How much time and money did you spend in 2011 to acquire website traffic? Now take that number and compare it to how much you invested in trying to improve your website’s conversion rates.
I meet with dozens of small business owners each week to talk marketing and optimization of their sites. One of the most common mistakes I see people making (aside from not tracking their websites at all) is allocating their entire budget to traffic acquisition while spending nothing on improving website conversion rates.
How does your website’s conversion rate measure up?
Just so we’re clear, the difference between the two is as follows. Traffic acquisition refers to tactics or strategies designed to drive new visitors to your site. Website conversion refers to the percentage of site visitors that take a desired action, such as purchasing your product or service.
If you want to increase the amount of business you get from your website, make sure you invest in optimizing your website’s conversion rates. Sometimes a few simple adjustments to your site can result in double or triple the number of conversions.
Here are three often overlooked ways to potentially double your website conversion rates.
1. Make your phone number more prominent
It’s amazing how many businesses make their visitors work to find their contact info. If you accept customer inquiries over the phone, it’s a good idea to add your phone number to every page of your website and make it extremely easy to find. At a minimum, this means putting your phone number in the top-right section of your website’s header area in a format that stands out from the rest of your header. Taking this action alone helped a local heating and air conditioning company increase phone calls from the Web by 25 percent!
As a backup, you should also add your phone number to the footer section of each page of your site. Although putting content “below the fold” (the area of your site not visible without scrolling down) makes it less likely to be seen, older websites tended to place phone numbers in the footer, so some people look there out of habit. If your phone number can’t be easily found, you risk losing business to your competitors.
2. Add a mini-contact form to every page of your website
Not everyone will call you just because you have a phone number on your site. That’s why most websites have some type of “Contact Us” page. If your website’s primary goal is to get prospects to contact you, why not add a contact form to every page of your website? Adding a contact form to the right-hand column of each page of your website is an easy way to double your website’s visit-to-inquiry conversion rate as one of our clients, a commercial fire protection company, found out.
Are you using e-mail addresses instead of Web contact forms? If so, you might want to consider only using Web contact forms. Not only are e-mail addresses opening your business up to massive amounts of spam, but contacts via e-mail addresses cannot be tracked as easily or as accurately as contacts made through Web forms.
3. Consider “micro-conversions”
After implementing the cosmetic changes above, it’s time to examine your website from a different perspective. Think of your site as if it were a sales funnel. New sales are at the point at the bottom. New visits, contacts or leads are towards the top. You want to move the new visits and leads down the funnel in order to convert them into sales. A micro-conversion is something in between. It’s an action you might not typically consider as much as traffic or sales, but driving more interest by moving visitors further down your sales funnel is an equally important way to drive purchases.
Let’s take for example, a data center that sells services which allow a company to host their computer equipment offsite. The primary desired action, or conversion, on their website might be to have a visitor request a data center tour. On the one hand, the data center can try to increase their visit-to-tour conversion rate by testing different calls to action, using different size contact buttons, etc., but it would also be good to come up with—and track—possible actions a visitor might be more inclined to take prior to requesting a data center tour. This could be downloading a case study or taking a virtual tour.
In this case, tracking a case study download or a virtual tour as a micro-conversion can help the business focus on other elements of their website which could eventually lead to the desired action. By considering your own opportunities for micro-conversions, you may be able to see greater sales results over time.
Watching your website’s traffic grow is great, but few things are as rewarding—and profitable—as measurably improving your website’s conversion rates. Try these steps independently of each other and see which goes the furthest toward increasing the amount of business you get from your site.
OPEN Cardmember Ben Landers is the President of Blue Corona, a data-driven SEO company that helps business owners measurably improve their marketing ROI.