I’m at the Conversion Conference in Las Vegas this week, so perhaps that’s driving my thoughts right now, but I’ve noticed that a lot of inbound marketing agency thinking is around the deliverables instead of the outcomes.
The promise of inbound marketing is leads – enough leads to get your business to its revenue goals and beyond. So, the trick to solid inbound is turning visitors into leads via conversions.
Once you apply a conversion optimization perspective to your inbound optimization work, a lot of the tactics pivot away from "stuff" and towards driving results. Here are three steps you can take today to help improve your conversions tomorrow.
Create A Page-By-Page Website Strategy
Most people know that they need an overall website strategy, but did you know that you actually need a strategy for each page? The key to creating this page-by-page strategy is thinking through the visitor’s experience. Ask yourself and your web team the following questions:
- What story do you want your visitors to hear when they arrive on this page?
- What emotions do you want them to feel?
- What actions do you want them to take?
- What stage in the buyer journey do you think they might be in?
- What other pages do you want them to see?
Create A System For Conversion Optimization
The sooner you get good at conversion optimization, the more leads you’re going to be able to generate. Start by creating a process or system that helps your team or your people regularly evaluate data, review and collaborate on the learnings, develop a set of improvements and then quickly get those improvements up and running. Out and working is better than perfect, so you want this process to cycle quickly. The more iterations your team can refine for conversions, the more leads your program will create for your business.
Let’s Test It
The next adjustment you need to consider is testing. Today, we all have opinions. Clients have opinions, team members have opinions, CEOs have opinions – and regardless of the expertise behind them, opinions don’t pay the bills. So, the next time someone tells you their opinion, you should be responding with, “Let’s test it.”
By testing assumptions, opinions and suggestions, you get real data that drives your decision-making process. Now, it’s no one’s opinion but everyone’s reality. The CTA button worked better, the landing page converted better, the whitepaper title drove more page views – this data isn’t subjective, and it’s not qualitative. If you run your test accurately, the data is indisputable.
Now that you have your three new applications for improving conversions, you still need a methodology and a team to apply them. This comes down to what I call “getting dirty with the data.” The only way to truly know how to optimize conversions on your website is to get into the data. You have to look at the performance of pages and call-to-action buttons, and you have to identify which types and pieces of content are driving positive outcomes, like conversions.
You also have to train your team to do this, and they need time to spend with the data, collaborate on the solution, discuss the solution with you and then present a plan of attack to improve program performance. It’s the Action Step that is often skipped over, but it’s the most important part of this process.
Start Today Tip – The most important takeaway is that you need to include conversion optimization in your inbound marketing strategy. You should plan on doing the analytics, responding to the data and creating the action plan required to drive improvements. Then, invest in the time required to make the changes month over month. Our research shows that a focus on conversions can double or even triple the number of leads, AND it starts the lead generation earlier in the program than when you leave conversions to chance.
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