”

 

So, roughly translated; understand who is coming to your website, entice them to stay, encourage them to engage and inspire them to convert.

Have you built a website and are looking to transform leads into sales? Do you need any help doing this?

 

Valentines Day – Some Sales Boosting Tips

Last year, Valentine’s Day contributed an estimated £987m ($1.23bn) to the UK economy, with the average amount spent per shopper being £53. Although a large chunk of this went to the flower and gift industries, online retailers too saw an increase in their sales. There is always a lull in retail spending in January, after a hectic holiday season. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity for businesses to boost their online sales and drive customer engagement across their channels. Even if you’re not in the gifting sector, you can leverage this holiday and make it a great angle for your digital activities of February.

 

Integrate Products From Other Industries

If it fits in your business model, you can offer some archetypical Valentine’s Day items such as flowers, chocolates or greeting cards along with the purchase of an item from your brand. Not only will this save your customers the trouble of purchasing from more than one retailer, it will also earn you extra revenue from product categories that thrive during this period. Another great tactic could be to offer a free gift-wrapping service or a personalised note along with a purchase during this period.

 

Offer a Sales Promotion

Nothing like extending a great deal on your products to improve sales, especially at a time when gift retailers hike up their prices. There are loads of thrifty Valentine’s shoppers trying to get more bang for their buck, and so a sales promotion could be a lucrative proposition during this season. Offer discounts across your product range or throw in freebies with a minimum amount of purchase. Don’t forget to put a deadline on your offer so customers avail it instantly!

 

Get Your Single Clientele To Indulge In Some Self-love

Give some love to your single shoppers by letting them know Valentine’s Day is all about treating oneself and celebrating self-love. This could be a great angle for your marketing campaign, especially if your businesses does not offer any gift related products. You could also offer personalisation of your merchandise for a limited time close to the day.

Give some love to your single shoppers by letting them know Valentine’s Day is all about treating oneself and celebrating self-love

Host a Valentine’s Day Contest

Drive customer engagement across your social channels by hosting an online Valentine’s Day competition for your customers. Create a hashtag for this competition and encourage customers to post across their social media using this hashtag, in exchange for some goodies for themselves and their loved ones. Not only will this augment your social outreach, it may also spread brand awareness and recall amongst noncustomers.

 

Guarantee Delivery

Shoppers are always cautious of ordering gifts online, afraid it may not arrive in time for the D-day. Dispel their fears by guaranteeing shipping by or before the holiday. Another tactic could be to offer free shipping on all orders placed in the first week of February. It drives sales even if the customer is not looking for Valentine’s Day presents.

 

Contribute to a Charity

Spread some love by supporting a charity or organisation during this holiday. Show your customers that you care about giving back and attribute a portion of your sales to a good cause. You could also engage the charity in creating some limited-edition merchandise or packaging for a Valentine’s special!

 

Your Turn! Are you looking to launch an eCommerce site?

Did we miss something? Get in touch and let us know what you’ve got planned this February!

 

Are you looking to launch an eCommerce site?

Click here to read more about Diffusion Digital’s eCommerce offering.

5 Ways to Increase Repeat Orders from your Online Store

If you’ve already got people buying from your online store then you’ve already won half of the battle. The next step though is to encourage those same customers to come back for more.

Thankfully doing so is easier than you might think and starts with the following 5 steps below.

1. Offer Free Shipping

How many times have you been lured onto a website by a special offer only to discover that you have to pay above the odds for delivery of your bargain items?

There is no way to sugar coat it, shipping costs are a conversion killer and in an internet filled with alternative choices, you need to remain competitive.

Cutting shipping costs is a great way to offer a memorable experience to your customers, making it far more likely that they will return again for more.

Interestingly the offer of free shipping can actually encourage your customers to spend more in their baskets too, helping to recoup any potential losses suffered from removing shipping charges.

Free shipping costs can also be further mitigated by offering an additional express shipping option at a premium.

2. Encourage Customers to Register

Once a customer has registered their details, you can then keep them updated with special offers and bulletins about new products via text alerts, newsletters and even direct mail.

The best way to encourage customer registration is by offering an incentive, such as a first time buyer discount, saved payment details for speedier purchases or the option to accumulate loyalty points.

