Traffic is meaningless unless it converts. Unless you’re a news site like Buzz feed, where your content itself is the product and your revenue comes from advertising, your goal is to transform visitors to your website into customers. You need to persuade them to take an action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for your email list, or anything else that ultimately generates revenue. Website visitors become leads, leads become customers, and customers can even become brand evangelists who promote your business to others.
To achieve this, your website needs clear conversion paths that walk people through a process that ultimately leads to a sale. This process transforms a percentage of anonymous visitors into known leads.
A typical website conversion path can be divided up into several key elements:
- Content Management
- Call to action
- Landing page
- Thank you page
- Confirmation email
When you design and implement a strong, intuitive conversion path that provides a great user experience, you’ll ultimately make more sales — and with them, more profits.
Why Generate Leads with a Conversion Path?
It’s true that conversion paths are sometimes designed to lead visitors to making an actual purpose. But often, it’s part of a long game. It’s designed to capture their identity and contact information, turning them from a faceless, anonymous visitor into a qualified lead. Once you’ve captured them as a lead, the sky’s the limit. With an email address, you’re free to market to them in the future. They might not make a purchase today, but in two weeks, your promotional email could very well persuade them.
Understanding the Buyer’s Journey.
Your conversion path is a crucial part of the buyer’s journey. To optimize your website for conversions, you need to gain insight into the process a typical consumer goes through on the way to buying something from you.
It starts with web-content-management. Your hypothetical consumer persona is looking for something, a solution to a problem that they have. In their search, they will ultimately be led to your website content. There are a number of ways to get people onto your site in the first place. There’s PPC ads, SEO, social media promotion, web content management and other mechanisms that help you get your content in front of your target audience.
Your content should be contextually relevant, optimized very carefully to appeal specifically to exactly the kind of people who would be interested in purchasing your product or service. Not only that, but your content offerings should resonate with consumers at different parts of their buyer’s journey. Many of your site’s visitors are in the early stages. They Googled a query, or a headline on social media piqued their interest. They probably don’t even know what your product does yet. But what’s important is that they have a problem, and your company has the solution they need.
This is why a good deal of online content is primarily educational and informational in nature. It’s aimed at people early in the journey, at the upper end of the sales funnel. They’re looking around for information related to a problem they have — giving you the perfect opportunity to capture their attention by providing that information.
The Call to Action
You’ve got great content that provides information that your potential customers are actively looking for. But it’s not enough for them to simply read an article and leave. Now that you’ve got their attention, it’s time to present them with the call to action. The CTA should be compelling and enticing, piquing their interest and offering them something valuable.
CTA’s can be embedded throughout your website, in places where visitors are likely to notice them. The key word is “action.” They need to motivate your visitors to do something, whether it’s buying a product today, or signing up for your newsletter so that you can re target them later. Actionable language and eye-catching colors help your CTA buttons stand out, increasing the number of people who take you up on your offer.
Landing Pages: Persuading Your Readers to Transform Into Leads
Your elegant yet attention-grabbing CTA buttons, with their compelling and action-packed messages, will lead your visitors to a particular type of web page known as a landing page. Landing pages are designed to offer specific content tailored to the products or services you offer and even collect visitors’ contact information, opening up new possibilities for future targeting. If you can get them onto an email list, you can market to them in the future.
But naturally, people won’t just give out their information for free. You need to offer them something of value in return. This could be any of a number of things. It could be an in-depth ebook that covers a relevant topic, or a white paper, rich with statistics and detailed analysis. It could even be a series of Videos for business and instructional videos. But it needs to offer them information they want.
The landing page itself should clearly emphasize the benefits of whatever freebie you’re offering. It needs persuasive, genuinely compelling copy that’s carefully crafted to appeal to your audience, highlighting the fact that what you’re offering can give them exactly what they’ve been looking for. A great landing page is precisely tailored toward where a particular audience persona is in the buyer’s journey.
Thanking Your New Leads
Once a visitor has submitted their information, you now have a new lead. Now, it’s time to thank them for their time and consideration. An optimized Thank You page provides the download you promised. It’s also a prime opportunity to engage them further. You can include further calls to action that might interest them, directing them to a new offer that complements the one they just received.
The final step is usually to send a confirmation email, further engaging your brand new lead. This is the beginning of a long, potentially fruitful email marketing relationship.
Creating Multiple Conversion Paths to Maximize New Leads
Naturally, your website won’t have just one conversion path. The buyer’s journey progresses in stages, and you’ll get visitors who are at various points in the process. This can be roughly divided up into three partitions: awareness, consideration, and decision. At each phase, you can implement appealing conversion paths that bring consumers one step closer to making a purchase.
A lot of content marketing focuses on the awareness phase of the buyer’s journey. Informational, high-level content answers questions and queries that your target customer persona might have. At this stage, they don’t know about your kiosk product and your company.
The focus during the awareness phase is on them, not on you. It’s about their pain points and problems, piquing their interest to spur them to learn a little bit more about how your product or service can help. They’re in a research phase, making search marketing, a valuable channel for driving traffic to content and landing pages optimized for the awareness stage. After all, people usually go to Google first when they’re looking for information about something. Along with information, testimonials and customer reviews are also valuable here.
After they’ve done some research, which led them to your website, they’ll have gained an understanding of what they actually need to solve their problem. They’ll eliminate vendors and products that aren’t quite what they’re looking for, and begin to narrow their focus as they move toward making a purchase decision. When you’re bringing people in as leads during this phase, informational content is still important, but the information they’re looking for is more specific. Offerings like white papers and industry reports often carry a strong appeal. However, this isn’t time for a hard sales pitch. Instead, you’re building trust and rapport with them, establishing yourself as a trustworthy source of information.
In the consideration phase, they’re doing deeper research, comparing specific details about vendors. They know what they need at this point, but they’re trying to find the best fit. This is the point at which they’re likely to reach out to sales reps and look at kiosk product demos.
Finally, they’re ready to make a purchase decision. Case studies and positive testimonials are appealing here.
Now, they’ve made a purchase. However, even if your product is something you only buy once, the consumer’s value as a lead doesn’t necessarily end here. There’s an extra step afterward, one that isn’t guaranteed, but carries immense value. It’s the evangelism phase. This is when a customer was so impressed by their experience with your company and your kisok product, that they begin to actively promote you to their colleagues or friends. This word of mouth marketing is exceptionally persuasive — people trust the people they know. Whether it’s a real, two way relationship, or para social interaction with an influence on social media, people trust them. This is why satisfied customers are one of the most valuable marketing assets that your company will ever have.
Conversion Paths Turn Readers into Leads
Your website’s carefully crafted conversion paths transform faceless online visitors and readers into real, qualified leads. And ultimately, a percentage of those leads will turn into sales. When conversion paths are carefully designed to appeal to your target audience, as well as appealing to them while they’re at a particular point in the buyer’s journey, your website can become a lead generation powerhouse.