When it comes to online conversions, the big question for all digital marketers is how to best turn impressions into clicks and clicks into conversions. There isn't just one answer, mainly because conversions are more or less likely to happen the further up or down the funnel your potential customers are. But some rules apply in all cases. When it comes to converting impressions online, there's a fine line between what works and what doesn't. Here are three key areas worth attention.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) are part of an SEM strategy and time-honored ways of driving traffic to your site. Simply put, a user finds you because she's entered specific search terms that trigger your listing, sponsored or organically. Your job is to come up top in the search engine results page (SERP) and convince her your product is best and push her to your website.
- What to do: Make sure you have a highly relevant domain name. Key topics are king, so make sure your headlines, titles and meta tags on your pages are focused, short and relevant. If in doubt, use tools like Google Analytics to help you out.
- What not to do: Don't forget to add your city if you're local, don't use a generic page title and do not forget to make sure you're directing your customers to the right landing pages. Think mobile! Do not overload your pages with flash and graphics.
According to Business Insider, an estimated $4 trillion worth of merchandise will be abandoned in online shopping carts this year, so to make sure your impressions ultimately convert, adopt a strong retargeting strategy.
- What to do: Tailor specific ads to specific visitors. Work with your digital expert or use tools, such as Google Dynamic Remarketing or Facebook Exchange, to tailor cookies to your customer's intent, e.g., whether she just browsed and left or put something in her cart first.
- What not to do: If someone looks at your men's shoes collection, don't launch a retargeting campaign that sends them ads for women's shoes, and don't send them the same collection over and over. If they didn't buy the first time, they probably want to see something different.
Shopping With Confidence
Trust goes a long way to encourage conversions. Build trust with your customers so they will feel confident shopping with you.
- What to do: Use social media and blogs to establish your credibility and accessibility. Add trust seals, such as from the Better Business Bureau or Verisign, and offer a guarantee — easy returns or a 30-day money back guarantee. This will give customers, especially new ones, the confidence they need to proceed.
- What not to do: Don't ignore your Yelp reviews, social page posts or blog comments, especially if they are negative. If a customer is unhappy, addressing her concerns will allay her fears (and those of other potential customers) and make you appear more trustworthy. Ignore disgruntled customers at your own peril.
The bottom line is be found, look good, be social and approachable and understand what your customers want and where they've been. And don't forget to add a clear call-to-action (CTA) button on your page for online conversions. If you got them this far, make the rest as easy as possible.