Conversion Rate Optimisation – How to Win More Customers from Your Website

Conversion Rate Optimisation CRO Drives Profits on Websites Graph

I’m going to share some suggestions on using customer psychology, as well as analytics and tests, to improve the conversion rate optimisation (CRO) on your website. Increasing your website’s conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is probably an area that you should be reviewing and investing in.

The world of marketing is continuing to change with the growing dominance of digital marketing and the improving understanding of customer psychology, or ‘neuromarketing’.

There are only two ways to make more money and increase ROI from your website and digital marketing – by increasing:

  1. Website traffic, and
  2. Conversions (conversion rate optimisation).

Many marketers focus mainly on attracting more traffic to their websites but don’t pay enough attention to what really matters – converting more of the traffic that they already have.

Increasing conversion rates is less expensive than increasing traffic, especially if you already have a good level of website traffic. Investing in conversion rate optimisation makes a lot of sense.

The primary job of good web design is to get customers to convert. And to have a successful business, improving conversion rates is a good place to start.

As one conversion rate guru, Jeff Eisenberg, says: “It’s much easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rates than by doubling your traffic.”

Every aspect of your digital marketing, your website, portals, email campaigns, blog, and social media platforms, must be designed with your customers’ psychology built in so that conversion rates are optimised.

Your goal should be to get the potential customer all the way through your sales funnel, one step at a time. That means that conversion rate optimisation should be considered throughout your digital marketing to nudge customers to take the next step.

Conversion rate optimisation is a science

One of the keys to CRO is testing. It’s essential to carry out analysis to determine what’s working and what isn’t. When you conduct tests and make changes based on the results, you increase your sales without increasing the amount of money you spend on marketing communications.

You should run tests to test only one aspect of your website at a time (but you must run the test for a long enough period of time).

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Why All Ambitious Small Businesses Should Build a Brand

Edinburgh Fireworks - building brands and branding

“A brand should be at the core of every ambitious small and medium sized enterprise (SME). If it isn’t, you are missing out on the value and advantages of building a brand and should review your marketing strategy,”  says Christopher Lamotte at Real Marketing.

“You don’t need to build a global brand like Google, Apple or Nike; you can build a local or niche brand, and be highly successful in your region or focused market.

“Most markets are very competitive and standing out can be hard, particularly with limited resources, but building a brand can make your business unique, helping you be distinctive.”

Many SMEs are missing out

Unfortunately, a lot of SMEs are not good at building brands. This can reflect a weak, short-term approach to marketing without enough thinking invested in developing that all-important long term marketing strategy.

The advantages of building a brand

The many advantages are that it can:

  • Differentiate your business, provide a source of competitive advantage.
  • Give a clear market position compared to competitors.
  • Give your company and products a distinct personality.
  • Give your business a clear focus.
  • Create positive attitudes and warm feelings from your target audience.
  • Appeal emotionally to your customers, which is critical when many buying decisions are more emotional than rational, in B2B not just B2C markets.
  • Reduce overall marketing costs and shorten customer journeys to buying your products by encouraging purchasers to make faster decisions.
  • Give customers a perception of superior quality, supporting higher margins.
  • Enjoy additional purchases and higher life time values as a result of brand loyalty.
  • Builds brand equity, increasing the sale value of your business for your eventual exit.

But there’s a lot of confusion about how to build a brand, so let’s start by explaining the important difference between your brand and your branding.

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Do Your Marketing Challenges Mean You’re Skating on Thin Ice?

Danger - No Skating - Marketing Challenges

Do your marketing challenges mean that you may be skating on thin ice? Are any aspects of your sales and marketing worrying you?

I’m researching the marketing issues faced by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  Are the marketing challenges and pain points that I come across, shared by your business?

To find out, please complete my 2 minute Real Marketing Challenges Quizz in confidence. Thank you very much!

Marketing today can be complex

Marketing has never been more challenging or, ironically, given us so many opportunities. The world of communications is multi-channel; there are a proliferation of new digital communication channels and tools, and they change relentlessly.

