It’s every marketer’s goal to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers. Unfortunately, most marketers are creating ineffective conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategies that are focused too narrowly. Let’s take a look at a few common mistakes that marketers make when creating their CRO strategy.
Without a plan in place, it’s hard to hit goals and measure results. Often times we see marketing plans that are really just the “wing it and see” strategy. It’s important to create a plan that includes the actions you will take, the goals you want to achieve, and the data you will need to measure your results.
For example, I may create a plan for obtaining more newsletter signups by offering my visitors a free SEO report. I want to get 50 signups per week and I want to convert 20% of my blog readers into subscribers. Now I have a plan, a goal, and a measurement. These types of plans should be in place for each part of your CRO strategy.
Marketing online is all about great content and the old adage that “content is king” as never been more relevant as it is today. It is important to give your visitors something that they may find valuable. This may be a simple blog post, a white paper, a slide deck/presentation, or even a podcast. Creating a plan to produce content in regular/manageable intervals will help keep your site fresh, and will keep visitor coming back for more.
Pro Tip: Dissecting content can be an effective way of creating new content from a single large content pool. For example, I might create a slide deck that is incredibly detailed about social media engagement. In that presentation are several key points. I can then take each point and spin them into their own topics for discussion. Doing so will ensure that your “site theme” stays consistent and it will become easier to find new content to publish.
It’s incredibly important to publish your content in several formats (PDF, Slide Decks, Video) and to publish to several networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Slideshare, etc…). Distributing your content in different formats and outside your main website will ensure that you attract more users that may have not been specifically looking for your content in the first place.
4. Lead Generation
With your all those distribution networks, it may seem easy to give everything away for free. What you should be doing is saving your best content and placing behind a user action. For example offer a white paper in exchange for a newsletter signup, or industry tips in exchange for contact information. With that information, you can create an email marketing campaign and drip feed your subscribers sales and marketing materials. This will help you identify the most qualified leads and will simplify your sales process.
5. The Funnel
Most of what we have talked about above is a part of the “conversion funnel” however I feel that many people are making a few significant errors when interpreting the funnel.
First, it’s not a funnel. Not everything at the top will make it to the bottom. It’s more of an inverted pyramid. The top is the majority and the bottom is the minority. The top can be weak while the bottom should be strong.
Second, you should commit to optimizing all parts of the funnel. Your effort should be directly associated with your budget. For example, if you have a low budget, you should still be hitting each key point, however at a lesser frequency or intensity. The top is all about content marketing and getting people interested. The middle is about determining who is qualified and determining where they are at in the sales process. The bottom is about converting your qualified leads and making sure that you are measuring your success.
Third, you need to stay up to date. Different marketing channels coma long all the time, Google changes their algorithm constantly, and your visitors needs change. Stay up to date and make sure you are adapting to the changes in your industry.
Just a few tweaks to your conversion strategy will lead you down the path to success. It’s hard work, it takes time, and it can be stressful. Be sure you are optimizing every part of your conversion funnel, and that you are creating content that your visitors will want to read. It all starts at the top and you must be strong the further down the funnel you go.