Previous posts:1. Setting the right vision
2a. Maintain your assets (part 1)
2b. Maintain your assets (part 2)
3a. Killer homepages (part 1)
3b. Killer Homepages (part 2)
4. Architect adaptive content
5. Create extraordinary content
If you have followed the first five steps of the website redesign success process, you now have a lot of happy visitors coming to your bustling site. It’s time to start doing some business. It’s time to start converting.
Ideally it would be great to convert visitors directly into customers. Unless you have an e-commerce site, it is unlikely you can be this direct.
Most organizations have to nurture prospects through a sales process, having to build trust each step of the way in order to earn their business.
A conversion is anytime a site visitor takes a significant step towards achieving one of your bottom line goals. For companies, a conversion is anytime a visitor becomes a customer, or takes a step towards becoming one.
For non-profits, conversion might be a donation or signing up to volunteer. For startups and social sites, a conversion might be registering for an account.
The most common type of conversion is when someone gives us permission to contact him or her by submitting a form. Diligently building a permission-based marketing database is the often neglected cornerstone required for unleashing the true power of inbound marketing.
So we want to get people submitting lots of forms!
To drive form submissions you will want to build a framework around three components:
- Premium offers
- Landing pages
- Calls to actions
The first step is the offer. You need to create strategic offers that are so compelling they get people to happily give you their closely guarded contact info.
Offers can be practically anything that a visitor might find valuable:
- Discounts and coupons
- E-books and whitepapers
- A free consultation
- Software trial
If you are a thought leader in your market, one of the best ways to create offers is using premium content such as an e-book, whitepapers and reports. Well-crafted, relevant premium content is very sought after. There is no reoccurring cost to deliver it and it is a highly effective way to re-enforce your thought leadership position.
Landing pages are where you will provide your premium offers. A landing page is designed to be a one page sales pitch for your offer. You are giving someone a premium in exchange for their information and permission to contact them.
Architecturally, landing pages are comprised of a pitch and a form to fill out to receive the offer - and not much else. They are designed to be simple pages uncluttered with distractions. They are focused on guiding your visitors to do one thing - take action on the offer.
Landing page tips:
- Leave out any website navigation.
- Keep the description of the offer clear, simple, and concise.
- Use an enticing graphic to capture the imagination
- Keep the form above the fold.
- Use social sharing widgets on the thank you page to enable the visitor to share the offer
- To maximize efficiency, consider these questions:
- How fast can you launch a new landing page?
- Can one person do it in 15 minutes?
- What is the cost of experimentation?
Call to actions
The best way to get people to your landing pages are calls to actions (CTA). They most often take the form of a graphic or stylized text box similar to banner ads. Calls to action should grab your visitor’s attention and be relevant to the content on the page.
Every page on your site should have a call to action leading people to one of your great offers. CTAs should be at the bottom of every blog post and other goodwill content. A sidebar block above the fold is best for standard web pages.
Placing your calls to action on other sites can be a highly effective way to expand your audience. There are many opportunities to do this such as Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and banner ads.
- Brainstorm some potential premium offers.
- Work towards building a collection of offers that aligns with your offerings and the content on your site.
- Implement a landing page for each premium offer.
- Add calls to action for relevant offers on all pages on your site.
- Look for effective opportunities to place CTAs on other websites.
If you’re in tune with the “how” and “why” visitors are coming to your website, you can create applicable offers and calls to action that will generate interest. Once you have their attention, landing pages create a doorway to convert them into leads.
This post is an excerpt from the Website Redesign Success ebook. The ebook walks you through 8 simple steps to building a results-oriented website.
photo by Grant Plamer Photography