21 secrets for turning your website visitors into buyers

Still in my boxers and last season’s t-ball coach t-shirt, I “attended” an Acquisio webinar on Facebook marketing last week (ain’t working from home grand?). A follow up from the moderator prompted me to explore their blog (It can be seen at:  http://www.acquisio.com/blog/?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonuKvPZKXonjHpfsX56u4qXqag38431UFwdcjKPmjr1YcGTdQhcOuuEwcWGog8wQ9JD%2BmGdY8%3D) where I read about a guy named Bryan Eisenberg deliver his famous “21 Secrets to Top Converting Websites.”

“Conversions” is webspeak for the number of visitors who actually purchased something on your site. So, without further ado, the 21 secrets to becoming a top converting website is listed below. As you read through them ask yourself if your site has/does each secret. My site (www.markfadden.com) needs some help in almost every catergory to become a top converting website. For in the words of that Mississippi scribbler Johnny Grisham, “never forget that writing is a business.” Our websites are our storefronts, put the amount of spit and polish on yours that it deserves.

  • They communicate UVPs and UCPs. Why? They need to remember why they want to do business with you.
  • They make persuasive and relevant offers. Free shipping is the number one motivator for people to buy.
  • They reinforce the offer site-wide. The second you erode your customer’s confidence, there’s a 90 percent chance they’re going to bounce.
  • They maintain scent. For instance, banner ads and landing pages should look interrelated. Colors and offers should carry through. But landing page optimization is not enough. It needs to connect throughout all customers’ journeys and processes.
  • They make a strong first impression. A good story can help.
  • They appeal to multiple personas/segments. There are different types of decision making processes and you can’t reach them all the same way. Personas build predictive models. Simple personas include decision making styles, buying stages and some basic segmentation. Robust personas include Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator psychological profiles.
  • They don’t do slice and dice optimization. If you slice and dice lots of variations of a page, it takes time and resources and there’s an opportunity cost. A better way is to use the Persuasion Architecture ® process. Test for impact, not for variations.
  • They leverage social commerce and use voice of customer. Amazon was the first to leverage customer content to sell. You’ll find reviews that are poems, romance stories, and jokes. This content sells products because users trust other people like them.
  • They use it for navigation. Anything you can help people do to sort out products, it’s a good idea. A sort by rating option can drive conversions.
  • They use it for promotions. Adding user-generated content enhances e-mail conversions.
  • They use it for credibility. A shoe shopping site put a return-o-meter on each product based on the return rate of the shoe. It gives shoppers a good idea of whether the shoe is true to size or not and that builds credibility.
  • They use social commerce for feedback and research. Your $100 solution – UserTesting.com. There are a lot of other low cost solutions as well. Usability is great, but it’s not enough. It’s the experience that matters, not just knowing how things work.
  • They user persuasion principles like scarcity, reciprocation, authority, consistency, consensus, and linking. They focus on making things more persuasive.
  • They even make forms engaging. Why must a user create an account before you sign up? Try putting it on the thank you page because once they’ve given you money, they’re likely to give you more.
  • They provide point of action assurances. Make people comfortable so they’re more likely to stick around.
  • They keep you in the process. Expected shipping time, an explanation of what you’ll do after they fill out the form, etc.
  • They consider e-mail preview.
  • They budget for experience. If you’re not budgeting for making your site better, you can’t win in the conversion game. If faced with the choice of build a better experience or advertise more, pick the better experience. Invest in continuous improvement. Align customers and business objectives.
  • They utilize a system for prioritization. There are probably hundreds of things on your site you may want to fix, so prioritize. This will help the organization buy into it.
  • They make data driven decisions. To do Web analytics/optimization correctly you have to make a to-do list regularly. What marketing efforts or parts of your site have challenges? What you think needs to be improved and what things you want to test? And what efforts you should do less of or more of?
  • They know how to execute rapidly. Within two hours of Michael Jackson’s death, Amazon had reconfigured their MP3 landing page. You have to get good making changes everyday, every hour, what it takes to be successful
  • So there you have it. Will all of the 21 secrets of top converting websites be applicable to your website? Probably not. But, most will. Now get cracking on making those necessary changes. Or bribe your 15 year old nephew who’s a whiz at html to do it. I hear a $50 itunes gift card should just about cover it.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,

    Rest easy tonight my friends, but stay hungry tomorrow… 


    Here’s what readers are saying about Mark’s latest thriller The Brink:

    “I finally had a chance to sit down and read The Brink–all the way through in a day and a half. The story is gripping, even frightening, and you capture the suspense in the rhythm of your prose. In places I was reading so fast I felt like I was in the chase! I’ll put it on the shelf next to my signed copy of Lonesome Dove, in the gallery of great contemporary writers!” – Bob H., Amarillo, TX

    “[Mark Fadden] is the next Dan Brown.” – Arlene D., Southlake, TX

    “Truly a pager turner for me. I could not put the book down. Every time I thought I had figured something out, the next twist came up. If you like conspiracy theories, you’ll love this one.” – Sharon L, Houston, TX

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    2 Responses

    1. Wow. I like this list very much. It’s almost like I’m reading my own mind. I already use most of these tips, but it’s very handy to see an overview of all tips!

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