What is the purpose of a business website? Not only is it a great place for your company to show off its products or services, but it is the best online marketing tool you have to turn interested prospects into new customers. However, these prospects don’t just arrive at your website and instantly buy. Whether they are aware of it or not, they go through a decision-making process based on the information your site gives them. The more convincing your website is, the more customers will end up buying. This process of convincing your customers and leading them along the path you want them to take is called the Conversion Funnel. Knowing how to build one can be the difference between your business’s success or failure online.
What Is The Conversion Funnel?
Simply put, your website’s conversion funnel is the path a prospective customer takes on their way to fulfilling a specific goal on your site. In reality, there are multiple paths that might lead from your home page or different pages to a goal conversion. For example, if you’re selling shoes on your site, your homepage might lead to an online store. Once a customer clicks on a pair of shoes they’re interested in, they then look for additional information on that shoe’s page, which would lead them to a checkout page which would lead them to make the purchase.
Basically, the conversion funnel is just a map of the process a website visitor goes through on their way to conversion. Generally, there are four steps a website visitor takes in their decision making process.
- Awareness: When a person finds your product or service. This will most likely happen off your site. Maybe they clicked on an ad that brought them there or heard from a friend and searched your company.
- Interest: The prospect becomes engaged with the information they are shown. Different kinds of content on your site will be what causes the prospect to gain interest. With the shoe company example, plenty of pictures of the product help the prospect to see the details that matter to them.
- Desire: The prospect wants to learn more about the product or service and searches for additional information. In our shoe company example, this could be product descriptions or specifications that a customer might want to know about the product. This step should be what convinces the prospect that they want to buy.
- Action: The prospect becomes a customer. They perform an action like adding the pair of shoes they like to the shopping cart and checking out. Effective calls-to-action on your site will make this even easier for the customer.
While in this example the conversion was a prospect buying the product online, there are actually many types of conversions. Depending on your company’s goals, your online conversions could convince a prospect to fill out a form, give their email to join a newsletter, give your company a call, etc.
Why It Matters
Whether you have a specifically designed conversion funnel or not, your site still has one. However, a poorly designed conversion funnel can cause some website visitors who would’ve become customers to drop off. The goal of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is to improve aspects of your website and the funnel to get more of your website visitors completing your desired conversion goal. A good conversion funnel captures as many of your target audience as possible and leads them to the desired goal while losing as few of them along the way as possible.
Another benefit of an effective conversion funnel is that it can weed out the website visitors you don’t want converting. Many businesses have specific kinds of customers they target and an effective funnel can filter out unqualified leads and keep the ones they want most. Effectively built, There are many factors that can contribute to why a person falls out of the funnel. There could be distractions on the site that side track the person, the content is’t engaging enough, or any number of other reasons. While there are many things out of your control, there is so much that can be done to minimize the loss of potential customers.
How to Improve it
Your website’s conversion funnel needs to be enticing enough to grab the attention of potential customers, engaging enough to keep them in the funnel, and convincing enough to help them convert. Knowing your target audience is key to making sure the content and even layout of your site is optimized in a way that will keep them there. Here are a few of the best ways to begin optimizing your site’s conversion funnel:
- Map It Out: Visually map out the paths you want a website visitor to move through your website to the conversion. Simpler is better, too many different pages or distractions will give them more opportunities to drop off. Below are som suggestions on how to map out your conversion funnel’s content:
- Top of the Funnel- Engaging or informative content that brings visitors in.
- Middle of the Funnel- Showcase what sets you apart from the competition with case studies, testimonials, etc. Convince them of your product or service.
- Bottom of the Funnel- Product demos, examples, pricing pages, etc. provide any last bits of needed information. Include a strong CTA for the conversion.
- Tracking: Now that your conversion funnel is mapped out, track the success of that funnel in Google Analytics. This way you can see what areas are doing great and what areas need some improvement to keep visitors engaged.
- Testing: After finding the steps along the funnel that could use improvement, test different changes to see how it alters its performance. A/B testing and even heat maps are great ways to find the most successful option.
Putting It All Together
Whatever type of conversion you hope to achieve through your business’s website, it can always be improved by testing and designing an effective conversion funnel. Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the process of testing multiple aspects of every step of the conversion funnel to achieve the absolute optimal results and in the end, an increase in revenue. If you have any questions about conversion funnel optimization or CRO, please contact Grow Team here for a free assessment and consultation.