Clicks are the links in your inbound marketing sales funnel which begin with a lead and should end with either a sale or a specific call-to-action (CTA). If the chain of clicks is broken at any point, the action you require from your visitor will break with it, meaning your efforts have gone to waste. It’s a good idea to take a step back and look at your website from a “clickology” perspective to see how you can entice your visitors to make the click and enter your sales funnel.
1. SERP Optimization
The search engine results page (SERP) is where your relationship with the end customer begins. So you’ve optimised your website and managed to rank your page within the top 3 results on Google because the spiders found your content appealing and felt it was relevant to put you at the top. So does this mean your potential customers will also find it click-worthy?
However, if you use the below formula, it will help make your SERP appearance a lot more compelling.
Take the following steps:
- Use the keyword in your page header and title. Bold the keyword in the meta description of your page. Keep the URL address (slug) simple and direct.
- The meta description should inform your visitors about what exactly this page offers and depending on which CMS you use, you can modify the description so it is tailored with the right information without any complex fluff. For example, the snippet below would clearly tell a visitor that by clicking on this link you will be presented with 6 actionable steps to optimise your local presence.
- If you have yet to claim your Google Authorship, now would be a good time to establish this (+Ana Hoffman describes this process in detail if you visit the link).You’ll need a Google+ profile to get this process started. When you successfully implement Authorship, your thumbnail photo will appear alongside the search results on the SERP. The search result will also include a byline such as “in 2,341 circles” which is the trust element and adds social proof to the result. The secondary benefits (if you can call it that) are that these results are more clickable and at some point will officially have a positive influence on your organic position. The whole process will only set you back a few minutes, but should your CTR (click-through rate) significantly. In this particular instance, my result isn’t even number one (it was third), however the first two didn’t have the thumbnail image – Would you click the link with the image or without it?
2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads
In certain niche markets it might take you several months before your organic results reach the first page of the search results. We all know that most searchers won’t go beyond the first 6 results on page 1 let alone venture out to pages 2,3,4 etc so if you’re sitting on page 4 with a perfectly optimised SERP result, you’re probably not going to get many clicks. In such instances, it might be worth the investment to engage in pay-per-click or PPC advertising.
If you aren’t sure what a PPC result looks like, see the below image and I’m sure you’ve come across many others when you’re searching for a good or service. While the ratio of organic clicks to PPC is roughly 4:1, for a number of short keyword phrases, there are enough searches going around.
PPC results are displayed prominently on the first page right at the top before the organic results are shown and the obvious benefit of this is, you’re on page 1….the downside, it costs to be there and sometimes, these costs can range between $2-$100 per click depending on your niche. While I personally prefer the organic path, PPC is a strong option for those looking for a sale and generally visitors who click on these results are in ‘credit card mode’ so you’re likely going to capture them in a buying state.
Below is a top variety PPC result on Google for “affordable dentist Glen Waverley”. Notice how Dentistat330 has displayed a tailored result where my requested search terms have been highlighted in bold. The aim with PPC wording is to use short and compelling call-to-action phrases to make your visitor click the link.
3. Webpage Optimization
A visitor will always click on a link if the information matches what they are looking for. Whether you’re a blogger or webmaster, you should try and put yourself in the visitor’s shoes and ask yourself “would I click on this link?”. Here are a few key variables to consider to optimise your website in order to deliver the right customer experience.
Layout: The layout should be simple and the important information should be easily discoverable. Soft colors and clear visibility are the fundamentals of a website design. The deign should include interactive elements to engage the visitors.
Text: Your text should provide maximum value to the user, rather than just eulogising your product or business. The most clickable copy shouldn’t just say you’re good; it has to show that you are good. If you say, “we are the best”, qualify your claim with proof. For instance: “We are the best because we’ve sold over 10,000 websites and have a portal full of satisfied customer video testimonials”
Video: Having a video on your page can do a lot of good to your CTRs and conversion rates. People are time poor and would prefer to watch a short video than go through a long winded article. Visual marketing allows you to ‘show’ what you offer and also boost your image and credibility. People will have a different impression of you when they read something as opposed to watching something.
Email Subscription: A popup form is somewhat of a controversial strategy to increase your email subscribers but I recently conducted a popup form case study and discovered that contrary to popular belief, they do help to increase conversions. You can offer a freebie like an eBook or a video to entice a visitor to supply their email credentials. It’s all about testing so try it out and I’m sure you’ll soon realise if the method works for your particular site or not. I’m inclined to think you’ll have a positive result Below is an example of a popup form on Pushing Social’s website.
Social Media Plugins: These days, Internet users like to share what they like with their friends and networks. Having social media plugins on your web pages increases the interactivity and customer interest, apart from getting you free publicity when someone shares your content.
Special Offers: Special offers and freebies are the soul of your page. Where relevant, try to include special offers and giveaways in your online marketing strategy. Special offers immediately show that you’re willing to bend the rules with examples ranging from ‘try now for 30 days – no credit card required’ or ‘try it free, 1 minute to set up’. Consumers are more likely to proceed with a full sign up if they get to test drive your offering and it also reduces drop outs or refund requests.
I hope the above tips and strategies help to reduce your visitors from hitting the back button and instead increase the number of clicks which eventuate to either a sale or sign up (the choice is yours). What methods are you using to increase your click through rate? Please share your comments below.