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A crash course in conversion marketing for small businesses

19 November, 2019 · 7 min read·Website conversion
A crash course in conversion marketing for small businesses
Conversion is vital when it comes to small businesses. Check out our crash course in conversion marketing!

Building your online business starts with putting together a professional website without breaking the bank. The next step is to create relevant content that helps your website rank high in search engine results. Once people find your website, the next step is arguably the most important: get them interacting!

User interaction with a website is also known as conversion. Conversion can take many different forms, but mostly the goal is to try and get a user to respond to some call-to-action that you have presented.

Sounds simple enough, but we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about conversion marketing and how embracing it can transform your marketing tactics.

Sounds simple enough, but we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about conversion marketing and how embracing it can transform your marketing tactics.

What is conversion marketing?

Your website is an extension of your marketing campaign, and conversion marketing refers to any tactic to get individuals to “convert” on the site. Conversion marketing can range from your written content to exclusive coupons to website design and beyond, but we’ll get to that later.

Is conversion marketing useful for my business?

Conversions refer to direct purchases and other actions completed on a website. Keeping track of how many visitors have specific interactions with the site, even if it’s not a direct purchase, will help you identify what visitors are looking at.

Dedicating time to conversion marketing elements can do nothing but help your business. You’ll potentially gain more leads, make more sales, and gain subscribers.

Understanding conversion rates

The conversion rate is the percentage of people who visit your site compared to the number of visitors who click through to a product, information, etc. For example, if you happen to have 1,000 visitors to your website, and 100 sign up for your newsletter, your conversion rate is 10%.

Average conversion rates vary by industry, but many B2B and e-commerce websites have conversion rates of approximately 2%. B12 can develop an evolving website that pushes for the best performance, trying new tactics to find what works for you. We provide analytics to determine what’s useful and what’s not when it comes to SEO, landing pages, marketing activities and other website elements that drive traffic.

Conversion rate metrics

The simple conversion rate formula of (conversions / visitors) x 100 is fine for baseline analytics. Still, if you want to see what’s going on, these more specific conversion rate metrics may shed some light on things.

  • New visitor
    • You can separate metrics of new visitors compared to returning visitors and find out what is grabbing their attention.
  • Return visitor
    • Likewise, it’s good to know what the returning visitor is doing to convert.
  • Interactions
    • While it’s not answering a call-to-action, just spending a lot of time on multiple pages interacting with content can be considered a form of conversion. By analyzing where these visitors are communicating, you may be able to take advantage of that and include opportunities for discounts, subscriptions, etc.
  • Bounce rate
    • The bounce rate refers to how quickly a visitor leaves the website without interacting. It may be because the visitor sees the content as irrelevant, or the site is not designed for conversion.

Different methods of conversion

One clear way of conversion is getting the visitor to make a purchase. There are many other standard methods of conversions:

  • Signing up for something (like a newsletter)
  • Online chat
  • Downloading
  • Requesting a quote
  • Registering
  • Filling out a form
  • Spending a certain amount of time on the site

So even if this visitor isn’t necessarily a paying customer now, the hope is that your conversion marketing campaign will turn them into paying customers soon.

Ways to amplify your conversion marketing campaign

The first step in your campaign development is to identify how your customers make their purchases. There are physical and digital products. Large purchase items convert differently than smaller ones.

Other businesses don’t deal with products but with services, in which case conversions might mean interactions with the website to get to know the company.

1. Design

There is no perfect one-size-fits-all website design, but well-designed websites keep your eyes focused on the content and look attractive and modern.

2. Make a deal

One way to encourage conversions in an e-commerce setting is to offer sales and discounts and display them in a way that’s useful for the visitor.

A discount code is an easy way to create engagement and conversions, and creating a rewards program is another way to increase the conversion of repeat visitors.

3. “Sticky” content

You can pack your website with as much content as you want, but if it doesn’t have a “sticking” quality, visitors are likely to bounce. Copy needs to be well-written and make visitors want to spend more time at the site.

4. Short forms

Everybody hates filling out forms. There should be some comparative value for the length of the form. However, there is a fine line between providing a short form and giving the sales team enough info for their leads.

