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How to Get More Clicks, Sales

Updated on January 15, 2015

Conversion Rate Optimization 101

Web pros know: Success is not how much traffic you get, but how many visitors click your links, buy your products, or read your page.

On the web, conversion means converting a visitor to a consumer who interacts with your page (buying, clicking, sharing, etc). Sometimes, conversion just means getting them to read your message. Techniques for conversion are called CRO, Conversion Rate Optimization.

On Squidoo, conversion gets rewarded: clicks and sales improve lensrank. So there's extra incentive to learn CRO!

On this page, I'll share with you fifteen basic techniques to boost clicks and sales. At the end, I've got a helpful resource for you -- a free chapter on CRO from a professional book on website optimization. I don't know how long the publisher will be offering this freebie, so you'll want to grab it now.

Image credits: target by ilco@sxc, pointer by Nikhil Bobb, CC

Get This As a Checklist
Get This As a Checklist

Fifteen Tips to Get More Clicks

A 15-Step CRO Checklist

Choose your target. What is the page's goal? What do you define as conversion? Write it on a sticky and evaluate your page by it.

Clarity. Keep your page simple, focused, and on-target. Use direct, specific language.

Make a powerful first impression. New arrivals decide whether to stay or go within a few seconds. Focus their attention with a strong, specific headline declaring your topic. Catch the eye with a crisp-looking graphic. Tell them what they'll find on your page within the first sentence or two. Use lively, polished, edited language -- yes, good writing does make a good first impression!

Establish trust. Web users are worried about malware, personal information harvesting, and buying from unproven sources. Use familiar, reassuring logos like Amazon's to ease concerns. Use a profile image and blurb, testimonials and personal reviews, a professional-looking design, and anything else you can do to show you're genuine and trustworthy.

Talk benefits, not only features. Ask yourself: So what? What's in it for them? "Soothes aches and pains" is more important to a customer than "Now in cherry flavor."

Offer something UNIQUE. Give your readers a specific reason to go with you and not the other guy...which is the whole web! On Squidoo, this means not simply copying basic product info or repackaging generic content; set your page apart with your own words, your own photos, your own perspective.

Use a Call To Action. This marketing term means guiding visitors by telling them what to do. "Buy now." "View item." Follow on Twitter." Use active voice, not passive. But remember, people want to be persuaded, not pressured, and may be anxious about online purchases. If you're getting hundreds of hits but no clicks, test different copy like "View eBay Listing" instead of "Buy Now on eBay" to ease them into a sale.

Appeal to emotions; don't drown with facts. Be exciting! Get your audience enthused! People buy— or click— based on emotion and intuition more than reasoning.

Put your best stuff first. Just like newspapers, start with the big news, then offer more in-depth commentary, info, or details for the unconvinced or curious later.

Tailor your page to your audience with your delivery, graphics, and writing style. Notice how TV commercials for different markets have different styles, appealing to different audiences. Use traffic stats to analyze who's landing on your page and what they're searching for, then respond in a style suited to that audience, their needs, in their lingo.

Fine-tune your SEO to attract consumers (those most likely to buy, read, or click), not window shoppers. Specific, targeted traffic converts better than lots of traffic that didn't come for your specific product/topic. Use products' official names and model numbers, to target people who are looking for those items.

Use bold graphics and clear visual structure. Bulleted lists, checkmarks, large product images, and lots of white space channel readers' attention. But...

Remove distractions. That goes for both visual elements and content. If it's off-topic, jarring, confusing, or turns your reader's attention away from your goal, remove it! Save it for another page.

Offer freebies. Free downloads, free graphics, free shipping, free printables: give a gift to establish a relationship. On Squidoo, clickouts = lensrank boost.

Convey a sense of urgency. But be careful. If you apply too much "now now now!" pressure, visitors will suspect you're pushing a phony product. Instead, use truthful offers like: Free shipping until Christmas!Once you've finished your rough draft, review it with this checklist (get a printable version below) and trim, trim, trim!

I Recommend This Free Guide

The official homepage for Andrew B King's book, Website Optimization, offers a free excerpt of Chapter 5.

It teaches "Six Persuaders" which will make your webpages more convincing and effective.

The rest of the book is excellent -- I bought it! -- but this chapter is especially useful for Squidoo lensmasters.

Download the PDF here to start learning some of my favorite techniques for boosting clickouts.

I hope you've found this tutorial useful. Feel free to drop a note! If it was really useful, then please share it with others!

© 2011 Ellen Brundige


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