Our first Q&A episode is based on a question from Rene, who wants to know how to increase conversions from all digital media. That’s a broad question! So I enlisted the help of our remarkably capable marketing maven Loryn Thompson to answer.
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Jerod Morris: Welcome to Sites, a podcast by the teams at StudioPress and Copyblogger. In this show, we deliver time-tested insight on the four pillars of a successful WordPress website: content, design, technology, and strategy. We want to help you get a little bit closer to reaching your online goals, one episode at a time.
I’m your host Jerod Morris.
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Welcome to this special Q&A episode of Sites.
A few episodes ago, I made a request for your questions, and much to my excitement many of you took me up on that request.
So as we move forward with the show, we will continue posting a new episode every Tuesday about content, design, technology, or strategy. And then I will also be releasing these shorter, less formal Q&A episodes as well. So be on the lookout. This will be fun.
Okay, our first question comes to us from Rene, and Rene wants to know about conversion. I sent her a follow-up email and asked her to specify what areas of conversion she is interested in and she said how to increase conversion from all digital media i.e. engagement — from her website, Facebook, LinkedIn, MailChimp, etc.
In order to answer this question, I sought the counsel of one of my colleagues at Rainmaker Digital, Loryn Thompson. Loryn’s title says data analyst, but Loryn is much more than that. She has proven herself to be a remarkably capable jack-of-all-trades marketing maven, and her splendid ideas and smart work have directly led to several instances of conversion improvement for us since she joined our team.
So I wanted to get Loryn’s expertise, and she kindly agreed to participate. Here is what Loryn had to say:
Firstly, “conversion” and “engagement” are two different things.
A conversion is an action that has meaningful value to your business — the most common is a sale, but you could also include email opt-ins, leads, phone calls, etc.
Engagement metrics, on the other hand, are best used for diagnosing problems in your conversion funnel — if your emails tend to have a high open rate but few clicks, you know that in order to get more people closer to conversion, you should work to improve your click-through rate. But don’t get so caught-up in click-through rate that you forget about actually converting.
So, to the individual points of the question…
As far as SEO, you can use Google Search Console to figure out what keywords send the most traffic to which pages, and then optimize the calls to action on those pages to fit the keyword intent. After you change the CTAs, give it a bit of time, and then check to see what effect your changes had.
For increasing overall website conversion, you can use A/B testing if you have enough traffic, but make sure the changes are dramatic enough to give you statistically significant results. Otherwise, you can make adjustments to your website and watch the conversion rate for your desired action, and keep the changes that appear to be correlated to an increase in that conversion rate.
Right now, I’m particularly interested in using customer feedback to improve marketing messages. If you can, survey your customers and learn why they purchased the product in the first place, and what they love most about it. Chances are, you’ll find ways to market your product that you never before considered, and other people will connect with the messaging you hear from your customers … and therefore you will increase your conversion rate.
As far as improving email and social media conversion rates and engagement, I recommend categorizing your emails and posts by topics and attributes. I do this frequently with the emails we send to customers — What was the main message? How long was the subject line? Where was the call-to-action?
After you categorize your content, take a look at the engagement metrics for each category. You might find that when you post about a certain topic, your audience responds better, or that video posts on Facebook get more likes.
When I first started at Rainmaker Digital, we found that placing the call to action higher in the email content resulted in more clicks. And, sure enough, we were able to increase our overall click-through rate by making sure we put the primary CTA within the first few paragraphs.
Thank you for that insight Loryn. I’ll piggy-back quickly on a couple of points.
First, as to Loryn’s comment about improving our email click-throughs, she’s absolutely correct. This was one of the first helpful pieces of data she brought to me after just a few weeks on the job. We had typically waited until the end of the email to introduce the CTA link, but moving it higher in the email has helped us to achieve greater click-throughs and, crucially, more sales.
I also think what she said about customer feedback is absolutely essential. And if you aren’t selling a product yet, think more in terms of audience feedback. Not only will you find out what people like and even dislike most about what you’re doing, but you will get to hear it in their own voice. And the best way to get more people like your best current audience members or customers, is to find out what moved the needle for them, how they describe it in their own words, and then highlight that feature and benefit in similar language in your copy. That’s an age-old copywriting technique that worked then, still works now, and probably will work 2,000 years from now.
Good luck Rene, as you work to improve the engagement and conversion on your website. Please send me a tweet or an email and let me know you listened to this episode, and you can send me any follow-up questions you might have as well.
If you have a question you’d like to submit for one of our Q&A episodes, please go to studiopress.blog/submit-your-question/ and use the form to submit. You can find that link in the show notes for this episode, which is always available at studiopress.blog.
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Each week, I find four links about content, design, technology, and strategy that you don’t want to miss, and then I send them out via email on Wednesday afternoon.
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I’ll talk to you soon.
Join me next week, and let’s keep building powerful, successful WordPress websites together.
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