The Dark Side of Conversion: Treating People Like Fish

The Dark Side of Conversion by Cuppa SEO Web DesignAfter careful review of this blog title, you might be wondering — how in the world could a business treat a person like a fish?

It’s pretty simple really.

When trying to gain new clients or customers, some businesses perceive their potential customers as fish. Or at least they seem to, because they take out their fishing rod and drop a hook in the water with some enticing “bait” on it. Of course, the fishing rod is metaphorical, but the process that transpires is very much like fishing.

The bait is something that, at first glance, feels irresistible — and often times a little bit too good to be true.

For instance, I recently signed up for a free webinar to help me attract more participants to my own webinars. The Facebook ad for the event was liked by many of my friends and colleagues, and it promised to be a “master class” with “incredible value,” offering solid strategies to help me pack the house. I figured it might be worth my time, even if I only gleaned one good bit of info.

Once I signed up, it was all downhill from there. Let’s dissect what happened …

  1. I had signed up the night before the webinar. In less than 24-hours, I received FIVE emails from the facilitator of the webinar, each one trying to hype me up and add importance to the webinar I signed up for — and reinforcing that I simply must to attend. This is just a bad user experience (UX). I signed up for a free event and I wound up with a stalker girlfriend that simply wouldn’t leave me alone for more than a few hours! We’ve all had this happen though, right? Sign up for some “free” information, only to find that we’re now “buddies” with someone we didn’t want to hear from in the first place. This is a HUGE mistake in the conversion process, but it’s rampant.
  2. When the webinar started, I noticed that it was pre-recorded, and the facilitator wasn’t even on screen! The information, which was a slide show with audio, was infantile and maybe had value for someone who knew nothing about webinars. There certainly wasn’t any info on how to gain more attendees. So I left. Figuring that was that …
  3. Until I started receiving multiple follow up emails. I kept unsubscribing, and eventually the emails stopped. Now, it’s one thing to get in touch with people (who have given you permission to do so) once in a while. But you better be offering real value, WITHOUT harassing them.

At this point, I strongly suspected that I was the victim of being treated like a fish. The line was cast, and the tasty bait taken. Now, the thing is that many other people who attended this webinar probably felt the same way as I did. But here’s the thing, organizations that “go fishing” like this don’t care. They are trying to get as many people as possible caught on their hooks, and then they’re on to the next round of fishing before you know it. Some of the people who come to the webinar will surely spend money, but most won’t. But with this type of model, that’s expected. It’s a volume thing, a numbers game, where the need to create meaningful relationships is replaced by the need to find paying fish.

To be sure, I checked the facilitator’s website and found that what she was really trying to do was get us to sign up for her paid service, which is lifetime membership to her “Webinars that Convert” content …

Conversion and Web Design by Cuppa SEO Madison

This is all part of a calculated conversion strategy, but it lives on the “dark side” of conversion, where potential customers are not treated like people. Instead , they’re commoditized (like a fish), and corralled into a funnel (ok, so fish aren’t technically corralled, but yo get the idea) to see how many of them are profitable.

Conversion, quickly defined, is a strategy that takes a website visitor from where they are, to where you want them to go. Whether it’s to download a free e-book, fill out a form, call, or some similar action, the conversion process often begins by having someone click on a button or text link. This is referred to as a call-to-action (CTA). In the case we’re dissecting, the first CTA is to sign up for the free webinar. The second is to make a purchase. And although this isn’t always necessarily a bad conversion strategy, it’s missing one main ingredient — VALUE in the freebie. 

Make sure you’re ALWAYS DELIVERING VALUE in your freebie. Because, when you do, you stop treating people like fish and …

… start teaching people how to fish!

A very different philosophy, teaching people how to fish empowers them with relevant, helpful information right from the get go, without asking them for anything in return. It’s relationship-based, as opposed to the numbers game being played when you treat people like fish.

When you empower your clients, you’re giving them some of the tools they need to take care of their business themselves — and treating them like human beings along the way. Or, quite often, you’re simply educating them as to what they need (and what they don’t need) so they have a clear understanding of where they should apply their budget.

And in doing so, you’re building TRUST, which is essential for any long-term relationship.

Working with the relationship-based model doesn’t mean you’re giving away the entire farm, or making your business non-essential in the process. In fact, it can often make you more essential because you will be perceived as the true expert that’s not afraid to share their knowledge.

