When creating websites or landing pages, business owners and entrepreneurs tend to focus all their efforts on optimizing page elements — making sure the headline engages the visitor, testimonials speak to your unique value proposition, the lead capture form is correctly formatted, and the Call To Action button jumps off the page. Truth be told though, the Hidden Power of Website Conversion Optimization Strategy is where traffic turns into profit.
There is a myth or belief that the former are all that are needed to generate high quality leads, right? Sorry, dead WRONG!
If you are in the group that have been told and believe the former, then why is it that professional designed and well copy-written websites and landing pages, getting decent traffic numbers, don’t produce conversions you would think they would or that business owners and entrepreneurs expect?
To put it simply, it’s because everyone forgets about the user or prospect, in the conversion equation.
Persuading people who visit your website and landing pages to convert doesn’t only depend on what you’ve got on offer and the page elements; it’s also dependent on the prospect and their experience.
Doesn’t matter what business you are in, this is the reality for everyone. Same applies if you are a Building and Construction expert, a Pharmacist, a Financial Adviser or whatever…the list goes on.
It doesn’t matter if your website or landing page elements are optimized to the point of perfecto, and you’re receiving a steady flow of traffic, if the visitor has no interest in the offer you are making, or if you’re not targeting them based on where they’re current at in your funnel. Doesn’t matter how persuasive your copy or content is, it just won’t result in maximized conversions.
In making sure that you hit the conversion goals you are wanting, it’s important to make sure that those who are most likely to convert see your offer.
If this is speaking to you, and your conversion rates are not as you’d like them to be, or your online store is not getting the sales you should be, don’t immediately conclude that you need to tweak the stuff on your page and go into A/B testing mode. The first thing you need to do is to become a “Sherlock” and investigate whether there’s something wrong in your funnel.
Question is, how do you know if you are a victim of mismatched traffic when it comes to your website conversion optimization ? The answer lies in the data.
When we run the numbers and dig into the data on websites and landing pages, when we see a significant gap between the number of page visits and the number of conversions, there’s clearly a disconnect.
We see it more often than not. Someone’s well intentionally spent a motza on their website or landing page, it looks great, reads well, but totally misses the mark for optimising conversion.
Key to digging into the data is looking at the bounce rate on different pages of the funnel. From this you can tell you whether or not the individual pages are enticing your visitors’ or whether they are blockages to conversion. A high bounce rate shows one of two things:
- your page elements aren’t optimized or
- there’s a mismatch between your page and your traffic
In working through this, don’t go down the rabbit hole of overthinking what you think is a good conversion rate, or what you think is a good bounce rate. Instead, open up your Google Analytics and go to Behavior > Site Content > All or Landing Pages and use the comparison feature to analyze which landing pages are performing well in comparison to your other pages.
When you see pages that have a lower conversion rate than average or go into the red, analyze your traffic sources because your pages could be suffering from mismatched traffic. Two factors that can cause the mismatch are:
- Persona issues — The person visiting your page has nothing in common with your targeted buyer persona.
- Mismatch issues — There is a message mismatch in the pre-click experience, bringing the wrong people to your website or pages.
We’ll analyze both of these issues and talk through how you can avoid them.
Buyer personas are based on research that attempts to represent to a degree of accuracy how your potential client or customer buys, thinks, behaves, etc.
You generally use this either to match your marketing copy and messaging strategy with what aligns to your customer and how they like to be communicated with on a website or landing page.
Depending on where your at in your client or customer research process, your buyer persona understanding and insights can vary from a few scribbled notes about your target customers’ desires right through to to complete persona profiles built with quantitative and qualitative data from a research based sample size:
Your website and landing pages should be designed with your target audience in mind, so the whole rationale for knowing and using your buyer personas is to have an evidence-based process to help you guide decisions and strategy in building experiences that cater towards your idea client or customer profile. It doesn’t take the place of testing, but it’s a good starting point for any of your online digital and offline direct marketing.
Now imagine if a prospect visits your page that doesn’t fit your buyer persona. Imagine, for a minute if you end up on a website that talks about eco camping holidays for salmon fishing and you have no idea or desire to go salmon fishing, your not a fan of camping out, and your afraid of the native wildlife. The page simply won’t make any won’t make sense to you, nor would you have any chance of converting into a buying customer. The offer would be useless to you and you’ll be off that page without even thinking twice about it.
Our speak: Your the wrong traffic for this page. It doesn’t matter how optimized their call to action is, your not going to convert.
So, it’s time to see if visitors coming to your pages reflect your ideal client or customer profile, because there is a high probability that the assumptions you’re making about your website or landing page traffic are wrong. Bottom line is, if you’re like most hard working savvy business owners and entrepreneurs you’re getting the wrong landing page traffic and this is why your conversions to sales are not as they should be. Logically, you need to improve the quality of your traffic to optimise and increase your conversion rate.
Now here’s a bit of research that shows what we’re talking about here…After conducting more than 2,000 AdWords audits, it was shown that only 12% of a particular business’s Pay Per Click keywords were responsible for 100% of their conversions. What was even worse was the fact that 88% of keywords accounted for 61% of ad spend on the wrong traffic. Now that’s something to to really think about…hard earned dollars (profits) flushed away.
