Competition for conversions is fierce, as attracting and retaining customers becomes more important than ever. Marketers are champing at the bit to grab a bigger piece of the action.
The pressure is on. Here, I’ll take you through four key areas that could be killing your conversions, and how you can turn them into conversion rate winners!
First things first: identify your conversion goals
These could be anything that you consider to be a valuable objective from a web page or a campaign, such as:
- Email sign ups
- Content downloads
- Leads generated
- Bookings made
- Product sales
- Phone calls
When you’ve established what goals you’re measuring, you can start to improve them.
Track all calls-to-action and conversions
To make sure you’re not missing a piece of the puzzle, you need to capture all your conversions.
Implementing goals and events for your online conversions in Google Analytics is straightforward, so you can easily track your ecommerce, form fills, and newsletter sign-ups, for example.
The conversion channel that a lot of marketers miss is the telephone.
You might look at your Acquisition report in Analytics and think that your paid search is not performing well because there are no online conversions. In fact, what really happens is that customers click on your ad then call you.
Tracking inbound phone calls alongside your online goals gives you a more accurate picture of how your marketing is performing.
Map out the touchpoints of the customer journey
What drives your customer to convert on their first, second, or even subsequent, visits?
Taking a deeper dive into the increasingly nuanced customer journey enables you to understand what campaigns and content your prospects respond to – and how they respond.
You know your paid search spend is generating traffic. But leads? You might not see conversions in your Google Ads account – but look at those visits in context with your other activity. What motivates your prospects to pick up the phone? Do certain keywords trigger phone calls compared to form fills? Which are more valuable to you?
With this kind of insight, you can start using personalisation and persuasion techniques to greater effect – to nurture conversions, customer relationships, and loyalty.
Refresh your segments
Segmentation is where you place your audience into neat little categories so you can target them appropriately based on criteria you have defined, e.g. age, interests, gender, geographic location, etc.
Shifts in consumer behaviours, however, means that your once predictable groups may not be as relevant as they used to be – and the inevitable knock-on effect is an impact on your conversions.
“Right person, right message, right time” is the holy grail that we’re all after. The right segments inform your strategic decision making, so reviewing your segmentation and ensuring that you refresh them on a regular basis gives you a greater opportunity of connecting with your target audience more effectively – and with better results.
Test, analyse, refine, test
I can’t emphasise testing enough! A/B test different aspects of your ads, campaigns, emails, and landing pages including headings, sub headings, visuals, colours, copy length, tone of voice, call-to-action, and layout.
Analyse the results. The number of conversions you get is a good start, but look at other aspects too, such as:
- How visitors convert from a particular campaign or page – do they fill in a form, or call?
- Visitor flow: what other interactions have your visitors had with your marketing, and how does this influence their behaviour?
- Pages per session, dwell time, bounce rate, etc, are all indicators of how engaged a visitor is with your content, which translates to a greater likelihood of them converting.
Use your data to collect as many insights as possible, and continually refine every single element of your campaigns and website.
Don’t forget the golden rule though – only ever change one thing at a time. If you see a significant difference in your conversions, you need to pinpoint what variation caused it so you can either replicate it… or roll it back.
And, on that subject…
Traditional testing vs machine learning trends
The importance of testing can’t be underestimated. Traditional testing relies on collecting a certain amount of data and comparing to a previous period. It takes time, as you usually have wait for data to be collected to get a sampling to compare.
Depending on what you’re testing, comparing a previous period is not always the best way to tell if something is working better. It ignores broader trends, and any number of factors and unexpected events (ahem) can cause variances and anomalies.
Machine learning identifies trends in real-time. Using a combination of historical and current data, algorithms detect patterns allowing you to see the results of your tests instantly. This means you can work in a much more agile way. If you make changes to a campaign and your analytics alerts you to a sudden downward trend in conversions, you can alter course immediately.
What does a constantly evolving world mean for your conversions?
We’re all learning and adapting as we go. Call tracking gives you a much greater level of insight into your marketing response than using web analytics alone. Putting performance first and using accurate, real-time data to validate your marketing decisions enables you to be a much more versatile marketer – reacting quickly to market conditions, and keeping your ROI moving in the right direction.