If you’re paying for a website and it’s not making you money, it’s working against you. Today we chat about optimizing your site to convert users & make you money!
What’s In This Episode?
- Traffic Doesn’t Matter (0:40)
- Bad Practices (2:38)
- Your Primary Call To Action (8:27)
- Your CTA Format (12:05)
- Where Is Your Traffic Landing? (13:40)
- Lead Magnets (15:50)
- Clear Language (19:20)
- Actionable Tips (19:56)
Josh: Is your website working for you or against you? Let’s cut to the point. If you’re paying for a website and it’s not making you money, it’s working against you. Today we chat about optimizing your site to convert users and make you money.
Welcome to Creative Juices, the show where we help you feel personally confident about your online presence. I’m your host – Josh and today I’m joined by Julian.
Julz: Hey Josh good to be back.
Josh: Good to be back. You know, what we’re going be talking about, before we actually get onto the topic I just need to say one statement. Web traffic doesn’t matter.
Josh: Oh I mean, kind of, generally. I mean if you have Google Adsense and that generates revenue per impression or per accidental clicks, you know, maybe web traffic wouldn’t matter, but in most cases, traffic is to websites what likes are to Instagram.
Julz: Yeah just on that, if you want to make real money off Adsense you need to have hundreds, possibly millions of hits to your website.
Julz: So don’t do it because it actually slows down your website!
Josh: Yeah, so in most cases, traffic is just like likes on Instagram. You know it’s just one of those ego boosters when you go ‘oh man look how much traffic I have to my website’, which I know is a little bit of a soft spot for a lot of people who are actually looking at their analytics and in tracking all of their traffic. And you know, it’s great to see how many people are finding your site, especially if you’ve been putting a whole lot of effort into getting it out there but you obviously have a website for a reason. So I guess the question is why does your website actually exist? It’s probably not just to get a lot of people to look at it.
Josh: ……which is where our topic comes in today which is conversions.
Julz: Yeah! You want the right people looking at it.
Josh: You want the right people. What’s a conversion Julian?
Julz: A conversion, well in a nutshell is basically where a visitor takes a tangible next step, the next step that you want them to take on your site and that is ultimately the outcome, what you want your website to be.
Josh: They’ve converted from just browsing or just reading your site to actually taking the next step which will hopefully result in you making profit.
Josh: And so, before we get into the actual practicalities of optimizing your site for conversions, let’s start at the other end with some do nots. Julz what are some major no no’s that you’ve seen in relation to conversion optimization on websites?
Julz: Well by far the biggest no no or the biggest mistake that I’ve seen when it comes to conversion optimization is not having a call-to-action on your website at all.
Josh: So what’s a call-to-action?
Julz: A call-to-action… that could be ‘book now’, ‘buy now’, ‘shop now”, ‘make an appointment’. There’s a myriad of different call-to-actions depending on your business model or blog model or website model. There are strong ones, there are weak ones. So probably the biggest no no would be not having a call-to-action at all because ultimately that’s like what’s the point of your website? It’ll be like a photography business for instance and I’ve got a nice beautiful picture of your artwork or photography on that homepage and that’s it! And it’s like…..
Josh: Oh that’s it! But it’s beautiful!
Julz: But what do I do? And so really, as a photography business, you want that person to book for their wedding, or you know, their engagement party, or their baby’s baby shower…
Josh: …or purchase a print to make all your friends jealous!
Julz: Exactly! Yeah so that call-to-action.
Josh: Okay, so that’s one of the do nots that you’ve seen. What are some other ones?
Julz: Some other ones could be, well too many like overkill. So too many call-to-actions and we’ve already talked about sliders I think on a previous podcast or one of our blog post where sliders are generally a no-no anyway but sliders with multiple different call to actions is no!! No!!!
Josh: I feel like this is a big one because as a business owner, you know everything about your business, and you want everyone else to know everything about your business.
Josh: You want them to be able to purchase your products, as well book their appointments, as well as get your free e-book, as well as…. and so you put it all in a slider hoping, hoping that people will see every single one of them.
Julz: They will sit on that homepage for 15 seconds waiting for that slider to scroll to the next one, to the next one. No it just doesn’t work!
