Where’s The Creativity in Conversion?
At Coalmarch, we build websites with conversion in mind every step of the way. We’ve studied our stuff, we’ve learned the best practices, and we’ve done over ten years of A/B testing specific to service-based industries.
True conversion optimization requires analyzing multiple sets of data and statistics – all in an effort to get your website visitors to take the next step. A/B testing a call-to-action button might factor in visual characteristics, various action words, or even the psychology of a customer at each stage in the funnel; but all that experimentation, controlled testing, and analysis falls short if you failed to connect with your reader.
The magic happens when you can apply data to make creative decisions that improve your website’s performance. Conversion rate optimization is not simply a science – it’s also an art.
Why is this so important?
We’re getting really good at ignoring ads.
You probably skipped the commercial that played before the last YouTube video you watched.
You probably shot down a pop up ad today without even thinking about it.
You probably deleted our last Forgely email before your eyes made it to end of our subject line. (How dare you?)
Years of having ads flung at us from every direction has made us numb to the traditional forms of digital advertising. The mere presence of an ad isn’t enough on it’s own to grab people’s attention and create a memorable experience. This is why flexing your creative muscles is more important than ever before.
1. Making Your Message Memorable Builds Trust
A person’s emotional response to a brand plays an enormous role in their decision to make a purchase. (I have laughed over many a Doritos Superbowl commercial, and my brand loyalty glows cheese-dust orange.)
While you may not be inspiring laughter or tears in the way you market your lawn care or pest control business, people are going to have a reaction to the brand you present on your site. They’ll have a reaction to the ads and emails they see. They’ll notice if your Yelp reviews don’t seem to match your claims.
The brands that create a memorable impression and live up to their promises are the ones that land the most sales.
The most successful brands in the world have exhausted enormous budgets on marketing research, testing, and branding expertise to make their memorable impressions, and in most cases, can distill it down to one word.
Volvo = Safety
Apple = Innovation
Disney = Magic
The best part? Developing a memorable brand for your service-based company doesn’t require a Disney budget. It just requires you to focus on what it is about your company – your brand – that makes you different.
For some of my clients, it’s speed and efficiency. Their message is clear - We’ll get pests out of your house, and we’ll do it quickly. The rest of their messaging supports this, offering “same day inspections” and immediate results.
For others, it’s about the customer service. “You’ll be treated like family, every step of the way.”
When we write content for our clients in pest control and lawn care, we consider every step through the eyes of a visitor on your site. This visitor has a certain level of understanding when they hit your site, and our strategy aims to make sure that their search gets them to the page that matches their awareness level – but there’s more to it than that.
Visitors have a sense of authenticity. If you’re connecting with your reader, and you’re genuine and consistent in your appeals, they’ll take note. That memorable message builds trust. And the more a lead trusts you, the more likely they are to convert.
2. Writing Copy for Real Humans Works
It can be easy to get so bogged down in the minutiae of the specific services your company offers that you lose sight of how your prospects are encountering your brand.
A potential customer becomes aware of you or your services.
You build the customer’s interest in that service.
You plant the seed of desire for your specific service.
You ask the customer to act.
Technically – yes. But that conversion funnel, which is all about moving site traffic towards your end goal, is still all about you and how you’re interacting with your customer. If you’re not flipping that conversion funnel on it’s head and writing for your reader, you’re wasting time, money, and opportunity to sell them on your solution.
Your reader wants to know what you do.
Your reader wants to know why they should care - what’s in it for them?
Your reader wants to know why they should believe you.
Your reader wants to know: Where do we begin?
In order to stand out and be memorable, it’s important to utilize your content in a way that connects with the user. Something catchy. Something that reminds your reader of the problems they are facing. Something that explains what you do – or how you do it better than a competitor.
“Ok, BUT...” you’re thinking, “Not everyone is moved by these emotional appeals! Some of our visitors just want to scan the page and sign up.”
You’re so right. There are visitors who won’t read your entire page. (In fact, very few of them will read the entire page.)
This is where your memorable message comes back. If your reader has a pest control problem right now and their primary concern is getting rid of it right now, will you be the first brand that will come to their mind? Will seeing a PPC ad for your company trigger a memory? When they click on a search result to contact you, will your content reassure them that they’re in the right place?
Remember, we want to craft a memorable message that our leads will not forget and appeal to the potential customer’s needs and desires. A lead that trusts you, believes that you understand what they’re going through, and that you’re qualified to help resolve their situation is more likely to convert.
3. “Icing on the Cake” Content
There are so many components that go into making your website perform. The pages on your site that describe your services and service areas may be directly tied to conversion, but where you can really let creativity shine is in what I like to call “icing on the cake” content. Things like:
Link building content
Social media posts
While these are hardly the most valuable components in terms of measurable conversion, these are the elements that contribute the most to overall trust in your brand. These are where you’ll find some of the greatest opportunities to share thought leadership, draw traffic to your site, and prove your message.
A reader can usually tell when you’re trying to sell something. They expect your sales pitch to be cleverly disguised throughout pages about your services, but your audience doesn’t like to feel pressured. With blog posts, link building content, and social media, you have the opportunity to step away from selling your services in favor of selling your brand. Your culture. Your memorable message.
Offering free do-it-yourself tips, preventative measures, entertainment, and valuable information builds trust and authority with your audience. That’s not to say that you can’t reap the benefits from a soft sell in your “icing on the cake” content – in fact, if you’ve proven added value and helpful information, your customers are more likely to believe you when you recommend adding mosquito control services to their package or upgrading their lawn care program.
I’ve said it twice now, and I’ll say it again. The more a lead trusts you, the more likely they are to convert.
Data Informs Creative Solutions
It can be tempting to define conversion by raw data and applied analytics, but the very foundation of conversion is engagement. Are your customers hearing your message?
As an inbound specialist, my job is to be informed by the data collected on your site. When I analyze conversion, I look at behavioral data and try to determine why a particular page or part of a website isn’t working for the readers, and therefore, isn’t working for the business.
What if we changed the headline to something more engaging?
What if we find a way to make our free quote message stand out more? Should we move it up higher on the page? Should we make it a different color?
What if we change the photo to a happy family instead of a swarm of termites?
What if we reduce the number of fields in the contact us form?
Creativity helps us make websites more interesting, more engaging, more effective at communicating, and more profitable. It’s not just a nice thing to have – Creativity is the core of conversion.
Here comes my blog post soft sell.
Looking for a creative team that can help you build a website that converts? Let’s chat!