At Cuppa SEO, we like to help clients, potential clients, and anybody else who will listen, how to brew a better blog. That’s why we’ve created our Blogging 101 E-book based on the philosophy of teaching people how to fish. If you sign up for the e-book, you won’t be bombarded with daily or weekly emails. You will receive a friendly, information-packed monthly newsletter that contains things like popular blog posts, free webinars and our Two-minute Tuesdays and Five-minute Fridays Facebook Live events.

Well, all this talk of fish has put me in the mood for a cup of coffee (sans the fish). Time to brew up a fresh pot!

I hope you enjoyed this installment of The Dark Side of Conversion.


 
 

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Blogging 101 Tips: Be the Expert


Blogging 101 Tips Be the ExpertBeing an expert in your industry makes it possible to provide relevant solutions to your customers. It also makes it easier to identify trends that can help your customers even further.

And although experience can make you an expert, constant learning is also a key component to your remaining one. Whether it’s from articles, blogs, a mastermind group, trade shows, or some other medium, fresh input is critical to remaining a thought leader in your industry.

What I’ve found, though, is that people who are experts in their industry often feel that they have nothing to write about. They don’t feel like an expert, or they believe nobody would want to read what they have to say.

Although there are many reasons behind these concerns, there’s one thing I’d like to share. To you, what you do every day feels common place — it’s natural to you, so it’s easy to believe everyone has the same information/understanding you do.

This is simply not true. You’ve probably worked for years to become really good at what you do, and what’s “well-worn” knowledge to you is BRAND NEW to the rest of us that don’t do what you do. Sharing this knowledge can be super helpful — and has great value — to your clients.

And that’s what a blog is all about — sharing relevant, useful information with people who need it.

Think about it. You know what your customers’ biggest problems and pain points are. You know exactly how your products and/or services can solve their problems. The only difference is, instead of discussing these pain points and solutions face-to-face with a client, you’ll need to put it into words and write about it on your blog.

So, if you’re thinking “why would anybody want to read what I have to say?” The answer is, it’s the same reason your clients come to you in the first place — because you have something of value to offer.

Remember, things that are common place to you, are NOT common place to your clients! And I don’t know anybody who finds a solution to one of their problems boring or irrelevant, do you?

In my industry, clients want to know more about SEO, user experience (UX), web design, conversion (CV), blogging and social media. Each of these main topics has many, many sub topics that I can focus on in a blog post — giving me hundreds of things to write about.

This is quite possibly the most important of all the blogging tips I share, because a blog cannot exist without content. And it will never engage with readers unless that content is relevant and useful.

Want more blogging tips?
Blogging 101 Tips: With Inconsistency Comes Weakness
Blogging 101 Tips: Set Up Your Blog as a Subpage (good) vs. a Subdomain (bad)
Blogging 101 Tips: Creating a Blogging Campaign


 
 

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Web Design Tips: Avoid Carousels (Slideshows)

Cuppa SEO Web Design Madison WI Avoid CarouselsWebsite carousels, also referred to as slideshows or rotating offers, are something we find on a lot of websites. But they’re a bad user experience and they’re bad for conversion.

As an organization, it’s always tempting to give MORE information on one’s website. But more information can often have the opposite effect of what was intended.

Carousels make your visitor think harder. Every new rotating banner is new information that makes the viewer have to think, and even if that’s for only a few seconds, that’s a few seconds too many.

Yes, you should assume your customers are intelligent, and yes — you should also acknowledge they’re overwhelmed and super busy. As every new offer slides into view, you’re giving them more work to do. They’ve got to digest it, then decide if it’s more important to them than the previous offer(s). And then, after four slides, they’re asking “what was the first one again,” and possibly wondering how they get back to a previous offer.

Here’s an example of a website that presents a carousel of four offers on their homepage:

CarouselExample 1Web Design Madison Carousel Example 2 Web Design Madison WI Carousel Example 3 Cuppa SEO Web Design Madison WI Carousel Example 4 Cuppa SEO Web Design
Instead of this plethora of information, your homepage hero image — and accompanying content and call-to-action (CTA) — should be like a very clear sign:

  1. “You are here”
  2. “Here’s how we can help”
  3. “Do this next if you want to talk”

Instead of carousels, use a single image for better UX. Then, figure out the top one to three (maximum) things your visitor needs (address those pain points) and make them easy to find calls-to-action.