Josh: In fact the statistics show that only 3% of people get to the second slide and only 1% get past two slides.
Julz: I’m not surprised. My attention span is pretty short.
Josh: Exactly, so too many sliders, too many call-to-actions. What are some others?
Julz: Some others could be a call-to-action that leads to another page that has another call-to-action or is a dead end. So it could be say I’ve seen somewhere that go with a weak call-to-action which could be ‘learn more’. I always find ‘learn more’ sort of frustrates me. It’s one of those annoying call-to-actions because it’s like, okay I maybe want to learn more but I’m really on this website for a real reason.
Josh: Yeah! I want to buy!
Julz: Yeah, and so ‘learn more’ often takes people to an about page and it’s like often on those about pages there’s no real next step for somebody. It’s like great, I just consumed information but now what? You know? That’s a dead end call-to-action. Or another one could be the confusing call-to-action to call-to-action, where the call-to-action takes you to another page with a different call-to-action and it’s kind of like this crazy funnel and you’re just down the rabbit hole.
Josh: Book an appointment, get to the page and it says buy this product. It’s like I was trying to book an appointment!!
Julz: Yeah Yeah confusing!
Josh: So are there any other ones?
Julz: So another one would be popular landing pages and if there’s no real strong call-to-action on that popular landing page then what’s the point? I feel like that’s probably a huge one because you’re missing out on…. for starters the traffic that you want to that landing page. If there’s no real next solid step or call-to-action then ultimately that’s another dead end.
Josh: Yeah and I think, well one of the examples I remember is one of the clients we were working with at an Osteopathy had a blog post that said ‘What is Osteopathy?’ and that was getting a whole load of traffic but it was just a blog post with no call-to-actions. And so there was a call-to-action on the home page, but the home page wasn’t necessarily where the traffic was coming from.
Julz: Yes, you want that primary call-to-action to be kind of threaded throughout your website.
Josh: Yeah! Definitely! And so most low performing websites can actually be linked back to their design and how clear the call-to-action is. You could be missing out on a bunch of leads because you assume the user knows what you want them to do on your site.
Josh: I’ll tell you this. Most users do not know what you want them to do and so your assumptions are losing you leads, which leads to what we’re talking about today. So how do we actually optimize our website for conversions? Now there’s a whole load of things but let’s just start from the simple one, the call-to-action. So decide what your primary call-to-action is. What is that action that you want them to take? And so for us it’s really like you want to define that one.
Julz: Yeah we call it the primary.
Josh: The primary call-to-action, and so on there can be one or two but generally you want a focus towards that one next step. And so what’s an example visually, of how you would lay that out on our website?
Julz: Yeah so I try, from my perspective to make that primary call-to-action basically visible all the time. So from my perspective I was put into the header. It’s always there. It’s always an option for the user to take. Of course it’s on that homepage banner, the first thing that they see and also bottom of blog posts, bottom of landing pages, even the middle of landing pages is okay as well. But it’s the same thing so for us, for instance, it’s ‘test your site’. That’s our primary and everything sort of points to that.
Josh: And the majority of people won’t actually scroll down your homepage.
Josh: So it needs to be very visible straight up, as well as in your header so that if they do scroll, it’s still there, right in the header.
Josh: And so generally call-to-actions are paired with USPs which is unique selling proposition, or unique value.
Julz: Yeah, there’s a lot of different terms for that.
Josh: What’s an example of that? What’s our one?
Julz: Our one is, ‘Is your website working for you or against you?’. And so for me, I know that a lot of people like to take the approach of talking about their business in this instance, but I wanted to flip it here because I was like, the user is visiting my website for a reason. Generally they know that we do, websites, and I want to make it all about them. They’re coming here because they’ve generally got a problem and this is the case for most businesses, whether that’s like the photography, this person doesn’t know how to do photography, so it would be like looking for a fantastic wedding photographer, but for us it was like ‘is your website working for you against you?’ It kind of peaks that kind of interest in, ‘oh I want to check that you know? I’m not too sure but I know that these guys can find out and I get to take the test right here’. It’s like read one line, click one button. Awesome! Done!
