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website_conversionsOnce you have established a sound online advertising campaign strategy by setting up your social media profiles, creating content for your website, optimizing your website's infrastructure and content for the search engines, you should start seeing a significant increase in traffic within the first few weeks. However, what really counts when it comes to website traffic is not numbers alone - the quality of this traffic is what's important. You could have a thousand unique visitors per day, but if you are only generating one lead or getting one sale per day on average, your marketing efforts clearly aren't achieving much. In order to make your increasing visitor numbers count for something, you will need to take every step that you can to increase conversions. Converting as many visitors to your website into leads or paying customers is the ultimate key to success rather than sheer numbers alone. 

If you have already increased your website's exposure, the next thing to do will be to focus on your conversion rate. There are three key areas to increasing conversion rates among your visitors. Firstly, you'll need to make a compelling offer which tempts them into becoming leads or customers. Secondly, you'll have to promote your offer by using carefully crafted landing pages before finally delivering a call-to-action to guide your visitors towards the next step. This guide takes a step-by-step look at the process of turning your website's visitors into sales leads and customers.

Step 1 - Provide a Compelling Offer


Any advertising campaign starts with an offer and it is this offer that should set off the initial attraction which your website visitors have. Your offer should be compelling enough so that they take the next step by following your call to action and fulfilling your marketing goals. Needless to say, your offer will need to appeal to a specific and clearly defined audience, and it needs to be relevant to the type of visitor you are seeking to attract.

The customer process in online advertising works in multiple stages. Before someone actually becomes a paying customer, they may become a promising lead. Providing a compelling offer doesn't necessarily mean directly trying to push a particular product or service. Conversions may also refer to the number of people downloading a free trial of a program or subscribing to your email newsletters.

Content offers are an important area of content marketing, giving people the opportunity to learn more about your business and its industry while offering them genuine value in the process. Everyone likes something for free, and offering something for free is a compelling offer in itself which will be all the more likely to inspire people to become paying customers.

Typical offers may include research white papers, case studies, e-books, free trial versions of software products or services or even a personal consultation. You don't even need to follow the norm in this respect - instead, find out what works for your customers and give them what they want. Ultimately, they need to be inspired enough to become promising leads, and eventually, paying customers.

Step 2 - Create Engaging Landing Pages


Squarespace Engaging Landing Page

Landing pages are the webpages which your visitors will end up on if they click on a paid or unpaid advertisement elsewhere on the Web. While these advertisements should also provide the viewer with some idea of what they are about, as well as providing them with a call-to-action, it was what people do when they reach your landing page that really counts.

A carefully crafted landing page should be clear and simple, and the only link or button you really need on this page is the one which doubles up as your call to action. A landing page should guide your visitors to either making a purchase or becoming a sales lead, depending on your goals at this point. Simplicity and engaging content are essential.

The content of your landing page should be completely relevant to the particular advertising campaign in question, and it should never contain any superfluous content or navigational features which might distract or side-track your visitors. Since visitors have already made the step of clicking on your advertisement, you certainly don't want to disappoint them at this stage.

Instead of providing a list of features of the product or service you are advertising, rewrite the most significant features in the form of benefits and what they can offer to your intended audience. At the same time, do not bombard your visitors with information overload and keep the most important content above the fold at the top of the page. Visitors should never have to scroll down to get to the important content.

Step 3 - Create Irresistible Calls to Action


Calls to action are what guide your visitors towards becoming conversions, so it should go without saying that they are among the most important elements of any advertising campaign. The first calls to action which your visitors will encounter will usually be off-site, in the form of sponsored listings and advertisements or organic results in search engines.

Since this guide focuses on increasing conversions among an already high amount of website traffic, the focus is on the calls to action on your website itself. Calls to action are among the most important elements of your landing pages, and ideally, a single landing page will have a single call to action.

The call to action should typically be the only clickable thing on a landing page, excluding the footer which may contain a few extra links, such as to a contacts page or your main website homepage. Calls to action should always be above the fold, and making them into links is essential. Once your visitors know what you have to offer, you need to provide a clear and compelling call to action to guide them to the next step.

An effective call to action which is clearly visible to every visitor, regardless of whether they are browsing using a desktop computer or a smartphone, will greatly help to increase your conversion rates. It may be in the form of an image or text, but whichever type of content you use, make sure that it is clickable so that your visitors will be immediately directed to either downloading your content, making a sale or whichever other type of conversion you are seeking to increase.

Topics: Online Advertising, Advertising Optimization, Conversions

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN, Milwaukee, WI and SouthWest Florida.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.

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