Continued from page 1
In order to get your visitors to convert once they arrive, you need to make sure they have a clear path to conversion from landing page. The simpler path, better--a winding road might lose some potential customers. This conversion path could be as simple as a "buy now" button or a contact form, or as complex as a multi-step shopping cart with required registration with required email confirmation to scare away those who are not truly devoted buyers.
Targeting your traffic What you show visitors who arrive at your site is only half equation. The visitors themselves are other. As with everything in life, you can't convert a sow's ear into a silk purse. In this case, sow's ear is paid traffic that is not targeted, or is coming from popunders or other forced viewing, or is just plain faked (there is software specifically designed to emulate human visitors so fraudsters can sell "traffic").
Even in best of cases, some traffic converts better than others. Generally speaking, visitors who are looking for you are likeliest to convert, so conversion rates tend to be highest from advertising on search engines. Conversion rates tend to be lower from advertising on websites (so-called "content" or "contextual" advertising).
Conversion rates are lower still on advertising on website popups, and lowest of all on so-called adware (programs that display popups on a user's computer; people who sell this advertising often label it "targeted traffic"). Sending emails that consist of nothing but your advertisement, even if you've skirted legal definition of spam, is not worth bad will and damage to your brand.
Preaching to non-converting online advertising traffic A significant percentage of visitors, maybe a majority, will never just click "buy now." How do you reach them?
Many people simply will never make a purchase without speaking to a salesperson first. For them, provide a convenient contact form, as well as a live chat option--if you can afford time and expense--your email, and a telephone number. A telephone number is especially important since there are some visitors who will never convert without hearing voice of someone on your end.
For visitors who are not ready to convert immediately, you should have informational articles, "about us" pages or FAQs ready to help them make up their minds.
For visitors who simply will not be ready to convert today, give a reason to bookmark your page. Good articles. A special offer. A newsletter to sign up for. Free advice.
Just make sure you don't place these alternative non-converting options in too prominent a position, or you'll risk distracting prospective customers. A few paragraphs up from very bottom of page is a good place to catch people who are interested in you enough to read entire page, but still haven't converted. The very bottom of page should be reserved for a conversion option for all prospective customers accustomed to scrolling to bottom of page to get a quick overview.
After all, if you want your visitors from online advertising traffic to convert into customers, shouldn't you at least make it easy for them?
Joel Walsh has written as a staff writer for St. Martin's Press and Barnes & Noble, as well as numerous online publications. He is the head writer for UpMarket, a website content provider and online advertising resource for small and medium-sized business websites. You can get a template guide for writing a landing page, with samples, at: http://upmarketcontent.com/landing-page-template.htm