Writing effective copy and designing good landing pages spells either success or failure for your landing pages. Let your customers know what’s in it for them as soon as they arrive at your landing pages with clear CTAs.
Everyone talks about SEO and social media all the time but not many understand how to properly roll out a conversion funnel.
I was recently asked for the reason I dig into Google Analytics and scour the internet and trends for what’s working and what’s not. The team (the people asking me this question) only wanted to know if the traffic was dropping or rising. They wanted to know if they had new likes/fans or lost some followers. When I dug into GA, they asked me why.
The answer is simpler than you think.
Conversion of your Traffic is More Important than Just SEO
If you’ve ever worked with or on SEO for your website, you’ll know that it’s not science. It is time-consuming for sure but it is pretty straightforward. If you really put your mind to it, the job might take you a couple of days (tops) to understand and implement.
Increasing traffic to your website is the easy part; creating a sales funnel and converting them into real customers/clients/fans is where it gets tricky. And yet, it could be as quick and easy (on the part of the implementation, at least) as changing the color theme of your website, including placing a simple but strategic ‘Get it Now!’ button/link, or rewriting simple text on a page.
It all boils down to some sleuth work on your competitors, understanding what Google is doing to its algorithm, and then performing some A/B tests.
Of course, this also involves some time, patience, and resilience on your part.
What’s Behind Conversion Optimization in SEO
What I tell you now may not be exactly what another consultant or expert on this subject matter is going to tell you. There is a whole universe of tips and tricks out there that can optimize your website/social media pages for conversion. It’s a really broad topic and strategies vary depending on your industry and goals.
But don’t get overwhelmed.
Take time to sit down and go through the suggested tips and tricks and try them out…one by one.
Give yourself at least a week to digest and then a month or two to try them out.
- You could start by changing the look of your website
- Rewriting the copy on your website and social media profile pages
- Placing Calls to Action at various spots and pages on your website
- Start a newsletter and promoting it
- Place ads on search engines and social media platforms
- Start creating videos and infographics
- Using more elaborate or impressive graphics and images
The list of options is endless.
If it makes sense for your business, try it out. With the main aim of increasing your conversion rate, you’ll also be focusing on what makes your target audience tick. That laser-focused mindset when strategizing will see you increasing not just superficial or aesthetic things but also result in improved ROI and long-term sustainable revenue.
What Should your Target Conversion Rate be?
There’s also no right or wrong answer to this question but it’s the kind of metric we should measure, especially if we’re investing in ads and trying to position our brand against our competitors.
The internet is a fierce, merciless battleground.
Some companies aim high, stating 20% as their target conversion rate. Others set it as low as 1%. None of them is wrong.
But it is generally accepted that if you’re converting anything between 2% to 8% of your SEO traffic, you’re doing a decent job!
Even if your SEO conversion rate now stands at 0.8%, fret not because if you keep doing the right thing, the goal should be moving forward. As long as your bottom line is getting better and better, you’re on the right path.
Creating Effective Landing Pages
No matter what you do with your website or have been guaranteed top quality SEO work by your web developer, there are bound to be weak spots on your website.
That’s why we need to have good landing pages and blog posts on it!
Landing pages need to convert effectively, quickly, and send the message across to the right audience.
Landing pages are not always SEO-ed, though. They’re meant to convert your website traffic into real customers. That’s why I spend considerable time looking all over Google Analytics to find out what is working and what’s not.
What’s the bounce rate? Who is and from where visitors are coming in from? Are some landing pages performing weaker than you thought they would? How long are people spending on each of those landing pages? If you’re in eCommerce, why are people not ‘checking out’ and leaving products/services in their wishlist or shopping cart? What’s the percentage of people clicking into your website on mobile devices versus people coming in from a desktop/laptop? If you are using social media, are people clicking to your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram from your website’s landing pages?
Landing pages are meant to be quick, fast and kick people into taking action.
- Click on a product link
- Give you their email address
- Participate in a survey or poll
- Join an event
- Check out your website
- Contact you
- Bookmark your website
The landing page’s main purpose is to do any one of the above and rarely more than 3 of them all at the same time. Create separate landing pages for each of the strategies above and you’ll see greater conversion rates.
And that’s why I spend a heckuva lot of time analyzing everything that’s happening on my websites. I look at what’s working and what’s not to move towards my goals every day.
Writing the Headlines, Subheadlines, and Title
During the writing process, most of my headlines are temporary. They’re initially placed there as placeholder texts. Sort of reminders to myself about the topic for the following paragraphs.
