Why a Website’s Work is Never Done if You Want Lasting Results
I am just back from last week’s Marketing Sherpa Lead Gen Summit 2013 and while I said in my last post couldn’t wait to hear about lead generation and nurturing programs from some of the best marketers in North America, what I bring back to share with the Marketing CoPilot community is more about philosophy.
From the keynote presentation, through to roundtables and questions that got asked in my session, 7 Steps to a Customer-Centric Keyword Strategy, there was a very different vibe in the air. This conference was about much more than lead generation. It was about a change in thinking: The team at MarketingSherpa is determined to change the way people are thinking and working as marketers.
“Marketers who think their job is to just drive traffic to a website are doing business leaders a disservice,” said Dr. Flint McGlaughlin on the first day. Without standing up and voicing direction about how to evolve a website and test to get a customer-centric view of content and website layout, means marketers are just executing tactics for the sake doing it and will never produce lasting or better results for the business.
This is a strong statement about why the work of your website is never done. You are never finished and the reason you are never finished is because your customers are never finished trying to figure out why they should buy from you.
“It’s not the change on a page that improves conversion,” says Dr. McGlaughlin,’s the magnitude of the change in the mind of the person coming to the page”.
When we test content and continually optimize web pages and websites, we are continually seeking out customer logic. When we understand customer logic, we can have a large impact on the conversion of the page, and ultimately on our business.
Here are 5 simple things you could test to improve your lead collection pages…
1. Primary Copy
People do not buy from websites, they buy from people. A lead capture page has to be viewed as a conversation that moves someone forward to a next step. You need to change a conversation from interest to intent. And you need to be continually testing this. If you have pages on your website that no one visits, why are they there?
2. Crafting an Action
When you develop copy that engages, you are crafting an action. To amplify that action you need a value proposition that uses the techniques of not just explaining but also amplifying the reason to respond. Here’s an example:
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- We assume that this action speaks for itself. It’s a free trial and that is surely enough to get you to engage. But what about this:
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The difference between these two statements is a 103% percentage increase in conversion.
3. Perceived, Received, Believed.
Think about the last time you read web copy on a website that was confusing and unbelievable. When people say things like, “industry leading” or “number one supplier”or use lots of industry lingo to explain something, you don’t perceive the context, receive the message or believe it to be true. It’ kind of like meeting someone at a party who arrives with all of their trophies from high school and proceeds to tell you what a great athlete they are. What do you think of them?
4. Testimonials Motivate
Having a well-placed testimonial at the right spot on the page, at the right time copy is being reviewed, motivates people to move forward. You need to provide:
- Verification (from a 3rd party)
5. Remove Competing Offers
Too often we put as much on a page as we can assuming that if we don’t get an action on one thing, we can throw in a bunch of other stuff that might capture attention. We’ve talked about the “too much choice” syndrome before where business leaders think more choice is better and insist that marketing teams put all the “deals” on the page. But you have to think about sequencing because each time you offer something, even if it’s subscribing to a blog, you are asking someone to stop and consider if it’s worth it. When you ask them to consider more than one thing at a time, it becomes exhausting to the visitor and it’s easier to do nothing.
One of the most refreshing things I heard last week was that improving a website is not about “getting it right out of the gate” it’s about seeing progress taking place. The only way to see progress is to keep at it.
Marketers need to understand the customer. To do this means to invest heavily in testing and adjusting content and process, “not to just see lift but to gain learning” (Dr. McGlaughlin).
Here is a link to my MarketingSherpa Lead Gen Summit 2013 presentation and workbook on creating a customer-centric keyword strategy to support lead nurturing. It’s Marketing CoPilot’s contribution to the dialogue about changing how we think and act as marketers.