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Oct 13 2018

Conversion Path Optimization Must Do’s

Conversion Path Optimization

Who’s Story is this Anyway?

A person’s story is their journey. A series of decisions they make that leads to an inevitable outcome, good or bad. The people coming to your website are on a journey, too. Are you helping them along their path? What kind of directions are you offering? Can you help them find what they’re looking for? That’s the purpose of the conversion path.

Most marketers don’t realize that conversion path optimization is one of, if not the most crucial parts of your inbound marketing strategy.

Sure you’ve got visitors but do you really have what you need to bring leads toward becoming customers? In other words, can you drive visitors along a specific path?

I’d say probably not. Know why? Because you’re telling the wrong story.

At least, you are not focused on the right one. Your focus isn’t on the consumer, aka the user, i.e. a person… in other words a human being. Your focus is on their pocket books or rather, what’s in their pocket books.

Show me the money, baby!

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Yes, you’ve seen the acronyms bandied about– UX, ROI, KPI’s, CTA’s and so on. In theory, you’ve got everything where it should be. So you’ve got your user experience on lock down, images, videos, even blogs.

So why is everything FUBAR?

People aren’t connecting with your brand. They aren’t connecting with you. Why?

Conversion Path Optimization

You’re not telling the right story.

You keep telling your story– your version of how things have gone and how you think things are going to be.

You want to convert a visitor from lead to customer– to buy your product.

To grow your business.

To make money.

So you blew your marketing budget on a website that tells your story.

Well, I got bad news for you sunshine. You’re boring. Your story is boring.

Maybe not to you, but to your visitor.

And when they get on your website they’re not interested in your story or your brand. They’re interested in their story.

This is why conversion path optimization is a must.

A good web design firm, like CMDS, can optimize any conversion path to reflect the user’s story.

Give them their story in your website. Allow them to find the solutions they need because your website identifies with their struggle and offers a solution.

You do that, and you’ll lead a visitor to become a customer; a customer who trusts you and cares about your brand.

But let’s back this baby up. You probably need a conversion path in place, on your website, before we talk about optimizing it.

So let’s begin at the beginning. Shall we? Where does this story start?

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What is a Conversion Path?

“A conversion path is a description of the steps taken by a user of a website towards a desired end from the standpoint of the website operator or marketer. The typical conversion path begins with a user arriving at a landing page and proceeding through a series of page transitions until reaching a final state, either positive (e.g. purchase) or negative (e.g. abandoned session).”

– Wikipedia

The conversion path is the progression of clicks and prompts a user follows that guides them through your website and, hopefully, promotes your brand and converts the user into a customer.

Conversion Path Optimization

It starts with a call to action and high-performance landing pages that generate more, qualified monthly leads, with deeper insight into those leads, which in turn, helps to accurately categorize and, ultimately, transcend from lead to customer.

“Conversion paths can start on a blog, your homepage, or even in an email—if it’s a point of contact between you and a potential customer, it can be part of your strategy to convert website visitors to leads.”

– Douglas Phillips

A conversion path will vary depending upon a company’s goals, however, there are a few things each will have in common.

Elements of a Conversion Path

Key elements that no conversion path should neglect:

  • Calls to Action – designed to provoke an immediate response, usually using an imperative verb such as “call now”, “find out more” or “visit a store today”.
  • Landing Pages – displayed when a potential customer clicks an advertisement or a search engine result link. This webpage typically displays content that is a relevant extension of the advertisement or link.
  • Sign-up Forms – Often a part of a landing page, the sign-up form allows a lead to choose to whether or not to receive emails, or follow a brand. It also allows marketers to personalize marketing materials and improve brand awareness and trust.
  • Thank You Pages – This is the culmination of all previous pages. It not only thanks the lead for their interest, but offers the final conversion opportunity for a lead to become a customer. It often includes downloadable content and social media links.

Bottomline:
If you don’t have a strong conversion path in place, you’re not going to have leads that turn into customers and if you don’t have customers… you ain’t got no business.

Or maybe you have your conversion path in place… but it’s not optimized very well.

Well, you need to improve your conversion path so it can be all it can be. Web design firm, CMDS, out of Colts Neck NJ can help fix your website and put you on (dare I say it?) the right path.

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Why Conversion Path Optimization is a Must

You blew your wad on a lights-out-awesome website, but really, it turns out that the website lights are just out. You’ve got everything you need but nothing anyone wants.

The problem is most marketers spend 81% of their marketing budget to acquire traffic versus 15% or less of the budget to on-site optimization efforts.

“With the amount of budget and effort that businesses put into driving traffic to their sites, it’s wasteful to be allowing traffic to simply bounce off the site and leave without returning any value. It’s inefficient to not offer conversion points and sales language on your landing pages. It’s unacceptable to allow people to come to your site and leave without being able to figure out what you do.”

– Helen M. Overland

Frankly, your brand’s most valuable asset is your company’s website. It’s your virtual storefront image, the initial point of contact for most people with your business and the best way to educate potential leads. How visitors interact with your website shapes their impression of your brand and perceived value of what you have to offer.

First, you only get a short time to make an impression. Most people give your website about fifteen seconds before they move on. If you don’t make a strong impression by then, you’re beat.

