Conversion Rate Optimization for Lead Generation Sites
by Ron Dod
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If you’re looking to grow your business through a lead generation site, traffic is great–and conversions are even better. A strategy for conversion rate optimization can help you to move the right people through the funnel and inspire them to take the actions that matter most to your business.
Here’s an intro to conversion rates, and some tips on conversion rate optimization for lead generation sites.
Conversion Rate Basics
What’s a Conversion?
A conversion takes place when a customer successfully completes a specific action that you want them to take. People often associate a site conversion with a completed purchase and, yes, that’s correct, but there are many other actions that can also be defined as conversions.
In the case of a lead generation site, some other key site conversions might be:
Number of articles read
Service page views
Time spent on site
For a lead generation site, what might be considered the ultimate goal (the sale) generally happens off the site through other vehicles that help nurture the relationship between potential clients and the business. For example, a visitor who provides their email address may be entered into an email drip campaign that leads to several interactions with a salesperson, and eventually culminates in a sale. This doesn’t mean that these supporting conversions aren’t important. In fact, they’re crucial elements of the funnel, as each one brings you one step closer to a closed deal.
How Do You Calculate Your Conversion Rate?
For any type of desired action, you calculate your conversion rate by dividing the total number of conversions by the traffic you received in a given time period. For example, if 50 people out of 1,000 unique site visitors filled out a form on your website, your conversion rate is 50 ÷ 1,000 = five percent.
The “unique” factor in your conversion rate is important if the conversion you’re tracking cannot be made twice. For example, if your lead provides their email address to you, they may return to your site to explore your content, but they wouldn’t need to fill out your contact form again. If you were to look at total traffic without taking this into consideration, your conversion rate would appear lower than it actually is.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
Conversion rate optimization is about taking steps to turn more of your site visitors into people who convert. The higher the percentage of site visitors who take action on your site, the higher its conversion rate. It’s a process that requires patience and research in order to effectively implement different strategies.
Taking steps to optimize your lead generation site for conversion can help you to achieve a better return on investment. Think about it: If your traffic stays consistent but your conversion rate doubles, you’ve spent the same amount of money but increased the actions taken on your site significantly. Say you have 1,000 visitors to your site per day, and each day, five percent of your visitors provide you with their email address (convert). If you take steps to increase that percentage to 10, you now acquire 100 new daily qualified leads instead of only 50.
Conversion rate optimization isn’t about getting more or “better” traffic to your site–that’s what SEO and PPC efforts are for. Rather, it’s about making the most of the traffic you’re already getting by developing more ways to inspire action.
Optimizing Your Site
While no two sites are the same, there are several different tactics that you might consider exploring to optimize for conversions on your lead generation site.
Thoughtfully describe your offerings on the homepage and other landing pages.
First things first, a thorough and accurate description of your business on your homepage gives your visitors clarity about what you offer right from the start. If someone comes to your site and isn’t able to immediately understand whether they’ve landed where they should be, it’s unlikely they’ll stick around to figure it out. Disclosing important information about your business through other conspicuous landing pages (pricing models, services, etc.) that are easily accessible from the homepage can also help your visitors better navigate your site.
Have a clear call to action.
Make your call to action (CTA) unmissable with compelling copy and graphics that will entice your target audience.
Consider the two calls to action below:
A small text box hidden in the corner that says: Sign up here.
A large, centered form that reads: Are you ready to turn your site visitors into valuable customers? Sign up here!
]The latter is much more exciting and noticeable, especially to a new site visitor. It also helps them to know what to expect from your future interactions.
Consider a pop-up chat bar.
Facebook released research stating that the top three associations people in the United States make with messaging are: convenient, economical and efficient. It’s no surprise businesses are adopting on-site chat functions to help automate conversations and better direct current and potential customers to what they’re looking for more quickly.
Explore an exit pop-up with a special offer.
An exit pop-up provides a “last chance” message to collect information from a visitor before they leave. It’s a great way to capture attention, express urgency and showcase a limited-time offer.
Employ a content gate-keeping tactic.
Gated content requires some form of information from your site visitors. In order to view or download a piece of content, they’re first asked to fill out a form or add contact information. If they want to access the content badly enough, they’ll participate.
Nourish leads with personalized messaging.
Your relationship with your leads doesn’t end once you’ve collected their contact information. Keep them interested in your offering and moving through the funnel with tailored messaging that speaks to their needs and troubles. Whether it’s through an email drip campaign, retargeting or a series of phone calls, find ways to reiterate the value of your business as it relates to your leads.
Key Factors to Consider
What works for one business might be terrible for another. That’s why it’s important to consider the uniqueness of your story and services before diving right in to conversion rate optimization strategies.
Know your audience.
Just as every business differs, so do their audiences. Before starting projects to optimize conversion rate, make sure you get to know your target market.
Who do they consist of?
Where do they live?
What language(s) do they speak?
What digital channels do they use the most?
What are their problems and how does your offering solve them?
You can learn about your target audience by exploring their behavior on your website.
What pages do they spend the most time on?
Which pages cause them to exit the site?
In addition to quantitative methods, qualitative methods can support conversion rate optimization as well. No matter how you collect your data, having a clear understanding of who you’re reaching will help you to better communicate with, and convert, your leads in the long run.
Test, learn and adapt.
It’s up to each individual business to determine which conversions are most valuable to their efforts and to set benchmarks for performance. Once you’ve outlined your goals and expectations, plan, test, learn and adapt. Constantly.
Pit pop-up placements against one another with an A/B test. Edit your copy and see if it makes an impact. If conversion rate optimization isn’t your specialty, enlist experts who can help.
However you choose to evaluate your efforts, ensure that you’re keeping a close eye on performance. Ultimately, your ability to learn and modify will help you to achieve your conversion rate goals.
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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