5. Pop-ups

There are different types of smart pop-ups that you can implement to increase conversion rates, and they all have slightly different purposes:

  • Delayed
    • This pop-up delays until the user has been active on the website for a certain amount of time. The intention is to encourage action.
  • Exit pop-ups
    • This comes up when a visitor is attempting to leave. The pop-up would potentially offer a last-minute deal or promotion.
  • Form
    • A sign-up form can pop-up to subscribe to newsletters and more.

6. Live Chat

A live chat is another way to gain lead information and increase conversions. It gives customers immediate answers, and it also can help you learn what sort of information users are seeking. The American Marketing Association says live chat can increase conversions by up to 20%.

7. Connect with Facebook Marketing

Facebook is another channel that can drive visitors to action and drive traffic to your website. You can also connect to targeted groups, which will ensure your messages will get out.

8. Conversion rate optimization

Conversion rate optimization, or CRO, is the systematic process of increasing conversions. Elements are changed and tested using the A/B method to determine what produces the best conversion rates.

9. Navigation

Having a website that’s easy to navigate will encourage visitors to spend more time interacting with your content. If you have an e-commerce site, this is particularly important—the idea is to keep people shopping longer. Offering suggestions for similar items and subcategories and including a search option will encourage further interaction.

10. Headline

A headline hangs out at the top of a web page and can make or break a bounce or a conversion. Headlines are usually 6-12 words long and should have some unique, catchy component, if possible.

Experts suggest brainstorming a handful of headlines before deciding on a winner. Use A/B testing (see below) to see what helps drive more traffic and conversions.

11. Landing page

If a user has clicked on a Google AdWord (paid search traffic), it should direct you to a landing page, which is a specific webpage that is designed with one goal—a call-to-action. The landing page is a simplified page with only the one call-to-action (CTA) link. The landing page is unique from the rest of the website, in that it shouldn’t have any navigation links.

A CTA is just a little snippet of text that leads visitors to take some sort of action. Often this leads to collecting some sort of lead information in the process. A great CTA needs to look good, sound enticing, and offer exactly what you say you’re going to deliver (A demo? A newsletter? A download?).

The form for the CTA should be “above the fold”, which refers to the first screen’s worth of content you see. You don’t want the space to be cluttered—you want visitors to fill out the form.

CTAs may be for lead generation purposes to collect lead info like names and email addresses. They could also be click-through landing pages, which is more typical in e-commerce. A CTA may look something like this:

A landing page may also contain testimonials or proof that you have the best to offer, but it’s important not to let things get too busy. There is one purpose to a landing page, and there are a few things to avoid:

  • Multiple calls-to-action
  • Lengthy testimonials
  • Too much text
  • Too many pop-ups

12. Media

Great images make a great website. Stock photo sites are plentiful and have extensive collections of high-quality photos that can help support your message. If you are supplying your images, make sure they are high-quality and detailed. Action shots and context shots can add depth to a product or your business as a whole.

Video is another great way to encourage interaction. Many users, especially on mobile, would prefer to view videos than read reviews. Video can be used to increase conversion, and one way is to put a lead capture in the video.

Another way to use media effectively is to use humans! Include a thumbnail that has a human figure (preferably smiling) instead of a text thumbnail. Visitors are much more likely to engage with the ‘human’ image.

13. A/B testing

A/B testing is also known as split testing and is essentially a marketing study that analyzes two versions of a website. For conversion marketing purposes, this would mean making one change at a time on one version and assessing the difference in conversion rates.

There are many different site elements you can test, including calls-to-action, buttons (colors, shape, placement), layout, changes in media (video, text, images), and web copy. For example, site A is the original, and site B will be released to a random sample of visitors with a new headline. A/B testing can be done consistently.

14. Mobile optimization

Mobile optimization is essential because so many visitors are accessing websites from mobile devices. Mobile sites must be fast to load (each second delay loses potential conversions), responsive (and make sure the campaign is, too!), and include quality images.

If possible, implement search autocomplete for a smoother searching experience. Enable checkboxes if it makes the form process easier for the visitor.

A website that grows with your business

B12 uses AI technology to build custom websites, and with our SEO service package, you’ll get monthly analytics to assess your conversion marketing tactics. We’ll update your website as your business changes, helping you sustain solid conversion rates.

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