Josh: Easy! And it’s a USP, a good USP is kind of like a good call-to-action. You don’t want a weak one that just informs people like ‘learn more’. You want to actually provide a solution to a possible problem, or in our case, we want users to actually question ‘is my website actually working for me?’ Let’s test it.
Josh: And so number one, you want to decide what your primary call-to-action is. That’s the most important. There can be a secondary?
Julz: Yes secondary!
Josh: What’s the secondary one?
Julz: The secondary is good as well. If you don’t want to come on too strong, your primary might be ‘booked now’ because you want to push people to a booking page, but your secondary might be ‘call now’ or it could be that you actually do want to inform that person so the softer kind of call to action could be ‘find out more’ or ‘what to expect’ or ‘read our FAQs’ or something like that.
Josh: Cool! So most importantly, define your call-to-actions. The second step is decide what format your call-to-action will take. So what are some formats?
Julz: Yeah. Obviously you’ve got the buttons. Buttons are probably the most popular. They stand out and that’s probably a good point actually. You do want your button to be… even off brand colours. So I know that our brand colour is like a light blue kind of colour and I was like, I need something really contrasting here, so I just went for a really bright pink and it stands out you know! It really does!
Josh: There’s actually a whole lot of statistics that show that different coloured buttons get different coloured clicks. And so, if it’s just a passive colour like blue or, I don’t know, it’s another passive colour like a light green as opposed to red, red gets more conversions.
Julz: Yeah. And the whole psychology behind this is insane! You can spend weeks on looking into that. But other call-to-actions could be forms, or it could be a phone number….
Josh: ….or like a live chat pop-up..
Julz: Ah yes, a live chat. That’s a good call.
Josh: And then you want to provide that all across your site so, you’ve already mentioned, just put them in your blog posts, put them at the top of the page, mid page, bottom of the page, it can get a little bit overwhelming but you’re making it clear where you want the user to go!
Julz: Yeah, I mean from your perspective, it might be overwhelming just because you’re creating all of these pages on your website but for the visitor really they’re going to visit two or three pages.
Josh: Yeah exactly! And so number two was decide what format your call-to-action will take. Number three was you need to assess where your traffic is landing on your site. So we mentioned the example of the Osteopathy who everyone was landing on a blog post instead of their home page but their blog post had no call-to-action, it had no opportunity for a user to convert and we’ve seen that quite often right?
Josh: You have another example in mind?
Julz: Yeah. Well, just recently we did Port Stephens Coaches’ website and we got access to their Google Analytics which was part of the redirection plan. But during that process, I found that their highest visited page outside of their home page was actually their timetables page. And so I looked at their existing timetables page on the old website. No call-to-action. There was nothing. It was just informational and I figured the next step was to look at what people are booking and found out that people are booking the Sydney Express. So I figured people are looking at the timetables pages to get the times for the Sydney Express. I’m going to make a call-to-action to go ‘book the Sydney Express’ on that page!
Josh: Of course!
Julz: Yeah! So really, it’s increased their conversion rate, just from simply having that option to either book your seat on the Sydney Express or to push off to the school timetables. That’s the secondary softer option.
Josh: Yeah. Because again, the web traffic is not really the goal here. Your goal is to get that web traffic to convert.
Julz: Yeah, because put it into context that page alone was getting half a million hits a year and that’s a lot of potential being lost! So, but a lot of potential to be gained. So check your analytics out!
Josh: And that’s a lot of potential to be lost because we were assuming, well the past web developer was assuming, that the user knew where to go. And they didn’t. So you need to assess where that traffic is coming from and where it’s landing and optimize those pages, which leads to our next point and that is to relate your call-to-action to the pages content. And a great example of this is what we call lead magnets. It’s kind of like baby steps for the user. So an example of relating your call-to-action to the page content is let’s say you’re a physiotherapy clinic, one of your pages is sore shoulders, or headaches and the call-to-action wouldn’t just be ‘book an appointment’ it could be something like ‘fix your headaches’ or something like that. Making it more contextual for that page.
Julz: Exactly! Yes!
Josh: And then another example of lead magnets is let’s say you’re on a on a page and you’re offering a service or products that’s a few thousand dollars. Most people won’t want to commit to a few thousand dollars just right there. But maybe they would commit to like a free eBook explaining the service or more information or it’s even hey ‘Book a $50 Appointment with us to chat through more info’ or something like that.
