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Weekly Conversion Tip: Understanding Buyer Goals

Website Conversion November 11th, 2010

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Understanding Buyer GoalsThis week’s conversion tip is quick, easy, and can have dramatic results.  I’m going to talk about your goal funnel, but in a specific way.  We’re going to look at how you present your various product and service options to your customers and a couple good do’s and don'ts to live by.

As I’ve mentioned before, when a visitor hits your website you need to show them what you do and provide an action for them to take.  The simplest way to do this is to feature your main products or services with the option to dive deeper into each one or contact you immediately.  The key however is to do this while avoiding a couple commonly made mistakes.  In an effort to help the world sell better online, here are two common errors that bug me.

Slide Shows And When I Avoid Them

Having your top banner work as a slide show can be a fun and engaging way to draw attention to your services, products and action steps.  Make sure however that you don’t force the visitor to have to wait through 3 slides to see an important service.  If different customers come to you for different services, keep your options static.  If all visitors come to you for the same thing go ahead and make it flash.  If I’m shopping for a bouquet of flowers, it’s fine to have a rotating banner showing me a new bouquet every 5 seconds because it’s essentially the same product.

Another suggested way to use the slide show is to change images or other graphical elements while keeping the options static.  Services 1, 2 and 3 can each be in their own little box while the background behind them or pictures are animated.  To sum this point up, my golden rule is: A visitor should never have to wait to take action or see an important option.

Playing To Both Hard And Soft Sells

Let’s stick with the flowers and say that I’ve got my featured bouquet in a nice box box on the top of the screen.  Many businesses I see will offer a big BUY NOW option which when clicked, takes me to the product details page to read and buy.  The problem with this is that I’m not sure if I want to buy it just yet, so the option is a little too pushy.  As a customer, I don’t know what’s on the other side of a link other than what the text tells me, which in this case is BUY NOW so I assume that that’s the only thing I get out of clicking.  Be sure to offer both options in your top banner, in this case BUY NOW and VIEW DETAILS would be appropriate.  The same goes for service based businesses.  Make sure you offer both options and don’t sacrifice one for the other.  A visitor should be able to click to learn more about an individual service, or click a button to get in touch with you right away.

I think you get the idea.  Make sure you plan your actions with different buyer personas in mind.  Each type of visitor who is looking for each potential product or service type should find something that will satisfy their need within the first 3 seconds.  Once they see that item, they should be able to choose if they are ready to get serious and buy, or just get more information.

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