For the past couple of months, I’ve been writing about ways to improve the conversion rates of your search traffic. Borrowing shamelessly once again from my friends at MarketingExperiments.com, I finish up this conversion series focusing today on anxiety (not yours, your visitor’s), and some things we can do as search marketers to help relieve it. In successfully relieving the anxiety of the visitor, we stack the deck in our favor, resulting in higher conversions and greater returns on our search marketing investments.
Quite simply, anxiety is any concern in the visitor’s mind that is stimulated by any given element (or lack thereof) in the website’s selling process. Please don’t think anxiety and selling process are only relevant to an eCommerce site. B2B lead generation sites have their fair share of anxiety producing elements that can be alleviated as well.
Why might your visitors be anxious?
Before you can begin the process of relieving the visitor’s anxiety, you first have to identify where it is. Here are some likely sources:
- Quality of the product, service, or information
- Credibility of the company
- Credit Card Security (eCommerce)
- Price (eCommerce)
Since I primarily focus on B2B lead generation and conversion, I’m going elaborate on the first two bullets. Let’s say our conversion goal is simply for the visitor to reach out and inquire for more information, either by phone, email, inquiry form, etc. How can we get 10 inquires out of every 100 visitors instead of 5 by relieving visitor anxiety?
Don’t worry, we really do have a quality product/service!
There are several things you can do to relive anxiety caused by the questionable quality of a product or service:
- Testimonials (test with audio, photo of person, video, etc.)
- Third Party Ratings and awards
- Higher quality photography when appropriate
- Satisfaction guarantees
- Helpful answers to frequently asked questions
But I’m still not too sure about your company
Even if you are not promoting the company itself, we all, to some extent, want to know who we are buying from or giving our information to. Here are a few things to consider:
- Clearly displayed phone number and business address
- An About Us page
- Third Party press coverage
- Photos of physical offices and staff/executives
- Associations, affiliations, organizations logos/emblems
Being at the right place, at the right time
A not so obvious example might be on a simple landing page offering a thought leadership paper. This is really a one step, succeed or fail conversion opportunity. In just a few short seconds the visitor’s anxiety emerges. “Who are these guys?” “Why should I consider them experts?” “Is it really worth my time to read this paper even if I request it” “All these guys in this industry are slimeballs.” You’ve got several options here:
- Testimonials specific to the paper itself, preferably from recognized industry authorities.
- A short video clip from the author that shows, not only is he not a slimeball, but he’s actually quite charming and personable.
- Copy that helps the visitor believe you really understand his current plight or need. Nothing soothes us more as consumers then when we believe, “Hey this guy gets what I’m going through,” or, “Hey that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”
Tying it all together and getting results
Remember anxiety is just one of the factors in improving conversion. I encourage you to address it as part of a holistic approach to testing. MarketingExperiments certainly has given us all a clear blueprint to follow. For some, the testing and analytical part of the process may feel unnatural and uncomfortable. We’re not all scientists at heart. The simple fact is, search marketing is getting more and more expensive. It is getting increasingly difficult to compete for leads, and those companies that can adopt these conversion principles and methods into their marketing processes will have a large advantage.
If all this talk of anxiety, conversion, and testing makes you anxious, don’t fret, you are not alone. It can seem highly theoretical at first (and second…and third glance). What I’ve found is when you breakdown the conversion formula and take a little time to understand each part of it, like most things in life, it isn’t as confusing or intimidating as it first seems. Just remember the end objective – to systematically increase the conversion rate to get a greater return on your hard earned search traffic.
Now relax go and relieve some of your visitor’s anxiety!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.