Headlines should be well written because they have to work for both search engines and readers alike….it’s a tough one. Hence, writing headlines takes more time than you think if I want the content to rank and convert well.
Just imagine leafing through a magazine or newspaper and you’re looking at a whole bunch of articles to read. You need only one or two words to hit home to score. The headline is, in summary, the context of the following paragraphs all fitted into one short sentence.
Some headlines are written to convert right off the bat. Others are written to keep readers and potential customers from clicking that ‘X’ button.
I remember copywriting enticing ads. Sadly, the same technique used for writing advertisement headlines doesn’t work with online content. Vaque, chic, punny, clever headlines rarely ever convert on a landing page.
It has to be direct yet creative.
How clever you are with your words (it may work on social media, though), people who are reading your content don’t have the time to evaluate what you mean. Using the right words works extremely well instead.
The good news is it’s not hard. The bad news is it keeps changing. As far as I can see, the content marketing landscape WILL continue to change.
Quality Content and Call to Action on Landing Pages
Quality content is useful, entertaining, informative, well written, direct, and human. That’s how I define good content.
But remember that writing content for your blog or website is different from writing content for your landing pages. The purpose of your landing pages is to fuel the desire to take action, be it to purchase your product or sign up for your newsletters.
Call to Action links and buttons should be periodically placed throughout the landing pages to remind your readers to take that next step.
Working hand-in-hand with convincing content, your readers will be compelled to click on the link either out of urgency, desire, or curiosity. Here’s a good article (it was written in 2017 but I think it’s still relevant today) on how to write good CTAs.
Speak directly to your readers like you’re talking to them in person. I find that it works best that way despite having written for many major brands out there. The usage of words like ‘you’ and avoiding words like ‘their’ is one of the basic rules I adhere to.
The content for landing pages also needs to be really active, positive, and engaging.
You need to remind your readers that you’re talking to them and there’s something in it for them. Genuineness is hard to convey with mere words. With the help of images, videos, infographics, links and other elements like polls, jokes (yes, even memes), and questions will help you push forth your unique selling points.
I like to call this compassionate marketing although some people may not agree with it because marketing, especially online and digital marketing, is a highly aggressive one. But we already have an intensive battle out there. Wouldn’t it make sense to be a little different, compassionate in our marketing style?
Conduct Tests on the Marketing Strategies
Come up with a couple of ideas and strategies and sit down with your team. If you’re a one-man-team (and that’s perfectly fine too!), give yourself some time to think. Otherwise, discuss and decide on 2 types of content to test out as landing pages to promote the same product or service.
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. In fact, for some A/B tests, the difference could simply be the length of the article, placement of CTA buttons/links, color scheme, or featured images.
Conduct the test by either posting it on your website, place an ad for it, or post it up on social media sites to gauge the reaction of the audience. Ideally, both landing pages should be launched on the same platforms. You can, however, vary the timing if you’re trying to find out the best time to post a link to your new landing pages.
Google Analytics, Facebook and Instagram Insights should be able to give you an idea about how people are responding to your landing pages. If your tone of voice is consistent, people will warm up to your easier.
The landing page’s tests will reveal a clear conversion funnel that works for your website readers and new customers. With an optimized landing page, you’ll find the variant that works which can be replicated again and again.
Let me remind you that this variable can change over time too. Search engines and social media platforms change their algorithm all the time and we need to stay on top of it.
So, even if you’ve found a magic formula for your landing pages, you might need to conduct new tests in the future for new landing pages that work for different products, new algorithms, and other target markets.
So, before you go, here’s a quick recap of what was in this article.
- Spend time reading deeper into what you find in Analytics and Insights
- Creating a successful sales funnel could be as simple as changing the color theme of your landing pages
- Don’t forget to dig around your competitors to get a feel of what they’re doing
- Strategically place CTAs throughout the landing pages
- Don’t forget that you’re also trying to build a relationship with your customers/readers
- 2% to 8% conversion rate is a decent one
- Convert quickly but don’t rush or be pushy
- Decide on what you want your customers to do when they land on your web page
- Spend some time on writing good headlines, subheadlines, and a title
- Strike the right balance between writing for search engines and your human readers
- Write like you’re speaking directly to your customers
- Conduct A/B tests on different landing pages designed for the same purpose
Here’s to your success!
Featured image credit: Carlos Muza on Unsplash
If you’d like to pick my brain or get me to help you do up your copy, website, landing pages, or come up with a solid online marketing or social media strategy, contact me right now and let’s see where we can go from there. If you don’t already have a digital and social media marketing strategy in place, it’s not too late to start now!