Your Sales Funnel is a Sieve: Here’s How to Plug the Holes





 

1. Where Are the Holes?

In a movie set in space, there will always be a “punctured hull scene.” It’s like a Nicholas Sparks movie and terminal illness.
First, a rock or a bit of debris punctures the hull. Then an alarm goes off. And then the space denizens panic.
What’s the first thing they do? Look for the hole.
This is your first step. Look for the holes in the sieve.

Hole #1: Little Data Tracking

I recently had to run at night on a mountain trail. If I hadn’t had my headlamp, what would have happened? I’d have literally bit the dirt (and probably a granite rock the size of grandma).
Lack of data tracking is like lack of headlamp on mountain trails at night. The light gives me visual data on the trail so I can change course when needed.
Same with sales funnels. If you don’t have data on your middle conversions, you have no idea what’s working and what isn’t. All you have is the result.
You can’t fix the holes in your sales funnel because you aren’t actually looking for holes. You’re a Sales Jumblie ignoring your friends who think you’re gonna drown!

Hole #2: Follow Up?

Sales funnels are never set it and forget it. Yet, 48% of sales reps must think this is true. They never follow up with a prospective or a lead.
Sometimes it takes as many as 12 contacts to make a sale. That’s the full definition of try-try-again. If you think 12 follow-ups is a waste of your time, maybe you should go and do something else.

Hole #3: Wasting Time With Lead Generation

You can find a billion articles online about lead generation. It’s a hot topic. They think that if they stuff as many people as possible into their funnel more people will drop through.
The problem is: at a certain point, the same number of people drop through no matter how many leads you generate. It’s like a conventional real-life funnel. The end is only so big.
Stop lead generation research right now. You probably get enough leads already. You’re wasting your time and expending too much energy. Just relax, ok?

2. How to Stop Up the Holes

In a “punctured hull scene,” once the protagonist finds the hole, they frantically look for something to plug it with. If they don’t plug the hole, all their oxygen will be gone and the pressure will equalize meaning they will die in a vacuum.
For a space hero, this could mean any number of things. A fire extinguisher, a metal crate, or even a piece of metal alloy bigger than the hole.
There are a variety of ways to fix your sieve and turn it into a real funnel.

Fix #1: Track Those Touch Points

No matter when a customer or lead makes contact, track it. This means that if a customer has already purchased something and they come back again, you track it.



If they’ve come back three times without ever purchasing, track it. This is called touch-point tracking. From here you follow leads all the way to full conversion if they make it.

Once you’ve tracked this data, you can begin to make a customer journey map. You can then replicate this journey for your most legitimate customers and leads.



Fix #2: Simply Follow Up

Again, 12 times might be the charm. Keep going.

There are easier ways to do lead follow up than manual e-mails and phone calls. E-mail automation is a thing.

Automate your sales process as much as possible. This will allow you more time to find new leads while courting current ones.

This also means you’ll be able to run a 24-hour sales funnel operation.



Bots can help with this. Say you’re a small college trying to attract students. You can’t have an admissions digital marketing rep on call 24-7. But a bot can cover the time when your rep is sleeping.

Fix #3: Offer Something Irresistible for Free

There’s a lot of schlock on Amazon that’s free. And most of the schlock doesn’t get read.

This should be a valuable lesson for anyone trying to generate leads. You’re wasting your time with free scholck.

If it’s not worth your time to even engage, why would you even click?

Opt-in’s are great if they actually shove people toward the end of your funnel. But you’ll need to drive people in with limited time offers.

Without FOMO, you’ll never get people close to the end of your funnel. This is the step beyond generation you need to focus on.

Now You’re a Wise Jumblie

Now you can go to sea in a funnel…oh, wait, the metaphor breaks down there. I guess you now have a fairly leak-proof and effective funnel.
Where have you seen your funnel be ineffective? Let me know down in the comments below and maybe I can help you patch them.
 

5 Ways to Make More Money with Your Next Webinar





Webinars are still one of the best ways to build a mailing, engage with a live audience, and convert users into sales. While we aren’t seeing the massive influx of webinars everywhere like we were a couple of years ago, they are still being used by some of the top marketers and brands in the world today. However, running a webinar and being able to make a full-time living off them are two completely different things. If you want to find success with online marketing and running webinars of your own, you need to use all of the same webinar services and methods the big players are using.



By implementing the following five tips for your next webinar and marketing efforts, there is no doubt you will see improved engagement, conversions, and ROI across the board.

 

1 – Create ONE Really Great Webinar and Use it Over and Over Again

If you’ve ever had to speak at a conference or create a PowerPoint slide for a class or work project, you can start to imagine how much work it takes to create a great webinar. In addition to having amazing visual content, you also need to keep the attention of your audience and know all of your speaking points as well.

Knowing all of this, you should also realize the importance of having ONE really great webinar template and message that you can continually use time and time again. Not only will this save you time, it will also make you a better speaker and presenter in the process. The more webinars you run, the better user engagement and conversions you will continue to see.



2 – Automate and Replicate Whenever Possible

As great as webinars are, they definitely can take a lot of time to create, schedule, run, and market. The good news is that there are ways to automate and replicate the process.

Also, take note that LIVE webinars with real Q&A at the end of the session will almost always perform better. However, with time being an issue for everyone, if you can record one of your best webinars and set it up for automation and renewing for new attendees daily, this is a great way to multiply your earnings and lead generation, without having to dedicate 2+ hours per day to running live webinars time and time again.

3 – Make Sure You have a High Ticket Item to Sell

If you’ve ever attended a webinar before, the process is usually the same. It will start off with the webinar host sharing their personal story and going over a problem or obstacle they’ve had to deal with. At the same time, it’s important for the host to relate to the audience and their common obstacles as well.

The majority of the webinar will cover these topics and different success stories as well. The remainder (or closing) of the webinar will then show a solution, and then follow up with a salesy promotion on how to get access to such a solution.

Webinars are great for selling high-ticket items, because anyone who has spent the past 30-60 minutes attending and listening, are more likely to take action than anyone else who might randomly come across your $997+ product. Once you’ve mastered the process, webinars are simply one of the best ways to make the most of your site content, over and over again.

With all of this in mind, it’s also important to make sure you price your offer right. The most effective webinars and online marketers will usually offer something in the $497 to $1997 range, as this will allow them to invest a decent amount of money in the webinar promotion process. If you have a product that is priced too high or too low, you could end up losing money.



4 – Have a Separate Mailing List Just for Webinar Attendees

In addition to making money from a webinar, they are also great for building mailing lists and collecting leads as well. Whether you are generating new attendees through site content, SEO, social media or paid advertising, this is going to provide you with a fresh list of data that really wants what you have to offer.

Many webinar solutions will also make it easier for you to send out mailings to your attendees, and reminding them of your upcoming event. At the same time, these lists can also be used for future promotional mailings, updates, and upcoming webinars as well.

Even if you only convert a small percentage of your webinar attendees into paying customers, you will still have a nice list of subscribers to follow up with and nurture over time.

5 – Remarket to Your Webinar Subscriber on Social and Display

The best marketers and brand in the world today know how to effectively market their products and services. We’ve already gone through the many different ways to get users to subscribe to your list and joining your upcoming webinar, but what about after your event takes place?

There is still plenty of money left on the table at this point as well. After your webinar is done, make sure you send out a few more mailings to your subscribers and see if you can get them to take action. This can all be done by taking your current email list and importing them into another third-party advertising platform.

Remarketing is also a huge factor in grabbing additional sales as well. Before your webinar goes live, you can set up a remarketing campaign through Facebook Ads or Google Adwords, reminding users of your upcoming event. Then you can also run another after the event takes place. Remarketing is one of the most effective ways to increase sales, while only spending a few dollars in the process.

Webinars are Still Huge Cash Cows. Get Started with Your Today!

Now that we’ve broken down the key points on how to create a successful webinar campaign and make some serious money, the ball is now in your corner.

Do you currently have a product or service to sell through an online webinar? If not, start thinking about the different ways you can implement webinars into your marketing strategy — whether that be through improved branding, pre-sales information, or any of the methods we highlighted above.

The bottom line here is that webinars are extremely effective and they are here to stay.

 

5 Tips for Building a Sales Team





I’m taking a short break from my super popular As the Search Engine Turns story to bring you a piece on sales. Don’t worry, ATSET will be back soon. Whether you’ve got a mediocre or sub-par sales team on your hands or are in charge of building a brand new one from scratch, you’re going to need some help and some patience. According to SalesForce, 79% of marketing leads never convert into a sale. This is a problem. Why are these conversions not happening? There could be miscommunication between the marketing and the sales departments or one of those departments could just be dropping the ball.



To make sure it isn’t your sales team that’s responsible, check out our checklist.

1. Watch Out For Toxicity

Negativity breeds negativity. You need to either fix it or remove it completely.

Toxic employees, if allowed to fester, will poison the minds of other team members as well as turn off your prospect, potentially chasing them away to a competitor. Build a team that’s positive and reading to make things happen for the company.



2. It’s About Results

You want your team to be driven. They should want to make the sale. Your team should be about results. This is right out of the sales 101 playbook.

On top of that, they should also be competitive. They should want to do better than they did last month and better than the other teams every month. Make it a friendly competition. Winners get bragging rights for the month and have to buy the first round at the local watering hole. Something like that.

3. Coachability

A lot of hot shot sales guys aren’t great at receiving feedback.

When you build out your team, make sure to hire the people who can take constructive criticism well. Explain that it’s for the good of the company and them as individuals and then prove it to them.

As a sales manager or lead, you’re going to be required to put your money where your mouth is quite often.



4. Training and Learning

Sales professionals are sharks. But a shark doesn’t stop swimming just because there isn’t any blood in the water.

