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9 Little-Known Tricks About Conversion Rate Optimization Digital marketing strategies vary greatly from business to business. Find out where your time, energy and money are best spent.

By Ehsan Jahandarpour

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The truth about conversion rate optimization is that it has nothing to do with how much traffic you have on your website or how good your social signal is. Many entrepreneurs have great presence on social media but still struggle to get more customers to buy from them. In fact, despite running expensive marketing campaigns and constantly improving their search engine optimization factors, many business owners are generally not happy with the conversion rate and return of investment.

The first thing that every marketer and entrepreneur should do is to set a crystal clear smart goal, and define a set of realistic objectives. Although there is nothing wrong with dreaming about outcompeting Facebook, it's not a realistic goal to set for your six-month-old startup.

Related: Conversion Rate Optimization: From a Luxury to a Necessity in 2016

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy.

The definition of conversion rate might be universal, but the strategies you should implement to optimize your conversion rate must be uniquely designed for your business. I have outlined nine little-known tricks that may help you improve your digital marketing strategy and boost your conversion rate.

1. One goal is more than enough.

If you expect to convert visitors to leads, upsell your popular products and collect subscriber email addresses for your monthly newsletter all on the same webpage, you are doing it all wrong. You must define one single goal for your business. Then break it down to a few achievable objectives, and design each landing page with only one objective in mind.

2. Align your sales funnel and conversion optimization process.

It all goes back to your business strategy and sales process. It's essential to line up your landing page optimization process with your sales funnel. In general, customers that are going through the conversion process are grouped into five categories.

  • Strangers -- They are random people who have heard about you. At this stage, the only media you have to interact with them are your website, landing pages and advertisements.
  • Curious -- This group of visitors are intrigued by your offer and want to know more about your business. The best strategy to convert them to customers is to redirect them to your blog, and give them an opportunity to opt-in.
  • Involved -- At this stage, you have shown some sort of value but potential customers are not sure whether what you offer can address their pain points or not. Offering them a download trial version or sample product are great ways to increase conversion rate.
  • Users -- Congratulations! At this stage, you have proven your value proposition, managed to sell your product, and you have made a little money.
  • Fans -- The story does not end with the first purchase. If you try to entertain your users and add value to their investment in your solution, they will care about you. This is where your customers spread the word, and encourage others to use your service.

Related: This is What the Ultimate Sales Conversation Sounds Like

3. Set a baseline.

Before you track your progress, you must know the status quo by collecting valid quantifiable data about the current status of your business. Monitoring your baselines is among the most accurate mechanisms to know whether you have improved your conversion rate or not.

The first thing you should set is your original baseline. When you try to set your first baseline, make sure to capture the following information:

  • This quarter's advertisement budget
  • Return of investment for each product
  • Last month's organic traffic
  • Number of leads captured in the last 30 days.
  • Number of positive and negative online reviews about your business
  • Ratio of mobile visitors versus desktop users

Thanks to analytical tools like Google analytics, this can all be done in a matter of minutes. Once you're done capturing your original baseline, you should move on and implement your conversion optimization strategies.

Keep in mind that you have to run your optimization experiment for a while, so set a realistic duration for your trial, and capture new baselines on a daily basis. In fact, observing these baselines help you to easily conduct side-by-side comparisons and highlight your progress.

4. Explore your customer's persona.

You can either use collaborative methods like empathy map to discover more about your customer's persona, or rely on digital tools such as Typeform and Qualaroo to ask some conditional questions from your visitors while they surf your website.

Related: Why Real-Life Results Don't Meet Buyer Persona Expectations

5. Minimize distractions.

Factually, achieving optimum results is only possible if you prepare the environment for your visitors to convert to customers. Laser-targeting your customer segment and offering exactly what your visitors want can trigger them to opt in. On the contrary, showing distracting banners and ads can put off your potential buyers and drop your conversion rate dramatically.

6. Use simplified forms.

Knowing your customer's last name and birthday would not make too much of a difference if she does not buy from you. So, don't discourage them by asking too many questions in your opt-in forms. The best way to collect email addresses is to design your form to show one field for a email address and a call to action button to opt in. If you want to be creative -- this approach might not work for all visitors -- you can provide an integrated button to let visitors register using their social media account.

7. Emphasize on retargeting.

Not every customer is willing to share his or her email address with you or buy your product the moment they land on your website. The best strategy to engage them is retargeting. You can use cookies on your website and collect data about what they like the most. Then, customize your engagement strategy, tailor your offer towards criteria, and show them a different offer when they visit your landing page.

8. Don't sell.

Although it all comes down to dollars and figures, providing a great customer experience can impact your conversion rate and revenue positively.

Even branded businesses with a global reputation face difficulty converting new visitors to customers because users and visitors have variety of other options to choose from. Hence, it's very unlikely that users will make a purchase the first time they visit your website.

Instead of making offers to every new visitor, make their surfing experience pleasant and try to add value to their life. Blogging is a great add-value service for commercial websites. Your conversion rate will rise when you craft some high quality posts and help people solve a few issues without paying a dime.

9. Offer a transparent shopping experience.

When a user makes her mind up to buy from your website, she has already decided to trust your business. Bear in mind that this trust can be damaged if you are not transparent with your customers. Don't surprise users on the checkout page by adding hidden fees, extra shipping rates, tax, etc. Instead, offer a genuine, all-inclusive price to acquire happier customers.

Ehsan Jahandarpour

Growth hacking Influencer and Start-up Coach

Ehsan Jahandarpour is a startup coach and growth hacker. He helps companies like Microsoft, PETRONAS, and BBDO grow their business. 

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