Clearly articulated and differentiating value propositions have a critical effect on Web site conversion
rates, according to MarketingExperiments online
research laboratories ( www.MarketingExperiments.
com). Simply stated, the conversion rate is the measurement of visitors fulfilling your desired outcomes,
which might include contacting you, buying a product at your site, signing up for your newsletter or
blog feed, etc.
Your value proposition should be front and center
on your home page, and answer the classic question:
“In 10 words, how would you convince people to buy
from you instead of a competitor?”
Although this question isn’t a Web strategy issue in
itself, many people struggle to answer it. The lack of a
compelling opening message can impede your online
success. Case in point: A speaker’s Web site may be
positioned as “helping clients clarify and achieve
goals.” This sounds impressive, but people who are
looking for a business coach probably have visited
many other sites that make the same claim. After a
while, this statement fails to grab their attention.
>How to check for this leak: Even if visitors don’t
enter your site at the home page, most who don’t
know you will go there as the second page they look
at to find out more about you.
If visitors take a quick look at your home page and
then leave your site, something is awry. Your copy
does not pique their interest or answer their immediate questions, such as: “Can this person meet my
needs?” “Should I explore further?”
leaks in Visitor Engagement
Popular theory states that you have 10 seconds to
engage visitors and convince them to stay on your site
before they click away in search of something more
Although it’s not quite that simple, there are some
definite ways to get rid of visitors fast before they’ve
really checked you out. The splash page is one way to
push them away. Your Web designer probably persuaded
you to include a splash page because it “does cool stuff.”
Hopefully, there’s a “Skip Intro” button on this page
to retain visitors! In my experience in reviewing traffic
reports, I’ve observed a consistent leak of up to 30 percent of visitors leaving the site after viewing this page—
before they’ve learned about you and what you offer.
>How to check for this leak: Look for the splash
page in your traffic reports and see how many visitors
exit at that point. If it’s more than a small percentage,
you have a leak. Remove that page today!
“Landing pages” also pose potential leaks. These
are the interior pages of your Web site, which turn out
to be the first page that visitors see, usually because
you have some well-indexed content they’ve found in
a search engine.
Here, it is absolutely critical to understand the visitor’s mindset. Each site visitor is looking for something specific, may have found you by accident, has no
idea who you are, or has absolutely no interest in you.
Watch out for these red flags in your
traffic reports that could indicate
leaks in your Web site:
LOOK FOR: Visitors leaving your site from a page that shouldn’t
be an exit point
RED FLAG: Poorly Defined Site Paths
LOOK FOR: Visitors fanning across pages with no clear
pattern or direction