What's your inbound marketing conversion rate? Drawing visitors to your website is a great start, but visitors alone don't make inbound marketing tick. It's turning visitors into qualified leads that really matters.
For all its importance, conversion rate is a pretty simple metric to figure out. It's the number of leads your website generates, compared to your overall number of site visitors. The percentage of your site visitors that become leads is your inbound marketing conversion rate.
Let's take a look at how you can improve your inbound conversion rate, and reap the revenue-generating rewards of focused marketing.
Segmentation: Identifying the Right Targets
The products or services you sell solve a specific problem for a specific market. It might have wide-ranging applications, but your best prospects and most likely conversions will come from the core group that truly needs your solution. So the first step toward improving your conversion rate is narrowing your target audience, and tailoring your marketing to the right segment.
It's not as simple as just making sure your ads show up on the sites your targets read. The content you create, from blog posts to eBooks and webinars, should also be focused on the needs of your core audience. Even your calls-to-action and landing pages can be geared toward the people you most want to attract. Be consistent, identify the challenges your targets face, and provide real solutions.
Presentation Matters: Building Consistent Conversion Paths
Shop at a major e-commerce site like Amazon, and you'll notice that each page in the purchasing process has very similar presentation. You move from the product page to the shopping cart to the checkout page, and there's never a doubt which website you're using. Consistency fosters trust, and keeps the user's mind on the task at hand.
Applying the same principle to your inbound marketing funnel will yield similar benefits for your conversion rate. Even with segmented, specific targets, your site visitors will come from a variety of sources, so consistency takes on added importance.
Use the same images, colors, and even fonts to create a sense of consistency from your calls-to-action to your landing pages. The transition from one page to another should feel like a logical progression. Your copy should be consistent, too. A dramatic change in voice can be just as jarring to the reader as a major change in the appearance of the page.
Minimize Distractions to Maximize Attention
Distractions are everywhere online, to say nothing of whatever distractions your site visitor has in their physical setting. There's always another Vine or tweet or app waiting to steal away the attention you've worked so hard to earn. So there's no need to add any extra distractions to your marketing materials.
If a visitor has reached one of your calls-to-action, or found their way to a landing page, you've already got their attention. At that point, your goal is simply keeping it long enough to show them the value you offer. If you want the reader to click something, make the button stand out. Choose vibrant colors that contrast well with the rest of the page, and don't crowd areas where buttons appear.
More than anything, though, it's important to make it easy for the site visitors to take action. Present as few choices as possible. If you want them to download something, include a download button. If you want them to sign up for your email list, keep the form simple. Don't put any unnecessary roadblocks in the way of visitors becoming leads.
Analyze, Iterate, and Repeat
You can't build a perfect marketing plan overnight. Integrating best practices is a good place to start, but the exact tactics you'll need depend on your industry and target audience. Mix in how quickly modern marketing evolves, and you've got all the incentive you need to strive for continual improvement.
Consult your analytics regularly, and get hands-on feedback from team members and willing customers. A/B testing is a great way to get direct feedback on design features and user experience. Identify what's working, and what's not. Use that information to brainstorm new ideas and improve your process. Your conversion rate tells the big-picture story, but there are plenty of smaller data-points that feed into that overall measurement. Every bit of information matters.
In the end, improving your inbound marketing conversion rate is a process. There are plenty of ways to attack the end goal, but you'll notice that consistency is an important aspect every step of the way. Find your targets, make your conversion paths consistent, and stay committed to constant improvement. Consistent effort is the only way to deliver consistent results.