Every couple weeks a client calls us asking us to help generate more traffic to their website. In many cases they do have a need for additional traffic but the larger goal is to generate more sales leads. In some cases they are making the shift to CS from another firm who claimed to specialize in SEO, social media or Adwords.

The risk any organization runs when you start spending budget on generating traffics is throwing bad money at the wrong traffic or even worse, getting the traffic but not getting the lead. Once you’ve got visitors to your site, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information.

At the very least, you’ll need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer. In order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return. That “payment” comes in the form of content, like ebooks, infographics, or fact sheets.

We recommend making sure our clients get their conversion path in order prior to spending much investment on traffic generation efforts. Elements within this might include:

Elements or buttons like “Download a fact sheet” or “Attend a Webinar” can be a powerful tool to begin pushing prospects through the conversion funnel. If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate any leads.

Landing Pages
When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. Read that again…a landing page. Not your generic contact form! A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. Keep it a the bare minimum and make sure to list your phone number there as well in case they don’t want to complete a form or have an urgent need.

Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible. Simplify the questions you ask them and pay attention to disability compliance such as color blindness or screen readers. You will want to purchase a tool specializing in form optimization to do this. Feel free to contact us for a list of possible solutions that fit your organization.

Contacts / CRM
If you have a CRM or marketing automation tool start lead scoring specific target groups or customers based on which conversion link they clicked. Then use that information to provide them with that type of content that they find valuable. Don’t overdo it though because they can quickly become enemies if they feel marketed to.

Once you’ve done these three things, now you are ready to start turning up the heat on traffic generation and watch the leads pour in.

You’ve got the traffic coming to your site, but even with all those site visitors, you’re just not seeing the sales results that you expected.  It sounds like you have a conversion rate problem.  Conversion rate optimization can involve many different methods and tactics, but you need to get started somewhere.  Here’s our top nine tips to turn more of your site visitors into customers.

1. Testing is key
It’s vital as a website owner to know how successful your site is at getting conversions. Armed with that data, it’s then important to understand how changes to the site will impact the number of conversions, either positively or negatively. Each website and audience is different, so what seems to work well on another site, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work on yours. Non-stop testing of changes to the site are crucial to make sure you are maximizing your conversion rate.

2. Tiny tweaks can deliver huge results
Sometimes, something as simple as changing an image on a site, adding a video, or increasing font size can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rate.

3. Be respectful of your users
Too often, we hurt our conversions by asking for too much of the user too early in the relationship. The conversion rate on most web forms drops at a rate that is directly correlated to the number of fields on the form. The more you ask, the less form submissions you receive. What’s the bare minimum you need to get from the user at this point? That’s all you should be asking for from the user.

4. Your calls-to-action should be powerful

A call to action that leaves no doubt about what  to do.

It sounds downright dumb to say it, but it’s important to tell your website visitor what you want them to do. Be clear about it, and make it obvious. It should stand out and entice the action you want. The use of certain colors, fonts, images and action words in your call to action can make a big difference in your conversion rate.

5. Offer incentives
If you’re asking a visitor to like you on social media, or sign up for an email newsletter, offer an incentive like a discount, a coupon or a freebie. In some cases, figuring out the incentive can take some real creativity, but the boost in your conversion rate will make it worth it.

6. People sell!
Time and again, it’s been found that using images, particularly images of people, increases conversion rates. Consider how you can incorporate the use of effective images on your site. Using images of people lends the added bonus of being able to show emotion.

7. Streamline the user experience
Create a simple path to conversion for the user. Don’t muddy the waters with additional calls-to-action that aren’t as important, or extraneous information. This is especially important once the user has started the check-out process on your site. Presenting a customer with a bunch of up-sells, cross-sells and other distractions while in the check-out process is akin to a WalMart employee approaching you while you stand at the cash register with your goods and credit card in-hand and saying “Hey, leave that stuff here and come with me back to our automotive department. You should see these great new car air fresheners we just got in.” It’s not smart business. It wouldn’t happen in brick and mortar, and it shouldn’t be happening online.

8. Embrace the power of video
The use of video on a webpage not only boosts conversions but also has a significant impact on user engagement. Tests show that viewers are 64-85% more likely to buy a product after watching a product video.

9. Provide social proof
Nobody wants to feel left out. Social proof provides a boost in credibility and helps relieve any fears the user might be feeling. Showing testimonials from customers, logos of your clients, or numbers of social media followers and email subscribers can all boost conversions on your site.