Picture this, hundreds of thousands of people walk into your local big box store. They roam up and down the aisles, filling their carts, and they walk up to the grocery counter, then they leave. What do you do? Do you rush to get more people in the store? Or to figure out a way to get your customers to complete the purchase?
In the world of sales, traffic, interest, desires are all the prerequisites for the most important action a prospect can take and that is converting to a paying customer.
For any owner in the event rental business, having customers who place items in the shopping cart, only to never return again, maybe a familiar reality. While a majority of your focus might be on increasing traffic to your website using SEO, converting that traffic into a sale should be a priority process for you to refine. For instance, you could increase your traffic to 200 visitors but only convert 20 into customers or you could have 100 customers but convert 30 into sales. It is only an increase in conversions that truly drive your sales numbers. Taking time to measure conversions, optimize conversion rates, and improving barriers to converting is key to increasing your sales rate.
Before measuring conversion, it is important to know exactly what a conversion is in terms of your website.
Conversion - a website visitor who takes the desired action.
To measure conversions, the website you use should incorporate some reporting system that allows you to monitor your website visitor’s traffic and behavior. If you don’t have a system yet, consider implementing Google Analytics or Conversion tracking if you use Adwords.
While the most desired action you may have is paying for a booked event, there are many smaller micro-conversions that take place prior to this. This could be clicking an ad they found on Facebook, scheduling an appointment with your sales team, and even putting items in a shopping cart. When measuring conversion you want to be sure to break down all the steps and actions that a potential customer may take on the way to a sale, and find ways to measure those actions in proportion to the traffic you receive.
By breaking down the main conversion by all the smaller actions a prospect will take you know have the chance to find weak points where you can focus on to improve conversions. Here are some typical places where you might focus and ways to improve conversions if you find yourself needing to do that.
The first conversion is from stranger to website visitor. For you, there may be several ways that you are investing to get visitors to your website. Some typical ways could be
Search Engine Optimization - If you’re not getting a lot of conversions through search, you will want to check your website mechanics. Ask them to search for what you offer and see where your website ranks when they do. This may require improvement of copywriting or tweaking your headlines.
Facebook Ads - If your Facebook ads are not converting consider adjusting the audience, graphics, and timing of the ad.
Referral Links - You should also know where your visitors are coming from by tracking which links they may have clicked on to get to your website.
Knowing how interested a customer is on your website is critical. Some key ways to convert here are by offering your visitors opportunities to take the next step. Yet, the first measurement over engagement is:
Which is essentially the time between your visitor landing on your site and the time they take to make an action. Measure and monitor how long your visitors are spending on your site. While how long they are taking is not an exact science, it can provide key insights depending on your analysis of what the action is. If you have an influx of visitors that join your site then immediately leave, you may want to focus your efforts on your website design or improving the user experience.
Conversion opportunities are different ways you create for your customers to engage with your business. Get a quote may be the main one, but you will want to offer other low-pressure points to connect with your business as well. It could be your newsletter sign up or to download a coupon that offers something unique. It could even be setting up a time to speak with a party specialist. By offering multiple opportunities you can measure what works best to generate interested leads in your business
Another specific and focused conversion opportunity are landing pages tied to specific campaigns. By setting up landing pages give yourself and your customers a clear-cut pathway to action that is separate from browsing your website. In fact, we offer a great webinar on how to improve conversion on your landing pages specifically
The most important conversion opportunity, of course, is your shopping cart. While customers may place certain items to be booked for an event, only to never return, you will still want to monitor this to see what are the popular items your customers are looking for and find ways to highlight them or offer incentives to buy. Additionally, if your booking page requires a customer to make a purchase of any kind, you want to test, test, test find some friends or potential customers and ask them to make a purchase. Ask them about their experience and how it could be improved.
Additionally, if you do have a purchase page, you will want to add trust indicators, like a secured website graphics, or any other certifications that support the credibility of your website and business.You can also offer multiple payment options and promotional options to provide further incentive to make the sale.
Most Importantly TEST, TEST, TEST.
No matter what point in your conversion funnel that you are measuring, always make sure to experiment and test what your customers can see, think about, or do in your conversion funnel path. From colors to copywriting there are many ways to appeal and direct your customers to the next step to the final sale.