In demonstrating this, let’s look at one agencies Case Study on how the wrong traffic can negatively affect your bounce rate and conversion rate simultaneously.
A while back, the agency promoted their Valentine’s Day-themed ad on Facebook:
Although the agency had completed in-depth research on their target audience; when they promoted the post on Facebook their conversion rate went down, despite generating quite a few clicks.
Apparently when they dug into the Facebook ad insights, they found that most of their traffic consisted of 55+-year-old women.
Turns out, Facebook users were clicking the ad because of the ‘Spice Up Your Love Life’ angle. But because they weren’t the agency’s target audience — the ad failed to convert a single person. this is a prime example of mixed messaging that has gone off the rails.
Whenever you are setting up pay per click campaigns, it’s important that you only include keywords that resonate with your buyer personas and match user intent. Ranking highly for the wrong keywords will inevitably bring the wrong traffic. Not only does this apply to your paid and targeted ads, but it also applies to your coveted SEO traffic. Attract the wrong audience, and it’s a vanity metric, but worse, because it paints a false image of success.
Choose the Most Relevant Channels for Your Traffic
It’s critical that you choose the most appropriate traffic sourcing channels based on your ideal client or customer.
For example, it wouldn’t make much sense to promote your landing page on Instagram if your buyer persona is a 50-60-year-old male. That’s because 11% of Instagram users fit this profile, and 55% of the social network’s users are between 18-29 years old.
One way to attract the right audience is to promote your call to action using a client or customer profile relevant landing page at the end of any related blog post. This can be effective because if readers make it to the end of the article, and click your CTA button, they’re highly engaged with your content and interested in your offer. We do this with most articles.
Another way to generate the right traffic is to include a landing page link in your emails as a standing footer inclusion. If people click through, you’ll know they’re interested and your chance of converting increases.
When we talk about messaging match we are talking about matching the content of an ad to the content of a website or landing page. This reinforces the messaging in the mind of your prospect, and they know it’s relevant for them. When your ad and landing page don’t match up, your bounce rates are bound to increase because the visitor doesn’t find what they came looking for on your page. Your sending an inconsistent message and putting up boundaries for conversion. Your pages and ads should intuitively guide your prospects in the direction you want them to go.
For example, if your ad promotes a free trial for a heat mapping service, your landing page should promote the same offer. If it doesn’t, the visitor is sure to exit the page because you didn’t continue offering what was promised in the ad.
For all you animal lovers, imagine you’re interested in adopting a cat and so you do a quick Google search. This is the top ad you see:
The ad’s headline assures you that you’re just a step away from adopting a cat, you click through and this is the landing page you arrive at:
The first thing you see is a dog, not a cat. A classic example of message mismatch. Granted, you can select pet type from the first dropdown, but you can’t expect the majority of visitors to complete these three fields to get what they want. You persevere, you scroll down, dogs dominate the page:
The paid ad you clicked on was misleading , it spoke about adopting cats, but directed you to a page heavily favouring dogs.
To maintain message match between your ad and landing page, make sure that both tell the same story and get advertised for the right keywords. Keep it clear and intuitive.
The most optimal way to ensure that your not wasting your hard earned dollars attracting the wrong audience is to create single keyword ad groups (SKAGs). That way, you can guarantee message match from ad to landing page. Whilst some companies can’t afford to do this because they have many similar keywords they want to message match while still ranking highly in the Google search.
If your paid search campaigns require many keywords to rank, a good way to accomplish this, is to create ad groups with five to twenty related keywords, each ad group should be built around granular thematic keywords. Breaking up your ad groups with more focused keywords allows you to message match ads and landing pages. Any more than Google’s recommendation and you risk facing the message match problem.
Another thing to consider with keyword selection is user intent. Think about the intent of the keywords before you create your ad and landing page around it. There are three main types of intent:
- Navigational: The user is trying to navigate to a particular web page
- Informational: The user is searching for information
- Transactional: The user is on the lookout to buy something or perform a certain online activity
For your ads and landing pages to have perfect message match, group keywords and create corresponding landing pages based on the three types of user intent.
Cross functionality between marketing departments such as paid, email, and analytics is extremely important to ensure that your agency isn’t plagued by the message mismatch and buyer persona conundrum. Take the time to create data-driven buyer persona profiles, and refer to them whenever starting a new campaign.
Also, test and optimize often because optimization, both on the traffic acquisition and landing page side, is never done.
Website and landing page optimization isn’t just about the elements and to generate maximum conversions, you need to look beyond the page elements themselves. Of course you need traffic for conversions, but simply getting a ton of prospects to view your landing page won’t guarantee more success.
Not all traffic is good traffic…the right traffic is.
Avoid high bounce rates and low conversion rates by digging into your analytics to fix any traffic mismatch problems you have. Once you’ve identified the weak links, you can promote your offers in the right channels where your targeted audience lives. Only then can you realistically expect prospects to convert on your offers and nurture them to sale.
If you’ve got any questions, because we know it’s a lot to take in, give us a call or send us an email. We are more than happy to give you 30 minutes of our time helping you with where your at, and where you want to be when it comes to launching your funnel and optimising for conversion. We’ll even set up a free heatmap on your website and help you analyse it, for giving us 30 minutes of your time.