Practical Steps to Increase Your Website's Conversion Rate

Step 1: Know your online target audience

Tom Shivers

A great business website is one that serves as a valuable resource for its visitor. It helps the visitor solve a particular problem. By providing this problem-solving service, the site generates the visitor's interest. Ideally, the visitor wants more, and responds by joining an email list, downloading detailed information, or even buying a product - all in the quest to solve that problem.

If your website is already getting plenty of traffic, your next job is to turn that traffic into interested visitors. The following are guidelines to successful interest marketing.

  • Identify with your online audience by showing them that you understand their problem or pain.
  • Make allowances for the different ways that web visitors have in making decisions, by understanding their various approaches and personalities.
  • Develop personas that reflect the attitudes and behaviors of each of your online audiences, so you can address each one specifically.
  • Create content that leads each persona down a path to solve a problem as far as he/she wants to go

Rather than guessing about your online audience, take a survey of your existing customers to learn what will increase online conversion rates:

  • What motivated them to buy?
  • How do they make decisions about buying?
  • What expectations did they have at the time they bought?
  • How did they like the experience they had with your company?
  • What suggestions do they have?

Motivation
Motivation to buy is directly related to a specific problem, frustration or pain that your customer is experiencing. If your web visitor does not have a problem that you hold the solution for, then he/she is not even a prospect - it's that simple. Your solution may solve many different problems, both real and perceived. Each problem you can solve represents a target audience who is experiencing that particular problem. When you clearly identify the problems, frustrations or pains that your business solves or takes away, you are also identifying one target audience's motivation to buy.

Decision Making Process
How your target audience prefers to receive information to make a buying decision may be very different from the way your company presents it. The questions a prospect asks often fit their personality:

  • What challenges and options can you show me that demonstrate your solution to my problem?
  • Why is your solution best? Show me credible opinions.
  • How does your solution solve my problem? Show me hard evidence.
  • Who has used your solution to solve my problem? Show me testimonials and incentives.

Expectations
Knowing what your existing customers were expecting when they bought your solution can reveal hidden niche opportunities or communication problems. How you address the opportunity or clarify the problem is up to you, but it brings you one step closer to getting in the minds of your customers.

Good or Bad Experience
Don't let your systems and processes produce question marks for your customer. With one of my clients, the customer survey revealed a shopping cart issue that was easy to solve, and no one could have known about it until one customer explained his bad experience. A customer's good or bad experience can impact each area of your business, but it's often difficult to see it from your side of the relationship.

Suggestions
Customers like to be rewarded for contributing valuable information to your business, so reward them and listen up. Customers know more about marketing and how they want to be treated than you may be giving them credit for.

Interest marketing seeks to deliver the right message at the right time so that a relationship forms and problems get solved. Search engine marketing is an excellent way to solve the timing part of the equation; knowing your online audience well enough to resonate with them at that critical time is the way to solve the rest of the equation.

Of course, knowing your online audience is the first step.  Next, you must develop and implement a site that takes advantage of that knowledge to generate genuine interest. Then online conversion rates will naturally increase.

To see how your site could be improved, . We're happy to provide a complimentary consultation.

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