When things are slow or when new programs or courses come out, get your team on them quickly. Make sure they’re trained well from the jump but do not let them get lazy. Keep them learning new things all the time.

5. Communication is Key

Talk to your sales team. Every team has meetings, sure, but how many sales managers are truly effective communicators?

Don’t be afraid to have one on one meetings with your team members, especially if they need help. Offer to do whatever it takes to get their performance level to where it needs to be.

The Takeaway

While every business is different, the root of the sales team stays the same.

It’s easy for people to pick up bad habits in previous positions. Make sure you’re ready to retrain if necessary and communicate clearly as to what you expect and when you expect them.

Don’t be a pushover. Assertive is the way to go as a manager. You’re a leader and your team is going to be looking to you for support and help when they need it. At the end of the day, your team meeting their goals and quotas is your responsibility.

 

8 Web Design Tips That Will Drive Your Customers Crazy (in a Good Way) 2018





So, you think you can just throw up an ad-hoc web store and call it good, huh? Just use a generic template. Put up a few product pages. You’ll be golden, right? I didn’t think so. You wouldn’t be here if that were the case. Building an e-commerce website is like learning to ride a bike. You need training wheels at first, but you will eventually want to do it on your own. You’ll need some help getting there. Most of the people who visit your site aren’t going to buy immediately. You’ve gotta lead them by the hand to the sale. And sometimes they will run away no matter what.



Here are ten ways to design your e-commerce store that will help customers get to the shopping cart.

1. Color Matters More Than You Think

What’s the difference between red and green? Stop signs, stop lights, all use universal colors to communicate.

If you’re trying to get people to click on a button, you’d think that green is the best choice. Maybe it’s our curiosity or our propensity for self-destruction.  But oddly, people want to push the red button more than the green one.

It’s easy to repel customers with colors. You can’t always predict how customers will react to various colors. Everything from culture to region to personal experience can influence how someone reacts to a certain color.

If you know where your audience lives you could reasonably predict how colors will affect customers. Instead, work backward from product to customer. What do your products do for your customers?

Are the products used in exciting and explosive ways? Red and orange might be the colors you would choose.



Are you selling a product meant to soothe? Try blues and whites. Certain yellows and greens might be effective.

2. Video Killed the Radio

Video landing pages could make you a lot of money. 70% of professionals agree that video seems to convert better than regular content. Now, how accurate their perception is depends on a ton of factors.

People are watching a lot of video online. More than 70% of users prefer video over written content.

While this pains my English major’s heart, I have to agree that video is probably superior in this visual media age.

Be sure to code the embedded video to play automatically on your landing page. You have to capture their attention immediately.

3. Include “Trust Symbols” on Your E-Commerce Site

When you go to a site and there is no verification that your payment is secure, would you buy from that website? Of course, not. So, why would you expect your customers to do the same?

First, you will want to choose a trusted checkout service like PayPal or Square to care for your customer’s financial transaction. Then you will want to use whatever code those services employ to verify their service is legit.

You can use customer testimonials in a similar fashion. If customers see others have had a positive experience, they’re more likely to buy from you.



4. Animate Those Calls to Action

I always say animations should be kept to a bare minimum on a website. So, I’m hesitant to even mention this one. But sometimes your customers just need that slap in the face to act (please don’t take that literally).

Something as simple as a quick arrow pointing toward an offer or even just toward the comments section could be enough. You could reward completion of tasks with animation. If someone puts something in the cart, a thumbs-up or an exclamation mark might be enough to spur people to a transaction.

5. Highlight the Free Things

An MIT professor once did a study. He told people to choose between a Hershey bar that cost 10 cents and a Lindt chocolate bar that cost 50 cents. Of course, people chose the better chocolate. When he lowered the price of the Hershey to zero and the Lindt to 40 cents, people chose the Hershey bar.

The “free” option hijacked people’s reasoning. The price difference was the same in both cases, but the perception of zero cost compelled people to choose the lesser option.

The same thing happens when you attach free things onto something that costs money. Anything that involves a quantity could always have a certain percentage more than another option. Call that certain percentage more “free” and people will be more likely to buy it.

6. Boring Typography Kills Babies

There is no excuse for bad typography today. Anyone who just uses the default typography from Microsoft Word needs a brain transplant.

Right now, simple, bold sans-serif is fairly popular. Don’t go overboard on the flowery stuff. You want people to be able to read your content.

And it’s ok to layer and overlay your type font with images as long as you’re able to distinguish the words.

7. White Space is OK

Some people feel the need to squeeze every once of space out of their website. It’s like some newspaperman from the early 20th century took control of their website design.

But it’s really OK to leave space on your website. Why? Because you want to maximize a customer’s attention span.

I suffer from attention deficit disorder. If you throw a billion options in my face, I’ll get overwhelmed and hide in a corner (or on a weird subreddit).

Most people will feel the same way if you don’t use white space in your web design.

8. Parallax isn’t Just for Astronomy

You’re gonna need a super fast host server for this one. But if you can use this effect without slowing down your site, then, by all means, use it.

It’s a simple concept. Overlayed images move over underlayed images as you scroll. You can immerse people in more content in less time if you use parallax scrolling.

 

6 Things Small Businesses Should Outsource





There is a freelancer for almost every industry in the world. In this country alone, they make up about one-third of the workforce and that number is expected to increase to more than 50% in the next ten years. There are dozens of platforms online to help you find these workers. All it takes to find the right person for the job is a few clicks of your computer mouse. As an entrepreneur, you likely want to try to do everything. But with this horde of independent contractors all looking for work, why not focus your time and talents on your skill set? Which of course, is growing your business.



Delegation is part of the process of owning a business and growing it. You can’t scale if you’re trying to do everything yourself. Here are 6 things that small businesses can and should outsource to make their lives easier.

1. Accounting and Payroll

Taxes, invoices, and time sheets, oh my! Does this sound like a good time to you?

It shouldn’t. Because it isn’t a good time. You’re a busy person trying to get a startup off the ground and you’re going to try to do the accounting and payroll work yourself? Don’t be silly. There is only so much work one person can handle.

Accounting firms are really good at what they do. They know about tax laws, write-offs, and all sorts of ways around red tape. Sure, they’re going to cost you some cash. But in the end, they’ll end up saving you a ton of money and you’ll be thankful you made this move early on in the game.

2. Web Design and Development

Websites are a big deal. You can’t really open or operate a business without one. This is the digital age. If it doesn’t exist on the internet, it might as well not exist at all.



And if you’ve been doing your research, you probably know you can make a WordPress site with relative ease. You pick a host, a theme, and then you just create some content. Easy, peazy, right?

Not so much. If you’re taking your new company seriously, you want the best website you can buy. Luckily for you, finding a freelance WordPress developer who is out there building really nice websites at a reasonable rate can be relatively easy. You just need to know where to find them.

3. Content

Writing blog posts can be fun. But do you really want to spend your Friday and Saturday nights sitting in your office and racking your brain trying to think of headlines?

Proper outsourcing is all about delegating your weaknesses. Unless you’ve done a lot of writing in the past, know a ton about keyword research, and know how to properly do internal and external linking, you might want to leave it to a pro.

Finding a content writer is likely one of the easiest contractors to find. Sites like Problogger and Blogging Pro have job boards that are specialized. They are just for clients who are looking for writers. And writers know about them. In fact, most pro writers check these boards daily. Problogger and Blogging Pro aren’t the only ones around, but they’re definitely two of the most popular. I recommend giving them a shot. You’ll probably have a writer working for you in less than a week.

4. Administrative

Scheduling your own meetings and appointments isn’t just a hassle. These are the kind of tedious tasks that can make or break a new company.

Before you try to do some hiring, check out sites like Upwork, where you can find a Virtual Assistant. No more dealing with an assistant who isn’t getting the work done. These folks only get paid for time spent actually working. Expect to pay about $15-$20 per hour, but the bright side is that you don’t have to cover any benefits.



Some Virtual Assistants are so good you will wonder why you’re not having to pay them more. Interview your candidate just like you would a normal employee and find the person who’s right for your business. Ask for a portfolio and references and try to get a feel if they are actually interested in what your company is doing.

5. Marketing

Digital marketing agencies are all over the place. You probably never realized just how many are in your area until you started your company.

The reason they’re so abundant is no one wants to know about marketing. It’s one of the hardest parts of any business, not just new or small ones. Trying to do this all on your own, especially if you don’t have any experience, can cost you tens of thousands of dollars a year in lost revenue.

A great agency will be able to handle your email promotion, your social media, as well as your SEO.

Some even offer content packages.

Before you make a decision, you definitely want to spend some time vetting and researching agencies. Scammers pretending to be legitimate marketing agencies is a real problem. Start with tapping into your personal and professional networks to see if anyone has any recommendations. Then go online to look at reviews to help narrow down your list.

6. IT

More than half of all companies outsource their IT. The reason for this is based around cost. It’s way more effective to outsource your IT because many firms can scale as your company grows. The cost of hiring IT professionals for a startup is usually going to be higher than it’s worth.

But you do need someone to watch over you like an angel. This is what IT firms are all about. They help protect you from hackers and will help deal with technical difficulties.

Conclusion

I know this feels overwhelming. It was probably not too long ago that you were developing your app or prototype late at night in your basement while your family slept soundly. You worked into the wee hours of the morning and then had to go to a day job with hardly any sleep.

If you can make it through that phase, you can make it through anything. But you shouldn’t try to do it alone.

Hire the best and brightest people you have ever met, but outsource the tasks that are outside of your skill set. In the end, you will save money, have fewer headaches and stress, and have a small army of independent contracts that will have your back when you need them.

 

Thinking About Affiliate Marketing? Read This First





Anyone who reads blogs on a regular basis probably knows about affiliate marketing. If you’re a new blogger, you’ve probably considered becoming an affiliate marketer. Ads, especially if you’re just starting out, aren’t going to bring in much income. You could build a digital product, but without any traffic, you won’t make any sales.



