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Photo Credit: Simon Slade

6 Expert Tips for Turning Visitors into Customers

Getting traffic to your website is sometimes the easy part. Having a lot of people visit your website every day is encouraging, but does little to pay the bills. Your goal is to turn those website visitors into a profit. Here are 6 expert tips to ensure that your readers become loyal customers.

1. Collect data about what works

Find out what is working on your site and what is causing visitors to leave. Which pages get the most views and which send readers packing? AffiloTools, when linked with your Google Analytics account, can show you how long visitors spend on each page, in addition to the number of views and the exit rate. This information will allow you to make more productive improvements and understand which formats and designs are most appealing to visitors.

Another excellent tool for data collection is a heat map, like this one from CrazyEgg. This shows you the exact spots where customers are looking and lingering on your page. With this information, you can decide the best place to position things like your email opt-in form or a purchase button. Bring the information to your customers — don’t make them go looking for it.

2. Use new formats for your content

Solid, reliable content on your website will not only improve your conversion rate, but it will also give customers a reason to return to your site. Furthermore, it gives you brownie points with Google, which is constantly finding ways to reward good sites with higher rankings. There are so many types of content out there, why not try something different from the same old blog post?

Reviews make an excellent choice for interesting content. Seek out a product that your audience is interested in and find out what they want to know about it. Try to say something that hasn’t been said before about a particularly helpful or appealing quality of the product. People appreciate good, quality information from a reliable source — so give it to them.

Lists are another winner for interesting content that will increase conversions. They give your audience a greater selection and enhance the shopping experience. Lists make for very clickable headlines and easy-to-digest content, which ensures more traffic to your site and more conversions.

Product comparisons are popular for many of the same reasons reviews do so well. By presenting honest information about two similar products in a side-by-side format, you’re being helpful to your customer. For many buyers, it’s easy to narrow it down to two products but hard to make that final decision. A thorough product comparison that identifies each product’s best and worst qualities will help support that final purchasing decision (thereby earning you a conversion).

Above all, don’t get stuck in a rut. Keep your content variable and different — monotony doesn’t sell.

3. Link positioning is key

What is most obvious will not always be most effective. A big, loud advertisement at the top of your website telling customers to “Buy Now!” is more likely to be ignored than earn clicks. But it’s also important that your purchase link isn’t difficult to find. It should be available to your customers when they visit your homepage without having to scroll down the page, but it doesn’t need to be loud. Purchasing links also do well at the bottom of the page because this is where customers expect them to be. Many people will also want to read over your content before making a purchase, and a link at the bottom of the page allows them to do this naturally.

Try not to be sneaky with purchase links in your content. Embedding links this way is risky, because a link that seems misplaced makes your content look untrustworthy. No one likes being tricked.

4. Always follow up

Some website visitors will make it right to the brink of conversion before backing out at the last minute. If you already have a customer’s information, follow up with them about their almost-purchase. While a reader might not return to your website on their own, putting something in their email inbox will keep you at the forefront of their mind. If they already made it clear they are interested in the product, give them a final incentive to purchase.

This is a seriously under-utilized strategy: one study found that fewer than 15% of retailers follow up with almost-customers!

5. Use a first-person CTA

It needs to be all about your customers. Make it clear what they need to do and why they need to do it with first-person statements. For example: “Get my newsletter now!” is more effective than “Sign up for your newsletter here.” The latter (with “your”) sounds like a command, while the former (with “my”) makes the customer feel like it was their idea. Make your CTA more personal by replacing “you” and “yours” with “me,” “my,” and “I.”

6. Test, test, test

A lot of factors will influence how many conversions you get from your website, so you have plenty of elements to experiment with. Design can play a major role in a potential customer’s behavior, so toy around with the color themes and navigation elements on your site. You can also try a variety of different topics and styles for your sales copy — different content will attract different readers. Another often overlooked factor that you have the power to play with is your pricing. You might sell far more products if you just reduce the price of your product or service by a few dollars.

If you apply these six tips to your company’s website, you are likely to see an increase in conversions. If you collect data, vary your content, position your links well, follow up with almost-customers, and use a first-person CTA, you should see a lot of visitors turning into customers. Keep testing a variety of different strategies on your site until you find what works.

This guest post is courtesy of Simon Slade, SaleHoo.

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