Are you designing for conversion?

You have a problem. But it's not traffic.

Yesterday I highlighted that everyone wants more traffic. But let's be honest, that's not what you really want. Right? You want to convert that traffic. You want the results of that traffic visiting your site and buying from you. You want the cash.

So now we need to talk about the real problem. But your problem isn't what you think it is. It's not a need for traffic. Your problem isn't traffic. Getting new people to your site is challenging, Sure. But that's solving a top of the funnel problem. Getting more people to know that you exist is a challenge, but it's likely not the main challenge you have.

How do I know? Because I'm worked with, interviewed, answered phone calls and talked with folks just like you. They all say they need more traffic. And then we visit their site. And I point out the real problem right away.

Your problem isn't traffic. It's conversions.

I visit your site. I read whatever page you send me to – likely the page you're sending paid traffic to, if you're buying ads. And regardless of whether it's a landing page, a product page, or your home page – the issue is your writing.

Your writing doesn't help you stand out. It doesn't differentiate. It sounds exactly the same as every other competitor of yours. I mean it. The exact same.

When you're just getting started, I'd tell you to focus on the bottom of the funnel. For non-funnel experts, what I mean is that your copy should help you close deals. Every word and sentence should assume some level of interest and move them to a purchase.

After you've optimized that, you can start looking to bring more traffic to your site and help with warming them up (the top of the funnel).

It's a matter of priority. Because if you bring people to your site and you can't close them, you're just wasting time (theirs) and money (yours).

Is your site making these mistakes?

I'm going to ask you three questions. I'm not judging you. I just want you to reflect on these three questions to see if you're making any of these mistakes.

Question One:
When I land on your site, whichever page you want me to visit, is your headline bland, boring, or purely descriptive?

If I get to your page, you have one shot to connect with me. You might want to surprise me, challenge my thinking, declare your opinion or solve my problem. But if your headline says, “we sell chairs,” that's not going to do it.

Question Two:
If I scan your page, because you know I will, does your page have any testimonials that sound like you've already solved my problem for others?

Imagine that you sell a physical product that isn't clothes (so I am not stressed about sizing), I'm either going to wonder about shipping speed, or quality, right? So is there a testimonial that hits at those worries? You'll convert more folks if you can answer the questions a prospect has with a testimonial instead of your marketing copy.

Question Three:
How many different calls to action do you have on your page?

Let's say I walked on to the car lot to buy a car. I get lucky enough to get the dealerships best sales agent. They approach me and ask questions. But what they don't do is pitch me 5 different cars at once. Because it's not just annoying, it's confusing.

I have a friend who sells tea online. It's great tea. I love that tea. But she doesn't try to pitch me on coffee too. Nor pastries.

But I visit sites all the time, and even when I'm on a product page, where the goal is to get me to buy a product, I see tons of calls to action. I can sign up for a coupon. But I can also sign up for a newsletter. And I can join a subscription, rather than just buying what's offered on the page.

I want to tell you about my cigar lounge…

I know. You may not be a cigar person. That's ok. I'm fine with that. But the cigar lounge I visit regularly, run by one of my closest friends, isn't the closest cigar shop to my home. It's 25 minutes away. And on the 25 minute drive, I pass no less than 20 other shops that I could stop at.

Yes, you have competition. But most of you don't have 20 competitors that are standing between you and your prospects. That's why I'm telling you about Stogies World Class Cigars.

They do three things right. Three things you should copy from my buddy Jorge.

First, they're domain experts.

A domain expert has nothing to do with the domain of your website. It's another way of saying subject matter experts. They know their stuff. Even if they don't have a SKU in their store (or online), they know about the world of cigars and can talk to you for hours. Every one of the folks that work there.

Why is that important? Because most of the people who walk into the store aren't experts. They have questions and want advice. Many of those other twenty stores that are competition have people who can run the cash register. That's not a domain expert.

If you sell a plugin for a photo gallery on a website, you better be a photography domain expert. Even better, know everything there is to know about wedding photography, portrait photography, etc. And know how your product works in those industries. That's what will set you apart.

When we're talking about designing for conversion, Stogies hires for it. Jorge knows that every single person on staff is either driving towards a sale or ruining a sale – with every interaction.

Second, they surprise and delight their customers all the time.

When I'm at Stogies, and my lighter runs out of fuel, you know what I do? I take it to the front desk and ask them to refill it. At most of those competitor stores, they offer to sell me a can of fuel. Notice the difference?

They're willing to spend $1 to make sure I love being there. Maybe it's not even a dollar. But what they're not doing is charging me for every possible thing they can. The approach is brilliant because they're willing to invest a bit, so that I spend more there.

When we're talking about designing for conversion, we should focus on growing the share of wallet of each of your customers. Not just winning new customers. It's 5x easier to sell something to an existing customer than to sell something to someone who's never purchased before.

Lastly, they focus. Not shocking. But it's critical.

Stogies isn't a bar. It doesn't serve food. It does one thing – it is a place to enjoy cigars.

You might be saying, no duh. But when I visit some of your pages, you're doing everything. You sell a pop-up plugin, a slider plugin, a maintenance plugin, a theme, child themes, a chat product, and more.

I have no idea why I should trust you when it's clear you're not focused. The problem isn't traffic, but it will be hard to bring traffic when you're not known for something.

Stogies is known for one thing – cigars.

Are you designing for conversion?

I can't say it enough, the problem isn't traffic. It's what you do with it. If you've looked over your site and pages, and you've asked these three questions, and thought about the three observations from Stogies, then you'll find yourself in a better place.

Why?

Because designing for conversion isn't a one-time effort. It's a constant set of questions and review to make sure that every part of every sentence, every phrase, every word, and every image is all helping you move someone toward a single specific action.

And if you do that, you'll close deals. More of them. And that will make you happy.
And that will make me happy.

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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