This is a question anyone looking at a new website should ask, before taking a step along the road to a new website.
Now the obvious question is what is a conversion platform and how does it differ from the traditional website? Well I’ll come to that later, but first I want to explain some of the problems we run into with websites of today.
Problems we encounter with current website:
The Responsive Website
They may be responsive, but are they designed to load quickly when on a mobile device? Too many websites look good, but are not really designed for mobile. There are 2 main problems we see:
1. They load too slow – so we send 2000 clicks from Facebook but Google only shows half or less actually saw the page.
2. They see the page, but bounce rate (leave from the same page) is very high as the content isn’t designed to be consumed by the mobile user – its designed for the PC user.
You can buy cheap traffic from Facebook, but all too often the reality is a cost of 2 or 3 times the original click cost and before you know it, you’re paying the same money as a Google click but with fewer conversions.
Lack of understanding of what a prospect knows
Because we know our product or service very well, it’s all too easy to forget the person engaged on your website or conversion platform, may have limited understanding. Acronyms should be avoided where possible and explained if used (unless you’re appealing to a technical audience who will know the terms).
The journey to a prospects understanding, if not known, should be researched by looking at analytics on your website. We use Google analytics, heat map tracking and scroll map tracking to gain an insight into what people are doing.
One customer we worked with had a fairly new website, but even though we sent 1/3rd more qualified traffic to the website the sales didn’t increase as expected. Once sufficient traffic had been monitored it became clear the customer couldn’t find where to buy the product – even though it was assumed to be easy.
Lack of understanding and mobile
On the same client website, we discovered that on a mobile device the way the content laid out, clearly didn’t answer their question – they would scroll part way down look at some explainer images, scroll back up and leave in large numbers. Review of this found that the images didn’t talk about one of the critical issues people want to know about.
Or another client who was sending large numbers from Facebook, but, only a ¼ at most ever arrived on the website and they only averaged just over 1 page viewed. This actually made this traffic very expensive, yet it appeared when looking at Facebook only that they were doing well to buy such cheap traffic.
Anyone selling online through their own website will I’m sure be aware of ‘cart abandonment’ rates. It would be great if everyone who started the buying process completed, but they don’t, so it’s a figure you should know. First thing is to look for any common objections – for instance do a lot of people look for delivery costs? If so, take a look at the buying process from start to finish and find out if this is something being searched and what happens during this period. This can be one of the first steps to plugging a leaky cart.
If your subject matter is technical or a product or service that needs to be understood, before someone will commit to purchase, it’s important that you know the key things they need to know and then provide the info in a format that they understand. For instance, one client has an audience that aren’t overly literate, but the process requires several forms to be filled out. Before that step we needed to get them to download the forms, but there was too much written content, so we developed a very simple 4 step process on the website, which had a major impact on downloads, but few filling them out and sending them back, so we used video to walk them through what to do with the forms.
The above may seem obvious
But few are doing it, so there’s opportunity for the SME (Small to Medium Enterprise) that are willing to do some work on the online sales process, to generate more leads and sales than their competition.
This is Why You Need a Conversion Platform Not a Website!
Most people didn’t purchase a website for fun, they wanted it to generate business and if you want any process to generate business it needs planning. Unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen by luck, usually the luck you get in this area of business has been hard earned with a lot of previous work in testing and analysing data.
So what is a Conversion Platform?
Does it look different from a website is the first question?
Well the answer is yes and no. It depends on your objective or what does your conversion platform need to do? Does it need to make sales, drive people in to your brick and mortar business, generate email lists, generate leads or maybe it does more than one thing, but whatever it is you need to ensure it’s clear to all who work on developing this platform.
Although we don’t build websites, we do apply a process called Growth Drive Design developed by HubSpot which consists of a series of steps as follows:
2. Initial Website/conversion platform Launch
3. Continuous Improvements
The continuous improvement process consists of a sequenced approach where you look at various aspects
· Audience – are there sufficient volumes of quality traffic coming to the site?
· Value – do visitors stay or leave, does the content encourage them to stay or view more?
· Usability – can they find the value quickly and easily and they like what they find
· Conversion rate optimisation – look at all conversion funnels and look at reducing friction and make it easier to move through the journey
· Stickiness – do they go through a journey and never come back or do they come back regularly
· Personalisation – is the site split apart based on geo location, subject matter, where they are in their journey and how is that data then used to improve their journey
· Assets – website and marketing are assets (email lists, CRM’s, tools, downloads etc.) how can more assets be created and used
· Promoters – how to get people to tell others and encourage them to come to the website
The website or conversion platform is launched once you have a good outline of what’s needed and then use analytics to further develop the platform in line with the objective defined at the start of the process. By doing this all actions / changes / improvements are all focused on achieving the objective.
To help maintain the focus there are 4 aspects that need to be monitored for each step of the improvement process:
GOAL: What we are trying to accomplish at each step of the website hierarchy.
FOCUS METRIC: A single metric that is direct measure that we’re getting closer to our goal. You should be laser focused on moving this metric.
HOW TO MEASURE: The suggested method to measure the focus metric.
LEADING INDICATORS: The “levers” you can pull that are highly correlated with increasing the focus metric.
• Often they are precluding steps.
• Typically 2-4 max (less is better).
Don’t spend all your money up front
The concept behind this approach is continuous improvement, but if you build your website or conversion platform and then think your finished you’ll minimise your results and invariably be disappointed. Spend enough a get the core site up and running and then use analytics to help develop the website over time – ensuring you keep focused on the primary objective you originally set. Do this and depending on the size of the project, some months later you will have seen continual improvement in results and you will have a very good insight into your online audience and customers.
If your about to embark on a new website and you know you want more than a pretty brochure, call us first. We’ll work with your web developer or recommend one, but more importantly you’ll embark on a process of making online marketing work for your business.