Basic Principles of Improved Conversions
The principles that underlie conversions have their roots in human psychology. You must make use of the fundamentals of human cognition to compel your visitors to behave the way you desire. You should focus your user interface design on behavioural psychology patterns that are predictable in order to compel visitors to your site to engage in the behaviours that you desire.
We will focus on an approach to achieving conversion rate success that is tactical and proven. By focusing on these basic principles of visitor awareness you will be able to achieve the same conversion rates as the best converting sites.
Visitors rarely land on a site intending to purchase a specific item. Most of the time, you will have to convince visitors that the products you offer will serve their needs best, prior to them deciding to purchase a product on your site.
The process of conversion is fairly straightforward, but it is rarely well executed. This process involves transitioning site visitors through a series of steps as follows.
Normally, your site visitors have learned about your products through social media, SEO, SEM and other branding efforts you have engaged in. Your promotional activities give your visitors expectations regarding the products and services provided by your site. An important aspect of establishing awareness is managing expectations appropriately.
Awareness will get you site visitors, but it won’t sell them anything. After they have landed on your site, you have only several seconds to grab, and retain, the attention of your visitors. The internet is full of sites that are able to grab visitor’s attention, but are unable to retain it. Your site needs to live up to the expectations that you have set with the awareness efforts you have engaged in.
The vital part of conversion success is evoking a desire for your products from site visitors. Visitors will frequently land on your site with a certain amount of fear or doubt. The goal of your site is to ally their fears and doubts and give them a sense of desire. If they have a desire for your product, persuading them to act on their desire is easy.
After you have replaced the visitor’s fear and doubt with a sense of desire for your product, you must give them a straightforward process for consummating the sale. This is where the creation of a smooth checkout process comes into play.
The easier it is for your site visitors to transition through these steps, the greater is the likelihood that they will convert.
Clearly, the difficult part is determining how you can transition visitors from awareness to action. Nevertheless, there are also techniques for accomplishing that as well. You must apply some vital transition triggers to prod them through the process.
The first step involves transitioning a visitor to attention from awareness.
Identifying With Your Visitor’s Problem
Your site must resonate with your visitors as a solution to their problem. Comprehending the problems your visitors are attempting to solve is helpful in the transition from awareness to attention, and it can also be helpful in establishing their initial awareness. Understanding their problem helps with keyword identification and setting visitor expectations when landing on your site.
Your social media, branding, SEM, and SEO efforts will serve to set the visitor’s expectations regarding what will be encountered on your site. Use problem identification to manage the expectations of your visitors throughout their site interaction. Visitors are far more likely to visit and remain on your site when it is clear to them that you comprehend their problems and needs.
At this point you should avoid providing a solution to their problems.
After you have the attention of your visitors you must generate enough attraction and desire so they are prompted to act. At this juncture, your goal is to demonstrate how you are able to provide a solution to their problem. Most visitors have a concept of the outcome they desire. Your site must demonstrate a solution that meets or exceeds their expectations.
A frequently occurring failure on the part of many sites is relying on the skill and knowledge of site visitors to identify suitable solutions. The expectation that a visitor to your site will read your content, assimilate this knowledge, and then use it to come to a suitable purchasing decision, places a large cognitive burden on site visitors.
In effect, you have the expectation that visitors to your site will become as informed regarding your products as you, based upon reading your content. This is an unrealistic and futile expectation.
You can improve your likelihood of success by tailoring your solution to specific customer problems, rather than having a one size fits all solution.
You need to demonstrate that you comprehend your visitors’ problems and have a suitable solution by doing some of the leg work for them. Rather than requiring them to read all of your content, ask your users to identify the primary problems that they need you to address, then give them content that relates specifically to their problems.
Proof You Are Credible
At this point, you have sold the visitor on your services or products. The visitor needs only to have reassurance that you are a credible solution provider. Your potential customer desires to believe you can solve their problem, so avoid anything that will dissuade them from this viewpoint.
At this time things like your credentials, trust marks, and testimonials will assist in reassuring the visitor that you are a credible solution provider. Avoid anything that will invoke fear in the visitor and prompt them to exit your site.
Execute These Steps In The Right Order
It is of the utmost importance that your site visitors are guided through these steps in the order we have listed them. Quite often, sites try to showcase their credibility by focusing on credentials, awards, and testimonials prior to showing the customer that they understand the customer’s problem and demonstrating the value of the solution.
If the initial thing viewed by your visitors are items meant to buttress your credibility, they will have an implicit mistrust of your product. This will make it more difficult to transition them from the awareness stage to the attention or attraction stages. You should not discuss the merits of your product until you have demonstrated that you understand their problems.
The majority of visitors to a site do not convert on their initial visit. Most often they will examine a number of sites to make comparisons and gain knowledge. A primary objective is to ensure that your site is memorable.
Analysing Your Work
A good tactical plan will make it simpler to examine the efficacy of each step with the use of analytics. For example, if you see that a lot of customers are exiting at your attraction stage, you will know to improve your value proposition. This plan will assist you in being more knowledgeable regarding what to examine in your analytics in order to determine where the design of your site needs improvement.
Many sites fail due to an ineffective tactical plan. Better aesthetics, colours, and navigation will not fix an inadequate tactical plan.
You must create a tactical plan that is designed to achieve a clear objective and make it better with incremental improvements over time. We have outlined a specific tactical plan that will help you to convert site visitors into customers.
Cameron Francis is the co-founder of eTraffic Web Marketing a leading Search Marketing company located in Melbourne, Australia. He has a deep understanding of inbound marketing and search strategies and experience in developing several internet marketing techniques. His core competencies include Search Marketing, SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing and Branding. Follow Cameron on Google+
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