You’ve spent money on generating traffic to your website: money for Pay Per Click advertising, more money for Search Engine Optimization, and yet more money for social media content and advertising.
Your analytics account reflects a healthy increase in traffic, but your sales figures indicate that that traffic isn’t converting, or not converting very well. Your website is visible and you’re doing all the right things to make sure that people are finding you but your message somehow isn’t convincing your viewers to buy.
This scenario is commonly faced by many businesses that are trying to market themselves online.
In this article I will be highlighting some of the ideas that we’ve tried and tested in the past to identify and craft a more convincing message that will bring in more convincing sales.
There are a couple questions you must ask yourself before you start to experiment with your sales messaging.
- What do you want to be saying to your potential customer once you have acquired his attention?
- What do you think she is looking for when she typed in the search phrase that has brought you her click? This is the notion of ‘intent’, a concept that is growing in importance in the more recent refinements of the Google algorithm.
There’s no denying that the notion of intent is highly subjective. However, it can be brought into the realms of empirical evaluation by setting up and implementing different copy experiments.
In cases where we run fully integrated online marketing programmes for our clients we have been able to conduct a range of sophisticated experiments to ascertain the type of sales messaging that is most effective at achieving conversions from the traffic that a particular key phrase generates for a website.
Case Study 1
The Transport Exchange Group operates two freight exchange platforms, Courier Exchange and Haulage Exchange. Marketing for both platforms revolves around a core group of key phrases that are extremely competitive and that have high search volume. The performance of these phrases can make a huge difference to the sales and profits of our online marketing efforts.
For Courier Exchange we took one of these phrases: owner driver jobs and created landing page content with overt sales messaging and another pieces of content that offered blog style information under the title of ‘Ways to Increase Profits from Owner Driver Jobs’. Both pages were optimised for the phrase owner driver jobs and both pages included calls to action.
However the assumed ‘intent’ behind a search for the phrase owner driver jobs was very different in the content that was produced for these pages. One page assumed the intent was transactional: someone looking for owner driver jobs whilst the other page was informational: someone looking for information on how to make more money from owner driver jobs.
A similar scenario was set up for their sister platform Haulage Exchange using the key phrase delivery work. A sales page was created with hard core salesmanship that advertised all the delivery work available on the platform to the Exchange’s subscribed members. The other page was informational content provided under the title ‘Ways to Increase Profits from Owner Driver Jobs’.
It was then possible to set up a Split A/B test through the client’s PPC campaign in conjunction with Google Optimiseto determine which messaging approach generated more conversions.
Case Study 2
In this case the client The School Travel Company, a tour operator that helps teachers organise trips abroad, was acquiring extremely expensive traffic for the phrase school trips. To help them figure out what sort of messaging would convert more teachers from “lookers to bookers” we implemented what we call the Content Cluster approach.
We produced and published the following types of content for their website, and each page was optimised for the phrase school trips.
- A sales page
- A blog post describing the best school trips (which of course happened to be theirs!)
- An infographic on planning a school trip
- A video with an optimised description showcasing some of the client’s favourite primary school trips
In this instance the various pages ranked in multiple positions of the organic search results offering viewers a selection of different content angles related to the search phrase school trips.
Too often an agency or a marketing manager will consider that their job is done if they deliver a higher volume of traffic to your website. Sadly there’s not much value in having more visits if those visitors aren’t buying more of your product or services.
If your business is suffering from this dilemma then the final piece in the puzzle might be your sales messaging. With higher traffic volume comes the opportunity to experiment on those viewers.
- Formulate a medley of different notions of intent that your chosen key phrases might contain and then create different types of content that speaks to each of those intents.
- And finally, set up some proper experiments to give you the hard data that could make the difference between expensive but useless traffic and expensive but highly profitable traffic.
Laura Bolick is Head of Content Marketing at LeadGeneratorsDigital, a London based boutique online marketing agency with 20 years’ experience generating enviable results for their clients across multiple industry sectors.