Conversion can mean providing a piece of personal information in exchange for content to purchasing your product or service. Your customer must be the one to make the move. But that doesn’t mean you can’t smooth the path with enticements.
There are three essentials to conversion that are critical to attracting prospects and leading them through the funnel to become customers.
Content is Still King
You need to ask yourself, “Am I developing content for my audience? What is the incentive to click?”
Before you produce a single shred of content you must know who you are targeting.
Who uses your products or services?
What do they want to learn?
Where do they get their information?
When do they check social media?
How will you reach them in the right place, at the right time, with the right content?
You are addressing an individual, an acquaintance you want to make into a friend. You don’t sell to friends and acquaintances; you give great advice to solve a problem.Then you ask them to walk with you to the next destination in the sales cycle.
Creating Calls to Action and Landing Pages
A call to action or CTA is typically hyperlinked text or a button sending the reader to a landing page with an offer.
CTA design is attractive and noticeable. It is also short and to the point. It says exactly what will be on the other end of that click.
Elements of CTA design:
You don’t want the CTA to blend into the background. It can be in a shade that is part of the overall color-scheme yet contrasts with its immediate surroundings. For more about the impact of color on design and conversion see our post on The Science of Color, by Bryan Scott.
Make the CTA prominent but not gigantic.
A typical call to action is rectangular but a customized shape evoking your company, product, or type of offer can enhance the curiosity factor.
Like color, font choices can mirror the surrounding content or contrast with it. Just make sure it is still representative of your style.
Make certain the copy is easily readable. Play with centering the text of the CTA vs. a right or left alignment.
Where should the call-to-action be placed?
Below the fold is most common. You provide content to make the case for clicking through then provide the CTA. However, above the fold can also be useful. In this case you want to have a powerful headline, brief statement of the offer, and a CTA telling exactly what the user will get.
There are many appropriate and desirable spots to place a CTA, but for the best results We think CTAs should be placed:
On your website (Of Course!)
In paid media
In social media
The only place you should not have a CTA is a landing page.
The landing page is for one thing and one thing only: providing an offer in exchange for some information from the prospect. The look should be clean with a lot of white space. A paragraph or two that describes the offer clearly and succinctly is joined by a form requesting submission of information in return for a white paper, ebook, entry to a special web page, or to register for an event.
Creating a sense of urgency keeps users from leaving the page intending to come back. You want your prospects to understand they need what you have now while it is still available, relevant, ahead of the competition, etc.
Lower Barrier to Entry
As the title to Steve Krug’s ultimate website usability book says, “Don’t Make Me Think.” Make it easy to say yes.
Limit the Choices
When faced with too many choices, people simply shut down. It becomes too difficult to decide exactly what they need in the face of dozens of products or services. A single call to action is best in most cases.
Remove technical jargon
Clarity and transparency are the orders of the day in web usability. Unless it is part of your plan to segment your content or product to an extremely narrow niche, you want to use the simplest, most explanatory terms possible.
Remove non-essential form fields
Asking for too much too soon is a good way to lose conversions. People have an internal gauge telling them how valuable your offer is to them. This is how they judge what kind of information to part with. Be realistic about what you can reasonably request at each stage of the sales cycle.
To create leads you need to create conversions. This post offers three distinct areas to optimize to increase the likelihood of conversions and click-throughs. Well targeted content, noticeable calls to action, and simplified landing pages are all critical to conversion success.