So for new sites and people just getting into the hustle, affiliate marketing is definitely the way to go as you build trust and authority in your niche. Here are a few quick tips for those of you who have yet to get started but are tinkering with the idea of building a niche website or you want to monetize your blog.

Focus on the Audience

If you’re all about sales, your readers will pick up on it. Instead, put your focus on helping people. Affiliate sales are all about quality products that you have personally used and recommend to readers. This is really the purpose of affiliate marketing and why so many bloggers have had success over the years.

As a blogger or website owner, you are an influencer. People trust other people more than they trust companies. Just be real.



Play the Long Game

This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Google has seen to this over the years. They no longer let people create and promote “churn and burn” websites to make a quick buck.

The best case scenario is your site will see some Google rankings in about 6 months. This gives you plenty of time to create amazing content and research the right products for your website.

If you want to speed up the process a little, you can spend some time on social media. Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are great resources that can get early traffic to your new website if used properly.

Outsource Your SEO

Many website owners have fallen victim to themselves. You can research SEO all you want but if you aren’t an expert, you are playing with fire.



Building the wrong links can get your whole site de-indexed by search engines. If you want success with Google, then you need to play their game. And no one knows the game more than the pros. Reputable businesses like CloudRock SEO Agency can make all the difference.

A great agency will take a lot of hassle off of your plate. This will allow you time to focus on building out your site, researching products, and writing great content.

The Takeaway

I can spit out affiliate marketing tips all day long. But these three are all near the top of the list.

Building out your site or blog requires a ton of work and patience. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to sit back and take a deep breath on occasion.

It’s tempting to check your sales and traffic a hundred times a day and honestly, it’s normal. We all did this for the first few months. But the sooner you get yourself out of this habit, the better.

Find your niche, find your groove, and be prepared to work hard.

 

Is Drop Shipping Really a Good Idea?





Weebly founder David Rusenko isn’t a fan of drop shipping. He believes we’ve flooded the world with enough cheap crap. We don’t need any more middlemen flooding out Instagram feeds with knock-offs.



But is he right? What’s wrong with middlemen doing the marketing legwork?

I’ve been around the web a time or two and have seen drop shipping touted as the next affiliate marketing. But I’ve encountered few who’ve made it work.

Here’s why you should be careful with one of the hottest trends in e-commerce right now.



1. What is Drop Shipping?

I use the word middleman literally. If you sell or make lanyards but don’t really care to market your lanyards, a drop shipper is a great way to get your product out there. A drop shipper essentially sets up shop and sells your product as if it’s theirs.

Often, a drop shipper works directly through a wholesaler like Alibaba. This is where the cheap crap comes in. A ton of stuff on Alibaba is cheaply manufactured knockoffs.

Despite this, drop shipping is appealing to home entrepreneurs for a few reasons. You don’t have to store or ship, you just have to market. If you do it right, fulfillment centers like Amazon will store and ship your product for you.

You only purchase what you sell. And all you really need is a computer.

Sounds amazing, right?

2. Nothing in Life is Really Easy

You are still running a business. While part of that business isn’t in your hands, all the same marketing, customer servicing, website maintenance, etc are things you must do to succeed.



The only thing drop shipping really eliminates is product overhead.

It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a true business niche. And if you thought otherwise, it’s time to go back to that nine to five.

Online money-making is all about working 60 hrs a week to avoid working 40. Even if your drop shipping business becomes a hands-off affair later, it will take a lot of work to get there.

3.  Everyone Else is Jumping Off the Same Bridge

When you Google drop shipping, some of the top articles are from six years ago. Drop shipping isn’t a new idea. It’s as old as Amazon.

In those six years, how many people do you think entered the drop shipping business? Too many. “Competition is a good thing,” you cry. I wouldn’t argue with you if this were a normal business situation.

The problem with drop shipping is that you can’t control supply and demand. You can’t actually compete because you have no control over your products.

If you’re willing to put in the time and money, you might be able to find a niche nobody else has tapped. But you’re gonna be digging for a while.

Some have compared hopping onto the drop shipping bandwagon to arriving at a movie 45 mins late. You’ll get some value, but you’ve missed the entire setup. It would have been better if you’d gone to a different movie altogether.

 

If Your User Experience Sux So Will Your Conversion Rate





I once got to be part of a user experience test. My friend was in grad school and he and his colleagues had created a simple game programming tool. It was one of the most confusing pieces of software I’ve ever touched. I found out later, they’d created a problematic piece of software on purpose. They were testing a user experience testing process. The whole thing was quite meta. But if this had been a real product, they’d have made zero money. Why? Because while the concept was great (ready-made game elements you simply drag and drop), the user experience sucked.



You won’t make money with your website either if your user experience sucks. Here are a few ways to optimize your website for the best user experience.

1. Start With Loading Speed

The Doherty Threshold states that if a computer takes longer than 400 milliseconds to respond, users would no longer be addicted to using the computer. This was the goal, get people addicted to using a computer. If you do that, you sell computers.



400 milliseconds isn’t very long. Fortunately, most users are used to internet speeds and not blazing fast cable internet. With your website, you have about two seconds of load time leeway.

Conversions take a hit the longer your site takes to load. If people come to your site and it loads in more than two seconds, they go elsewhere. Every second it takes, your conversion rate falls by a full 12%.

What Causes a Site to Slow Down?

Too many times, novice webmasters will overload their site with plugins and graphics. Yes, it’s fun to play with transitions and you might be tempted to add a ton of features to your site through plugins. But is it worth it?

If you don’t know where to trim down, you might want to consider outsourcing to a support service. They can identify which plugins are slowing you down and recommend better plugins that might speed up your site.



2. Track Your User’s Behavior

While big data has become a kind of dirty word in the industry, data on your customers and visitors is actually useful. If you’re just guessing at where users might go, you’re at a disadvantage. It’s like playing pin the tail on the donkey. You might pin it on Aunt Merple’s bossom instead.

You can use plugins like Crazy Egg to create visual maps of where users go on your site. You can easily trim the fat on your site and funnel people to the elements that matter once you have the data.

3. Accessibility Gets Wildly Overlooked

English is not the official language of the United States. In fact, the United States does not have an official language. And really, even if the U.S. had an official language, do you want to limit your audience?

SaaS language translation is there for a reason. Make it easy for anyone to access your site, and you’ll increase your conversion potential.

Not only is language a barrier, but individual user ability can be a barrier as well. For those with visual impairment, you should add audio features.

 

Three Guaranteed Ways to Boost Your Mobile eCommerce Conversion Rates





In 2017, Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopify alone saw a 10% increase in mobile sales and 67% of sales were mobile sales. If you haven’t figured it out by now, mobile trumps desktop use by two-thirds.



Are you targeting the majority? If not, you’d better get on board this very second. Every moment you spend keeping a non-mobile-friendly e-commerce site alive is dollars lost.

Even if you’re just turning the page and reconfiguring your e-commerce site, you can benefit from these five e-commerce conversion-boosting tips.



1. Does It Pass the Five-Second Test?

A handshake takes a mere second to accomplish. One study in 2011 showed that if you have a weak handshake, you appear overly passive to anyone you meet. One second could equal a lasting impression in social situations.

Fortunately, as an e-commerce guru, you have 5x more time to make an impression on your leads. That’s only five seconds.

In usability tests, it’s standard practice to test what users can remember after seeing a page after five seconds. If they can tell you the most important aspects of your page after only five seconds, you’ve designed your page for mobile usage.

In mobile design, you must take into account attention span. Mobile devices are designed to keep people distracted with new information at all times. Thus, if you’re trying to sell Bluetooth headphones, you have very little time to attract a lead’s attention before they go to your competitor.



2. Are Filter and Sorting Options Upfront and Center?

When someone walks into a department store, the first thing they should encounter is a map or directory. If they have to ask a service member for directions, someone dropped the ball. It should be no different in the digital world of e-commerce.

In the desktop world, everyone knows that if they just click the top right menu, they’ll find some sort of directory. But for some reason, this ability got lost in translation for most mobile-friendly sites.

It’s more important in mobile settings for customers to be able to quickly weed out what they don’t want and find what they want. Remember the five-second rule? If they can’t find that sort/filter button within those five seconds, they’re going elsewhere.

3. Can Users Control and Edit Information as They Checkout?

This applies to both the app version and the mobile web browser version of your e-commerce shop. People are used to using a “back button.” It’s insanely frustrating to get halfway through a checkout process and realize you’ve entered the wrong information. That frustration compounds when you can’t go back and edit said info and you’re forced to start over.

I once worked in the medical field, and for some reason, medical records software companies don’t get this simple concept. I might have drunk less during those years if I could have gone back and edited records after the fact instead of having to start over a billion times. Don’t drive your customers to drink, include an edit and back button on every page of the order process.

What are some ways you’re optimizing mobile e-commerce for higher conversion rates? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments below.

 

Advanced SEO Techniques to Take Your Blog to the Next Level (For Webmasters Only) 2018





 

Recently, during my conversations with people online, it’s been more and more common to stop and say “Google break!” We only resume once we’ve filled our conversational knowledge gaps.



It’s really not surprising, then, that the two top activities online are search and e-mail. Facebook is losing out majorly on popularity. And the rest of the things you can do on the internet probably share the pie in increments.

Some try to declare every year that SEO is dead. But as long as “Googling” remains one of the top activities on the internet, companies, and websites will vie for the top spot in various search strings.

If you’ve done the SEO basics, it’s time to take your website to the next level. Here are a few advanced SEO techniques.



1. Bring Your Website into the 21st Century With Mobile Friendly Design

Mobile search has now outstripped desktop search in ten countries including the U.S. and Japan. We’re on the go and we want our information on the go.