Good CTAs provide the right offers (client pain points that become your points of conversion), that are easy to find (which equals a good user experience), resulting in a more successful website. This “formula” often leads to increased qualified leads and decreased unqualified leads.


 
 

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The Pitfalls of Parallax Web Design

*Mobile users, please note:
Your regularly 
scheduled blog post will appear beneath this extremely long parallax web page image …             

User Experience Parallax Website DesignAnother somewhat popular web design format is parallax design. And although the name may not be overly familiar to you, I’m betting you’ve experienced this type of site, at least a few times.

A parallax website is a site that is often referred to as a “scrolling website.” They’re typically comprised of a single page, or just a handful of pages, with the homepage containing a TON of information.

On these scrolling websites, what happens is you start scrolling down for more info, and down, and down, through what appears to be a never-ending scroll. And as you scroll, there are layers of imagery and text on the page moving at different “speeds” to create visual interest, tell a story, create depth effect, etc.

This is often a lot of fun for a designer to build, as it provides opportunity to be really creative. But it’s bad for UX because it’s really hard for the visitor to easily locate the exact information they need. In addition, parallax sites make it hard to know which end is up. In fact, all of those moving parts may cause you to feel nausea (not kidding).

It’s almost like parachuting out of an airplane, but you’ve got to keep your eyes closed the whole time — so you never know where the ground is.

This can be very unsettling for the viewer who’s looking for “solid footing” as soon as they arrive on your site. What I mean by this is that website visitors, mostly unconsciously, have a need to understand the lay of the land when they arrive on a website. They want to feel grounded, and be able to quickly understand where they are without having to think about it.

Since we use the internet every day, it’s easy to forget that it’s a virtual platform made up of pixels that we view. To assure a good UX, we’ve got to provide visitors with this sense of solid footing by implementing all of the user experience strategies we’ve talked about thus far. They need to know “this end is up, and this end is down.” Solid footing, on solid virtual ground. We don’t want them feeling like they’re free-falling or off balance — which is exactly what often happens with parallax sites.

If you’re on a desktop computer, you see an example of a parallax site on your right. If you’re on a mobile device, you probably saw the image at the top of the blog post (and wondered what the heck was going on).

The website in this example goes on, and on for nine whopping on-screen “pages” (on a 13” Mac). Yellow lines represent scroll points, meaning you wouldn’t be able to see what’s below the yellow line without scrolling.

One final note about Parallax web Design…

… is that like anything else, there’s no hard, fast “best practice” for every circumstance. I’ve seen some parallax sites for artists (showing one piece of art per “page”), and musicians (showing one album and/or music video per “page”) that work really well. But for most businesses and organizations, there are far better choices that provide a remarkably better user experience.

Thank you for visiting the Cuppa SEO blog!

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Google My Business Tip #6: Manually Uploading Photos

Google My Business Listing Tips Loading PhotosOnce upon a time, when you published a post on your Google My Business listing, you could tell Google to automatically add the photo in the post to your “Additional Photos” section.

Those days are gone, at least for now, which means that when you publish a post on Google My Business you’ve got to manually upload your optimized image into your “Additional Photos” section.

To follow is a step-by-step process on how to do just that. It’s not hard once you know what to do. And if you’re wondering why you need to upload these photos into your Google My Business listing, it’s because it adds a little more optimization to your listing, which can give it more authority — helping it rank higher when someone searches for what you do.

If you need help optimizing your photos, check out Part 4 of this series, Optimizing Your Images, for more info.

Step 1

To begin, you’ll first need to sign into your Google My Business listing. Your Google user name and password should be the same for all your business-related Google accounts (Gmail, Google+, Google Docs, etc.)

Step 2

Once you’re logged in, you should see a page that looks like this …

What Your Google My Business Listing Page Looks Like

Click on the “Photos” tab, and then scroll all the way down to the bottom until you see the “Additional Photos” region.

Getting to Your Google My Business Photos

While you’re scrolling down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see other regions — like “Interior” and “Exterior” photos, and “Team” photos. If any of these additional regions are relevant to the photo you’re uploading, it’s totally OK to upload your optimized photo there. Otherwise, go with the “Additional Photos” section.

Step 3

Click on the “Add a Photo” link. If there are no photos in a section yet, you may find a “Add One Now” button to click so you can add your photo.