Josh: And we actually use this on our website as well. So you mentioned that we have a call-to-action that’s ‘test your site’.
Julz: Yeah. That’s a free website audit basically and it’s a low commitment kind of lead generation tool where the visitor enters in their data, we run a test, give them a high value document back that explains all the ins and outs and issues or potential possibilities on their site. And that turns into a couple of things. It could go into the ‘yeah I need to get my website rebuilt now because this thing sucks’ or it could turn into a discovery session, paid discovery session, which is a low cost strategy or session with us to go over it.
Josh: Yeah, and so we know the user isn’t just going to go ‘yep I’ll commit these thousands of dollars to get my website rebuilt’, but we’ve provided a low… we’ve lowered the bar given them this free audit which actually shows them hey these are some of the issues with your site. And I think it even says in that you can use this for a web developer you can try and implement it yourself but in our experience most people don’t know how to implement it. And so it provides like a stepping stone. It’s like a baby step to that conversion and it also sets you up as kind of an authority in your space.
Josh: It creates brand trust, brand awareness, because you’re giving away free stuff. And this could be a content strategy as well. Give away free content, free tips, it could even be like a low-cost eBook.
Julz: Yeah, well Emily does this on her blog. She niches down into Fiddle Leaf Figs of all things which is a plant if you don’t know that. And her call-to-action on her blog is to ‘get the free Fiddle Leaf Fig eBook’ and that’s a good, low cost entry point.
Josh: Yeah! So, step by step, number one decide what your call-to-actions are. Number two, decide what format your call-to-action will take. Number three, assess where your traffic is landing on your site and optimize that page. Number four create baby steps or lead magnets for the users. And number five, just keep your language clear, concise and positive. The more brief you can be with your call-to-action the simpler it will be for users to respond and you’ve mentioned this.
Josh: Weak call-to-actions are like ‘learn more’ but if you say ‘book now’ or ‘book today’ it actually drives sales. And the same with your button colours. Differentiate if you have two call-to-actions. Differentiate them. Make the primary call-to-action a solid bright colour. In the second one, maybe an outline button.
Julz: Yeah. Exactly.
Josh: And so some examples before we finish up. Some examples of some great call-to-actions, I’ve had a search around is Evernote there USP statement is ‘remember everything’ and that’s paired with this bright green button that just says ‘sign up’. Easy! Dropbox, lots of negative space with this big blue button that says ‘sign up for free’. Great and good value add there for free. Aquaspresso has this massive yellow button which is actually a pop-up on their site. And so they’ve utilized pop-ups and this says ‘send me specials now’. So, they’ve made it personal and it’s big and yellow! And then Spotify. Here’s an example of two call to actions. They have a big green button that says ‘go premium’ because that’s their primary and then the secondary one is just this outline only button that says ‘play free’
Josh: And so we actually have around 31 examples of this. It’s a on a blog post by HubSpot which we will link in the show notes here. But one last actionable tip. Julz you have this one for us.
Julz: Yeah. You can a/b test split. So basically that’s if you’ve got two call-to-actions in mind and you want to figure out which one is going to be the best, try them! Try them both! Set up two. You can set up two landing pages. We’ve got some other tactics that can use the same landing page, but change out the button depending on how many visits and basically you can just test the results to see which one will work best. Yeah a/b test splitting.
Josh: And then just go with the one that converts the most.
Josh: So that’s it for today. Thank you so much for listening. Conversion optimization is one of our pillars that guide everything we do. It’s also one thing that we test your site for in our free website audit. So just head to newcastlecreativeco.com.au and click the free ‘test my site’ button and we can test that for you.
Josh: And now onto the next episode, Episode Five. We talk about one of the most forgotten aspects of your website, maintenance. It sounds monotonous but here’s the thing. Cars need servicing or they’ll breakdown and it’s the same with websites. Without care your site is open to malicious attacks, drops in speed, and drops in search engine visibility all of which will lose you money. And so we thought, you know what? We’d teach you how to care for your site. So we’ll see you then!
Julz: See you!