But, fortunately, the fundamental principles of marketing are still the same. You still have to focus on key groups of customers and have a clear marketing strategy, calendar of activities and budget, not to mention an excellent marketing team to execute your marketing; that drives inbound quality leads and puts your business on solid foundations for growth and real success.

Please contribute to my  2 minute Real Marketing Challenges Quizz.

At Real Marketing Specialists, I provide marketing consultancy work with ambitious small and medium sized companies on all aspects of their marketing, across all key channels, from strategy to detailed execution.

These are the marketing issues that I see, as confirmed by others in the industry.

Do you face any of these marketing issues?

  • No clear marketing strategy
  • Not managing to execute our marketing plan
  • Don’t have clear selling messages and USP
  • Wasting money on adverts
  • In our omni-channel world, don’t know which channels to focus on
  • Struggle with selling
  • Profile too low
  • Not enough time for marketing
  • Marketing budget isn’t big enough

Or, do you worry about any of these web and digital marketing issues?

  • Facing business model change and losing competitive advantage to disrupters
  • Inbound marketing isn’t working
  • Our website doesn’t achieve its objectives
  • Don’t have a digital marketing strategy

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Beat the Budget: Request a Free Marketing Budget Review

Poorboy number plate - marketing budgets

Have you spent more than £10,000 on marketing over the last year?

You’d be surprised by how many small and medium sized enterprises regularly spend over £10,000 each year but do not know what they spent it on because they don’t have a clear marketing budget.

The financial year is coming to an end for many businesses, so now is a good time to see how you can get your marketing budget to work much harder.

Ask me for a free Real Marketing Budget Review and increase the return from your marketing budget.

Too often marketing spend is ad hoc and unplanned. If that’s the case, there’s a real risk that you’re wasting valuable funds on the wrong communications channels and marketing techniques.

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Beat Your Competitors with a Clear Marketing Strategy

Thinking man statue - Real Marketing Specialists

Businesses are terrible at strategy! Executives don’t understand it. They think it is some type of witchcraft or mental endowment with which one proves one’s manhood or womanhood…

Dr Chuck Bamford (The Strategy Mindset) 3rd November 2016

Many small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have a marketing strategy. This means that companies that do have a clear direction for their marketing, with a strategy and plan, can get far ahead of their competitors. It’s all about having an approach based on long term thinking.

Too often business owners and CEOs work in the business, not on the business; daily operational work consumes them so they don’t spend enough time standing back and ensuring that the business is following a clear long term direction.

You need to have a good understanding of your perfect customers, key competitors and what their competitive advantage (or USP – unique selling proposition) is.

As Dr Chuck Bamford says:

“…Strategy is … probably more like 35 percent science and 65 percent art, but there is a science. There is a process that works. If done with some rigor, applying the science of strategy will separate your company from all your competitors and allow you to earn extraordinary returns.”

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10 Essential Email Marketing Tips

Love It or Hate It, Email Marketing Is Powerful

Email newsletters, flyers and alerts used well with a high quality, opt-in list can be very powerful.

Email marketing is one of the most measurable ways of retaining and keeping in touch with your customers. Done well as part of a content marketing strategy, email marketing can be cost effective and deliver high returns (ROI).

But, as you know, email done badly is spam and can easily annoy your customers. You must follow the rules and best practice.

Here are 10 Essential Email Marketing Tips

1. Build high quality lists

The quality of your list is really important. Build your own email marketing list of customers and prospects. Use a double opt-in process, ideally, or, at least, a single opt in process.
I’m not a fan of bought lists, particularly big, untargeted lists. Using these could result in you being black-listed.

Be fully aware of the laws affecting email marketing, and comply. Recipients must be able to opt out easily from any email. This is a legal requirement.

Review your list to see who hasn’t opened or clicked on a link for the last six months. Provide them with a compelling offer to re-engage.

Speak to Christopher Lamotte for advice about your email marketing. I can create and send out your email newsletters from as little as £199 per month.

