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Is It Time to Talk More About Conversion?

My background is B2B sales and marketing, more sales than marketing to be precise. I’ve worked with many sales people, teams, and organizations – each go through cycles of activity and business. One staple is the objective remains constant – close more business.

We need more leads and fresh contacts will be the mantra when new business is in decline. Once new contacts are in supply We need more demos and trials is usually the next mandate. Lastly, We need incentives and more closing activities surfaces once it’s noticed a plethora of field activity isn’t producing as much revenue as required or expected. Then the cycle tends to complete and begin again – more new contacts, more trials, more closing. But the objective remains constant – close more business.

Are there similar cycles of Internet presence?

SEO is big. A lot of focus is put on building more and more traffic. We each want our audience to grow. Is it time to talk more about conversion? There are some out there that have moved to what I believe is the next step in the Internet cycle. But the majority appears to remain focused on getting more clicks to their site than clicks to convert once they arrive.

If you have 1,000 or 10,000 visits to your site a day and 1 visitor accepts your call to action, isn’t the net result the same? At the end of the day, you had one visitor that purchased, registered, clicked, etc. If you could get two people to heed your call to action, your results double.

Does it make sense to you the time has arrived to move the discussion from How do we get more people to our site? to How can we can get more people to convert on whatever call to action we offer?

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Comments

  1. David says:

    Yes, it would be nice to get conversions, but even more important is a positive environment, and communication for the people coming in.

    If you focus on conversions, sometimes you begin to lack other important things to make a successful site. I have seen many sites pushing really hard to get me to buy something and the more they do that, the more blind I am to their offers. Yes, sometimes I do miss good offers due to what I call Market blindness, but atleast I am not forced to buy everything presented before me.

    What I am trying to say is that you can’t concentrate on SEO and nothing else, just like you can’t shift gears and concentrate on getting people to buy things, or click certain areas or comment on something you say without losing out on creating the whole package.

    I think the best web developers and bloggers spend time on everything from time to time… Balance is key to having a great site.

    Sorry if that sounded a bit like blabbering, I am all hopped up on Cola.. :)

  2. JSLogan says:

    David, Hopped up on cola or not, I agree :-)

    To me, conversaion is the whole package – content, colors, graphhics, style, language – the site ergonomics. A site that is organized towards your purpose and invites your call to action.

  3. David says:

    Glad to hear we agree, guess I did not quite get the overall sense that the article was meant to encapsulate the whole package. : )

  4. jim says:

    It’s like anything you do that has multiple facets… you need to work on a little of everything without allowing any one facet to fall behind. If you’re a basketball player, you work on dribbling, shooting, passing, footwork, etc. all the time. If you concentrate on dribbling but weaken in shooting, you will suffer overall.

    I believe the reason we focus on traffic generation and not conversion is because many bloggers are information providers who generate income via google ads. SE traffic, in my experience, results in the highest clickthroughs (as I believe Darren has written about before), so that’s why many young bloggers focus on SEO.

    Also, since you never really know what Google will serve up, hopefully it’s relevent (as it’s designed). It’s unrealistic to believe one can consistently create static content for a dynamic advertisement in an effort to drive up conversions. I hope that all made sense.

  5. Howard says:

    Oh JSLogan, we were with you right up ’til the point you said “A site that is organized towards your purpose” ;)

    I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, because you clearly get it, that what you meant to say was “A site that is organized towards your VISITORS’ purpose, and invites your Call to Action”. This is the key to conversion: we don’t convert, we persuade. When we’ve done our job, and proven our ability to meet the visitors’ needs, they convert themselves.

  6. JSLogan says:

    Howard, Thanks for the comment! It makes you think.

    Sadly, I actually meant it the way I wrote it :-)

    My perspective is coming from the site owner’s reason for having the site – they have a purpose in mind of closing a sale, generatimg a lead, registering a user, etc. They do that by satisfying the needs, wants, and desires of their visitor.