Next, you’ll see this …

Loading Photos in Your Google My Business Listing

As you can see, you can now simply drag your optimized photo into this region, or click on the blue button to import it from a folder.

Once you’ve dragged the photo in, or selected it from a folder, Google will upload and save it automatically. It should now appear in the photos section you chose to place it in.

And now you’re done!

Remember, every time you publish a post on your Google My Business listing, take an extra minute to manually post the image in your photos library too. 

Thank you for visiting the Cuppa SEO blog!


 
 

Additional installments of the series:

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The Big Goal Cube: Identify & Accomplish Your Biggest Goal

Big Goal Cube by Cuppa SEO Web DesignAs we roll into the new year, it’s quite possible you’ve started thinking about what you’d like to accomplish over the next 12-months. I know that’s been the case for me — both personally and professionally.

This year, while reading an excellent little book called The One Thing, by Keller and Papasan, I came across a tool the authors call “The Great Question Matrix.”

Essentially it’s a four-quadrant grid that helps you define a specific goal in four ways … 

  1. Small & broad
  2. Small & specific
  3. Big and broad
  4. Big and specific

And although I liked the concept, it didn’t really resonate with me to put too much attention on a small goal. This is because the authors basically defined the small goal as, well, small and easy to accomplish — the type of  goal that was not life changing or transforming. In other words a small goal is safe, and in some ways inconsequential. 

The big goal sections caught my attention though, so I decided to transform The Great Question Matrix into something that was more meaningful to me: The Big Goal Cube.

I like the Big Goal Cube so much, I wanted to share it here, so others could benefit from it, too. I’ve included some examples in each of the four quadrants of the cube so you can understand how to use it… 

Big Goal Cube by Cuppa SEO in Madison WI

Big Goal

This first quadrant is for the “global view” of your big goal. And although it’s got to be a specific goal — like “help 50% more clients this year” — it doesn’t contain a lot of detail. That said, be sure to have an actual date for your deadline.

Often times, organizations choose a financial goal like, “double our revenue,” or “increase sales by 50%” as a goal. A word of caution on this. Revenue is the byproduct of accomplishing something else, not the goal in-and-of itself.

In other words, if you’re a clothing company, a goal of increasing sales by 50% is only a monetary goal (obviously). It’s the result of selling more clothes, right? But why did you start your clothing company to begin with? To be the latest trend-setting designer? To offer affordable, well-made and stylish clothing to the middle class? To make ski boots so rugged, and so comfortable, that they are the number one choice for every ski enthusiast?

What I’m driving at here is what makes your business tick — what’s at the heart of it that convinced you to start the company or work for it in the first place? For some, the answer will be money, but for most there will be something more.

Big Ways to Do This

Here’s where we get a little more specific about the goal. Once again inspired buy the book, The One Thing, I’ve broken down this section into three categories:

  1. Doable: which is essentially doing more of what you’re already doing. This is the easiest of the three categories to achieve.
  2. Stretch: In the above example, writing a book is your stretch goal. It’s not something you’ve done before, and you don’t have all the answers. As defined in The One Thing, “While this is still within you reach, it can be at the farthest end of your range … Think of this as potentially achievable and probable, depending on your effort.”
  3. Possibility: What’s next? As Keller and Papasan put it, “a possibility answer exists beyond what is already known and being done. This type of answer is hardest to come by.” But when you extend yourself to find this answer, you “expand and enrich your life for the better.” Finding this answer will require research, brainstorming and very likely a mastermind group of peers and a coach.

The Details — Step by Step

Here’s where we really dig in and define the “bite-sized” steps we need to take in order to accomplish the big goal we’ve laid out in the first two quadrants. As you can see, I’ve broken this down to mirror the “doable” and “stretch” categories, so there are specific actions you can take for each. Of course, this is only an example, and your actual quadrants may involve more or less steps.

Analyze and Adjust

Decide, in advance, when you’re going to check in with how the goal is coming along. I suggest monthly, quarterly and semi-annually. The more your goal is top of mind, and the better you understand where you’re at, the greater your chances of success.

Knowing exactly where you’re at also gives you the opportunity to adjust, as necessary. And remember, adjusting does NOT indicate that you’ve failed at something. It just indicates you need to change course to get where you want to go.

If you’d like to work on your own goal cube to help with your 2017 goals, feel free to download the file as a Numbers or Excel doc.

