The conversion funnel is one of the most frequently mentioned concepts in web marketing. And yet, despite its ubiquity, few people really understand what it is, how it works, and how to use it effectively.
A good understanding of the conversion funnel and how it works is essential if you want to turn your visitors into customers. There is no single funnel model that applies to every situation: how you design yours depends entirely on the nature of your site and your goals.
Despite this, some basic rules apply when building the conversion funnel. In this article, we present these rules and guide you through the process of creating a funnel that suits your company and your goals.
The conversion funnel: What is it?
Basically, the conversion funnel is the path taken by an Internet user on your website between the time they arrive on your site and the time they perform the action you consider to be a “conversion”. This action can be a purchase, a registration, a download, a completed contact form, or any other action that needs to be taken by the user.
Not every visitor to your site will perform the desired action, which is why the conversion funnel is compared to a funnel. For example, of the 1,000 visitors who enter your site in one day, 600 will visit one of your product pages, 300 will add that product to the shopping cart, and 100 will actually make the purchase.
As you can see in the picture below, the conversion funnel gradually narrows as you approach the desired action: only the most interested visitors make it to the end of the funnel.
Why are conversion funnels useful?
Conversion funnels are studied for a simple reason: they help us understand the buyer’s journey of Internet users and learn a great deal about what leads them to action or, conversely, what inhibits them in the process.
You can create a conversion funnel in Google Analytics to better understand the behavior of your potential customers. This will help you to track your conversion rates accurately and find out exactly at what stage users are stopping. This information is crucial when it comes time to optimize your web strategy and increase your conversion rates.
What are the different stages of the conversion funnel?
Depending on your objective, the conversion funnel usually consists of three or four stages. To maximize the chances of converting users, you need to understand each of these stages and how they fit together.
Attracting visitors to your site
The first step is to attract an audience to your website. This involves widening the conversion funnel by attracting users with unique, relevant and high-quality web content: target a potential problem that your audience might face and create educational content to help them solve it.
One of the main reasons people use search engines is to solve a problem. Some queries are so simple that the user doesn’t need to leave the search engine to get an answer, while others are more complex and require reading an article.
This is where you come in: if your website has articles that respond to these requests, you will generate much more organic traffic. For example, if your company specializes in pest control, you can publish an article on your site explaining to visitors how to control rodent infestations in a business.
An SEO agency can help you guarantee the quality of your web content and maximize its visibility on search engines. This will considerably increase the number of visitors to your site.
Keeping in touch with visitors
Once users have been attracted to your site, you want to encourage them to interact with it so that they leave you their contact information. This will give you a database that you can use to keep in touch with visitors and increase their chances of becoming customers.
If you want to obtain your visitors’ contact information, you need to offer them exclusive content or services in exchange. This content will depend on your company’s line of business as well as the reason why your site is visited.
For example, you can ask for contact information for a subscription to your newsletter, access to exclusive written content or videos, special member discounts, a free demo of a service or participation in a contest.
Turning visitors into customers
Now that your leads are familiar with you and have identified how you can be useful to them, it’s time to make sure they choose your services or products. Depending on your industry, chances are that they are comparing your offer with your competitors; you need to stand out in order to close sales.
Identify the element that sets you apart from the competition, that adds value to the customer experience you offer. Whether it’s competitive pricing, outstanding customer service or an exclusive promotional offer, you need to find an advantage that’s unique to you, and put it forward. If you can’t find anything distinctive, your prospects will choose a more attractive offer from one of your competitors.
Building customer loyalty
All too often people forget that the conversion funnel doesn’t always stop after the purchase, quite the contrary. Customers you have already converted will be much easier to convert again than a new prospect who has never used your products or services before. Keeping in touch with your customers considerably increases your chances of doing business with them again.
You can also invite them to share their feedback online. If they are satisfied with your products or services, they will become ambassadors for your company and may convince other prospects to make a purchase.
What can interfere with your conversion funnel?
One of the main advantages of having an accurate conversion funnel is the ability to determine what obstacles are hindering the conversion of your visitors, preventing them from performing the desired action. There are a multitude of elements that can hamper a visitor’s journey through your site: you need to identify them in order to eliminate them.
If the registration process you offer is too long or complicated, you will certainly lose the interest of less motivated visitors: opt for a simple and quick form like the one shown below. Your navigation menu may also be the problem: Internet users get discouraged very quickly when faced with an overly complicated menu. Navigation should be as seamless and intuitive as possible.
Another problem may be your calls to action, which should stand out from the rest of the page and be clearly identified. A call to action that is too small or hard to find is ineffective and limits the number of visitors who will perform the desired action. Finally, make sure that your internal and external links open in a new tab to avoid redirecting visitors without allowing them to continue their progress through the conversion funnel.
Please note that these obstacles are only a few of many examples: a host of other elements may be at the root of the problem. If you can’t figure out what’s wrong with your funnel on your own, you can always contact a web agency to help you in your optimization efforts.
How do you find a conversion funnel that fits your goals?
As you can see, there are hundreds of ways to design an optimized conversion funnel: it all depends on your business, your site, your goals and your audience behavior. There is no magic formula for effectively optimizing your conversion funnel: you need to know your site’s shortcomings, the obstacles to conversion and make the necessary changes to restore the flow of the process. This is time-consuming work that can be tedious and frustrating for those less familiar with the web and its processes.
Contact a web agency to optimize your conversion funnel
Many companies decide to use the services of a web agency to identify and optimize their conversion funnel to maximize their chances. This ensures that their website is managed by qualified experts with in-depth knowledge of web marketing who can identify the flaws that prevent visitors from converting.
At My Little Big Web, we can improve your company’s online visibility with solutions tailored to your needs and budget. We know that every expense is important, which is why we make sure to maximize your return on investment with every action taken.
If you think you need a “little big” hand optimizing your conversion funnel, we welcome you to contact us: we will put our expertise at your disposal to help you improve your conversion rate.