There are a lot of great articles and resources about growing your website traffic.
Having a lot of traffic is awesome, don’t get me wrong. But having your visitors performs value-added actions on your website is why we want to have traffic in the first place. How about converting those website visitors into customers?
As a matter of fact, most people who’ve participated in my contest mentioned convert blog visitors into customers to be their biggest challenge!
In other words, traffic is your top of funnel or “acquisition” stage, while having those website visitors convert into customers is further down the funnel and either your “activation” or “revenue” stage.
But remember, not all traffic is equal. Quality traffic composed of your target users will usually mean more conversion. Indeed, if you’ve done your job right, your website’s content and the message is optimized for them. This is why it’s always important to look at the big picture: at your entire funnel! Same goes for the landing pages of your website (where visitors land when they come from elsewhere), they have to be optimized for the traffic source.
In this article, I’ll talk about “customer” in a broad sense, so it also includes email opt-ins if you run a blog, free trials or subscriptions if you have a SaaS startup or even digital or physical products if you run an eCommerce website.
Here is how you will convert blog visitors into customers, easy as ABC (A. Using the Power of Social Proof; B. Easy Marketing Optimizations; C. Website Optimization)!
A. Using the Power of Social Proof
If you’re a Marketer or into psychology, you’re no stranger to the concept of “social proof”. Social proof is the simple concept that humans, as social beings, are more inclined to perceive something used and endorsed by others as better and worth it just because they use it. We’ll use both qualitative and quantitative social proof to convert website visitors into customers!
As far as I’m concerned, testimonials are one of the best social proofs available because they prove that people:
- buy your product /subscribe/employ you
- love what you offer and are happy to endorse it
How much better can a qualitative social proof get?
Few pieces of advice
- A testimonial will have much more value if is attached to someone (come on, we’re not robots, yet)
- Always try to put the person’s face next to her testimonial: people trust faces more than avatars!
- Your testimonials could be from unknown people and work, but they’ll have much more value if they come from know names or faces #doublesocialproof
Usually, you know pretty well who you can ask for tutorials: happy customers who shared your product on social media, thanked in support, etc.
Logos of Companies You’ve Worked With
This is more a business-to-business social proof which is very powerful as well!
If you work with companies as a consultant or have well-known businesses using your products, you should showcase it on your website. Showcasing them is a good way to reinforce your B2B social proof and convert website visitors into customers.
A good way to use that as social proof is to add logos of those companies somewhere on their website.
Here is how I’ve implemented it on my homepage:
B2B swag? Check.
Impress with Numbers
Numbers are cool.
And quantitative social proof can also be incredibly powerful!
Here is what the self-talk goes in your visitors’ minds when presented with a big number:
If THAT many people have subscribed or paid, it must be really good!
Numbers that drive great social proof can be of many kinds:
- Email list size (example from Melyssa Griffin)
- Social media follow
The more followers you have, the more people like what you’re doing which translate into social proof.
Check out mine below, getting there huh?
- Number of customers
Same principle here. Here is how UseFOMO does it:
Have you gotten good press from well-known publications?
Or perhaps yourself are a writer (even occasional) for a recognized website or journal? Make sure to showcase the publications logos on your website: another great credibility booster there!
Here is how Now In Store showcases their press features and boost their credibility & conversions:
Ps: I hope you’ve been able to get a backlink from them! Don’t be scared to ask 🙂
Awards & Certifications
Those two beasts are things people or organizations give your or something you win/pass. Thus, they’re also a good confirmation that you know what you’re doing with your business and it is recognized.
Certifications usually also mean that you or your company are part of community or practice hence you know the latest top-of-the-pop trends in your industry!
Olivier Lambert uses his “Best Marketing & Social Media” award as a last social proof booster on his email opt-in pop-up!
Use FOMO to your Advantage
FOMO, or fear of missing out, is the unbearable fear that if you don’t take action let’s say buy a product or attend your friend’s party, you’ll miss something incredible and wish you had done it.
There are several ways you can use FOMO:
- Play on the timing.
Make your visitors understand this offer or free ebook or training is only available now or never. Play with countdowns in your email or else. Deal companies like Groupon have been using this for years!
Events organizers play quite a bit with that with early bird tickets and the event date approaching, a number of tickets left. Guilty but it works so well!
- Offer exclusive content
FOMO can also be applied to content: if this piece of content that looks great is only available as part of your newsletter or community, people we are willing to join it just by fear or out of curiosity.
B. Easy Marketing Optimizations
Now that we’ve had our fun with social proof of multiple kinds, let’s take a look at how you can optimize your marketing actions to convert visitors into customers, shall we!
ABT: Ambroise be testin’?
You didn’t really think it was that, did you? In fact, I mean “Always Be Testing”.
What better way to optimize your website than letting your traffic tell you what they want?
A/B testing is the way to go: you present your version A to 50% of your visitors (or else) and the version B to the rest. You should know pretty quickly which version works best for the goal you’re trying to achieve.
That’s right; you should always be A/B testing something on each of your important pages. By important page, I’m referring to pages where you want visitors to take action. It’s usually your Landing pages, homepage, product page and so on.
