I ONCE attended a church management class. One thing I never forgot was making people feel welcome starts outside the church building. How do people find your church? What are the road signs leading to it? What’s your parking lot like? Do you have background music in your parking lot? Does your church signs clearly guide the people where you want them to go?
When I started focusing on search engine marketing five years ago, the above questions haunted me as I began to plot marketing strategies on my real estate websites. I was attracting people to my website but the conversions could be better. About a year or two in my search marketing career, I got to rank pages to the first page in all the major search engines. But what to do next? I had traffic but had low conversions.
First thing you do — mind you, most hate doing (including yours truly) — is to learn more about what your traffic visitors. What do they like? The answer is pretty simple: what they were searching for in the search engines. If a big chunk of your traffic find your “search homes” page or your detailed “case study” page, then that’s where you first improve your site. Please don’t make the mistake of placing more value on pages you like the most or you worked hard the most. Start tweaking the page where users click the most. Track your users using Woopra (it’s free for the basic features).
My rule of thumb is: for every call to action I add to the page I need to add something of value to the user — be it a school information piece or a new interesting data/graph. It’s a simple rule to make sure I put the user’s needs above mine. But the man’s got to eat, right? To be clear, I look for ways to convert a user but this is not charity work. The irony is I found out through the years that giving users the best information — and in a clear cut way — makes them two times more likely to contact you. People are people.
They like websites that they feel were made just for them.
(Note: if you stop reading this article, or completely dismiss everything I’ve said, but installed your analytics (woopra or google analytics), then you’re golden. You have made me proud.)
When you are looking for ways to convert a casual surfer, you can start by learning from the top websites in your industry. Learn how they position they’re menu options, what colors they use for their “action buttons” (buttons like: “subscribe today”, “Download our free newsletter”, “About Us” etc.,)
A quick advice: find a way to share your personal reasons for doing business. Be honest and don’t be afraid of being— share why you are passionate about the things you are passionate about. When I lost a lot of money investing in real estate, my site’s tagline was, “A Reno Real Estate Agent Who Lost $50,000 in the Market Shares Lessons Learned”. Even now, as I’ve have changed my tagline, .
I want to add much more tips, but this is good for now to think about adding to your site.
Quick recap: learn about your site’s users (analytics), don’t be afraid to put call to actions and find ways to be personal — talk from the heart.
P.S — putting analytics code in your site can be intimidating for some. If you need help where to put it, I will try to assist, leave your questions on the comment section below.
- The Secret to Converting a Surfer to Client - April 23, 2013
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- 5-Year Question Every Online Marketer Needs to Ask - May 9, 2012