If your website or e-commerce store aren’t mobile friendly, people are quickly going to bounce. They’ll go where the interface is friendlier to their tired fingers.

And Google knows this quite well. Only two years ago they updated their algorithms to boost organic rankings on websites that are mobile friendly.

This means that not only will customers and leads stay longer on mobile-friendly sites, they’re more likely to find mobile-friendly sites.

2. Those Landing Pages Won’t Optimize Themselves

Landing pages shouldn’t be like the deep web. Landing pages are like gateways. If the gateway is hidden, nobody will enter except those who know how to get there.

Only a search optimized landing page will sit out in the open where anybody could find it.



The more search-optimized landing pages you have, the more likely it is customers will enter and buy or click. Unfortunately, most B2B companies don’t understand this. They often send people to their homepage.

Unless your homepage is a simple one with few options, the opening to a sales funnel, you can’t count it as one of your landing pages.

A landing page is simple, clean, and offers only necessary options. Often this means only one or two options to click through.

Make it Useful

Usefulness is the first metric for a good landing page. The number one goal of all copy is to get you to read the next sentence.

Begin with a great headline that hooks the reader. Then add trust and credibility with a testimonial or a review in the body.

Design is King

Even if you have the most interesting content in the world, if your landing pages look like it just stepped out of a cryogenic tube from the 90’s, people will bounce. You can get a conversion rate of 67% if you just put some elbow grease into your landing page designs.

If you don’t know much about design, don’t be cheap. Hire someone to do your web design.

How are you taking your website to the next level? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.

 

Not Getting Any Bites? Try These Five Marketing Hook Tactics





Fishing without the right bait is pointless. You’ll sit there on the shore or rocking back and forth in your boat all day hoping for some action. Marketing isn’t much different. If you put the wrong bit of content or information for the wrong niche, no lead is going to follow. What is a marketing hook? It’s a sample, something to give your leads a taste of what they’re missing if they don’t click.



For fish, this means the food they already consume on a daily basis yet better looking. For leads, it means the media they consume on a daily basis yet more entertaining or interesting.

Here are some tactics that might help you reel in those leads.

1. Command Their Attention

Babies and marketing campaigns are killed by passive voice. You don’t want either to happen to you, do you?

This is why it’s crucial you use a commanding and active voice in your marketing hooks. If your hooks sound like they rolled off the tongue of an academic, you’re in the wrong field.



57% of leads have already made up their minds before reaching your hook. The other 43% need a nudge.

Commands such as “Try!” “Do!” “Feel!”  compel people to act.

Here are a few examples:

Give in to your cravings and buy [insert delicious sale item]

Watch this!

Stop wasting your money!

2. Show Them a Better Future

Dissatisfaction is your friend. In 2017, only 33% of Americans said they were happy.



If over 75% of the population is dissatisfied, then it’s your responsibility to satisfy them. You merely need to find out what better future they crave.

What does your product or content do that will improve someone’s life? Hook them with a tutorial or an entertaining look at what they could be if they bought your product or clicked on your link.

3. Find That Pain Point

Sometimes people need to feel uncomfortable before they decide to make a change. Often they’ve been uncomfortable for a while and the solution just hadn’t presented itself.

This is where your hook comes in. You remind the lead of a problem they have. It needs to be fixed immediately.

Create a video that speaks to this. Write an article that solves their problem in part. And if they click the link, they could solve their problem permanently.

4. Show Off What Others Have Said

90% of consumers claim that a positive review will influence their buying decisions. A sincere, positive, and voluntary testimonial or review could be the perfect hook to bring in leads.

But be careful with this one. Your testimonials need to sound and be genuine. Otherwise, your leads will pass you by with nary a glance.

5. Show Them Value Upfront

You want to avoid sounding “salesy.” There are ways to present value and there are ways to present value.

When spouting off dollar amounts, you sound like a car salesman. Instead, show them what they could have if they clicked through to your product or content.

Ask yourself, how can you help your customers? That’s where the value of your product or content lies. Don’t sell specs or even the product. But hook them with how the product will solve a problem in their lives.

 

8 Step Guide to Help Your Blog Improve Conversion Rate





As a blogger in need for fast recognition you will need to find the best way to optimize your blog. I’m thinking here if you are more interested in having a better Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization or both of them. Depending on your profile, you will probably choose one of them. My advice: go for both!



What is a blog?

According to Andrew Sullivan (former editor to The New Republic, author, publisher and blogger) a blog is “the first journalistic model that actually harnesses rather than merely exploits the true democratic nature of the web. It’s a new medium finally finding a unique voice.”

Why blogging?

The answer lies in the fact that every human has a voice and wishes their voice to be heard.

I would say a blog is like a vehicle.  All you need to do is to start it and you’ll have to figure out how to keep it running because, as far as I know if the engine stops, all the other vehicles will overtake you and you’ll find yourself as you were before “ no voice to be heard”.

We will focus on optimizing your “vehicle”. Keep it loud and running!

 

Basic On-Page SEO Tips for Blogs

SEO for blogs is defined by the content the audience wants and needs but also by what you need to tell your search engines, so they can share it to your target audience.

Some of the main keys we need to focus on are:



Keywords

  • you need to find out what your audience is searching for on search engines
  • for keyword research you can use tools like SEMrush.

Title

  • Title is very important as it leads your audience to your content and the search engines to your audience.

One thing is for sure, you need to think at the search engines as to your audience. Don’t make the difference as one of them might feel offended.

Rules for a properly optimized title:

  • keep it under 60 characters
  • use the focus keyword once
  • don’t stuff it with keywords
  • title has to be natural, relevant and clear for readers

URL

  • The URL has to provide relevant information to your audience. You can use the title when possible.

Rules for a properly optimized URL:

  • no date inside the url (just in case of duplicate URL’s)
  • no underscores (use dashes if needed)
  • no uppercase or proper case (use lowercase)
  • avoid using dynamic parameters in the URL’s (?)

Meta Description

  • Goes with the title and describes what the people will find on your website

Rules for a properly optimized Meta Description:

  • keep it under 160 characters
  • must include page’s main focus keywords but don’t abuse the keyword density

Headings

  • Headings help both the audience and the search engines. The audience can read the content easier and it’s a signal for the search engines.
  • Headings must be set accordingly to their importance from H1 to H6.

Internal linking

  • keeps your audience on your blog
  • increases traffic and time on site.

Content

How do you write it?

How do you do keyword research?

Check for keyword density.

After we focused on SEO and we managed to acquire a decent percentage of Search Engine for our desired keywords, our main focus should move towards optimizing the page for a better conversion rate.

Optimizing a blog is more about retaining user attention and getting credit for spreading ideas than it is about optimizing content to match search relevancy algorithms.

Conversion Rate Optimization for Blogs

 Conversion Pages Attributes:

The page may rank for keywords but is primarily concerned with direct conversions. Keyword targeting is secondary or may be unnecessary. We need to focus on one particular audience. To have a good start you should put your calls-to-action in people’s natural eye path.

1. Make sure that your CTA buttons look clickable

  • Clean and contrasting background to text color
  • A distinct button text (e.g., “Get free access”)
  • Have white space surrounding them
  • Rectangular (sometimes rounded) shape
  • Complementary border

The point of contact between your visitors and your offer is the call-to-action, whether buying, trying or sharing on social media.

2. Define and know the points of interest of your page – Heatmap Usage

I would say, this is your map to success. As long as you will pay attention to this, the content and all the actions your audience will take will lead to conversion.

There is the “F” rule where all the attention of your audience will focus on this magical shape.



Of course, testing is the key but having this hint is easier to check your visitor behavior.

3. Have a compelling and short button copy

It’s time to click: “reading mood” to a “ready to act mood”  has to be encouraged.

 

4. Use power words in your button copy

It’s proven that power words are the key. Why not to use them where you can confirm your audience impulse.

Here is an example of power words but may be different depending on your blog type.

 

5. Create anticipation in your copy

According to a research study reported in The Atlantic, 47% of the time, the human mind is wandering. Your mind wanders about a third of the time while you are reading or talking with other people.

It seems that the key to getting people to do what you want – e.g., click a button – is to promise a better experience.

6. Test and use the right font color

  • “If a good color sells, the right color sells better.”

Since less than 5% of the population suffers from color blindness, color theory should be explored.

There’s no perfect color for any specific emotional state. You can’t accurately say “red is the best color for CTAs,” or that “green symbolizes wealth and productivity, which means that you should always use it in those niches.” There is no one color rule – you just have to test out options for yourself.

 

7. Use pop-up and slide-in forms the right way.

There are four types of pop-ups. Depending on the information you are about to show, a pop-up may be pleasant or annoying. You have to make sure you will provide the best user experience in order for you to reach your goal.

  • Welcome mats: Full screen pop-ups that slide above page content
  • Overlay modals: Center screen pop-ups that appear on top of page content
  • Top banners: Small banners at the very top of the page
  • Slide-in boxes: Small boxes that slide in from the side/bottom of the page

 

Action:

  • Page entrance:Pop-up appears when the visitor first gets to the page
  • Page scroll:Pop-up appears when the visitor scrolls to a certain point on the page
  • Element interaction:Pop-up appears when the visitor clicks on or hovers over a specific element
  • Time on page:Pop-up appears when the visitor has been on the page for a specific amount of time
  • Exit intent:Pop-up appears when the visitor scrolls towards the top of the page to leave

Timing:

Wait X seconds before showing the popup
Show when user scrolls to X% of your website
Show when user attempts to leave your page (exit intent)

TIPS:

  • Give them a tease. If a visitor closes the form, they can be shown a teaser in the bottom of the site which can be opened at any time. You can see how many visitors sign up after having closed the form.
  • Keep it closed. If the form is closed, it will not reopen during the same visit/session.
  • Give it a limit. It’s essential to set a limit for your form. All Sleeknote pop-ups are created with a default limit on four exits from a single person. After this, the visitor will never see it again. You can also modify this to your needs.
  • Don’t show it again. Finally, if a visitor signs up, they are counted as converted and will not see the form again.