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How to Execute your Marketing Plan for Maximum ROI

Key to successful marketing plan is execution

Strategic planning is essential but rigorous, creative execution of marketing plans is fundamental for real success.

Unfortunately, many good plans and campaigns are spoilt by poor execution. Lots of small businesses:

  • Don’t spend enough time executing their plans, and miss deadlines because marketing is not given sufficient importance.
  • Execute their plan in a hurry and only in part.
  • Implement plans without consistent creativity and without attention to detail or discipline.

Your marketing plan must include a working action plan – a calendar of activities – with agreed owners and deadlines for each activity. It should also have a defined marketing budget and KPIs in place to measure progress.

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Is Your Business Built on Solid Foundations? If Not, Put the Strategy Back into Your Marketing

Cockenzie Power Station Being Blown Up

We need to put long term thinking back into marketing to ensure our businesses are built on solid foundations. If not, it could all blow up and come crashing down.

‘Strategy’ is all about knowing where you’re driving your business and having a clear, cohesive sense of direction; knowing where you are going means that your resources are focused and not spread too thinly.

Marketing has become too short term, tactical and dumbed down, particularly amongst small and medium sized businesses. Research shows, for example, that many small business leaders are so busy working ‘in the business’ that they spend less than an hour each month on strategy.

According to Smart Insights, 46% of businesses are doing digital marketing but do not have a defined strategy for their online marketing. A further 32% only have a maximum of annual plans, and only 12% plan more than 2 years ahead.

As managers, we often prefer action to thinking, with time pressures making us tick off the to-do list without knowing whether we are doing the right things that take the business in one direction.

All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
Sun Tzu

Sun Tzu 1st October 2015

Marketing experts say that we can blame some of this damaging lack of strategic thinking on a potent mix of lack of time, reduced marketing budgets and the proliferation of new digital communication channels like social media. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are free to use and accessible to anyone, but can encourage short term, tactical thinking. (They are also time consuming so not really ‘free’).

Marketing strategy defined

The CIM defines marketing strategy as: “A written plan that identifies the organisation’s marketing goals and explains how they can be achieved within a stated timeframe.”

I agree and encourage my clients to capture their strategy in a short, flexible, working plan, but it is even more important to ‘think strategically’ in your decisions and actions.

Developing a marketing strategy is about deciding how best to allocate your marketing budget, your people and other finite resources to achieve the marketing objectives.

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Too Many SMEs Choosing Amateur Approach To Growing Their Business, Says Research

whiteboard-one-plus-one

The lack of experience, training and qualifications in marketing means many business owners are taking a chance on amateur marketing, rather than professional effective marketing.
CIM Survey

CIM Survey 1st September 2015

A recent Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) survey found that only a quarter of small and medium businesses (SMEs) have staff with a formal marketing qualification. And, only 13% have marketing specialists on board.

The key points emerging from this research on the state of marketing amongst SMEs are:

  • 41% of companies lack general marketing skills.
  • 30% have no specific marketing experience.
  • Only 24% hold formal marketing qualifications.

This strikes a chord with my experience. The recession, marketing cutbacks and low cost or free marketing channels like social media have dumbed down marketing. I’m amazed how many people in marketing positions have little understanding of marketing, and, at best, only know about a small number of marketing communications channels. They certainly don’t understand marketing strategy.

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Creativity and Innovation for Success: Don’t be a Cow in the Rain!

Inspiring Sunset - Creativity & Innovation

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain.

Tim Ferriss 22nd August 2015

Too many of us follow the crowd. We stick to the rules. We conform.

Yet, we know that creativity makes the difference between a mediocre business and a great one. The difference between success and failure.

A culture of creativity at home and work encourages better problem solving, more innovation, greater happiness and competitive advantage.

Creativity is the crucial variable in the process of turning knowledge into value.

John Kao (Harvard Business School) 22nd August 2015

Our global marketplaces has encouraged too much focus on price competion. The less developed world is catching up and it’s taking our jobs. We have to innovate to keep ahead and charge more for superior products based on brands.

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