Optimizing websites can be tough for teams who are just starting out because there aren’t universal answers that will drive more revenue. As marketers think about ways to turn online prospects in to customers, many have used web testing to see if new ideas resonate more with prospects than the content on their existing website.
If you’re accountable for driving more revenue from your website, you might be wondering what has worked well for others and what ideas to try next. Here are 6 broader principles that we’ve seen drive revenue most of the time. No idea or approach is universally a winner for all marketers, which is part of why website optimization is hard. Nonetheless, we suggest exploring if these ideas fit with your business because they have worked well with many others.
1. Personalize to different customer segments
With website optimization, not every customer should be treated the same. Having one version of your website might feel a lot simpler, perhaps because this has been the norm for years. However, having one website is like saying every man reading this has to wear size 10½ shoes because that’s the average shoe size for men in the United States. This sounds ridiculous when we talk about shoes, but we create one universal experience for all visitors on our websites all the time.
Each prospect’s journey is different. You might want to present completely different content and products to a medium-sized business in the Midwest that’s a new visitor compared to a Fortune 100 company in New York City that has been to your site 5 times in the past week. Personalizing to each customer segment not only creates a better experience for your visitors, but it can lead to more revenue.
2. Treat new vs. returning customers differently
Not only is each customer’s journey different, but customer behavior changes over time. We likely wouldn’t treat a first-time visitor and a regular customer the same if we ran a local restaurant. There’s no reason why we can’t treat new prospects and returning customers differently on our websites. You can get so much more engagement and revenue from returning customers simply by removing the initial sales pitch, telling them about your latest enhancements, showing content that might be interesting to them based on their past purchases, or offering them cross-selling or upselling opportunities.
It’s not a hard thing to do, but few companies do it. Because marketers are often accountable for acquiring new leads, their websites tend to be focused on driving new customers. There’s quite a bit to be gained by treating existing customers differently. Meeting visitors where they are in your company’s funnel or customer lifecycle will almost certainly drive those prospects and customers to do more of the actions that are important to your business.
3. Make your website messaging parallel ad or email content
Most marketers are running ads and sending emails for lead generation, and typically the marketer’s intent is to direct visitors to a landing page to take action. To increase the conversion rate of this investment, continue the messaging your prospect just saw in that ad or email onto the landing page.
Here are some examples:
- If a prospect saw a LinkedIn ad related to innovation, make sure your corresponding landing page is focused on innovation.
- If a prospect saw messaging about a discount on an Instagram ad, make sure your corresponding landing page reflects that discount.
- If a prospect saw an email related to a Thanksgiving campaign you’re running, you should have mirroring content related to Thanksgiving on those landing pages.
This “parallelism” can get you more bang for the buck on all the energy you spent to attract visitors into your site. You likely spent a good amount of money targeting these prospects. Make your dollars go further and improve your return on ad spend (ROAS) by delivering a more consistent message between your ads/emails and website.
4. Simplify your content and design (more than you think is ok)
Simplifying content and design generates great results for many of our customers. Initially, what we often see from marketers are webpages that include “everything but the kitchen sink” when it comes to content. It’s not unusual to see more than a dozen content blocks, several videos, form fills, and product offerings. It makes sense that marketers add a lot of content to their main pages. Marketers have a lot to say about their products or services, and they want to get the whole story out. Marketers also typically have many stakeholders, and content may be “designed by committee,” resulting in more content that’s needed.
Having less content can have a real positive impact. For example, one of our customer’s most important landing pages received much of their business’s overall traffic. This page was 5-10 screens’ long, depending on your screen size. They then tested several versions of their page that all fit on a single screen, and tested multiple versions to find the simplified messaging that worked best. This radically simplified page more than doubled their conversion rate.
Another example of simplifying? If you have an ecommerce business, try cutting out site navigation and the footer on your checkout pages. Doing so removes distractions and paths out of checkout so that your visitor focuses more on completing their purchase.
5. Iterate: Build on previous ideas that worked
We believe that we, as experienced marketers, often have no problem coming up with ideas that are in the ballpark of being likely to turn prospects into customers. However, none of us really know which specific idea is going to work.
Iterating and building on what we’ve learned from previous rounds of website optimization can help refine our hypotheses about what will resonate most with our prospects. If you want to drive more revenue from your website, keep testing, learning, and iterating. That’s the only guaranteed method we know of to deliver results.
Important note: Even if a great idea doesn’t end up being the global winner that you should show to all of your prospects, that idea may be the winner for a subset of your prospects. Showing that “local winner” to the right audience can generate lift. Additionally, a losing idea today may be a winning idea in the future as prospect behavior and marketing efforts change (either from you or a competitor). Testing many ideas, testing often, and iterating on previous learnings will help you maximize website revenue from each visitor.
6. Treat high-value and low-value prospects differently
Try giving special attention to visitors who are more aligned with your ideal customer profile on your website.
B2B example: Using reverse IP lookup, marketers can see if a web visitor is coming from a high-value company or low-value company. You could direct high-value prospects to sales, hiding self-serve options and making phone numbers more prominent. Prospects from low-value companies could be sent to a self-serve experience on your website without an option to call sales. This approach often makes B2B sales teams very happy because they get more of the leads they want and fewer of the leads they don’t.
B2C example: Let’s say your team has decided that women between the ages of 18 to 34 with high income are a high-value segment. When a prospect clicks on an ad targeted at this group and visits your website, you could show them special promotions, offer personal assistance, and/or give them early access to upcoming products or services. You can find ways to engage them more and make them feel special.
To find out how you can apply these ideas and more to deliver more customers, revenue, and/or leads to sales from your website, simply click the “Request Demo” button on our website.