Some additional tips include:

  • If you’re using a timer, set it to at least five seconds.
  • Make sure your form is not shown during checkout, receipt pages or other conversion points. After all, you don’t want to interrupt potential customers during the process of buying.
  • Avoid more than one pop-up on the site at one time. You can easily have a slide-in and pop-up on the same site, but never two different pop-ups.
  • Think about the copy on your call to action button. For call to action tips, check out our how to create the perfect call to action post.

8. Use social media strategically for lead generation.

The goal of a brand social media page is to get a follower over the blog, not the other way around.
If they click over to your social page, they may not return and may not convert.

INCLUDE IT ON THE BUSINESS WEBSITE

Have you provided people with a way to easily access the blog from the company website? Even if you have opted to host your blog on a separate domain from the business website, you still need to make sure that they are both accessible to one another. One of the biggest reasons for this is that the company website gives the blog a level of credibility that may not exist if they don’t realize that the blog is part of the overall web presence of your company.

When the website and blog aren’t able to be navigated from one to the other, vital information that conveys trust to the visitor is missing. If the blog is part of the business website the visitor automatically knows who the author is, what the industry is, who they can contact, etc. The website navigation is right there for them to see. As a result, this establishes a sense of credibility and trust, which could then encourage the website visitor to take the desired action.

 

Conversion Rate Optimization in Ecommerce – Skyrocket your Shop Sales (2018)





We mean by conversion a desired action the visitor takes upon visiting a website. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO – industry accepted acronym) represents the process of optimizing a website for the desired action we want the visitor to take. Conversion Rate is calculated depending on the case scenario of our website. For example, if the desired action is to complete a form we divide the number of people that successfully registered the form by the number of unique visitors that page had. Usually the term refers to ad clicks and it’s calculated by dividing the total number of conversions by the total number of ad clicks that were tracked.



For example, if you had 50 conversions from 1,000 clicks, your conversion rate would be 5%, since 50 ÷ 1,000 = 5%.

Conversion Rate Calculation for  Ecommerce:

  • CRO procedures have impact on E-commerce KPI’s
  • E-commerce KPI’s have impact on net turnover
  • Final impact of CRO is seen in company’s profits
  • CRO done BAD sees no positive change in profits (profits stays the same or you see a drop)

Conversion Rate Optimization Guide Check:

Who Are Your Customers? Define your audience

Having a beautifully crafted website, good prices with carefully picked products is not enough. In order for sales to reach maximum efficiency, you need to know what your customers are searching for and what do they expect as buying options.

A better understanding of your customers can be acquired through customer surveys as a post-sale service and direct chat interactions.

  1. Home Page Optimization

Showcase your products like a merchant master

Be sure you are presenting the best-selling products and the trend-setting items for your niche on the homepage that can ensure a quick visitor engagement when landing on your store’s homepage. This decision will have a direct impact on lowering the Bounce Rate, considerably reducing it. Also make sure that the best-selling products have an information-rich product description and the product picture quality is best.

Offer more that one payment option

Always make sure to offer more than a single payment option, you can integrate payment with Paypal, Cash on Delivery, payment by Credit Card, Checks, Western Union, Money Gram, Escrow etc.

Reinforce your USP (Unique Selling Point) 

Be sure you write down a text snippet with a short description on you homepage that will also reinforce your USP – include reasons why should a customer buy from your shop,  your short storyline and other interesting details you could offer your customers about your business value.

If you have a fantastic product to sell be sure to reinforce your USP with a great product video or video review of that product.

Localize your store to specific countries  

If you acquire international traffic and you can ship products worldwide, a notification pop-up based on visitor’s IP Geo-Location would be advised in order to notify that customer that you are currently shipping to his country of residence.

  1. Product page optimization

This is where you grab people’s attention for clicking on the CTA. This page is mainly important because the first conversion step begins here and continues on the cart and checkout pages.

High-Quality Product Images – Watch out for Image SEO                     

Get high-quality product images (minimum 800px resolution) and remember to optimize them for the “alt”  and “title” attributes. Also, consider choosing descriptive filenames for the product images. These would be the basics of a good on-page SEO for images.

A well-optimized product image example would be:

<img title="”raspberry" src="http://domainexample.com/uploads/photos/raspberry-pi-3.jpg" alt="”raspberry" />

Remember to use keywords in filename, alt tag and title tag of the product images.



Based on the fact that the search algorithm for Google Images is less complicated and works within primary on-page SEO ranking factors and less on backlink signals, this could be a great opportunity to increase your organic traffic with less effort.

Take in consideration the search relevance of the page where the image is shown, Google’s algorithm scans for keywords in the text surrounding the image. Also, the image caption is a great opportunity to describe what is shown in the image, taking in consideration keyword inclusion.

Quick SEO checks for Images:

  • Img filename – be sure to include keywords
  • Img alt attribute – be sure to include descriptive keywords of what its shown in the image
  • Image title – works exactly like a page title, has to be representative for what is shown in the image
  • Image size – should not affect page loading times
  • Image surrounding text – the image ranking algorithm scans for image sorrounding text
  • Image caption
  • Basic On-Page Seo for the page where the image is shown

Product image size seems to affect the value perception of the product. If you sell a design oriented product (experience goods), like fashion items (a shirt), it was tested that more white spaces on the page minimized visual complexity and bigger pictures mean a less expensive perception of the product value. If your store sells search goods like technology – products whose features, charateristics, and overall value can be evaluated before purchase, larger images determined a higher perception of the product price value.

Ben Labay from Conversion XL did a very fine research on this matter and you can read more here about it.

Pay attention to your product’s description

Your product page represents a great SEO opportunity. Writing a useful, detailed-rich and keyword oriented description could mean a lot of search engine organic traffic entering your website for your product pages. Avoid using scrapped product descriptions from other sources on the internet or importing through data feeds short supplier generated product descriptions.

Also here you can link out helpful information like product size charts,  return policy or shipping information.

Product videos or 360 product photography

Product images carry a lot of importance especially in some retail niches, like fashion, where an eye for details is essential. Also, a high-zoom function is useful for those type of customers picky on details. Larger e-shops use services like webrotate360.com that offers interactive 3D CAD & 360° Angle Product Photography for products.

Also this functionality can be acquired through plugins depending on your Content Management System. There are some plugins for WordPress that do a great job integrating 360 product views with Woocommerce.

You can find a bigger list of plugins for various E-commerce CMS’s ( Magento, Woocommerce) here: http://bit.ly/2pCWmh4

Product page functionalities – size charts, size calculators, color eyedrop picker, smart product suggestions.

Also, some fashion retailers use suggested related products in order for the customer to buy the whole look.

So for example, if you are selling shoes and t-shirts you could filter the product related suggestions to output products for the same brand. If the customer is loyal to that brand it’s a better chance of converting him to buy more than 1 product.

Product’s delivery time

In most cases, customers are keen to know the exact delivery date of their products. Since it’s hard to predict an exact delivery date, big e-shops like Amazon use delivery time ranges of 1-2 days.

This should be shown exactly on the product page after the customer has pressed the add to cart button. (in case you don’t redirect him automatically to the cart page – in this case you can show it in the checkout process)

Enable Out Of Stock Notification

If a product isn’t available anymore or there is a stock limitation on product acquisition, don’t delete the product page (avoiding 404 pages), rather set an “out of stock notification” clearly stated on page.

If you have some information regarding the product restocking date it would be nice for the customer to know when it’ll be restocked. Also you can prompt an e-mail form, guiding the visitor to enter his e-mail so that he can be notified when the product will re-enter stock.

Clear CTA’s

The add to cart button needs to differentiate itself from the other navigational buttons on the website and it needs an eye-spotting color.

A good color guide for the CTA buttons was written on Optinmonster’s blog and can be found here.  Colors are directly linked to the psychological state of the visitor so please be advised to use A/B testing when implementing changes.

Usage of breadcrumbs (navigational links)

Most e-commerce CMS’s come with this predefined functionality, helping the user for an easier navigation through category, subcategory and product pages. These links also helps the search engine spider to a better understanding of the internal link architecture of the website.

Well structured Product Pages

When your adding or removing information blocks from your product or category pages pay attention to the overall structure to have a logical reading flow, also try including keywords as higher as possible on the HTML page.



For example, on the category pages, you can add a short keyword rich description for that specific category.

The information should be structured in orderly blocks that fit together as a whole (try avoiding blank spaces on product pages).

  1. Navigation Optimization

Try reducing the number of categories or subcategories as much as possible. Use buying intent keywords for category names. Order categories properly.

For example, if you are selling handbags, belts, scarves and wallets don’t create 4 different main categories. Instead, create a single main category named “Bags & Accessories” and try to include the subset in sub-categories for “Bags & Accessories”.  Take into consideration that the fewer click options you give the visitor on categories, the bigger the chance for him to find what he’s looking for.

Category names should be picked as close as possible to the user’s natural search intent language (check with website internal product searches – to see what are the customers searching for on your shop).  The category order should be matched with product type popularity for your niche.

Tagline & Logo

There isn’t much to say about the SEO-perspective of the logo, but the tagline (small text under the logo – in most cases) should be short, descriptive for your business and include main project keywords.

Also, keep in mind that you can use this tagline to reinforce your Unique Selling Preposition (USP) here.

Internal Product Search

Your search bar can represent the first step the visitor takes upon starting his conversion journey. This box is so special you have to do A/B testing on form color, sizes, shape in order to see what works best on your niche.