Thanks for visiting, and best of luck with your big goal!


 
 

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Creating an Action Board (Vision Board)

Creating a Vision Board or Action Board

As 2017 approaches, many of us are thinking about goals and plans for the new year. But planning and goal setting can be overwhelming — especially if it involves professional or personal change.

There’s something easy and enjoyable you can do to clarify your goals for the new year, and keep them top-of-mind so they don’t fall by the wayside …

… It’s called an action board.

What is an Action Board?

Also referred to as a vision board, an action board is a tool that helps clearly define your plans and goals in a visual way. The great thing about an action board is that you don’t have to be an artist to create one. They can be words, pictures, things you’ve printed out off the internet — whatever — and they can be as minimalist or intricate as you like.

The main thing about an action board is that is needs to contain things that are meaningful to you. If you haven’t read it already, our series on Running a Small Business can help you with the art of balance, discovering, defining and setting goals, as well as overcoming obstacles. Feel free to check the series out to help you define what needs to be included in your action board.

The purpose of an action board is to help clarify your professional and/or personal goals, and help you keep them top-of-mind on a daily basis. An action board is any creation that’s made on oak tag, foam core, canvas, or some other type of substrate that displays imagery that represents whatever you want to accomplish in life. This could include who you’d like to become, what you’d like to do, or something you’d like to have …

The awesome thing about an action board is that it can become an extension of you. Not just your goals, but also your personality. Most people make a action board that looks like a collage, but we’ve seen some that have been hand painted (like mine), sketched (like my kids’), or made up entirely of words. And once it’s done, you can hang it in your office, bedroom, living room — essentially wherever you spend a good amount of time. Since it’s easily accessible, it becomes less of a challenge to refer to it often. And the more we look at our action board, the more likely we are to take action on our goals and accomplish them.

Being Mindful

Like Muhammad Ali said, “what you are thinking about, you are becoming.”

In other words, our thoughts lead to what we talk about, what we talk about has an effect on our actions, and our actions affect what we manifest (or don’t manifest) in our lives. So, the more we think about our goals, the more likely we are to take action on them.

Being mindful about creating our action board, as well as reviewing it on a daily basis, are critical components to accomplishing what we desire.

How to Make an Action Board

  • Use a poster-sized piece of foam core, oak tag, or something similar that can be hung on the wall. Command Strips by 3M are very helpful with this.
  • Drawings, sketches, paintings or images collected from magazines, the internet, photo albums, etc., that are inspiring representations of your goal(s).
  • Craft supplies: glue stick, magic markers, tape, scissors, stickers — and whatever else you like.
  • Most importantly, make time to discover, define and set your personal and professional goals so you know exactly what needs to be on your action board.

Best of luck with creating your board and accomplishing your goals!


 
 

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Web Design Tips: Improving Your WordPress Security

Web Design Madison WI Website TipsWhen it comes to web design, some topics — like layout and imagery — have a built-in excitement about them.

But WordPress security? Not overly exciting (except to geeks like us). But that doesn’t mean it’s not important, which is why I’d like to share a handful of security tips for your WordPress site …

FTP vs. FTPS

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s a fancy way of referring to how we transfer files from a server to a computer, or vice versa. There are other applications where FTP comes in handy, but we don’t need to cover them here.

The problem with FTP is not very secure.

Hackers can install a “snooper” type virus which will literally snoop on your FTP data as it’s sent back and forth. All FTP sessions require authentication. With FTP, your Username and Password are unencrypted plain text, making it easy for these snoopers to attain your credentials —  and then the hackers will log in and inject malicious code into your files.

With FTPS, the “S” on the end of the acronym stands for secure. FTPS performs all the same functions as FTP, but it involves the use of a secure SSL/TLS layer, which encrypts your information.

At Cuppa SEO, every website we build is created with FTPS in place. If yours isn’t, speak with your web designer about making it so.

HTTP vs. HTTPS

There’s been more talk lately about standardizing all websites to HTTPS.

HTTP vs. HTTPS works very similarly to how FTP and FTPS. One is secure, while the other is not. HTTPS encrypts the data being sent to/from your browser and the server — a very important security function for any WordPress site that contains a database or offers an online store.

HTTPS is more of a privacy thing. It prevents hackers from being able to read the info being sent/received and also prevents them from manipulating the data without you knowing it.

