Modern SEM practices suggest that lowering bounce rates and raising conversion rates are both key to putting giant smiley faces on your web revenue forecasts. Rankings don’t mean much when your visitors bounce off to spend their money somewhere else. Some might argue that improving bounce rate and conversion rate is more about web analytics or even overall online marketing, but come on, we all know it’s more than that.
This is the second of a five part series detailing five major factors in boosting the effectiveness of your SEM. The first part, on boosting targeted traffic, can be found here.
Identifying and Directing Visitor Intent
So you have people coming to your site. The traffic looks nice and you have a smile on your face wider than the Grand Canyon. Now what? You don’t want to scare them off in an instant. Remember, on the Internet, snap judgments are the only kind of judgments. You have to figure out what it is they want and how to give it to them. Ideally, you’d like to direct their desires a bit. They need to want what you are selling, and what’s more, they need to think it was their idea. A tall order. Don’t fret, however. It’s not an impossible one. First of all, you need to figure out what they want. You’ll soon see that identifying visitor intent is not terribly far away from directing it:
There are generally three type of visitors ot any site. An informational visitor wants to know more about something. A commercial visitor wants to buy something. Social visitors want to contact or socialize with something.
1. Identify – Identify the category of user, of the three aforementioned, you are dealing with. Various web analytics tools can be of great help for this. They’ll let you know where the person is coming from, how long they stayed and what they looked at. Use them to your advantage.
2. Split em up – Split up the visitors depending on the category. For instance, social visitors could be lured to the message board function of your site. This is easier once you tackle the following step.
3. Funnel – Create a funnel to help determine what each user is on your site for. Do this by specializing some content and seeing if they take the bait. WordPress bloggers often do that for search visitors by offering several posts (using a plugin) that might match the user intent.
4. Menu – Offer up a menu that directs users to the most sought after portions of your webpage, as designated by the aforementioned funneling technique. Make sure this menu contains whatever call to action you desire from your consumers.
5. Question – This one is really simple. Just ask people what they want. Set up a live chat. Encourage people to email you. You might be surprised at how forthright people can be.
Do all of these steps and you will be well on the road to a successful web enterprise. Next up, we’ll tackle the oft-controversial topic of usability. You can finally start earning some money.