As a marketer, a large part of your job is to convert visitors whoalified your website into leads. Pretty simple.
Specifically, inbound marketing requires you to create great content that they'll want to trade their contact details for. From there, those leads turn into opportunities, which turn into customers and even promoters.
Obviously, conversions are a big deal. So how do you optimize yours? By creating optimized conversion paths to convert your ideal visitors into prospects as efficiently as possible.
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What is a conversion path?
A conversion path is the process by which an anonymous visitor to a website becomes a known lead. It sounds simple enough, but creating an effective conversion path requires a clear understanding of your target audience and their needs.
Although not all conversion paths are the same and depend on the type ofThe enterprise they're intended for, they have a few common attributes: a landing page, a call-to-action, a content offer or endpoint, and a thank you page.
- Landing page : A landing page is a specific page on your website designed to collect a visitor 's contact information in return a resource, such as a course, eBook, or other product.
- Call to action : a call to action is a section on a web page or one that persuades the visitor to take action or do something. These can take the form of buttons prompting website visitors to register,subscribe or purchase a product.
- Thank you page : The thank you page shows your visitors that you appreciate them for having took a desired action. For example, a thank you page might appear after a visitor has signed up for a newsletter or filled out a form.
- Full stop : This can take the form of a content offering , which is any material or resource given to a visitor in exchange for their contact details, completing the conversion path. These materials can be guides, eBooks, courses, or other products. For e-commerce, instead of a content offering, a conversion path can end with apurchase.
In order to convert to a lead, a visitor sees a content offer who interests him (or product in the case of e-commerce), clicks on the call-action button to access that content, then is redirected to a landing page . On this landing page, the visitor can provide their information on a form in exchange for 'access to the offer itself After submitting this form, the prospect is redirected to a thank you page where they receive the offer.
Voila! Conversion path completed e.
By designing and implementing the right conversion paths, you can more efficiently move website visitors through the buyer's journey and help them become customers and promoters .
Example conversion path
Let's say you've been drawn to the landing page shown here- above after searching online for tips on how to avoid frizzy hair.
You're then prompted by a CTA (pictured below) that invites you to subscribe to its mailing list in exchange for 10% off of its products.
You decide you would like to try one of their lined caps satin to fight frizz and take them on offer.
A thank you page will appear once you have completed the form giving instructions on how to access your discount code. Once you get the code from your email, you use it to purchase one of their caps. Ta-da! The conversion path is complete.
What is a good conversion path?
Well, as you might have guessed, you need content, an incentive to action, a landing page and a thank you page. But with so many conversion paths on the internet that your potential customers can explore, it's more important than ever to create the RIGHT paths - the paths. to which your ideal customers are attracted and most effectively convert the right visitors into leadss.
What are the steps to create a conversion path?
Let's explore the ms key element that you need in your inbound toolkit for creating conversion paths that turn occasional visitors into customers.
1. Engage your target audience with context-relevant content.
Content is the fuel that powers effective inbound strategies, and it's what you'll use to convert your website visitors into leads. The good news is, content is everywhere! Content is what your website pages contain, what goes into your emails, and what is hosted on your blog. Your website pages, emails, and blog are just vehicles for delivering this content.
While the content is in sufficient quantity, for it to act as your fuel for incoming rocket, you have to create the right content. As you can probably guess,the right content is optimized to specifically attract your buyers. It should focus on the challenges they are trying to overcome and the goals they are looking to achieve. Most of all, it should be relevant and interesting to them.
But here's the kicker - it's not enough to just create character specific content . This content should be relevant to your persona based on where it is in the buyer's journey.
The the buyer's journey is the search process asset that your personas go through before making a purchase - and specific content is more relevant to your personas at different stages of that journey. This is where the "context" element comes in: it is not enoughto create content for your personas. You need to make sure that the content is relevant to what interests them and that they are hoping to find out more.
Most visitors to your site are still just at very first stages of this journey. find out what your product is doing or how it can help them. All they know is they have a problem or an opportunity presents itself. So the content that will appeal the most to your personas when they first visit your website and convert a lead will generally be high-level and educational in nature.
In order to be a An effective tool in your conversion path toolbox, make sure you have outstanding content tailored to your buyers and their position in the buyer journey.