It’s possible that HTTPS can also add a little more SEO authority to your website, but it might not be enough to warrant moving a non-commerce or non-database site over to it. There’s more involved with changing an existing website over from HTTP to HTTPS. But if you’re building a new site, definitely go with HTTPS. You can even get free SSL certificates for the job.

Admin Password

Web Design Madison WI Security TipsIn addition to FTPS being a guard against hacking, so is a strong WordPress admin user name and password. If your user name is “admin,” that’s about as hackable as it gets. Change it, or create a new admin account (then delete the old) right away.

As far as passwords, create something that gets a “strong” grade. Yes, it’s easy to remember “1234” as your password. But a bot can hack that in milliseconds. If you have trouble remembering passwords, get an application like Last Pass and keep them all documented and secure.


 
 

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Google My Business Tip #5: How to Publish a Post

Google My Business Listing Tips Publishing a PostSo far, in our Google My Business Tips series, we’ve talked about:

In this installment of the series, let’s take a look at how to actually publish a post through your Google My Business listing.

1. Sign In

Obvious, right? But not always easy — especially if you haven’t logged into your Google My Business listing in a while. If you don’t already have your login page bookmarked, here it is:

https://www.google.com/business/

When you get there, click on the “Sign In” button in the upper-right corner.

Google My Business Listing Login Screen

Once you’re signed in, you should see a page that looks something like this …

What Your Google My Business Listing Page Looks Like

2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on G+

What? You’re probably wondering why I’m directing you to Google+ when we’re talking about posting on Google My Business. The reason is because the two are actually part of the same whole.

Google My Business & Google Plus Listing

Overall, it’s a confusing, sub-par user experience Google is providing here, but it’s all we’ve got. And since Google My Business holds so much SEO value, it’s important to publish posts there, just like you would on your other social media channels.

3. Prepare Your Post

Once you’ve clicked on Google+, you’ll wind up on a page that looks like this:

Publish a Post On Google My Business
Click on the red pencil icon in the lower-right corner, and you’ll FINALLY be ready to publish a post.

Here’s what you’ll see:

PublishingOn Your Google My Business Listing

I’ve taken the liberty of populating the post so you can see what one looks like:

  • We’ve got a short title, “Confused by Conversion?”
  • Followed by brief copy.
  • Along with a link back to the Cuppa SEO blog. Typically, I like to shorten the URL with TinyURL or something similar, but here I’ve left it as is so it could be a point of discussion. If the URL is too long, it can make the post “muddy,” which is why a shortened URL is typically a better solution.
  • Google does you the favor of inserting imagery that already exists on the page/blog post you are linking to. Click on the “X” in the upper-right corner of the image and delete it. Then, promptly upload your optimized image (details on this in Part 4 of the series) and implement it here.
  • Be sure to publish to “Public,” unless you want to publish directly to a collection for a specific reason.

Before the most recent Google My Business/Google+ update, you were able to tell Google to save this photo to your “Business Photos,” which was really nice because it enriched your photo library and improved the SEO value of your Google My Business listing, too.

As of this writing, this feature is gone. If it comes back, be sure to use it! Until then, you’ll have to manually add a new, optimized image to your Google My Business photo library.

Once you’ve double checked your work, click on the “Post” button and it’s published (finally)!

I hope this post makes it easier for you to post on Google My Business!


 
 

Additional installments of the series:

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Understanding Point of Conversion (POC) on Your Website

Website Design Madison WI Point of ConversionFrom a global view, conversion is clearly leading people from where they are, to where you want them to go.

Simple right? But once you dive in, there are a lot of pieces of the puzzle that add up to successful, or unsuccessful conversion (CV). Let’s take a look at each of these pieces for a better understanding …

A Clear Intention: What’s Your #1 Goal?

There’s nothing random about leading a website visitor from where they are to where you want them to go. As you might imagine, it’s quite the opposite, which means you need to have a very clear intention of what you want your visitors to do once they land on your homepage, subpage, squeeze page or blog.

This clear intention can only come from identifying THE #1 THING you want your visitor to do next after they’ve visited your site. Do you want them to call or email you? Shop? Your #1 thing should align nicely with your organizations #1 goal.

Using a dental office example, or any medical office for that matter, the #1 goal (call-to-action) is to get new or existing patients to call to make an appointment.