3. Follow Up Abandoned Shopping Carts

Often customers will fill their shopping basket with goodies then get distracted by EastEnders or simply change their mind entirely.

If you have the customer’s details via prior registration you could send them a friendly reminder about the contents of their shopping basket, hopefully triggering them to return and complete the purchase.

Even without the customers details you could potentially preserve the contents of their shopping basket for when they next return.

Further incentives to complete purchases could include offering a small discount to customers willing to complete their purchases – however be wary of customers catching onto this option and intentionally waiting for the discount.

4. Recommend Related Products

Once a customer has purchased an item you have the option to email them with recommended products based on their original purchase – this could include related items or even items that enhance their original product.

If you don’t have the customers details to hand you could instead display a ‘customers who bought this item also bought the following items’ section on the purchase confirmation screen.

This is especially powerful if you offer the convenient option to purchase these items on the spot without having to re-enter payment and delivery details.

5. Get the Delivery Right

Almost everyone has a horror story about a parcel going missing or items arriving that don’t match the original description.

These stories are memorable and will often be the first thing people remember when they describe the company involved.

So why not be memorable for the right reasons by ensuring your delivery process is as smooth and efficient as possible.

Further enhance the experience by putting effort into your packaging, such as including personalised delivery notes or discount codes for future purchases.

So What is the Takeaway Here?

Repeat orders are best encouraged by being memorable to your customers and communicating with them in the right way. If you can further enhance this by offering great value and convenience then your customers have every reason to return again and again.

 

By optimising your wooCommerce site and by continually monitoring data metrics, you will quickly see which products are selling best, which are being abandoned and which are simply being ignored and you can adapt as necessary. Find out how Diffusion Digital can boost your WordPress and WooCommerce design by clicking here.

Top 5 Business Benefits of using Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is something that most of people have heard of, some have integrated with their website, but few know exactly what it does and just how it can transform your business from a digital perspective.

GA is a powerful tool that provides valuable data about your website and easily integrates with Shopify and WordPress. Here are some of those main benefits:

Traffic

Visitors to your website will come from various places – a search engine, an advert, an email link etc. Knowing what the main sources of traffic are gives you insight to the strength of your SEO, your ad campaigns and other incoming links. If, for example, you are running an ad campaign, you can track how much traffic has been generated through these ads, as well as other specifics such as keyword usage and day part peaks, all of which can be analysed for optimisation purposes.

Keywords

One of the most important reports in GA is the keywords report. Keywords are vital to figuring out how your search traffic is finding your site. It is possible to see what words / terms, used in searches, have resulted in the most traffic. This info can be used to modify the content on the site for SEO purposes and can inform you as to which key words you should be targeting for ad campaigns.

Visitor Profiles

Knowing the profiles and behaviours of visitors to your website is extremely useful. With GA you can find out geographically where the traffic is coming from, age and gender information, and visitor behaviours such as what devices they are using (desktop, mobile, tablet etc.) and whether they are new or returning visitors. This data can help you adapt your web site and shape your marketing activity to best meet the needs of your visitors.

Page Popularity & Bounce Rate

You can track average time spent on pages and bounce rates, giving you insight to which parts of the site are most popular and where there are bottlenecks. A high bounce rate (when a user leaves your website having visited just one page) indicates that the visitors are not finding the information they want or are struggling to navigate through the site. Understanding as to where this is happening allows you to modify the content and structure the site to help reduce these rates and therefore increase engagement.

No Cost

GA is completely free of charge and offers just as many, if not even more, functionalities than most of the other paying tools on the market.

Summary

GA is a great tool for increasing the effectiveness of your online presence, no matter what the size or nature of your business is. Outlined in this article are just some of the main things that you can do with GA. There are many other functions on offer in GA, including social and email reporting, sub domain management and revenue tracking, making it a seriously powerful marketing tool that should not be overlooked.

We have a dedicated team at Diffusion to support our clients with the set up and on-going management of GA, as part of our website build offering. Please do get in touch if you would like to find out more.

Alternatively read more about Diffusion Digital’s Search Engine Optimisation strategy or, learn more about working with a digital marketing agency or ppc agency.