2. Create landing pages that speak to your personas.
Having developed a remarkable content offering that speaks to both who your people areonas and where they are in the buyer's journey, the next step is to leverage that piece of content to convert website visitors into leads. This is where landing pages come in.
Landing pages are specialized website pages whose sole purpose is to collect visitor contact information in exchange for something of value. for them. Landing pages contain forms that potential prospects must fill out and submit before they can access your great content offering. And like this offer, great landing pages also need to be tailored to both who your personas are and where they are in the shopper journey.
In order to most effectively convert website visitors into leads, your landing pagesEstination should present the benefits of your offering that are most relevant to the particular problem your persona is facing - and discuss which aspects of that problem are most important to where your persona is in the journey of the persona. 'buyer.
Imagine, for example, you worked in a pet store and created an ebook on raising a puppy. Someone who is early in the buyer's journey probably won't be too interested in downloading your ebook if your landing page explains how your ebook contains the best burglary techniques. Instead, an effective landing page for this character might highlight how your ebook deals with How to Choose the Right Dog Breed for You.
Good landing pages focus on both on who your characters are and where they are in the buyer's journey.
3. UseAction prompts that grab attention.
While a great content offering and a great landing page are essential to creating a successful conversion path, your site visitors Web need a way to actually get to that landing page in the first place. This is where Calls to Action come in.
Calls to Action or CTAs are buttons that you can embed on your website to make your offers stand out. of content. When a visitor clicks on one of these call-to-action, it is redirected to your landing page. This is because every call-to-action you have on your website is the start of a conversion path.
To create calls-to-action that get those clicks and take action as key steps in your conversion paths, you should ensure that the message displayed on your call-to-action aligns with the messageof your landing page - and the content itself.
The right call-to-action should be just that: action-oriented. Since their main purpose is to collect clicks and direct people to landing pages, make sure they are click-worthy by using actionable language and colors that help them stand out the rest of your website.
4. Close the deal with optimized thank you pages.
If a call to action is the start of a conversion path, a thank you page ends. Thank you pages are the last item you need in your inbound toolkit to guide your website visitors on a conversion path to, well, a prospect.
thank you are specialized website pages from which your prospects are now able to download the promised offerthrough your call-to-action and your landing page. They're also an opportunity to move people forward on the buyer's journey, including things like additional calls to action that complement the offer you just made to your prospect.
Improved mobile Path Experience conversion
Designing for mobile in 'is no longer optional, it ' s a must. According to a 2020 report from Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA, formerly Groupe Special Mobile), nearly half of the world's population uses a mobile device to access the Internet. At the end of 2019, 3.8 billion people were mobile internet users, an increase of 250 million users over the previous year.
Keeping these figures in line 'spirit, there is a good chance that thevisitors access your website from their phone. or tablet versus a desktop computer. If you want to create an efficient conversion path, it is imperative to consider the mobile user experience. Follow these steps to create a mobile conversion path that prepares visitors for success.
- Start with a responsive design: A Responsive design adapts to both desktop and mobile devices rendering the display differently depending on the screen size. Visitors won't have to pinch or zoom when browsing your website via mobile, improving user experience. Also, have a responsive design tells Google that your site is mobile friendly, which will help improve your ranking insearch results for mobile users.
- Nix cluttered landing pages: As for the smaller screens, the minimalism is a virtue. Having long and relevant content, images and videos can translate well on the desktop, but can be overloaded for mobile devices. Avoid unnecessary text, images, and features that can prevent visitors from finding the information they are looking for. Visitors can't become leads if they can't navigate your website. Consider the information most relevant to your audience, and leave the rest aside.
- Keep CTAs to a minimum: As shown below above, with smaller screens, you will want to be very careful with how that real estate is allocated. Opt for one (or more) clear call-to-action button as the main objectivel that your potential customers can easily find. Keep the inion forms short, asking only for the information you relatively need. Avoid burying the call to action at the bottom of the page after several paragraphs of text. In most cases, mobile users won't scroll to the end to view it.
As people get more attached to their phones , considering the mobile user experience will improve your chances of converting more leads.
Conversion paths are invaluable in inbound marketing because they convert website visitors into leads. When done right, an effective conversion path can move prospects beyond an initial conversion, ultimately turning them into customers.
Editor's note: This post has was originally published in May 2014 and has been updated for completeness.