(Edit: This was previously posted on my personal blog, formerly known as PageRankWorld, but moved here when I decided to focus all of my energy on Viral Blog Content. That’s why it is written from a personal perspective.)
For most websites – learning how to bridge the gap between profit-leaking (essentially all of your missed subscribers/sales/etc.) and effective marketing when you are at a peak conversion rate is extremely hard.
Want to learn a few simple ways to solve that problem?
1. Highlight Your Value Proposition
When a visitor clicks onto a website they have three questions in their mind:
- Does this website interest me?
- What are they offering?
- What do they want me to do?
The answers to these questions have to be absolutely clear to the viewer within the first 3 seconds of viewing the page. If the visitor isn’t instantly satisfied by your answer to these questions – bounce! That’s one visitor that will never return (voluntarily).
If your website has a high bounce rate, either you aren’t sending targeted traffic… or you aren’t highlighting your value proposition.
Here’s how to do this effectively:
- An impressively designed website – Professionally designed websites convey trust and authority, two key factors in a website’s revenue.
- A relevant logo and motto – People are going to scan your website for a couple seconds to figure it out (typically in a “Z” formation), most of the time your logo, the navigation bar, and one headline gets the majority of their attention.
- An effective call-to-action – Like I said, people want to know what you want them to do… So tell them! Ex) Sign up to my email list… etc.
- A clear and concise value proposition – Tell them what you are offering and why they should check it out.
Creating an effective value proposition is all about clarity, relevancy, and (of course) value. You want the viewer to be literally begging for your product.
Having a efficient value proposition can also be integrated into your other marketing efforts. Stay consistent with your branding and value offered throughout your sales funnel to see the highest returns on your investment. (ROI)
Not surprisingly, people spend more money on websites that fit into these categories:
- Websites they have visited before
- Websites that convey authority (aka. Wikipedia, Google, Facebook)
- Websites that fit their needs perfectly – without putting up any barriers
When you have some free time, take a couple minutes and ask yourself: “What are you really offering to your customers?” Think about it on a fundamental level… it might surprise you.
2. Create Multiple Landing Pages + Offers
One highly common problem with website owners is that they don’t think ‘outside the box.’ Once they become an intermediate level marketer, many people hit a plateau (in terms of their marketing skills) and find themselves in a rut.
Yeah, maybe you’ve learned the basic things like how to write convincing sales copy, how to design a highly converting landing page, or have found a moderate amount of success.
Here’s the main reason marketers hit that ‘plateau’ – not even diversification.
Remember when you were starting out in internet marketing, and everyone was telling you to stay small… to conquer a tiny niche before trying to take over the world.
Well, that’s solid advice for a noobie, but once you have a moderate level of traffic you have to once again increase your marketing efforts (if you want to get the maximum amount of money from your website/visitors).
Here’s what I mean – If you run a golden retriever training guide website, and you’ve been offering the same eBook as incentive for an email subscription form for the last 3 years… you’re doing it wrong.
Your guide was called “10 Ways To Train Your Golden Retriever.” I’m sure that worked out great back in the day… but now you have built up some authority.. right?
Now that your (once small) website has gained tons of authority and relevance (along with traffic), your incentive is no longer targeted well, and needs to be revised.
Sure, you still have a ton of golden retriever owners on your site, but what about the huge portion of them who don’t need training tips… what about people that would be interested in feeding guides, exercise tips, or breeding help.
See what I’m getting at?
Many people have mastered the basics of internet marketing – but they forget to advance with the times, as your website grows.
Create multiple free offers, and therefore multiple landing pages, to go along with the ever-changing purpose of your website.
Even if you have to spend an entire month just creating eBooks (they better be damn good quality, if you want those subscribers to come back), it’s worth it!
Extra hint: use multiple groups or lists on your email service provider to segregate your subscribers into laser-targeted sections. Then market to them based on their interests for super high conversion rates.
3. A/B Testing
A/B testing refers to testing one version of a website (A) versus another (B) and then utilizing the better-performing option.
Done repeatedly, and over a long period of time, this process leads to unbelievable conversion rates and therefore huge increases in profit (from the same exact traffic source).
Conversion rate optimization is literally the easiest way you can boost your profit, without getting any extra traffic.
Most people don’t realize that every single website has “profit leaks.” These are different places that could be more efficient in the sales funnel.
Professional marketers are constantly updating their sites and landing pages to increase conversion rates and stay relevant.
What are the main elements of a page to A/B test?
- Website Design – Colors, Typography, etc.
- CTA’s (Call’s to action, like your buy now button).
- Social proof – testimonials, reviews, press, etc.
Those are really the “low-hanging fruit” when it comes to conversion optimization, and if you focus on those you’ll get the most out of your time.
Do you think 100% of your old blog posts (or sales pages) are operating at maximum efficiency?
If not… you are losing serious money.
There are a lot of ways to conduct A/B tests, most are software based, and personally I like using automated software/online services to save time and money (in the long run).
Some well-known split-testing tools include:
I’ve played around with a few of these tools, mainly optimizely, but can’t really recommend one over another. They all attempt to accomplish the exact same thing.