Functionalities nice to have:

  • Autosuggest (Autocomplete)
  • Covering misspellings and plurals
  • Be sure the search box hashes through categories and other taxonomy your CMS has
  • Handles long tail semantic searches with no issues
  • Avoid returning “no result pages” – if a query doesn’t return the expected output be sure to offer related product recommendations.
  1. Checkout Page Optimization

 In most cases optimizing this page should be the incipient of the CRO process because it’s the final step in the conversion funnel. Optimizing this page should require less programmatic effort and maximum efficiency in ROI.

 

Proper field markup & automatic prefill where possible

Your checkout page’s fields should be clearly stated as being optional or mandatory. Also for an easier and a faster completion time you should use automatic autofill where possible (zip code, city).  User errors in form completion (must be outputted next to the error field – not down the page) shouldn’t be a breaking step in the checkout process, you should let the user know where he’s made a mistake and allow him to continue down the checkout funnel (let users force proceed on checkout process).

Also make sure you have the options of guest checkout or checkout with Facebook Connect available for the page.  The account registration should be set on optional and by default the customer should checkout with Guest Checkout. (try avoiding as much as possible the requests for data input on the checkout page ).  If the customers chooses to create a new account be sure to make the Newsletter opt-in automatically.

 

The password selection for the create account button shouldn’t place limitations like the use of special characters or capitalizing the first letter, it’s good for security but it slows down the checkout process.

Also make sure you have clear CTA’s on this page (“Continue to next step” button or “Place order” button). Also keep in mind that the “Place Order” button is the most important CTA on this page so make sure it stands out on the page.  The process steps should be treated as navigational links on the checkout process.

The form field for card data input would be nice to have a separator for the 12 digit card account number and a limit of 12 chars input in order to guide the customers for a faster credit card data input.

Let customers choose preferred delivery times

If your webshop works with its own stock or you can give specific information regarding the delivery times, you can allow the visitor to pick and choose on a calendar selector located on the checkout page the exact delivery time of its order.

 

Picture above is a snippet of Delivery Time Picker for Shipping for Woocommerce which can be found on Codecanyon with 29$.

  1. 10 key points on a holistic approach for CRO for Ecommerce

  1. Clear shipping policies, clear return policy, complete details on contact page (company info, phone number, e-mail address, live chat support, business address map, company legal details etc)
  2. Offer free shipping above a certain order value (be sure to properly display this sales opportunity text on the homepage)
  3. Check the e-mail templates (registration e-mails, autoresponder e-mails, user password reset e-mails, order shipped e-mails, confirmation e-mails)
  4. Enable Open Graph data and show social media signals (Facebook Page, Twitter Followers, Instagram widgets etc)
  5. After the order is placed, show an information rich thank you page that contains contact data or details about delivery times and special offers you currently have running.
  6. Don’t leave the 404-page template by default – try to enhance it
  7. Signup with Google Merchant Center /Google Trusted Stores
  8. Educate the visitors about the purchase
  9. Create an impressive about page
  10. Optimize e-shop for fast loading and high security
  • Leverage browser caching
  • Defer parsing of JavaScript
  • Optimize images
  • Serve scaled images
  • Combine images into CSS sprites
  • Minimize redirects
  • Enable compression
  • Minify JavaScript
  • Minimize request size
  • Use Virtual DNS

 

  Although mobile traffic retains a growing slice of total website traffic – 32% of overall traffic, the revenue that comes from mobile is just 16% while desktop traffic represents 59% of traffic and generates 75% of the total website revenue.

Poor Conversion Rate on Mobile – Why does this happen?

mobile conversion rate adobe

 

38% ~ of US consumers rate small screen as the biggest common frustration for the lack of conversion on mobile,

35% ~ say that ads deter the conversion

32%  say that the “pinch and zoom” functionality is annoying

  • Other factors that lead to mobile poor conversion rate are the slow performance or poor navigation

 Benchmark your metrics against the retail industry/your niche to understand your results with a nice slice of context.

Above the fold vs below the fold – debunked myth

Higher conversion rates have nothing to do with whether the button is above the fold, and everything to do with whether the button is below the right amount of good copy.

Users will scroll down if what they see above the fold interests them enough to keep them reading.

Why?

Back in the glory days of newspapers, the fold played a crucial role in grabbing the attention of viewers in order to encourage them to purchase the paper. Bold headlines and eye-catching images bombarded readers to pique their interest. This concept transitioned into web design, where designers make sure to place important information and imagery above the fold.

Case scenarios for above the fold content:

  • Presold prospects who already want what you’re offering when they arrive. A code redeemer, a form register for health insurance, resume data form etc
  • Uncertain prospects  Most cases scenario, average product/service pages
  • Uncertain prospects + an offering that requires some explanation to see the value of Long sales pages that present a lot of text, videos and consumer testimonials in order to convince you to buy something or subscribe to a service)

References:

 

 

How to Use Lifetime Value to Create a Facebook Audience That Actually Creates Conversions (for Online Marketing only) 2018

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Facebook has been in hot water lately. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news, you know what I’m talking about. And it doesn’t help that 62% of small business advertisers on Facebook don’t find successful conversions. More specifically, they “miss their targets.” Their audience targeting is flawed, and they can’t reach the right users to sell their products and services. Facebook simply doesn’t work, right? Wrong. I’d be willing to bet that the number one cause of failing or giving up on Facebook Ads is audience-related. After all, you can’t sell PPC agency services to an audience that only cares about SEO. Audience targeting is the bread and butter of Facebook.



While that sounds like an enticing feature, your entire campaign will depend on it. Even simple mistakes in targeting will throw your audience off, potentially targeting the wrong segment or users too early in the funnel for sales.

Thankfully, I’ve been there and done that. I wasted tons of money on Facebook Ads that never reached my targets.

But I also found a surefire way to reach the right audience on Facebook:

Customer lifetime value lists.

What is customer lifetime value and why should you care?

What even is customer lifetime value anyways? Does it matter? Why should you care?

Well, I am here to answer those for you.

Customer lifetime value is perhaps the most important metric you can ever track.

According to Google, it’s defined as the prediction of net profit associated with the entire relationship for a single customer.

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In more simple terms:

Customer lifetime value is how much a single customer spends with you before leaving.

It’s that simple, but it’s of the utmost importance.

Lifetime value literally guides every decision you make in business.

Let me give you an example:

You run an online e-commerce store, and you sell relatively cheap products like discounted sunglasses and cheap style items like necklaces.

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Your average product costs about $25.

So you begin advertising with PPC to drive some traffic and hopefully convert some sales.

You realize that the average cost per click for retail sales is $1.35. Doesn’t seem too bad at first, right?

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But the cost per click doesn’t matter. It’s actually irrelevant.

Why? Just look at the conversion rate for retail advertising: 3.86%

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That’s a pretty low conversion rate compared to other segments.

For the sake of this example, let’s round the conversion rate up to 4%.

It would take 25 clicks to drive a single conversion if your conversion rate is 4%.

Now multiply the clicks needed (based on the conversion rate) with the cost per click:

25 * $1.35 = $33.75

Oops.

Now you can’t expect to turn a profit because your average sale is just $25.

And this is where lifetime value comes into play.

This is why lifetime value is the most important metric in any campaign:

Doing the simple math on a single order, you can’t afford to bid on AdWords for what you sell.

But that’s not true if you have a good lifetime value. For instance, how many times a year does that customer return? Two? Three times? Ten times?

If they do, you’ve only paid $33.75 to acquire them one time. And if they spend $25 multiple times, you’ve quickly doubled, tripled or exploded your original acquisition costs.

And then it becomes easier and easier to sell to them. You’ve already acquired them, giving you tons of free ways to sell: email, phone, etc.

You can launch a new email campaign to existing customers for free in just minutes to increase sales and drive up their CLTVs.

Increasing the lifetime value of your current customers is the key to driving massive profits.

Once you’ve done that, you begin to see compounding effects in every other metric.



Increased lifetime values mean you can spend more on acquiring customers because you know that they will spend $XX over their lifetime with you.

And you can begin to ignore CPC.

When it’s all said and done, lifetime value reigns at the top and should always be your guiding metric.

But Neil, what does this have to do with Facebook audience targeting?

Let me show you.

Lookalike audiences on Facebook are key

Using CLTV as a metric, you can create lookalike audiences on Facebook that target only the best of the best customers you currently have.

Lookalike audiences are simple in nature, yet highly effective:

They utilize your current customer data to find new, alike targets on Facebook.

Matching demographic data with affinities, interests, and more, you can create whole new audiences with the same background as your current customers.

It’s one of the best ways to generate an audience quickly.

And they work.

AdEspresso conducted a $1500 test on Facebook to analyze the performance of lookalike audiences. To do this, they tested 1%, 5%, and 10% audience matching:

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With lookalike audiences, you can customize the audience size by % of the country/area you are targeting.

For instance, selecting “1” would be 1% of the country you advertise in.

AdEspresso put these to the test, finding that 1% audiences, while obviously smaller in nature, converted best.

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According to AdEspresso, the lookalike audience at 10% had a 70% higher cost per conversion than the 1% size audience.

Because of the extra costs, the 10% audience produced 40% fewer clicks, too.

The 1% audience drove 115 leads with just $500 in ad spend.

That’s a cost per lead of just under $4. That’s pretty cheap for high-quality leads.

One company found a 2x increase in conversions and an overall ROI of 186% using lookalike audiences to grow their sales.

By incorporating lookalike audiences, Andrew Hubbard was able to produce nearly $40,000 in revenue from $4,159 in ad spend, generating an 876% return on investment.

Simply put:

Lookalike audiences are amazing.

Here’s how you can set them up using lifetime value to increase their effectiveness and create a Facebook audience that finally converts.

Step 1. Set up your custom audience

To get started with using lifetime value to create a Facebook audience, head to your Facebook Business Manager dashboard and navigate to the “Audiences” section:

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In the audience manager, create a new custom audience, not a lookalike audience:

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While you can do it either way, I prefer creating a custom audience first, as you can select LTV right off the bat instead of after creating your audience.

