Conversion rate optimization (CRO) has been working it’s way into marketing chatter a lot recently. With constant changes to search algorithms and the competitive nature of PPC, we as marketers need to take things further.
You put in the work — using clever marketing materials, ads and SEO strategy to attract visitors. Now it’s time to cater to users and simplify their browsing experience. Throw out your clever tricks, ambiguous language and flashy animations, it’s time to provide value.
Inspiration from a few Brilliant Marketers:
Dear ugly websites with compelling value propositions, This is you: pic.twitter.com/kTHAWSVkAN
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) June 18, 2014
Rand really nailed the problem with this tweet, not only is the tweet humorous but it points out a common flaw in website creation. All too often there are excellent products displayed on poorly designed or hard to navigate websites. Generating interest through PR and marketing are wonderful but if your website causes user exits before a sale is made or a relationship is established you are shooting yourself in the foot.
It isn’t fair to assume that your products will sell themselves on the web. Product pages should have high quality images, descriptive text and a clear method of purchase. Your customers have made it this far, you owe it to them to make the buying process easy and enjoyable.
— Oli Gardner (@oligardner) August 6, 2014
I love this point by Oli Gardner of Unounce (if anybody knows page optimization it’s them). Your landing page should be centered around two things: education and clear call(s) to action. Simplify your text content. There is no reason to impress users with fancy word choice and buzz words that add little value to the consumer. Think about your landing pages or product pages like a resume; how long is a customer willing to read?
This doesn’t mean to strip your pages of supplemental content, but you need to place focus on important information. If a lengthy description is available, consider adding ‘learn more’ links. Customers are on your pages to learn and to hopefully make a purchase, get out of your own way and make the process easy.
A5: Your website should tell a story that’s easy to understand while taking your readers by the hand & gently leading them. #marketingchat
— Jerod Morris (@JerodMorris) August 7, 2014
Jerod Morris is the Director of Content for Copyblogger Media so it is only fitting that he communicated his point with such effective word choice. Ignore the countless sales funnel images you see on every marketing website in the world for a second. Consider the sales process a journey for your customer with you as the guide.
In marketing we are told to write at a level. This isn’t because people are stupid, it’s because we’re trying to eliminate friction. Pretend that each visitor to your website has no idea what services you offer or what products you sell. Use clear text descriptions, high quality images and carefully thought out navigation & layouts to guide users through the process. There is a reason that those hierarchal links at the top of many pages are called “breadcrumbs”: we don’t want users getting lost!
Clarity is King
Whether it’s your website layout or page content, you only have a limited amount of time to make an impact on your audience. Giving a clearer path for your new viewers isn’t dumbing it down for them, it’s simply giving them a chance to easily access everything that your company has to offer.
If the goal of your website is to get your audience to go from A-to-B, don’t make them jump through a bunch of hoops to get there. Your website may be the sole way you reach certain customers, so in this case, clarity is king.