Improve Your Site's Conversion Rate

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There are many articles about improving positions on search engines and methods of driving traffic to your Web site. Strangely, little has been written about the conversion of visitors once they arrive on your site from search positions.

Here are some useful things to consider:

Relevant content. If someone clicks on your link from a search engine, they expect to see content relevant to the text link they followed. It is amazing how even many of the largest online brand names spend thousands on pay-per-click campaigns and SEO but give little consideration to converting traffic when it arrives.

If you do a search for "LCD televisions" and click on a pay-per-click advert that says "LCD TVs," and if you arrive on a page of electronics products including TVs, DVD players and video recorders, you are less likely to stay and browse than if the page contained a well-presented list of a range of LCD TVs with links to full feature specifications.

Another example is where pay-per-click adverts get directed to the home page rather than directly to a sub-page about the specific topic described in the ad text.

Check all landing pages for natural and paid listings and take a critical view of how the content can be made more relevant to the text in your search engine link.

Negatively qualify visitors. For the goal of achieving higher visitor numbers, it is natural to want higher click-through rates for your adverts. However, this attracts visitors who simply click on your compelling advert, then leave your site because it is not what they want.

One goal should be to avoid situations where surfers who click on your advert have no chance of converting. This can be achieved by ensuring your adverts are not so generic that they appeal to everyone. Try to understand your customers' needs clearly and match adverts to these needs. In some sectors, a "Prices From" can help avoid paying for surfers looking only for cheap bargain goods.

By experimenting with this, you will reduce pay-per-click costs while conversion rates will rise.

Calls to action. Implementing clear, enticing calls to action can have a huge impact on the leads and sales generated from your Web site. When was the last time you visited every page of your site to see whether each page has a call to action that encourages the user to engage with you?

By this, I don't mean a "Contact Us" page. I mean something of value to the user. Examples of calls to action include:

· White paper download.

· Special offers (buy now).

· Send-me requests.

· E-mail newsletters.

· Online quote estimator.

· Return on investment calculator.

Before experimenting with calls to action, measure the site's current conversion rate. By experimenting with calls to action, it is not uncommon to achieve conversion rates from 10 percent up to 30 percent, in some cases.

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