Next, select “Customer File” as the type of audience you want to create:

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Customer file simply means that you will upload a batched list of customer data on your current customers.

This is the file that Facebook will then take to match other customers and potential audiences for your campaign.

Next, select “Include LTV for better performing lookalikes.” This option will allow you to create a file with lifetime value metrics.

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So, how does that work?

Essentially, you will be assigning each customer on your list a different value.

Depending on what platforms and products you sell, this will either be very fast and easy or somewhat time-consuming.

If you run an online e-commerce store with Shopify or BigCommerce, you can find your lifetime value data easily:

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In any of these customer data sections of Shopify (or BigCommerce, if you use that) you can find customer data on lifetime value and how much they have spent.

If you can do this, you’ll be able to export your customer data easily.

If your business is more consulting or lead-based and focused on landing clients or accounts, you will have to do a bit of digging.

Look at your current clients and see how much they spend with you per month. For instance, does their current contract with you show a spend of $1,000 a month on services?

Or maybe you sell software online. You can then look at their current tool plan to see how much they spend each month and how long they have been a customer.

That’s lifetime value.

Once you have lifetime value for your customers, you will plug that data into your spreadsheet and Facebook will target the highest lifetime values in their matching process.

This simply means that customers on your customer file with high LTVs will be matched first. Facebook will look at their individual data and match to similar users who have a high chance of spending a ton with your business.

Next, read through the lifetime value information that Facebook gives you if you still need a clear understanding of how it works. It’s sometimes complex:

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After you’ve accepted the terms and conditions, you can now begin to create your custom audience.

In this step, you will need to create a list that you can export in CSV or TXT file formats. These are the only two formats that Facebook currently accepts for uploading a custom file.

The data that goes into your customer file should be plentiful:

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Try to fill in as many of the custom identifiers as you possibly can.

Remember: more metrics and identifiers = higher specificity and better matching.



This may take some time to get depending on what systems you use, but it’s going to be well worth the effort.

When adding this data into a spreadsheet, you want to follow Facebook’s Customer Data Prep Guide.

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In each new column for each data type, enter the column header first, followed by the format of each under “Examples.”

Be sure to format correctly according to their guide and the image above.

Once you’ve added all of the data that you need, you can create a final column for customer lifetime value:

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For this data type, your column header in your spreadsheet should be: “value.”

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Under the “value” column, enter the customer lifetime value for each customer in the following two formats:

  1. $500
  2. 500.00 USD

Either one of these will work just fine. Keep the data consistent if you can.

If you are struggling to format your spreadsheet, you can always use Facebook’s file template to your advantage:

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Once you’ve created your list, you can take a deep breath! The hard part is finally over.

Give your new audience a familiar name to ensure that you can find it in your account:

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In the second step of audience creation, select the value column you created for your list as the “Customer Value” type:

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Next, confirm on the “Edit Data Mapping” screen that all of your identifiers are cleared and ready to go with the green checkmark:

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Now upload and create your audience!

Now comes the fun part: creating amazing ads that will speak to your new audience.

Step 2. Ad creation for your new lookalike audience

The first part of the process is done. Creating your lookalike audience with LTV as the main factor is the perfect starting point.

But now the second part requires you to get a bit more creative:

Creating ads that appeal to your new audience.

But before you jump into ad creation or default to what you have done before, here is something critical to keep in mind:

Funnel stages.

Since you are targeting a brand new audience that likely hasn’t heard of your brand before, the creation of your ads along with your calls to action will be critical for success.

Sending this new audience an ad that asks them to buy from you immediately probably won’t work that well.

Why? Well, they aren’t brand aware. They haven’t engaged with you enough to know about your products or consider them yet.

The key here is to warm them up. To get them familiar with your brand and get them engaging with your content.

Keep in mind, since this audience is a lookalike, they will have knowledge of your industry. They have probably even researched products that you sell before.

Meaning you can offer them something in the middle of the funnel.

That means anything from lead magnets to coupons to webinars and more.

Anything that incentivizes them to sign up for your email list or to get them to become a lead without asking them to buy too fast.

For example, you could start off by sending them ads for a webinar if you sell digital products and services:

I use this strategy all of the time.

It’s a great way to offer tons of value to new people without over-selling in the beginning stages of their journey.

If you sell too fast, you risk them opting out quick.

Another great example of a successful middle-of-the-funnel Facebook Ad is from HubSpot:

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Offering free, value-based content, they can hook in users to give them their email information.

It’s the perfect lead magnet that doesn’t ask the audience for too much but provides tons of value in return.

Brainstorm ideas that will promote engagement with your brand without selling too hard.

 

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to split test your ideas with ease.

Step 3. Split test your creative to find your perfect value proposition

Thanks to Facebook, A/B testing has never been easier. With ad split testing directly on Facebook, you can quickly test multiple ad variants against the same audience to see which resonates better.

This is one of my favorite tactics when brainstorming new ideas to see how an audience reacts.

When it comes to lookalike audiences for LTV, you know they’ve done research in your space. But they aren’t brand aware.

This means you are skating a thin line between the awareness and consideration stages of the buying process.

While it sounds good, it also makes it difficult to nail down the proper call to action that will resonate with them.

And that’s why split testing is key. With split testing you can find the right value proposition for the audience, leading to massive wins.

Split testing works, too: One company split tested ad types to the same audience, finding that one variant outperformed the other by 336%.

To start split testing on Facebook, head to your Ads Manager and create a new ad set based on your goals, enabling the split test feature:

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After selecting “Create Split Test,” choose the variable that you want to test:

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In this case, “Creative” is what you want to select.

On the left-hand side, you should now see the following:

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You can begin to create different ad variants for Ad A and Ad B.

If you want, you can even test another ad.

If you have multiple ideas that you want to explore with your new audience, run 2-3 (maximum) at a time. Otherwise, you risk spreading the results too thin.

When running this A/B split test, be sure that you only tweak the creative.

Don’t mess with your audience or placements. Keep the same lifetime value lookalike audience and the same placements, and you will get clear results on how each offer was received.

Run this test until you get a minimum of 250 conversions. That’s the formal guideline from CRO experts at ConversionXL.

Having a minimum of 250 conversions will result in better statistical significance in your tests.

At the end of the test, analyze which ad drove more revenue and profit and proceed with that creative.

Step 4. Remarket non-converting users to close the gaps

Remarketing is one of my most favorite ways to bring back users that didn’t convert.

And while this lookalike lifetime value audience is going to convert great for you, it’s unfortunately not possible to convert everyone.

Trust me. I sure wish it was.

To combat this, remarket the audience you just created, capturing traffic from all non-converting prospects.

In the Ads Manager, you can create a new custom audience based on your lookalike audience.

Depending on how you structured your ads in the lookalike audience campaign, you will choose how you want to create the new audience:

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One of my top ways to remarket on Facebook is by targeting people who engaged with my Facebook Ads in the past few days.

I then exclude anyone who interacted with my CTA button to weed out potential converters.

If you want, you can also create a secondary remarketing list of just people who engaged with your call-to-action button but didn’t convert.

These two remarketing options can go a long way in regaining lost traffic and potential conversions.

After you create those, you have just created a fullscale funnel-optimized lifetime value audience.

You can’t go wrong with this setup, and you’ll be driving conversions faster than you thought possible.

By targeting for LTV, you are ensuring that your new lookalike audience is primed and ready to convert.

Warming them up with split testing will help you narrow down your value proposition and find the right creative elements that appeal to users.

Then, close the gaps with remarketing to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.

 

Conclusion

Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world.

And it packs amazing features to reach your target audience.

But even so, missing your audience is still relatively “easy” to do.

Most small businesses report having this problem of “missing their targets.”

And I’ve had the same thing happen to me: wasting advertising money on audiences that don’t convert.

But I’ve found a surefire way to drive sales on Facebook from all of that testing:

Customer lifetime value audiences.

Lifetime value is the most important metric there is. It can inform acquisition and all of your advertising spend.

Try creating this customer lifetime value audience on Facebook to capture the most interested users and drive your profits through the roof.

Set up your new lookalike audience with the lifetime value feature on Facebook. This will help you target customers most like your top spenders for increased revenue.

Next, create the most compelling ads and split test them for better performance.

What audiences have you tried and found success with on Facebook?

Website Traffic Over Conversions – Why your should always priotirize Traffic (for Webmasters only) 2018





Let me start by getting the obvious out of the way. Conversions matter, Website Traffic matters, too. I’m not going to try to convince you in this blog post that you shouldn’t test for conversions or that conversions will magically happen without any work by generating website traffic. Here’s what I am going to try and convince you of, however: A focus on website traffic generation instead of conversion optimization is almost always the right place to invest your energy and attention. Notice, I said “almost.” Of course, if you’re driving website traffic to your website and converting no one, some conversion optimization might be in order.



For most of you, though, that isn’t the case.

Rather, you are converting website traffic — but perhaps just not as much as you’d like.

So you throw money at conversion optimization.

And you’re not alone. 74% of companies rate converting contacts and leads into paying customers as a top priority, with website traffic falling to second place.

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But is that right?

Sure, it’s one way of doing things. But is it the best way of doing things?

That’s the question I intend to answer for you.

And I intend to answer by explaining that, for most of you, prioritizing traffic over conversions is a better strategy than the alternative.

I know that you’ve read plenty of blog posts recommending the opposite. Articles like Why Conversion Is More Important Than Traffic for Generating Sales.

This isn’t one of those articles.

In fact, here are the four reasons that a focus on traffic is more profitable than a focus on conversions (almost always).

1. Traffic increases your number of conversions

What if I told you that quality traffic directly increases the number of conversions you’ll receive?

Would you believe me?

Well, you don’t have to.

The truth is simple logic.

