6 Simple Tips for Increasing the Conversion Rate of your Webpages

Written on the 5 July 2010 by Altitude Communications

At the end of the day, marketing's main reason for existing is sales. After all without sales a business will cease to exist - no matter how good its product, how dedicated its staff or how beautifully designed its website. In fact you could say that a sale is the lifeblood of every business. So when it comes to online marketing the conversion of a lead into a sale is very important.

The following article will explore how to increase the conversion rate of your online website capture pages. But first, let us clarify, what exactly a capture page is.

As defined by Wikipedia, a capture page, also called a squeeze page, a landing page or a sales page; is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link. The capture page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link, and that is optimised to feature specific keywords or phrases for indexing by search engines.

There are two types of capture pages: reference and transactional.

A reference capture page presents information that is relevant to the visitor. Reference landing pages are effective if they meet the objectives of their publishers, which may be associations, organisations or public service entities. For many reference landing pages, effectiveness can be measured by the revenue value of the advertising that is displayed on them.

A special type of 'reference landing page' is the 'webvert', where the marketing goal focuses on lead generation and interaction with the visitor. A webvert is not 'transactional' in nature. A webvert is a reference-based, ethical landing page. The webverts consists of an advert, designed on the AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) principle. The traffic is driven to the page which has a clear call to action, usually a reply form. *Source: Wikipedia*

In comparison a transactional capture page seeks to persuade the capture the visitor's details into a contact database by completing a form. *Source: Wikipedia*

Additional tools that can assist the likelihood of a successful opt-in include video, audio/voice over or bonus giveaways. The goal of the transactional landing page is to capture, then immediately direct the visitor to buy your product or service. If information is to be captured, the page will usually withhold information until some minimal amount of visitor information is provided, typically an email address and perhaps a name and telephone number as well – enough to "capture the lead" and add the prospect to a autoresponding email marketing database system such as Altitude Communications' Fast Track Email Marketing System.

For the purpose of this article we will be referring to transactional capture pages.

Ok, so now you understand what a capture page is, how do you use them to increase your online conversion rates...

Here's 6 Tips to Optimise the Results You're Currently Achieving.

TIP 1: Understand why your customers are looking for you - i.e. What do they want!

The first step to successfully adding and generating the lead is to get into the mind of your customer. You need to convey, in writing, what it is that they're thinking. Remember, potential customers who arrive at your capture page from either an advertisement, an email Google AdWords or any other method are looking for solutions to their problems. On average, readers spend only approximately 8 seconds on a page before they make the decision to either stay, opt-in or move on, so you need to capture their interest (and their contact details) as quickly as possible. To improve the conversion rate of your page, try improving your organic google search results. Remember to index your page with key words (for help generating key words check out Google's Key Word Search Tool) and descriptions, an XML site map and SEO rich copy.

The other thing you need to do is to encourage your visitor to take immediate action. To do this we suggest the following..

  • Make your text copy easy to read and clearly legible,
  • Keep your instructions and calls to action as simple as possible without having to make too many choices,
  • Less is more, remember the K.I.S.S. principal,
  • The text copy, images and overall content is specifically speaking to your target market,
  • Experiment via split testing with the use of audio, video and other visual stimulants.

TIP 2: Remember that it's all about your customers - NOT all about YOU!

Think about it, who do you think is the most important person in the world... it's me. Well at least from my point of view anyway. When you're writing the text for your capture page, you have to remember that in the mind of the person reading it, they, not you or your business, are the most important thing. They are looking for what they want, answers to their questions and the reasons that they need your product or service. You should write your text in terms of WIIFM - What's in it for me. Through your text and imagery you need to demonstrate that you not only understand your customer's needs but you also provide the solutions to the problems they face. This will strengthen the ability of your website capture page to perform its role.

TIP 3: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so first impressions count!

Your website capture page is often the first point of contact that your potential customer has with your business - so you'd better make a good impression (people do judge a book by its cover). Now pretty pictures and great graphic designs go a long way, but think also about the navigation, structure and the content of the page. Your prospect or visitor is looking for guidance and therefore it is up to you to provide clear direction with a step-by-step process that navigates them through your marketing funnel. Ensure that your website capture page has minimal distractions and a simple call to action. We suggest one simple way of immediately resolving this issue is to remove the menu navigation from your capture page. Click here to see an example.

Remember the most important thing about your capture page is that it must appear to immediately solve your readers' problems. If it doesn't they will simply click and navigate away.

TIP 4: Big and Bold Content for best results

Here's the thing, if the text on your website capture page is so small that people need a magnifying glass to read it... NO ONE is going to read it. Now your graphic designer may argue that it looks cool and it suits the overall aesthetic of the site, but the bottom line is... if your website capture page is difficult to read, your prospect will simply click away and most likely NEVER return.

The same applies to long-winded, jargon-filled paragraphs of text. If you need a degree or some kind of specialised knowledge to understand what you're talking about... your reader won't. Keep your text simple, straight-forward and to the point. Remember the goal here is to capture the visitor's details, gain an enquiry or make the sale, so consider highlighting the important bits with bold text, headlines and sub-headings and perhaps even some splashes of yellow highlighter - it doesn't matter, as long as you make it as easy as possible for people to get the key messages of your page quickly.

At the end of the day, very few people will read your site in its entirety. In fact, the average amount of time spent on a website is less than 4 minutes (and that's if you've captured their attention or have what they want!).

TIP 5: Pretty Pictures vs Good Text

This is a fine line to walk. Web crawlers, for the most part, do not recognise pictures - unless the image is tagged and named with key words in mind). So whilst pictures are important to break the weight of a page, and give the reader some visual stimulation, don't always rely on them to sell. Carefully-constructed Search Engine Optimised (SEO) rich content is one of the keys to getting organically ranked on a search engine, which means more traffic to your page.

The exception to this is video content. A great way of increasing your website capture page's organic google ranking is to include video. A simple solution would be to stream your video into the page from a video site such as YouTube. Video content is ranked very highly by Google at the moment, so including it is a quick way to get your message across and climb to the top of the organic search engine results.

Our advice: before putting anything on your website capture page, think about its relevance, status and importance to the the visitor. If it doesn't meet your criteria or add benefit for the reader then it doesn't belong there.

TIP 6: Need vs Want

If the purpose of your website capture page is to collect data, such as a subscription or an enquiry form, be careful how much personal information you ask for. The Internet is the playground of the anonymous, so the least amount of information you try to collect the better. Now that may sound contradictory, surely you should attempt to get as much info from your new prospect as possible, but it doesn't work like that. In fact, studies show that for each additional field you add it can result in a 10% reduction in your opt-in rate. Your reader is using the Internet to research you and your company, at this stage by collecting the minimum amount of information from them, you are respecting their anonymity, but still meeting your purpose. You will get the opportunity to collect more information from your lead as they move through your marketing funnel, but at the point of capture, we suggest opt-in fields to be kept to the bare minimum.

What's on offer will determine the capture details that you request. For example if you're giving away a physical book or CD you would obviously require postal and address details, whereas with an eBook offer or an MP3 downloadable audio file, you really only need a first name and email address. The reason for including the first name field, is so that your on-going autoresponders and email marketing broadcasts are able to be personalised with prospect's first name.  

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