How to increase online conversion rates – a beginners guide

(note: We laughed when we completed this post as it came out as quite long but we guarantee that understanding it could double your online sales overnight)

online conversion rates beginners guide

The algorithm. The all-seeing Google eye. No-one seems to be completely sure what it does, or how it does it, all we do is monitor what happens and try to build our theories behind that. It once was the case that you listed your business on Yahoo (which was nearly called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web” (seriously). There used to be numerous ‘business listings’ and you could submit your site to a multi-lister who sent your details to a bunch of these.

No more. Google really put an end to that. What has Google done? Well, quite simply they’ve scanned pretty much every web page ever created and their robots have read it, understood it and catalogued it. They’ve put it up beside others in the same industry that have similar content to you and then asked the web what’s best – they determine this by what’s being read, what’s being shared and who else links to your content. If a page that is visited a lot (such as the BBC, or CNN) link to your page then that’s great (they have lots of web authority). If ten of your friends pages link to you who have next to no traffic and have nothing to do with your industry then that’s less great – the page with the BBC link will probably perform better.

So how do you compete and get yourself found? Well the one thing to remember is, if you get it right, you can get it really right – answer the question on everyone’s lips and limitless traffic is your reward.

Let’s start by answering questions.

What are people looking for online?

If you’re looking for a hairdresser nearby, you can literally Google that phrase. Google can track where you are (it knows everything) and it will show you hairdressers in your area. It knows because the hairdressers that want to be found have taken the time to go to Google and make sure their information is correct, that they are listed in the right place, for the right things and that their contact details are up to date. That’s the simplest thing you can do.

What about those searching for something a bit harder?

Looking for a fitness plan, a nutrition plan, a meal delivery? Google will check these out too, but you’re less likely to end up with local search. Google will search through content that is updated, so our recommendation is to get a blog started and update it. Once a month is a good start, what’s happening in your industry, who has joined the team, what have your results been, new menus, recipes, progress pictures of fitness clients – all of these will help move the needle towards your company and website.

How can I find my audience?

There’s a number of ways, history says that if you keep putting out good content you’ll get found by the right audience, those who wish to engage and those who will interact and become customers – the real question is, how do you find your audience without only picking up one or two new ones per week – you want to supercharge the drive of your online presence (this isn’t ghostbusters, who you gonna call… us!)

Let’s start at the beginning
Your customers are the cumulative audience who know what you do and like it. Like all ‘sales’ games this is simply a numbers game. Let’s assume that 1% of everyone who sees your business buys (this is a high estimate, but it fits for easy numbers). What you need to do is show your business to the most amount of people possible. Good start? So what you’ll find is, you show your business to 100 people, 60 will do nothing – they’re not interested for one reason or another at this time – remember though, that “no” is just “no” for the time being, those baby buggy’s might not be of interest today but they might in the future!

So, of the 40 who click through to your site, 25 will have a nosey at your landing page and leave, again, there’s many reasons they may leave from basic design to simply not being what they thought it would be – or perhaps the advert break on their TV show has finished!

That leaves you with 15 having a look around your webpage. What are they looking for? They’re looking to see that you know what you’re talking about and that your business/product/service applies to them so you need to make sure you can tell them you know what they’re talking about. You can do this with blog posts, articles about your business, copied newspaper articles about the business, news affecting your business, what you’re doing, what you’re developing, your extremely qualified team members, your cosy atmosphere. A basic how you do the thing you do for people like them.

Of this, however, 10 are still going to leave. They’ve had a look, they’ve found out about you, they know how you apply to their lives (or not) and they now know your brand. They might be back but they won’t be buying today.

Now you’re left with 5. They’re interested, perhaps telling their friends, perhaps forwarding on to someone else they work with, their boss, spouse, mum/dad as a discussion point. 1 will still leave never to remember your name, 2 won’t get past this point for a while, 1 will leave and maybe buy later – maybe a week, maybe a month. That leaves you with 1 client. They might not have their purse/wallet, they might be on the train and can’t get a good signal to buy but they’ll be back later to get what they need.

So 100 people reached and 1 bought.

How to increase online conversion rates

How we can help you change the math

The math is the math. It’s true that 1% of everyone is buying your product, you just need to show it to more people. However, I guarantee you that a few things are true within this article.
1. If you’re a problem solver, you’ll look at the problem differently.
2. You don’t need to show your product to *everyone*, just the right ones.

Let’s look at what we know:
You are paying to advertise to 100 people and 1 person buys (with a potential future purchase as well)

Ok, so let’s say that we know your business and we know who is not going to buy and we have a fair idea of who is going to buy. We know that when 100 people saw your product 60 disappear without even a click. That’s 60 we know that we shouldn’t even be showing the advert to, are they too far away, too old, too young, is your product male/female oriented, are you advertising to the blue team and the red team but only selling red team products? We’ll probably know the answer if we do a bit of digging so we can immediately exclude them. We’ve just dropped the cost of your advertising by 60%.

Sixty percent. Or to look at it another way we can use that sixty percent to show your advert to more people who will, at least, click through.

Now we know that we’re driving everyone to your sales page but 25 are still leaving immediately. Why, well again, we’ll probably be able to build an idea around this. but we need to start strategic targeting now.

Let’s make some examples – your product is clothing. We’re advertising on Facebook and we drive people to your site. We can further segment your market so that we show one creative picture to men and one to women. The advert we show to men sends clicks through to menswear, the womens advert goes to womenswear. OK, again, we’ve doubled (if not more) the relevance of each advert to each audience and made it easier for them to find what they’re looking for.

Let’s dig further down, we show holiday wear coming in to summer and warmer clothes coming in to winter – now we’re specifying by time of year but we’re making relevant adverts for the relevant people and taking them to relevant clothing.

How far can you dig?

Pretty far. The question is how much can we test. What we generally find is that the further we can test the better the results become. Sometimes we try an advert that works ok, then, when we change the picture it supercharges the results – it can be as simple as that but the truth is you have to know what to look for and how to amend your advert set in the right way. There’s lots of things that you can find out by throwing money at a situation but if you’re not watching the correct metrics and indictors then you might as well be putting half of your money down the drain as you’re not watching what to change, when to change it, you won’t know how much to change it by or when to simply stop an advert for poor performance. We can help with that. We’ve seen clients ruin advert sets because they find a good performing advert and double or treble the money they put on it – rather than scale, Facebook recalculates the entire algorithm and it can completely ruin the advert.

We’ll show you how, we’ll reduce your cost per advert, we’ll increase your conversion rate, we’ll increase your revenue per ad spend. We deliver, as we have done for years and you’ll reap the benefits.

Just say hi – hello@speedoflightdigital.co.uk

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