There are 2 ways to approach your internet marketing:
- Assume you know everything and can guess what your target prospects want to see.
- Assume you know almost nothing and need to test to learn what actually converts prospects to customers.
If you’ve ever worked with an Ad Agency or Web Designer you are probably intimately familiar with #1. Often you go through an interview process where your agency or designer asks about your business services and then either writes up the pages on your website for you or asks you to fill in the blanks.
This method is all based on guesses… You, your web designer, and your agency are all guessing at what headlines, calls-to-action, offers, designs, videos, images, contact forms and other things will result in you getting the most new customers.
What few people realize is that there’s a much more powerful way to generate leads with your website.
Let me give you an example…
Recently I was going through an analysis on one of our clients, as we promise to do every month, and found the phrase, “Best <local> Customer Reviews!” in a Google Ad increased our Click-Thru-Rate over the control by 32.5% but, more importantly, also increased our conversion rates by 1244%!
Both were at a statistically significant level.
One sentence in a Google ad, with traffic being sent to an optimized landing page, increased actual contacts 12-fold over our original ad.
How hard is it to create a sentence that generates a 12-fold improvement?
To learn that 1 sentence we tested over 130 different Google ads and about half a dozen different page designs over about 6 months. That’s only part of the story as we’ve tested over 1,000 different ads in that industry and have performed dozens of tests on different site layouts for similar businesses.
Keep in mind, the results in one part of the country are not always directly applicable in other areas of the country as you have different competitors, demographics, local problems, and knowledge levels.
So it’s not quick or easy.
However, imagine what those type of results look like over a year of testing and optimization! A few percent improvement each month can result in doubling your online contacts and cutting your cost/contact in half over the long term.
How does online optimization work?
The first step is breaking up your internet efforts into 2 sections for targetting:
- Traffic – Where and how you’re getting visitors to your website.
- Conversion – How you’re converting the highest percent of visitors to contacts.
For a service-based business, your website’s job is to generate a contact. It’s your sales department’s job to turn that contact into a customer.
We break up your online game plan into Traffic and Conversion because both are necessary. If you have the best website in the world but no one ever visits it, or you have thousands of visitors but a low-converting website, then you’re throwing money out the window.
The traffic portion is relatively easy for people to understand…. It’s all those buzz words that have been thrown around for the last decade. Pay-per-click, Google Adwords, SEO, online directories, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn networking, email marketing and any other place you can run an ad to direct people to your website.
Conversion is all about getting the highest number of visitors to contact you. The most important part of this is your conversion rate which is defined by the percent of visitors who contact you.
Think of it this way… If you develop great marketing and give 10 leads/day to your sales person but he only converts 1 to a customer. Your Traffic is excellent but your Conversion, at a 10% conversion rate, is pretty poor.
If that happened in your office would you increase your marketing budget to get 20 leads/day or invest in training a better salesperson?
Obviously you are going to work on your salesperson first!
Well the same is true on your website. If out of 100 visitors only 4 people contact you (which is about average for most service industry websites) then why not figure out how to get 8 out of 100 to contact you before spending more on SEO or PPC?
That is what website conversion rate optimization is all about. Saving you money by learning what converts the highest percent of your website visitors to contacts.
According to a study done by Adobe, for every $92 marketers spend on Traffic they spend only $1 on Conversion.
Let me put this in more reasonable terms. If your marketing costs for a new lead are $92, to match the findings of this survey, you would then pay your sales person a $1 commission to close the deal!
Think of your website as your 24 hour salesman and you can start to see why investing in ongoing testing and optimization is a crucial part of your online strategy.
How to know if your agency or designer is focused on testing?
You don’t go to your accountant and say, “This is how much tax I’m paying, do the paperwork for me.”
The same should be true for your web guys.
If your web experts say, “Your website is done, let us know when you want us to update it“, then you have a problem. Unless you’re an expert at web analytics and testing, how will you know what needs to be updated or when?
My team, on the other hand, are the experts online and don’t expect that every sentence, graphic, formatting, color change, or call-to-action we’re testing needs to go through you first.
We work best when we test the ideas and then let you know what works and what doesn’t. It saves you a ton of time and allows us to put the results of all of our tests to work for you with minimal effort.
That’s the difference between a web designer and a team of optimization experts.
To your optimization success, Bryan