Not all conversions are created equal. That is, not all people think of the same thing when they hear the term ‘conversion.’ Business owners think “sale” while marketers think “interactive behavior.” Both are true – but both are different doorways through which new business arrives.
WHAT IS A CONVERSION?
In digital marketing, a conversion means a change in behavior – your target went from doing nothing to doing something.
All conversions point to lead acquisition, but understanding how the process works in your particular digital environment makes all the difference between success and failure. The goal is to get customers talking to you.
Each lead generation campaign is unique – and it’s not always a sale. It could be a newsletter sign-up; it could be a whitepaper download; it could be a form filled out. People come to websites for different reasons, sometimes ready to buy, but sometimes researching a year out.
For example, a consumer considering a kitchen remodel may visit your website and begin now to read articles, sign up for a newsletter, check out reviews. The consumer may visit many websites and/or return to yours many times over the next several months, but eventually, if you have what the consumer needs, the funnel will eventually lead them to your sales team.
Paid ad campaigns (PPC) are measureable conversion paths. And they should be measured – but correctly – to show a return on investment (ROI). And each conversion type should be counted.
One way to measure PPC is by using specific landing pages. If you send traffic through a paid ad to a specific landing page, you can control the answer to their specific point of pain and not just dump them into a general company landing page that bewilders with too many other decisions points.
While we recommend specific landing pages, you can also give searchers access to the rest of your website – but if you do, make sure your site addresses consumer behaviors. Rather than a flat, brochure-style site, have your content structured deeply around the different types of service levels. In a lot of ways, consumers’ PPC behaviors can help you develop a conversion-friendly website.
LANDING PAGES 101
A good landing page answers the question the consumers are asking when they click that ad. If you don’t provide enough information you’ll lose their interest – you don’t want a billboard advertising a store that has sparsely-stocked shelves.
Even the design of the landing page should be carefully calculated. For example, research shows that an image of a face looking toward the form vs. looking somewhere else affects conversion.
The landing page must also have clear content. People don’t want to search for an answer, they want it put directly in front of them. And giving the right amount of information is critical as well – you want to give them the information they’ve come looking for, yet not too much because you still need your sales team savvy to close the deal. It’s like the story of the 3 bears – not too little, not too much, but juuuuust the right amount.
Tracking is crucial. You have to weigh different conversions differently. For example, sales are obviously important, but what’s the weight of a newsletter sign-up? What’s the value of a repeat visit? These are all steps down the sales funnel and should be tracked and analyzed.
Different tools allow you to track lead generations through phone calls as well as form fills. And expert analysis provides insight into the quality of consumers that are coming in through these channels. If you’re getting leads but they’re not leading to sales, then what’s the point?
The dramatic increase of mobile users also affects the conversion path. They want a straightforward route – and that doesn’t mean thumbing their information into tiny forms on a mobile screen. Lead conversion is NOT the same for them as computer users.
Dynamic call tracking captures the online activity that preceded the call, even the keyword that was successful as bait, and what landing page they called from. With these things in place, you can start to “see” a conversion path – powerful data that provides custom parameters for your marketing efforts.