Bonus Page Elements To Optimize For Maximum Conversions:
- Site Speed – Increase your website’s load times to boost conversions… typically, each second decrease in your load time turns into a 7% higher conversion rate.
- Remove Distractions – Squeeze pages get their name because there are no outbound links or options for the viewer other than the CTA
- Social Proof – Add any national press you’ve received, other websites you’ve been featured on, and any huge accomplishments
- Value Proposition – Make sure the viewers understand just how much value you are giving them, throwing in a bonus isn’t a bad idea
- Remove Risk – Always Offer a 60-day money back guarantee, less risk to the buyer means increased conversions
4. Create Your Own Products
Affiliate marketing is a hell of a lot of fun… I’ll give you that, but its NOT the most effective way to monetize a website.
This section won’t be relevant for you people in weird niches where you aren’t able to create your own products, for legal or other reasons… but fret not, with a bit of creativity you can leverage your traffic and make more money.
Tired of making 50% from selling someone else’s products…?
All I can say is that I would rather keep 100% for myself.. or maybe even get my own list of affiliates to build some passive income.
If you are willing to put the time into it – making your own products, no matter what niche you are in, will end up giving you much higher returns.
Even though it’s going to take a lot of time (and maybe money) to create the product, market it, and manage the customers etc., it is always worth it.
Every single blogger, and every well-known internet marketer, realizes this eventually and moves into their own product – whether that’s an eBook, membership site, or service.
Take full advantage of your “influence” online, otherwise other people will always be making more money than you.
5. Emails, Emails, Emails!
You’ve probably been smothered with this idea ever since you started marketing online… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing: emails drive the majority of my viewer engagement, social shares, affiliate sales, and profit.
Email lead generation is the key to a successful online business. You are in this game to make money.. right?
You need multiple landing pages, and multiple free incentives to get people’s emails. Change up the targeting of your offers so you can reach as wide of an audience as possible.
Always remember the “be everywhere” philosophy of getting your brand, and business, in front of as many eyes as possible. This theme is relevant for outbound marketing, but also for inbound.
When people are searching on Google they originally don’t know about your website – they just know what they are looking for.
Your website might be able to answer their question successfully, and if so, it is your job to capture that lead so you can give them more awesome content in the future.
Remember, there are tons of people hitting your site each day that would love to get updates from you, but you aren’t doing a good enough job of giving them the opportunity.
Secret Tip: One cool new tactic that a lot of “A-list” bloggers are using to capture leads from search is creating category pages with relevant info, links to related articles on their site, and an opt-in form.
This allows websites with even a small amount of authority to rank what is essentially a landing page (because they don’t put any other buttons, links, etc, on the page) in the SERP’s (search engine ranking pages).
Check out how SocialTriggers uses this method.
This is the top of the page.
And there’s the bottom. Notice the smart use of links, social buttons, and opt-in form.
I wonder where he is ranking for this (really clever) landing page?
Apparently in the #1 spot for “list-building…” that’s a money keyword if I’ve ever seen one!
6. Learn How To Really Sell
Something you will learn very quick in internet marketing is that you aren’t a blogger, a web developer, or a marketer… you are a jack of all trades.
You are the CEO, marketing department, and salesmen for your website.
Think of yourself as an entrepreneur and your website as your business, that’s the only profitable long-term approach to internet marketing.
Learning how to sell is (in my humble opinion) the best skill you can develop. The good news is your selling success is directly related to how much experience you have. So more selling means better conversions.
Why is it that some writers dedicate their entire lives to writing amazing works of poetry, and never sell a copy of their books… when marketers frequently write high-quality (but obviously not lyrical masterpieces) that hit the New York Times Bestseller List?
The answer: They know how to sell their products and their brand.
Want to kill it at affiliate marketing? Learn how to really sell products. Spend some time as a door-to-door salesmen, a tele-marker paid on commissions, or any other sales position.
The amount of knowledge you gain in a short period of time will astound you.
Social psychology and marketing habits are two of the valuable traits you will boost along with learning how to sell.
7. Be Insanely Creative
Hopefully you’ve learned some solid new tactics from this eBook – but there’s one other really important skill that decides the difference between good websites and the serious million-dollar sites.
The key is being different – smarter, faster, better than the competition.
You need to come up with your own marketing tactics before they become popular knowledge, you need to test out new strategies, and you need to be the best in your niche.
Unfortunately even if you do everything correct in terms of marketing when you start a new website – you won’t ever get to the million dollar level without having something amazing, something unique, and serious value being produced by your website.
Here are a few quick ideas to get you on the right track:
- Re-design your 404 pages as a landing page with a free offer, so even if someone goes to a broken link on your website, they are still prompted with your landing page, and you can then passively convert this (previously lost) traffic
- Creatively utilize social media for free promotion – I googled “coolest marketing campaigns” downloaded a bunch of cool pictures, uploaded them to an image sharer along with a backlink to my website in the picture descriptions, then submitted the pictures to a relevant sub-reddit on reddit for free viral traffic (effectively piggy-backing on other people’s content)
- Analyze your competition – steal their best ideas, marketing strategies, etc.
- Create a following behind your site – Grow your social media, forum, and industry networking connections for optimal traffic growth.