First, take a moment to consider some average conversion rates.

But a fair warning: it’s not going to be pretty.

The majority of conversion rates fall below the abysmal .5% marker.

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Yikes.

And the conversion rate by referrer doesn’t really paint a better picture, with the best average sitting around 4%.

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The same is true for e-commerce conversion rates by device.

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No matter how you look at it, the truth is the same.

Conversion rates are notoriously low.

At best, 4 out of 100 people who visit your website will convert.

Just take a minute to think about that.

That means you have to pay to get 25 people to your website before even one person buys.

And that’s on a good day.

So what are you to do?

Try and increase that conversion rate by one percent, only to receive a few more sales for every 100 visitors?

No, I don’t think so.

I think there’s a far better solution.

And its name is traffic.

Even with an unsatisfying conversion rate, you can increase your number of customers by increasing your amount of traffic.

Imagine you increase your website traffic by just 500 people.

If you have a 4% conversion rate, that’s 20 new customers or leads.



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That’s a lot of extra cash for a small amount of work.

Which illustrates the primary reason that traffic is a far better focus than conversion optimization.

Let’s, for instance, take the same scenario, but assume that you worked to increase your conversion rate instead of your traffic.

Imagine you even managed to increase your conversion rate by an entire percentage point, from 4% to 5%.

How many extra conversions would that get you?

Five. That’s right. You would receive five extra sales for an extraordinary amount of work.

That’s not very compelling.

And if you’re like most B2B content marketers, one of your primary goals is to generate more leads.

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Evidently, though, the answer isn’t to optimize your website for conversion.

But to drive more traffic to your already-converting website.

That will have a far better pay off than the alternative will, in the end.

And fortunately for your traffic-driving strategy, 70% of people feel more bonded with a company after reading custom content.

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You can leverage those facts in your own content marketing strategy.

Drive traffic to your website and build relationships with the people who arrive.

Believe it or not, you’ll actually make more money faster than you would by focusing on conversion optimization.

So long as your website is converting near one of the low averages, then you’ll be far better off by driving additional traffic rather than changing the color of your CTA.

2. Traffic builds brand awareness

The more people that know about your business, the more people who can buy from you.

And with a focus on traffic-generation, more people will know about your business.

Take content marketing, for instance. You produce a helpful blog post for your target audience.

Then you run advertisements to the piece on social media and send out an email. People flock to the article like a kid to candy.

Some of the people are existing customers. But most of the people are new prospects.

They’ve never visited your website before and they sure haven’t bought from you.

Before, they didn’t even know about your business.

Now, however, they’ve seen your logo, read your content, and maybe even opted in to your email list.

In other words, they know who you are, and they like what you produce.

That marketing attention is a serious win.

And generating traffic and leads is one of the top marketing challenges for 65% of businesses.

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Since you’re probably in the same boat as that portion of marketers, you don’t need me to convince you that you need more traffic and leads.

But you might need me to convince you that simple brand awareness is far more important than optimizing for conversions until your fingers are sore.

Just consider that 51% of social media marketers aim to increase brand awareness.

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Or the fact that 85% of businesses use social media for the primary purpose of creating buzz around their business.

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Clearly, brand awareness is just child’s play. Marketers are investing time and money into it with all seriousness.

But why? Why are they investing so much into such a fleeting concept?

Because the more that people know about you, the more that they’ll talk about you with their friends.

Just take a moment to think about this.

What’s the last leisurely conversation you had with someone today?

Seriously, think back to it.

What did you talk about? How many brands did you mention?

Did you discuss the place that you ate lunch? Or the movie you saw yesterday? Or the TV show you and your spouse just started watching?

The point is, we talk about the things that are top-of-mind.

If your business is top-of-mind, people will talk to their friends about you. Which means that their friends might just check you out on their own time.

Of course, there’s more to brand awareness than simple sight.

People also need to interact with your business by visiting your website, reading a blog post, and then leaving a comment, for instance.

In fact, 54% of email marketers claim that engagement is one of their highest goals.

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This means that you should spend more time optimizing your traffic-generation strategy, not less.

You don’t want to just produce content. You want to produce amazing content.

Because while content will drive people to your website. Great content will drive them to your website and enhance your brand image.

And once they think highly of you, you’ll be hard-pressed to make them think otherwise.

After all, people hate changing their minds after they’ve made a decision.

Traffic builds brand awareness because people see you and, if you do it right, they might even like you.

But one thing’s for sure.

If they never get to your website, they’ll never have the chance to learn to like you (or buy from you).



3. Traffic raises long-term potential

It’s the age-old question.

If you could have $100,000 today or $1 million in a year, which would you choose?

For most of us, that’s a difficult question to answer. After all, you could use $100,000 for your family, your business, and your lifestyle right now.

But you really could use $1 million, right?

Although, you probably don’t want to wait a year.

The difference between optimizing for conversions or traffic is a bit like that hypothetical argument.

Just take a moment to consider the reasons that people abandon their online shopping cart.

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As you can see, the reasons are plentiful.

There are tons of common and less common reasons that people decide not to buy online.

Some people balk because they have to create an account. Others resist a long checkout process. Still more find it difficult to read the text on the page. So, they leave.

Naturally, the temptation is to change and fix everything you can.

Remove the requirement to create an account, make the checkout process quicker, and increase the size of the font.

Will those things increase your conversion rate, though?

Probably.

But not as much as you would probably like.

A strategy that revolves around traffic, on the other hand, will pay you more in the future.

How do I know?

Well, it’s not until the sixth follow up that the chance of an email response surges to 27%.

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And 80% of sales happen between the fifth and twelfth contact.

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What’s the point?

That people have to see your ads, website, business, logo, message, and content a lot before buying from you.

It’s human nature.

We want to know that we’re making a good decision and the only way to know that is to determine whether we trust the business we’re buying the product from.

And, of course, trust takes time.

That’s probably why 88% of B2C content marketers are trying to increase customer retention and loyalty.

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A focus on traffic might not generate loads of revenue right now. But in the future, it will.

After a few months, you’ll start to gain a following.

Then people will start to talk about you amongst themselves.

And eventually, you’ll have a seemingly magical and endless source of passive customer generation simply because people know who you are and talk about you with their friends.

If that sounds awesome, you’re not alone.

Marketers dedicated an average of 36% of their budgets to creating, curating, and publishing content.

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That massive dedication is a result of businesses recognizing the long-term effects of a successful content marketing campaign.

Namely, that people will start talking about your brand, generating more passive traffic (and conversions) to your website.

 

Because here’s the thing.

About 50% of businesses don’t survive for even six years.

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And while that stat only goes up until 2015, that curve doesn’t seem to be changing from year to year.

If anything, the problem is getting worse. People are starting more businesses than ever before which means that more businesses are failing than ever before as well.

Traffic, though, might be your key to building a sustainable business over the long term.

4. Traffic gives you the information you need to iterate

As I mentioned earlier, I don’t want to totally destroy the argument that you should spend time on conversion optimization.

After all, doing so will increase your conversion rate.

The argument I’m making is that traffic is a better focus for most of you than conversions.

But let me take a moment to make the argument that conversion optimization depends on traffic generation.

What do I mean?

I mean that you can’t A/B test your website and your checkout process and your content engagement without traffic.

You must have traffic to your website to test that traffic.

In other words, traffic allows you to test and iterate your conversion strategy.

Without a significant amount of traffic, you can’t test anything meaningfully.

Consider ConversionXL, which runs loads of different original tests on their website.

Here’s a heatmap from them regarding how effective star-ratings are for conversions.

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And here’s another study that analyzes the difference between these two sets of sales copy.

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And finally, one that looks at the difference between how people browsed The New York Times in 2004 verses in 2016.

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That’s a wealth of knowledge for any marketer to have access to.

Now, though, imagine that you had access to all of that information, but it was on your very own website.

That would be pretty amazing, right?

Well, the only way that you’re going to get there is if you have a massive amount of traffic.

Normally, I’m talking about thousands and thousands of visitors every month.

That, really, is the only way to test your conversion tactics and come up with meaningful findings that allow you to iterate upon your current strategy.

And Optimizely reports that you might experience a 228% increase in conversions by regularly A/B testing and iterating.

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Do you want to miss out on that opportunity?

Of course you don’t.

You want to optimize every page, advertisement, column, sidebar, and word of copy.

You don’t want to miss anything, and you definitely don’t want part of your website to fall behind.

Ideally, you want to optimize every part of your conversion funnel.

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But again, the only way to make that happen is by increasing your traffic to the point that you can reliably produce meaningful results.

Because here’s what you don’t want to do. You don’t want to run tests, assume that your results are accurate, spend tons of money and time making changes, only to produce similar results.

Trust me. Without enough traffic, your tests mean absolutely nothing.

With more traffic, on the other hand, your tests become a source of answered marketing questions.

For your reference, here is the process for running great tests.

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First, you determine which conversion you’re going to try and improve.

Then, you create a hypothesis for what you think is going to happen. Now create the variations and run the experiment.

At the end, you’ll measure your results and see what performed better. Your control or your variation.

But if you don’t have much traffic, then all of that testing will be more deceiving than it is helpful.

And that’s not a game you want to spend your time playing.

Conclusion

Yes. Conversions matter.

But it’s for that very reason that you should focus on traffic instead of conversions.

Counter-intuitive, I know.

But it really is the better solution most of the time.

And the reasons for that are simple.

Traffic increases your number of conversions across the board, builds brand awareness, raises your long-term business potential, and gives you the information you need to run reliable tests to iterate your current strategy.

Many people today are focusing far too much on conversion optimization and far too little on driving traffic.

Remember, people can’t buy from you if they don’t know who you are.

And they can’t know who you are unless you drive them to your website.

So what are you waiting for? Go get em’.

Why do you believe traffic is more important than conversions?