Gaining a prime spot in the search engine results is a tremendous accomplishment; sites in the top slots inevitably see more traffic than those that are buried. But, you’re not done yet! Visibility does not do you much good unless you can convert a portion of that traffic. Whether it is completing a sale, signing up for your newsletter, or downloading a whitepaper, you need to funnel your visitors to your call to action, and then prompt them to complete it. Here are some tips for creating a more effective, efficient conversion funnel.
- Clear out the clutter. A shorter funnel tends to result in more conversions. Evaluate your website and determine if any of the steps along the way are extraneous. Are you asking your visitors to jump through one hoop too many?
- Track your visitors’ progress. Where are they dropping off? Using Google Analytics and other programs, determine the typical path your visitors take. The conversion is the goal, but how are they arriving? More important still, where are they dropping off? Are there pages that have higher bounce rates?
- Optimize pages with high bounce rates. Why are people dropping out of the conversion funnel here? Is it because the page loads slowly because of heavy Flash? Does it have content that is not interesting or relevant? Is it a design issue? Are you trying too hard to sell? Not hard enough? You might also consider making any registrations optional as this is often a big factor in bounce rates.
- Provide a clear call to action on each page. Make it easy for visitors to complete. What do you want people to do? On each page, you have to make sure your CTA is clear and prominent. If you want people to fill out a contact form, tell them, and make a big button that facilitates it. If you want people to comment, buy, sign-up, etc., you’ve got to make it easy by paving a clear path.
Each page of your website has to work together to draw visitors towards a desired goal. It’s not true that “if you build it, they will come.” You’ve got to make sure you build it in a way that funnels people correctly towards a goal both you and they desire.