So, in this case, is a free giveaway like a dental health mini-book or a PDF of the top 10 ways to prevent caveties, in alignment with our #1 goal? NO. Which means in this case, and many others, free giveaways are not the best call-to-action (CTA). But we see it all the time right? Sign up for this, download that, watch our video. Often times, the goal here is to build a bigger email list with YOUR name on it!

Now IF, and only if, your primary goal is to build a big email list — again for a very specific reason — go ahead and focus on getting as many qualified emails as you can. But you better make sure you’re offering excellent value for the price of handing over my name and email address. In an upcoming blog post, we’ll talk all about the dark side of conversion, where signing up for ONE e-book can quickly become daily harassment from someone you never wanted in your inbox in the first place!

You get the point. Keeping your #1 intention in mind when creating your CTAs will help you be more focused, more successful — and remain on a clear path!

Make it Easy for Visitors to Take the Next Step

Notice how I said “next step,” there, and not something like “getting your visitors further down the funnel.” Keeping in line with our relationship-building philosophy, it’s important to look at people as people — not as an object you push through a funnel.

So how do we make it super clear and easy for someone to take the next step in becoming a client or customer?

This is often accomplished through the use of well-placed buttons. But where do those buttons go, and what do they say? Here’s an example …

User Experience & Website Conversion Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, in addition to the #1 CTA, “Do It,” there’s also a second CTA, which is the Dollar Shave Club video. Which leads us to the question …

What’s Your #2 Goal?
Often times, we need a secondary, #2 goal in case our visitor is not ready to take action on our #1 goal. This secondary goal can often lead to a visitor taking action on our #1 goal, but without it, they might not engage at all.

Why is the video there? Think of it this way:

Your primary, #1 CTA is like the first date
The person you’re talking to is ready to take action, to go out for dinner. In the case of Dollar Shave Club, this represents the “DO IT” button — I’m ready to buy, get out of my way! I’m sick and tired of overpaying for razor blades, I’m busy — and I am psyched that my friend told me about Dollar Shave Club — let’s buy some blades!

Your secondary, #2 CTA is like the introduction
“Hi, I’m Joey, nice to meet you. Tell me a little about yourself.” This is the part where you get to know someone enough to decide WHETHER OR NOT YOU WANT TO GO ON A FIRST DATE. The video accomplishes this because it does just that — It helps us get to know Dollar Shave Club, with NO commitment at all. Are they for me or not? Watch the video and find out.

Solve a Problem: Make it About Them, Not You

Just as with your website and blog content, your conversion strategy/CTA needs to solve problems. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and determine what their pain points are. Once you identify them — show me you can solve them.

It’s easy to get caught up in explaining the awesome process you have, which makes your company so unique. I could talk for hours about all of the nuances of SEO and how we apply optimized content into every nook and cranny of your website. Most people don’t care. If they’re looking for an SEO expert, that means they want to be more visible in natural search results. Now if I say, “Cuppa SEO can help you get found on Google,” I just let them know I can solve their problem — and I’ve told them in a succinct, easy to comprehend way.

If they’re a tech geek like me, we can always talk more about the details later. But first, they need to know I can help remove their pain.

Place CTA Buttons Where They Make Sense

Not every page needs a CTA, but if it makes sense, place one there. If a button seems too intrusive, then insert a text link instead — in some cases, you might want to do both! In general, your homepage, squeeze pages* and subpages are good candidates for CTAs. Your blog is not. Try to leave that as your relationship-building place, and if you use a CTA, make sure it’s a soft sell.

*What the Heck is a Squeeze Page?
This is a specialized page that’s specifically designed as a payoff to your CTA. Although there will be times when leading someone to your contact or products page may be totally appropriate, other times call for a different solution.

For example, on my SEO services page, I have a call-to-action, “Contact Us About Your SEO Needs” that leads to a minimalist squeeze page:

SEO Services PageSubpage Website Conversion Example

Squeeze Page

 Website Design Madison WI Squeeze Page Example

 

The squeeze page is devoid of any and all non-pertinent information or services. It’s an obvious, direct payoff to the CTA from the previous page.

In this distraction-free environment my visitor is presented with the opportunity to get in touch via phone, email or by filling out a SIMPLE form. I’ve made it easy for them to accomplish the task they set out to do when they clicked on my call-to-action.

One more thing …

When it comes to conversion, always be honest, be real, be trustworthy — and avoid manipulation.


 
 

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Posted in Conversion, How To, Web Design
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