When it comes to your digital marketing, converting website visitors into customers is crucial for long-term success. That’s why it’s important to know how to optimize your efforts so that there are no missed opportunities. You’ve probably heard the term “conversion funnel”, but what exactly is a conversion funnel and how can it help you? In simple terms, your business’s conversion funnel is the path people take to go from potential customer to buyer.
According to Ritika Puri of CrazyEgg, while conversion funnels can vary in complexity, each one has the same basic three components: brand awareness, consideration, and conversion.
Brand awareness is defined as “the extent to which a brand is recognized by potential customers, and is correctly associated with a particular product. Expressed usually as a percentage of the target market, brand awareness is the primary goal of advertising in the early months or years of a product's introduction.” Basically, this is the first and widest step in the conversion funnel process. To get prospective customers interested in your brand, you need the right content in the right places. Use social media and relevant blog content to create awareness in your target market. These things will help pour prospects into the top of your funnel.
Once people are aware of your brand, they consider if what you’re offering will fit their needs. During this step, you should cultivate your company’s relationship with these new contacts in order to keep their interest. In fact, Scott Bender of BazaarVoice argues that consideration, while often overlooked by marketers, is actually the most important step in the conversion funnel. He states, “A consumer can be aware of you and not buy your product, just as they can have an opinion about your brand and not purchase your goods. It's only when the consumer reaches ‘consideration mode’ that they are making the actual decision to become a customer. This is where you should be beefing up your marketing energy.” Optimize the titles and copy on every page of your website, give visitors only what they need and in as little of time as possible. Support on-page content with case studies, reviews, and testimonials. These are all crucial pieces for prospective customers to pass through from consideration to conversion.
During the final step of your conversion funnel, potential customers become first-time paying customers, and possibly repeat customers. By analyzing this step you find out how many people who come across your company on the internet actually become customers. Even though the conversion step allows you to see hard numbers, it’s not going to tell you what you’re doing to get those numbers. That’s why it’s vital to use each step in the conversion funnel to analyze and optimize the content on your website. In this phase, it's important to close the deal delicately. Try offering up a special deal or reward that will help push the lead through to conversion.
Why should you worry about your conversion funnel? Well, Christina Gillick of CrazyEgg puts it best, “Because an optimized conversion funnel is critical to your online marketing success.” Gillick also mentions that if you’ve got a website, you have a conversion funnel whether you realize it or not. “If you understand and analyze the process, then you can take actions to improve,” says Gillick. The result of optimizing your conversion funnel is better website design, which in turn leads to more interest in your product, meaning more sales. By using a conversion funnel, you can evaluate which areas of your online marketing should be improved upon in order to result in more paying customers.
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