Internet marketing is a constantly changing atmosphere but one thing has stayed the same since I entered the online marketing world around ten years ago: Marketers are great at getting people at the end of the sales cycle into making a purchase, but they aren’t as sharp at getting people who don’t know about them or don’t know if they want to buy their product (but still might) to progress further down the sales cycle.
Conversion rates are almost always going to be lower earlier in the sales cycle, but marketers who consistently have trouble keeping people on their landing page frequently don’t understand how to apply the sales funnel to their landing page and the technical aspects of their website. That’s why I’m sharing some tips that marketers can use for their website to make sure that early potential leads convert farther through the sales process.
Write killer hooks!
In many academic settings, we’re taught to write articles that describe the content of the paper but don’t reveal everything so that people still want to read it. The first paragraph is supposed to be similar to the title, so it prepares the reader for what to expect in the rest of the paper, but conceals a little bit so that they keep on reading.
However, my experience has been that academic writing I was taught to do doesn’t emphasize the hook enough. Since most marketers have college diplomas and wrote tons of papers, the main type of writing they did is academic writing. As a result, many marketers don’t know how to write in a way that will make people want to keep reading their writing. This is disastrous for landing page writing because the most potential leads are lost within the first eight seconds of hitting your landing page.
Build up anticipation
When you were a kid, what happened when your friend told you “I have a secret” but then they wouldn’t share what the secret is? You probably felt like you really wanted to know! That’s how a good lead should work. The emotions you felt when your friend told you that they have a secret, but won’t tell you what the secret is, is exactly how readers should feel once they’ve caught your hook. As an example, I made this article’s title “Find out how to convert more potential leads…” instead of “Use hooks and site acceleration to convert more potential leads…” so that people would click on it and seek an answer to the question, “How do I increase my conversion rate early in the sales cycle?” Writing a good lead is one of the most important things you can do to increase your conversion rate, but it won’t help you if your site doesn’t load fast enough for them to see your landing page.
Use site acceleration
Site acceleration is a way to make your site load quicker so that you can make the most out of those eight seconds to hook your potential lead. Let’s say your site gets potential leads from London, Los Angeles, and New York and your server is in New York. On an ordinary site people in Los Angeles and London will have to wait a long time to see your site. This both increases the likelihood that they’ll click the back button without seeing your landing page, and also makes your site rank lower on Google searches since Google rewards sites that load quickly with higher search rankings.
On the other hand, site acceleration works by using multiple servers in different geographic areas. This means that the people in Los Angeles and London will get your website from local servers instead of having to wait for the website to travel from New York. On top of that, good site acceleration services like NetDNA host your video content on separate local servers so that your videos don’t make your site load slower in Google’s eyes, since Google won’t count videos coming from different URL’s.
By accelerating your website, you make sure that people see your landing page shortly after clicking on a link. Potential leads can be anywhere in the world and you page will load quickly so that you can make the most out of those critical first eight seconds to convert them further along the sales cycle.
David Henzel is VP of Marketing and a partner at NetDNA, which provides CDN solutions that deliver fast page load times for enterprise and SMB websites. A serial entrepreneur, David has more than 11 years of experience in online marketing, having launched and sold several online businesses in Germany before coming to NetDNA in 2009.