Sometimes getting conversions is like trying to capture mist in a jar or water with your fingers. No matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to get a secure hold on them.

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There are countless test you can do with your website to help increase your conversion rates. A/B and multivariate tests can help you increase your conversion rate a couple of points, which can often translate into thousands of dollars of increased profits. But in all that conversion testing, trial and error, banging your head against the wall and twisting customer's arms until they cry "UNCLE!," there is often one overlooked piece of information that can help you dramatically improve your conversions.

That piece of information is: information. Content, to be exact!

A little information can go a long way when building relationships with your visitors--your would-be customers and bringers of the sacred sale. Building a relationship that is based on a genuine interest and possible dialogue with your customer can lead to more customers, higher sales and significant business growth. No arm twisting or head-banging needed!

Unfortunately, many websites employ the "less is more" philosophy. They see content as the barrier that prevents the customer from getting to the check out isle. Unfortunately, when you remove the content you are not removing barriers; you're removing the associate that helps the customer find what they need.

I don't know about you, but I often find myself in the middle of the store looking for someone--anyone--who can help me. Looking up and down isles, not finding an available employee within driving distance, I get the urge to shout, "I'm going to steal something!" just to see if anyone cares!

Your content shows them you do.

How information wins conversions

Unique content on your home, category, sub-category and product pages explains the value in purchasing your products and services. It allows you to provide the relevant information each visitor needs to know your product will satisfy their wants and needs. It gives them the emotional justification needed to commit to buying what you're offering and make them feel like a puppy just licked them in the face while they do it!

More information on your site creates less resistance in convincing the customer to buy. Content on your site essentially greases the wheels for the potential customer to move through the various phases of the buying cycle. The more customer focused your information is, the easier it will be for your customers to justify a purchase from you.

Essentially, adding quality information to your site helps your visitors make smart purchasing decisions. When customers make decisions on little and/or incomplete information, you may get the sale today, but quite possibly the return will come in the mail tomorrow. Lacking enough product information and purchase justification on the site means you'll ultimately lose the customer for life instead of gaining a life-long spending buddy.

Detailed information on your products and services gives you greater opportunity to create happy customers. Being up front with both pros and cons, benefits and possible side-effects, allows the customer to weigh each against that of other products or even your competitors. Short of that information you risk having an unhappy customer or no customer at all, when all that was missing was the correct information they needed to pull the trigger on a purchase.

Well-written and customer-focused content creates an open and honest relationship with your customers. The more open you are about your strengths and weaknesses, the more open your customers will be with you, as well. This will give you better opportunities to meet their needs, if not now, at some later point down the road with new product or service innovation. Even if you lose that customer today, you've built a bridge to bring them back to you later.

Building up a content-rich website through all levels of the buying process gives your customers reassurance that you are trustworthy and a valuable resource for them to return to. When customers trust you, they hesitate less when making purchase decisions, which ultimately leads to more customer confidence and translates into greater sales and repeat customers.

Any business looking for the long term customers: content can make the difference between no sale at all and a life-long customer. You're essentially allowing your content to play the role of the store employee roaming the isles asking customers, "How can I help you?" If you want to get conversions on your site, you need to think about how much content you're giving your visitors.

If you don't have quality, engaging, explanative and customer-focused content on your site, you're preventing your customers from getting the information they need to make an informed purchase decision. That click you just heard is the sound of your visitors leaving because they can't find any text that makes them confident in your products or services. That cha-ching is is the sound of your competitors' cash registers ringing from the sales you just lost! And that crying? That's you.

Follow at @StoneyD, and @PolePositionMkg.


October 21, 2011





Stoney deGeyter is the President of Pole Position Marketing, a leading search engine optimization and marketing firm helping businesses grow since 1998. Stoney is a frequent speaker at website marketing conferences and has published hundreds of helpful SEO, SEM and small business articles.

If you'd like Stoney deGeyter to speak at your conference, seminar, workshop or provide in-house training to your team, contact him via his site or by phone at 866-685-3374.

Stoney pioneered the concept of Destination Search Engine Marketing which is the driving philosophy of how Pole Position Marketing helps clients expand their online presence and grow their businesses. Stoney is Associate Editor at Search Engine Guide and has written several SEO and SEM e-books including E-Marketing Performance; The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!; Keyword Research and Selection, Destination Search Engine Marketing, and more.

Stoney has five wonderful children and spends his free time reviewing restaurants and other things to do in Canton, Ohio.





Comments(9)

It is incredible how simple it sounds in theory :) Gaining a clients trust is one of the most dificult thing to do nowaday. 30 years ago when there were only a few brands it was WAY easier to make a client get your product. Now after 3 decades of brainwashing, a person needs various arguments, good arguments, to make a decision to buy something.
It is better in a certain way because the product providers are FORCED to reinvent themselves and the market too, resulting in an ever changing, infinite sea of posibilities where you can get everything for the right price.

I think we have gotten too afraid of long content. We think that all our messages have to be tweet length or no one is going to bother. There is still a time and place for long form content! When someone is looking to make a purchase they want to know what they are getting themselves into. 140 characters isn't going to earn their trust or convince them to buy.

I'm not sure if Stoney is supporting the idea of super-long content, but rather, at least a few paragraphs of quality content. Sometimes I find people are dragging on content just to make it longer. Content like this ends up detracting the potential customer and reduces the chance that they will convert. I know for sure I don't like it when I see a massive amount of information to read. To maximize a page of long content, I recommend you set it up like a newspaper journalist would...write a summary paragraph first, for those readers who just want the facts quick, then open up into the details after the summary paragraph. This helps the page cater to both "quick readers" and those wanting more information than just a "quick read." Having bullet lists of key benefits or product info helps as well.

Ciro, you're absolutely right, long content isn't necessesarily good content. The content on the page should only be as long as is needed to move the visitor to the next stage of the conversion process. Any content, regardless of length, should have a beginnning, middle and end.

These are some great suggestions and making customer directed content is a tip that people too often overlook!

Like this: Detailed information on your products and services gives you greater opportunity to create happy customers. But for B2B, detailed doesn't mean long, it just means to create enough curiosity to contact you and the dialog begins. For Ecommerce, it's the same, great image, good words, ka-ching, a sale. Thanks for the article.

Agree that it seems tougher to get conversions today due to the fact that we're constantly being bombarded with one ad after another. Marketing's own insatiable appetite for more ads may very well be diluting the overall effort.

I'm struggling with traffic and I have decent placing and good content. Placement doesn't always mean traffic. It seems like if I write everyday my traffic shoots up but managing other projects keeps me from doing that consistently.

Although traffic is a key factor to work on in order to reap considerable profits from any online business, converting that traffic into sales is where the real challenge lies. This is where quality, relevant, valuable and engaging content comes into play. That valuable content on your blog will encourage visitors to take action in the end such as buying your product, signing up for a newsletter or clicking your relevant ads.

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