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Conversion Rate definition

Concept Illustration of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). (© Artinspiring -

Concept Illustration of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). (© Artinspiring -

Your conversion rate describes the percentage of people who buy a product after landing on a web page. This is a highly important number to consider as it effectively determines the effectiveness of a given marketing campaign and allows you to decide how much you are willing to spend on advertising.

Conversion rate optimization is the process of increasing the percentage of visitors to a website, sales funnel or landing page that will eventually become paying customers. If your conversion rate is 100%, then this means that every single person who lands on your page will end up buying from you. Of course, this is highly rare and very unlikely! More common is to have anywhere between 1-10% conversion rates. This will in turn greatly influence how much the marketer/website owner can afford to spend on advertising and bringing customers to the site.

As a general rule, the profits earned by the seller are going to be equivalent to the number of sales they make, multiplied by the amount of profit that they make for each sale. Thus, if you make $10 profit for every sale, have a 10% conversion rate and have 100 visitors, then that means you will earn $100. Moreover, it means that you can work out how much each visitor is worth to you. You earn $10 for every 10 visitors that come to your site, meaning that you can afford to spend $1 per click to breakeven or more if you want to turn a profit.

openPR tip: Most companies are limited in their ad spend by their budget and cash flow and as such, the best way to grow your business is to focus on increasing that conversion rate.

Tips for Improving Conversions

There are many different business models and strategies you can use to make money from a website. One of these of course is to

  • sell a product – either one that you’ve created yourself
  • or an affiliate product that you are selling on in order to get a commission.

This is a highly effective way to make money and means that you can do so without directing the traffic away from your site, and while making a much larger cut of the profit than you’d get from an ad network. However,in order for that to be effective you need to be able to get people to actually buy what you are selling, and this is where the clever part comes in.

Unfortunately the reality of the situation here isn’t a case of ‘what’s good will sell’. Rather it’s more a matter of ‘if you’re good at selling, you’ll make sales’. In other words, the difference between success and failure really comes down to your sales patter and your site design and how many people you get to read your blurb.

One of the tried and tested methods is to use a ‘landing page’ or sales page where you direct as much traffic as possible – from your own site but also from links on other sites etc. Here you will then do your best to convince anyone who stops by that they need to buy your book or your course or whatever it is, and that all comes down to the way you lay it out and how convincing you can be in your writing. Often, when we discuss conversion rates, we are actually talking about conversion rates for the sales page in particular.

openPR tip: If you have a really great sales speech on your site, and if you are getting highly targeted traffic, then there’s no reason to think that you can’t get 1-2% of people to buy an e-book worth $30. If you are then paying .20 cents per visitor using an ad network, then you’ll be making a tidy (and scalable) profit without having to do… well anything really.

Making Your Landing Page Work

But that’s all reliant on the work you put in to start with and how good you want to make your landing page. If you’re going to make a good profit then this needs to be able to convince people who land to buy. 

Take some time and look around other landing pages selling e-books etc. You will notice right away that many of them have a very narrow site design that forces you to scroll down the page:

  • There’s no menu
  • and no other buttons – because of course that would enable you to navigate away,
  • and the point of the narrow and linear page layout is that it forces you to ‘commit’ by scrolling.

If you spend a while reading and if you scroll down the page as you go, then your visitor won’t want to then just leave without having done anything.

You should

  • litter your ‘buy’ button then throughout the page so that people can click it at any point,
  • and you need to appeal to the emotions of the person buying.
  • At the same time though, the button should also be placed at the end of the page, which is known as the terminal point. This is the last position on a website and the last place they see before leaving.

Most people won’t want to make a purchase until they have read all the content that promotes or explains the product, so they aren’t as likely to buy a product form the top buy buttons. Likewise, they aren’t as likely to buy a product unless they already plan to leave the page.

openPR tip: Even the design of the ‘buy’ button has an important role to play. Studies show that buy buttons are considerably more effective if they are colored red. This is because the color red actually raises the heartrate and increases overall arousal. A red button creates urgency and as such, we are far more likely to buy.

Note that most purchases are not logical or sensible (except maybe a new toothbrush) but rather are emotional and impulsive. Throughout the course of your text then you want to try and subtly manipulate those emotions to work the person into a frenzy where they will click buy.

To do this you need to

  • create a feeling of panic and urgency by stating that there is a time limit on this,
  • you need to make them feel envious
  • and make your product seem exclusive,
  • you need to outline what it is they will get from your product and how it will make their life better,
  • and you need to allay their fears and recognize their barriers to purchasing.

You can use techniques that are referred to as scarcity and urgency to accomplish this.

Likewise, you should also appeal to positive emotions in order to get the buyer to want to purchase. That means describing the product in ways that makes it sound desirable and that makes them imagine holding it and using it.

Your product should be described as

  • being beautiful,
  • as being entertaining,
  • as being in demand – use emotionally stirring language that will encourage people to daydream about clicking buy.

Similarly, think about your value proposition. This is effectively where you ‘sell the dream’. This is where you talk about not what the product does literally but how it can change your buyers’ lives. In other words, a fitness ebook isn’t just a book filled with fitness tips: it is a gateway to help people learn and grow and ultimately achieve the kind of body they have always wanted. It will help them to look and feel healthy and attractive, it will help them to feel good taking their top off and it will help them to meet members of the opposite sex.

This is what you must focus on in your copy.

Finally, it’s also important that you keep the visitor on the page long enough to have all this impact. One tip is to write using a narrative structure: making it into a story. They say that storytelling is ‘SEO for the human brain’, which is a reflection of the fact that the human brain enjoys listening to stories and has evolved to do so over thousands of years.

Stories draw us in and entertain us, but they are also more emotive and persuasive. Couple this with a site layout that uses lots of headings and paragraphs in order to break up the text and you can create something that will be very effective in bringing in sales.

Split Testing

And finally, you can then employ split testing techniques in order to optimize the conversions over time. Split testing means that you are a comparing two slightly different versions of the same site in order to see which one brings in more sales.

That might mean

  • one version of the site with a big heading and one with a small heading.
  • Or one version with a shorter script and another with a longer script.

This way, you can adopt the changes that work to increase your sales and reject those that don’t have any effect.

Ultimately, this testing is what will help your site to grow and eventually bring in more revenue to allow for greaterad spends and profits.

Press releases

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