Monthly Archives: February 2010

Feb 16

Promote Clicks to Conversion During All 3 Phases of Online Purchase Decisions

By Rebecca Murtagh | Clicks to Conversion

E-Commerce, E-Retailer and Business-to-Business websites may each calculate a conversion differently, but the conversion process of an enterprise, B2B or B2C customer is very much the same.

Promoting Clicks to Conversion

To succeed in conversion of visitors to customers, you must 1st be visible, provide the information your customers are seeking to earn the sale or conversion during any one, and preferably all of the 3 phases of online shopping.

Pre-Qualifying the Click

Conversion has as much to do with attracting qualified clicks as it does top position on the search engines, CTR on PPC programs, effectiveness of direct mail, telemarketing, media campaigns and social media. The more informed the website visitor is when they click to visit your website, the more likely you are to achieve a successful conversion.

How can you improve conversion of website visitors to customers?

The 3 Phases of Online Shopping

  1. Research
  2. Comparison
  3. Buy

It doesn’t matter if you are selling gourmet chocolate, luxury spa services, consulting services, retail products, franchises or memberships. There is a purchase decision being made, therefore you want to be “front of mind” during every phase of the process.

Online Shopping Phase 1: Research

The research phase is where your intended client or customer is determining exactly what will fill the need they have identified. I’ll use myself as an example…I’d been shopping for a new smartphone for months. Trying to decide whether to buy and iPhone or find a phone offered by my current carrier that would meet my needs became a process. It began with Research. I am exploring my options…comparing features, coverage, price but more importantly, I am reading video reviews, blogs, forums of people that have both of the phones I am comparing to help me make my decision. Throughout this process, I am being exposed to opportunities to purchase, which will influence who I will make my final purchase from.

How to Promote Conversion During Shopper Research

Think about the “Research” mode your clients or customers are going through. Are you offering the information they need to choose you as one of the solutions to compare? How are you making the information visible? You should be facilitating Web 2.0 reviews or testimonials, videos, etc as well as search engine optimizing content on your website that will put your solution in the path of future client and customers. Are you?

Online Shopping Phase 2: Comparison

Once your clients or customers have narrowed down their choices, they move on to compare solutions. In the comparison shopping mode, the final decision will depend on what motivates the sale and how well your value proposition meets their needs.

Once the solution, product or service has been identified, you now are communicating with a more informed customer or client, one that is ready for conversion from visitor to customer.

Promoting Conversion During Shopper Comparison

The more effective and honest you are about embracing and elevating awareness about your unique selling proposition (USP) the better you will fare in comparison against competition.

Provide every detail relevant to why they should choose you over the competitor.

For example, if the decision is being made on price only, it won’t matter that you have the world’s best anything…the two don’t connect. However, there are typically various factors that play into the online purchase decision, price, quality, location, customer reviews, warranty, service, results, etc. The better you are at telling the story of how well you qualify under each, the more powerful you stand to win the comparison.

I have clients that fear the comparison. Do NOT fear comparison against your competitors. Your customers and clients are savvy, but they only know what you are willing to tell them. Embace what makes your product or service the better choice and make it easy for them to identify it and embrace it. You are then in the company of the most qualified audiences where you are most likely to succeed.

Online Shopping Phase 3: Purchase

Congratulations. Once you make it to the purchase decision, the homework has been done, reviews have been read, providers or sellers compared…and they are ready to make the final decision…if you don’t blow it.

So many e-commerce companies and solution providers agonize over the abandon rate of purchases from the shopping cart. This lost conversion applies to more retailers. The abandon rate applies to anything you can think of that is being sold online. Why is the conversion lost?

Shoppers don’t like surprises, like unexpected shipping, handling fees, privacy statements, sales tax, being redirected to another site, there is a security certificate warning, etc.

How to Improve Conversion of Online Purchases

If your customer gets to close the deal and buy, and something, anything, doesn’t feel consistent with why they chose you in the first place…they bail, and fast. Sale Lost.

The easier you make the sale conversion from the research and shopping phases, the more likely you are to close the sale during one of those phases, or at very least qualify as “the one” they want to purchase from. You’d be surprised to know how many businesses and websites forget to ask for the sale.

Calls to Action may seem like a fundamental basic of website design. Do not take this last, most crucial component for granted, or that your agency, webmaster, designer or developer is thinking about the conversion. You must drive a strategic click-to-conversion process because you care about it most.

How to Promote Conversion Throughout Your Website:

  • Make it easy for customers to find your solution. (via search, social media, reviews, etc.)
  • Make it painfully obvious why the customer should choose you over your competitor.
  • Special offers, promotions and discounts should be easy to find and implement.
  • Include calls to action from every page on your website…even if it is simply a link to where they can buy (including requesting a quote, demo, appointment, etc.)
Feb 11

A Gift From Google: Achieve Page 1 Visibility on Google Search With Google Profile

By Rebecca Murtagh | SMO - Social Media Optimization

This post will be the 1st of several about Google Search, Google Social Search, Google Buzz, and Google Profiles.

Google Profiles Were Created For the Social Web

In the video below, Matt Cutts states that, in his mind, Google Profiles will have the biggest influence on Google Social Search.
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlpTjP6h6Ms

What is a Google Profile?

Google has made it possible for you to create a personal profile web page, available for the world to see, that will include as much, or as little as you want the world to know about you.

Google Profile for Virtual Marketer

Google Profile for Virtual Marketer

Google Profiles are likely to become more relevant than ever with the introduction of Google Buzz this week.

Much like a personal business card, Your Google Profile provides you an opportunity to control what peopl find when they search for your name on Google. You can include basic information, the who, what, when, where and why you exist, for all the world to see, or manage content visibl to groups you create such as business, friends and family. In May 2009, Google announced that Google Profile results wll appear at the bottom of U.S. name based keyword search queries. (this typically means #10 at the bottom of page 1 Google).

5 Reasons Why You Need A Google Profile:

  1. Your Google Profile helps people find you on page 1 of Google, even if you don’t have a website.
  2. Your Google Profile will enhance social media visibility and connections.
  3. You have complete control over what you include, or choose not to include.
  4. Your Google Profile is an essential component to participating in Google Social Search.
  5. Google Profiles offers a launching point for business, geographic, photos, personal data and interests that connect you to “birds of a feather” from your past and current life.

View my Virtual Marketer Google Profile, or create your own Google Profile.

Do you have a Google Profile? Are you more likely to create a Google Profile?
Let me know, I’d love to hear from you!

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