Generate more traffic. Increase user engagement. Generate more leads. Repeat.
If you are like me someone that deals with digital marketing, SEO and website development on a daily basis, you are most likely very much familiar with the above mantra.
However, despite promising ourselves to dedicate an equal amount of time to each phase (traffic-engagement-leads) we end up spending most of our time and energies in generating organic, high value traffic. As we feel that our number one priority is to bring more people to our website, we dedicate most of our efforts to generate witty email campaigns, unmissable special offers, strategic Google Adverts, engaging social media updates and white-hat SEO implementations.
But what about the journey of a user from first-time visitor to potential customer? Are we sure that everything is so perfectly optimized that we can just ignore that phase between first visit and final purchase? Are we totally sure we are not missing out on something? Maybe something as vital as more customers?
Let’s find out…
First thing first: Google Analytics
As always Google Analytics should be our first stop. GA is packed with great insights just waiting to be discovered. In this specific case, we are interested to discover what is the abandon rate of our site.
Let’s look at our most visited pages. Are people visiting other pages or do they exit from the same page? Are most of the people leaving when reaching a specific page?
If that is the case, we should consider the following questions…
1. Is our page visually appealing?
On the internet the competition is fierce. To win the battle for users’ attention, a site needs to stand out both in terms of content and style.
Good content should:
- Have a clear goal, stated in the title
- Be Clear, concise and accessible to the ideal user
- Be Educational, engaging and comprehensive
- Be unique (speak your mind and use your voice)
- Contain high quality images and high resolution videos as visual aids
Good style should:
- Present a clear title that stir emotions: be bold in bold!
- Contain a body text that is at least 16px and divided in paragraphs
- Present italic, bold and underlined words to help readers
2. Is the loading speed causing people to leave the site?
If a page takes too long to load, visitors might have already pressed the back time before the website page has even started appearing on their computer screen. To find out if the loading page is killing future leads, we need to run PageSpeed Insight test. If the final score is high enough (above 50/100 and highlighted in green), the site is good to go. If the final score turns out to be below 50/100 and highlighted in yellow or red, it is time to get busy. Luckily, the website gives suggestions of what should be implemented to load faster, from images and CSS minified to browse cache.
3. Are we suggesting users what to do next?
It might be that after visiting a page -even a good one- our users are not given a reason to stay. It is therefore our responsibility to give users a reason to stay by carefully implementing a call-to-action, or CTA. The idea is to turn passive users active. An example of great CTAs?
- Ask users to leave a comment…yes, ask them!
- Recommend users the benefits of watching a video or downloading a PDF
- Encourage users to subscribe to a newsletter
- Encourage users to visit more pages by adding hyperlinks
4. Could we take advantage of personalized CTAs?
The idea behind personalized CTAs is to create a call-to-action relevant to any stage of a customer’s journey; from first time visit to first time buyer. If someone just landed on our website and it is still in the process to evaluate our site, offering a free download could help turning an occasional visitor into a potential customer. Conversely, someone thinking already about purchasing could be more interested in contacting a customer support helpline or taking advantage of a first time purchase discount. Whatever your CTA consider using:
- A clear title that exemplifies what the benefit is about
- A subtitle that adds some extra clarification
- Visual aid to make your CTA appealing
- A button that encourages conversion
Is your page F-shaped?
According to a study conducted from the Norman Nielsen Group in 2006, people read a webpage in a manner that resembles a F-shaped pattern. People focus mostly on the top part of the page, scroll through the middle and skim the last section. By keeping this in mind, you can structure your page by positioning your key elements along the F-shape.
Add a sprinkle of self-promotion
Show people that your customers trust and love your brand. Add a touch of self-promotion by showing:
- Logos of companies that benefited from your services
- Testimonials in the form of feedback that vouch for the great experience
- Awards and excellent reviews from your industry
- Affiliations to show your business integrity
- Social followings to show your niche’s leadership