    I’d never want to mince words with you, you’re the master of what I sincerely believe is the real domain of web success, but I’ve never looked at sales as the art of persuasion. It smacks of manipulation. We don’t persuade people to buy, we satisfy their needs, wants, and desires – if done properly, they buy on their own. We merely facilitate the process.

    I think we’re saying the same thing. Isn’t language the best :-)

    Sincere note: Great Book! It should be required reading for every business with a web presence.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nice! We truly liked this work .

  8. L says:

    David, I calculated conversions, today. It was difficult, and messy, and it might get more accurate in June (abnormal period might make a difference), but my math was at least proven to be right (by a math pro) (but perhaps not my counting).

    Anyway, it’s good. But I’m so bad at math that I thought it was less than 0%. Ha.

    But this “thinking bad” period was crucial. (And so was my annoyance with the task), because I realized things.

    With blogs, so much more than money or sales is conversion. Practically no blogger, even ones in it for money, JUST want money. We want readers, commenters, we want and need linkers. Every site wants bookmarkers. And some sites have e-mail signups (and then newsletters can have more conversion opportunities for the future).

    Blogging IS a lot about the love of what we do. Otherwise, we’d have a normal job. (Unless we just hate school, but to blog, I believe in some good college composition courses.)

    I don’t think it’s in the interest of blogs in general to focus on only being a professional. Blogs are social websites and they’re websites that actually thrive on the amateur style. And amateur means, “lover.” The love gets us going, gives us ideas, and even gives us our topics. Imagine, we all love something; so … we can just blog about it! (Although I know not all subjects lead to money, easily.)

    Anyway, just remember that there are micro conversions, which mean more and matter more to us than those money-grubbing businessmen want us to think.

  9. L says:

    Yes, Darren, I’d go crazy if it weren’t about me, foremost. I write what I’m passionate about. Sometimes, it changes, and I have my own trends. I try to mix it up, and do all the right things. Sometimes time doesn’t even allow (student). But I can only write about the ideas that I have at the moment.

    The way I write, that is all me. And I put some effort into keeping my content personality-filled. Blogs are personal to people. I don’t write like an amateur, but I am just a girl—I’m not a complete expert, but I care. I do what I can do.

    I think I’m trailing away with this….. :-)

    Anyway, if outside forces have different trends, I am not forced to follow. One thing about my writing is that it has to have a beauty in my eyes—technical “experts” call for short, simple sentences. That I cannot do.

    Things like these are what we should follow. We have to survive with blogs being so popular and many. We can’t all follow the same rules for either SEO or conversion. We have to be different, in different ways.

    So, if we’re true to ourselves, first, then we’re definitely not being like the others, right? And people will like it. But if we go against it, we’ll feel badly toward our work and perhaps give up.

    :-)

  10. L says:

    I went ahead on my blabber without fully understanding, as well.

    Yes, we need to satisfy reasons for visiting, like searching for a product. We both love it, and discuss it—or something along those lines. We should be honest.

    Blogs that are consistently ad-like don’t stay fresh for long. Sometimes, they can work well, but I believe there needs to be a mix and a removal from hawking.

Trackbacks

  1. It’s The Visitor’s Purpose

    The Persuasion Architect blog points to ProBlogger.net discussing web conversion, and the Persuasion guys make a good point.

    Too often as web developers or site owners we think about getting users to achieve “our purpose”. When really you should …

  2. [...] ogan

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    Last week I published a post on moving the discussion to conversion. Thinking about that post and associated comment [...]

  3. [...] Jim Logan, guest blogging on ProBlogger.net wondered aloud "Is it time to talk more about conversion?" You can imagine we agree, but we did have to mention one teeny-tiny Freudian Slip: Oh JSLogan, we were with you right up ’til the point you said “A site that is organized towards your purpose” I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, because you clearly get it, that what you meant to say was “A site that is organized towards your VISITORS’ purpose, and invites your Call to Action”. This is the key to conversion: we don’t convert, we persuade. When we’ve done our job, and proven our ability to meet the visitors’ needs, they convert themselves. [...]