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The Secret to Converting Web Traffic

Copy is absolutely crucial to not only delivering a great customer experience on your website but also converting all that traffic. This is true for traffic that originates from organic search as well as pay per click advertising. In fact, research has shown that organic search visitors tend to convert at a higher rate than visitors from search engine advertising. So how do we make the most of our efforts to attract visitors to our website? Achieving a good balance between visitors from organic search and search advertising is important as the right mix will bring you more traffic.

To maximise the opportunity this presents, I recommend you develop landing pages with "purposeful design". This is critical to the success of your online business. When a visitor lands on your web properties (pages), their subsequent behaviour is determined to a large extent by what they see and experience within the first few seconds. How do you know what will work and what will not? Well we need to create different versions and test. This is where the science of landing page optimisation begins. There are two types of tests that I like to apply.

One is called AB Testing and the other multivariate testing. Each has its place in the optimisation process. Let me explain. Let's use an example to explain each. Let's assume I have a website that sells products. Should I direct visitors from my pay per click advertising to a page that contains all the products in a category or should I direct them to a single product? Which will convert better? We use AB testing to find out.

AB Testing allows us to test the conversion rates of 2 different pages. So we might direct an equal amount of traffic to each of our pages for a period of time and monitor the conversions rates of each to determine which delivers the better result. Once we have a winner, we adopt that page for all subsequent visitors. We could do sequential testing on this page but that's a topic for another time. We can now apply multi variates testing to compare the performance of different elements of the same page to determine what works best.

To do this, we select different parts of our page, for example the headline, an image and perhaps the call to action. Then we test each of these with alternative versions.  For example, each time a visitor lands on our website, we can display one of three images of the product. Once we have had a statistically valid sample of visitors through the page, we will begin to learn about which image works best. We can do the same for other elements.

It is important not to get carried away with the testing. I prefer to test perhaps one or 2 elements at a time with 2 to 3 versions of each. If you change too many elements, it is more difficult to assess what really makes the difference. Once we have the results of our multi variates test, we adopt our highest performing option and then, you guessed it - we do it again! I hope I have been able to explain how to convert your traffic. As a channel to market, the internet offers a rich source of information that can be used to fine tune your website. Over time, you will know what works and what does not.

This really places you at a competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace.

Billy is an internet marketing specialist and writes on various topics such as landing page optimisation.

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