“With what test should I start?” you might be wondering. You’re in luck since I wrote on article on just that: how to prioritize your experiment process.
You might also be lost about what tool you should use to test. While there are many tools available out there like Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, I recommend you stay simple, or you won’t do it. For instance, my WordPress theme has great A/B testing capabilities which are easy to use and free once you have purchased the theme!
Offer Something for Free
That’s right, offering something for free (as counter-intuitive as it may seem) can be one of the best ways to convert blog visitors into customers in the long run. Indeed, it gives you a unique chance to prove the value of your product to your visitors as well as ask for their email (more on that below).
Free offerings can take several forms:
- A free ebook for you blog readers
- A free 14-days trial for your SaaS startup
- A free sample of your product
For a blog like Blog Tyrant, it can be in this format:
And it’s one of the best ways to build your email list. No matter what type of business or industry you’re in, you should always be building your email list. Not only is it safe (we can’t trust Facebook or Google), but it’s also a certain way to reach your audience when you want and move them further down your sales funnel, email by email.
How to do that? In an automatic drip campaign (a programmed series of emails you setup in tools like MailChimp), you can easily showcase your best content (give, give, give) and mention what you have to sell. It can be as simple as mine, but you definitely need one!
Use Remarketing PPC Ads
According to EmberTribe, “95% of your site visitors won’t return” (source). Pretty clear: you have one chance to make the best impression and convert them, Or do you?
Taking that into consideration and if you have a little budget to spend on conversion rate optimization, you should do it in remarketing ads. Those are PPC (pay per click) advertisings that only targets people who have visited your website (thanks to what we call pixels). Most of the time, you will run them on Facebook or Google. You can also set them so that they target only people who took certain actions or visited certain parts of your website. With them, your one-time visitors are not lost forever!
They’re pretty effective since they target people who showed real interest in what you have to offer.
Also, ever heard of the “rule of 7”? It’s a 1930s cinema marketing motto that say some will have to see something (like an ad) 7 times before taking action!
The goal is to make them come back so that they convert, so you’d better make them convincing by doing things such as offering discounts, free content or free call.
Done well and after a bit of tweaking and if what you offer is good enough, they should pay back themselves!
Exit Intent Pop-up
As mentioned, you only have a 5% chance of seeing your one-time visitors again, why not try to catch them back with a pop-up that triggers when it notices that they’re about to exit your page? It’s a great way to turn abandonning website visitors into customers.
We’ve added one on Yellow Pages website that boosted email opt-ins:
Overcome Objections & Answer Questions with an FAQ or Live Chat
If you’re selling any product online, visitors will have questions about its features, price options or delivery times for instance. If they’re not able to find answers quickly, they will most probably leave your website (or buy the product elsewhere).
Great ways to overcome that is to be proactive in proving your visitor’s answers to frequent questions and give them an option to ask some more via support or your live chat.
For the former, you can simply add a visible “FAQ” section to your menu and product page so that it’s easy to find.
For the latter, a live chat can do wonders! Especially now that you can build your chatbots easily (great article by Matthew Barby on that).
Comparison Page with Competitors
On the same topic, you website visitors could also be hesitating between your product or service and your competitors’. While you have those people visiting your site, wouldn’t be a good occasion to prove them your product is better than your competitors’?
To do so, interactive estimation tools or even simple comparison table charts can do wonders. Make sure to showcase your strengths and point out competitor’s weaknesses, you Jedi mind trickster!
A general tip in order to convert website visitors into customers is to remove reasons not to buy!
C. Website Optimization
Would you buy a laptop from a street stand? I know I wouldn’t.
Same goes for your website, more specifically its design & speed.
Using Design to Convert Website Visitors into Customers
According to Stanford studies, 46.1% of website visitors mainly judge a site’s credibility by its design (source).
Food for thought, especially when you’ve always heard “ugly websites convert better” but if you go back to the example of buying a laptop from a street stand, I find it makes a lot of sense!
For eCommerce websites, slow loading times is a killer. According to experts GlobalDots (source), we can see stats like:
- 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load
- 47% of consumers expect a webpage to load in 2 seconds or less
- 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions
You can play with their eCommerce conversion loss calculator to get an estimate of how your conversion rate can vary based on the website speed variable alone. You’ll see that indeed, speed is a great factor when trying to convert website visitors into customers!
Spy on Your Visitor’s (Mouse) Movements
Ok, that sounds creepy do you know what your visitors do on your website? Or where they were thinking of clicking but didn’t?
Once you have a bit of data, you can process & use it to optimize your website based on how your visitors are using it.
Have a Secure Website
Having HTTPS in 2017 is a must, especially if you’re planning on processing transactions on it!
Increasing your website’s conversion rate is relatively easy to do by applying those principles, one tweak at a time. Between implementing those updates, A/B testing and heat maps, you have years of experimentations ahead!
Above were 16 ways to convert more website visitors into customers that have worked for me for blogs, SaaS startup sites or eCommerce stores.
Which one of those are you using to convert your website traffic into customers? I’d love to know the results!