Facts about bad impressions:

  • 86% visitors to your website will never return again, after a poor user experience.
  • 22% of consumers say a single poor experience is all it takes for them to leave and shop somewhere else.
  • 43% of consumers will go on a share negative views about a company after a poor user experience.

Conversion Path Optimization

Despite these statistics, a shocking number of business websites still lack basic, no-brainer information such as a local or a toll-free number or business location on the home page, an email link, or even a form option which enables consumers to request information.

As one blogger noted, it’s like we invite people into our stores and then promptly ignore them.

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What must be done for Conversion Path Optimization

All the pieces are on the board: the call-to-action, the landing page, the sign-up and the gratitude. Now what do I need to know?

You need to know your Who!

Who’s your who? It’s your audience.

Conversion Path Optimization means you Must Know Your Who

Just who are you trying to connect with? Who does your brand speak to?

If you don’t know who that is, create a buyer’s persona.

A Buyer’s Persona – A persona, in user-centered design and marketing is a fictional character created to represent a user type that might use a site, brand, or product in a similar way. This buyer’s persona allows marketers to identify a character whose profile represents the needs, desires and interests of a specific audience you want to reach.

Once you figure out who they are, then you figure out what they need and how they prefer to go about fulfilling their needs. At that point, all you do is provide for their need.

Obviously, the better a profile created for your buyer’s persona the better you’ll understand and be able to provide service for. Other benefits include:

  • The ability to provide a better user experience
  • Offer better incentives and motivators
  • A stronger grasp of the desired demographic
  • The ability to create a more authentic relationship
  • The ability to inform and educate in a relevant way

Creating a buyer’s persona is like identifying and telling your intended audience their own story. Tell them their story in their words as they navigate your website. All this, while educating and offering solutions to their problems and providing for their needs.

You’ll basically corner the market on awesome.

Well, knowing and identifying your audience is one thing, being able to feed the need is another.

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Conversion Path Optimization means you Must Create Kick-Ass Content

(Rated A for awesome)
SOUND: Cliched Fog Horn Blast
ACTION MOVIE TRAILER VOICE GUY:

In a world where every buyer is on a journey, you need to develop content for each step he takes, from start to finish. Watch as a team of developers races against time, desperate to create relevant, witty and authentic content for a user in three critical areas.

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

SOUND: Liz Phair Song from the 90s
ROM COM TRAILER VOICE GUY: ( Awareness)

He’s just a normal web guy, trying to make it in the big city. She’s a go-getter, big executive on the move with a need that only he can fulfill…

The only problem is, her search terms don’t mention his brand, so she doesn’t know he exists. Then, one day, while searching youtube for conversion path optimization, she sees his face. Now watch as their paths converge all the way to a theater near you!

SOUND: Uplifting Classical Music
DISTINGUISHED TRAILER VOICE GUY: (Consideration)

For your consideration. Sigourney suffers from a specific want and problem. Down on her luck, she’s lost everything in her search. She’s desperate and alone. Until the day she meets Agatha who points her to promotional materials, and a brand that highlights the specific benefits of a particular solution and a product for Sigourney’s problem.

SOUND: Alan Silvestri Score
DRAMATIC TRAILER VOICE GUY: (Decision)

He’s ready to make a choice whose effects will be far reaching. Some are opposed but he stands in the face of adversity. He knows the solution to the problem. He’s seen and knows the brand he trusts and the product he wants to use. Now all that’s left is to make the decision. Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts in… The Final Decision.

Conversion Path Optimization

Conversion Path Optimization means you Must Use Analytics

Google Analytics or other web analytics solutions help track website metrics to bring you data on how many conversions result from a specific path. This enables a company to identify the best conversion paths and also helps pinpoint pages in need of optimization.

Three Google Analytics tracking metrics to improve conversion path optimization:

  1. Destination URL Tracking – This tracks the effectiveness of the internal links on your website in order to optimize user experience.
  2. Button Tracking – Can show you why a certain page in your conversion path is responsible for the majority of bounces and help identify the reason.
  3. Form and Cart Tracking – An easy way to track bounce rate. Once a user begins to fill out a form the success rate should be pretty high. If the form is a turn off, it’s in need of optimization and fast.

“Once you get them filling out your form, it’s time to cross the finish line. This is where granular tracking in Google Analytics really shows its worth. Just imagine taking the bulk of your leads that are sitting at 95% ready to convert, and bringing them that last 5% with just a smoother/sleeker user experience. Then image optimizing your entire site for this exact user experience. That’s some hardcore conversion rate optimization.”

– Kyle Mitchell

Conclusion: Conversion Path Optimization is a Must

Conversion path optimization enables a company to identify a user’s story and empowers them to reach or fulfill a personal goal, while simultaneously promoting the company’s brand.

Dorothy didn’t follow the yellow brick road without a goal in mind. She had a purpose; to see the wizard. In the same way, users move along a conversion path with a goal. The purpose of a conversion path is to make sure that a user achieves their goals. Optimizing that path ensures that they achieve their goals even easier.

Allow CMDS to help you reach your conversion path optimization goals. We’re the wizards that will help answer your questions, fulfil your needs and lead you through this wonderful new world. We’ll help you tell your customer’s story to themselves.

And unfortunately, no, we don’t represent the lollipop guild.

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