It seems obvious that no matter how much traffic you drive to your website, it means nothing if it doesn’t convert into sales.
Yet, strangely enough, most companies place most — if not all — their marketing efforts solely on the initial phase of the buyer’s journey. Ploughing all their resources into advertising and spending very little time on on-page optimisation and making the most out of the traffic they already have.
This is the realm of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO). A much-misunderstood area that many people believe is all about changing the colour of your CTA buttons and strategically placing your opt-ins.
But, just like any other field of marketing, CRO is actually a dynamic and constantly changing discipline. And many of the techniques that were once effective or completely off the cards have now been flipped on their heads.
Balance your marketing efforts and bring your CRO strategy up to date with these three surprising techniques. At first, they might appear counterintuitive, but after a little more consideration, you’ll likely find they’re exactly where you’ve been going amiss.
#1. Kill Your Calls to Action
When trying to improve your conversion rate, Call to Actions (CTAs) are the last thing you would think to get rid of.
CTAs are considered by many to be the most crucial component of their copy. Whether it be to drive email subscribers, increase enquiries, or encourage sales of your product or service.
But when was the last time you fell for the old, ‘Click me now’, or, ‘Follow this link to find out more’? Sure, these are simple examples, but the fact is we’ve evolved long beyond a time when such blatant and direct tactics are effective at getting us take action. They may have been useful 15 years ago when people didn’t know that by clicking a link they could buy a thing, but today, when we spend most our time on the net, they’re pretty much redundant — if not a little condescending.
People aren’t idiots and they appreciate it when you don’t treat them as such. Instead of spelling out your CTAs, be clever about them. Use natural language and emotional triggers to lead your audience where you want them to go. This isn’t manipulative or cunning; on the contrary, it shows you respect your users, and are willing to do business with them like grown-ups.
#2. Don’t Be Shy With Remarketing
For many people, remarketing can seem like just another pushy advertising tactic to help spread awareness and get your name out there. But remarketing is actually a powerful weapon in your conversion rate optimisation toolkit.
Following a visitor of your site around the web with ads may seem a little intrusive and counterintuitive to improving your CRO. But the facts of remarketing show a different story: the more times someone sees your ad, the more likely they are to click through and convert.
Think about it. On the first visit to your site, the user may be just browsing and sitting on the fence about making a purchase. But come the third, fourth, or fifth time they see your ad while surfing the web, if they click through, their purchasing intent will be through the roof.
People need to be reminded of who you are and what you have to offer, otherwise, they’ll just forget. Be bold and consistent with your remarketing, directing ads at visitors 3-4 times a week through Facebook and Google’s ad network. If you feel it may be a hard sell, mix it up by creating multiple versions of ads that highlight different features and benefits.
#3. Create off-topic content
The conventional advice for blogging is to find your niche and stick with it. Until, eventually, you rise to the very top and become an expert and thought leader in your field.
What that may look like, say if you run a digital marketing business, is pumping out 3-4 exhilarating articles a week on PPC and SEO and nothing else.
This strategy can work as collateral towards your expert status, but in terms of driving new leads, it leaves much to be desired.
Your audience is interested in your services, but that doesn’t mean that’s all they’re interested in. Finding out what your audience is all about and where their real interests lay is a much smarter way to get their attention and inspire people to engage.
For instance, let’s say 75 percent of your audience is into entrepreneurship. By going off-topic and regularly producing content related to this area, you’re tapping into your audience’s niche. Even if it’s long before they start searching for your products and services.
You can do this by diving into Google Analytic’s user explorer as well as native analytic tools of Twitter and Facebook. Using them you can find out your audience’s likes/dislikes, demographics, education, purchase preferences, relationship status, interests, and more.
Conversion rate optimisation may be a science, but don’t let that distract you from the fact there are real people behind the numbers. Bring your CRO strategy into the modern day with these three tactics, and soon you’ll be thanking us for the boost in sales, and your customers thanking you for the awesome experience.
Joseph Pennington is a freelance writer and long-term traveller from the North of England. Find him on Medium exploring remote working, technology, spirituality, meditation, and everything in between.