HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE (for Higher Conversion Rates!) & Keep Visitors from Bouncing

You could spend money on ads, try to grow
your Instagram following, and add new products and services—or you could
increase the conversion rate of the traffic and the audience you already have.
That’s what I’m showing you in today’s video. So, herein lies the magic of a
conversion rate: none of those marketing strategies that
I just mentioned are bad—in fact, I love them all. I use them all! But, what if we
focused on optimizing what is already there and sitting in your lap? If we try
to figure out ways that we could capture and convert your existing traffic and
existing customers? So in your creative small business, revenue is the number one
metric to measuring the success of the business. I feel like this can kind of be a sticky subject in the realm of creative
entrepreneurs that I work in, because things like impact and beauty are SO
important to us—but hear me out. When we’re just looking at the numbers and the
metrics—that is so important. It’s your revenue (and more specifically profit)
that proves how successful the business is. But the next best factor? A
metric you want to look at is your conversion rate.
A conversion is what happens when somebody takes the action that you want
them to take. Maybe it’s signing up for your email list or filling out your
contact form, purchasing one of your digital downloads, or purchasing one of
your one-of-a-kind handmade pieces of jewelry. And in case you didn’t know here
is how you calculate your conversion rate. Let’s do a little math: so say your
services page on your website had 450 visitors last month, and 18 people scroll
down to the bottom and filled out that contact form to inquire and get in touch
with you about your photography services. That’s a conversion rate of 4%. Now
conversion rates differ wildly depending on the conversion goal. I just gave you a
couple of examples of those—like signing up for your email list, downloading
something, actually purchasing … but according to, the average
conversion rate for a website hovers around 2.5%. Now there are a few factors
to making sure your website stands out and it is converting at the highest
conversion rate possible, so today I want to show you 5 conversion strategies
that you can implement on your website to up that conversion rate. Hit that “like”
button if you’re excited, and maybe even ready to bump that little number up
a little bit more. And if you haven’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for!?
Hit the “subscribe” button and you’ll be notified when these videos drop every
Tuesday. Did you do that? Okay, let’s jump in. The first thing is analyzing your
website data. So before you throw your hands up in the air and say, “My new copy
that I worked so hard on isn’t converting or all of that brand imagery
and photography I just shelled out for isn’t working, my new website
template isn’t working,” we have to actually look at the data and see where
is the leak or the gap in your current sales funnel and then assess that where
are people actually landing and where are they falling off. So, if this is an
example of your sales funnel, then we need to grease the slide a
little bit more and figure out why they’re not getting to the next step in
your funnel. You may have heard me say that I like to help creatives work from
a place of rest—not hustle before, and it is because I deeply, DEEPLY believe it
your website—and specifically to what you guys know I like to talk about if
your copy—isn’t working 24/7 for you, pulling its weight and helping people go
down this funnel (whether it’s one-on-one services or products that you offer), then
we need to stop and figure that out. Because you’re busy, right? You’re
actually doing your craft, your work, your client work … you don’t have time to sit
there and sell 24/7. Your website has GOT to be doing it for you. So before we go
any further let’s pause and I want you to think about your homepage. If your
reader does absolutely nothing else what is the one action that you want
them to take on your homepage before they exit that tab and go on to do
whatever else they were going to do? I’ve had to sit down and reassess this lately
in my own business (more on that in a minute!) but I want you to comment below:
what is the ONE action that you want people to take on your homepage? Caveat: I
want you to start this with an action verb. I don’t want to hear something like, “Know I am a really talented calligrapher,” but I want you to get specific. Do you
want them to go to your services page? Do you want them to get on your email list?
What is that ONE goal? Okay do you have that? Let’s talk about the things that
you need to look for it when you jump into your analytics and look for
specific patterns. So if you’re just getting started looking at your Google
Analytics you want to go ahead and start simple and the first thing that you
typically want to identify is on top pages. So this is a
real behind-the-scenes peek inside our Google Analytics and I’m gonna come over
here to Behavior, open this drawer, go to site content, and what I want to look at
here is the landing pages. When you click on this, you can see the top pages
on your website this is the past week right? 6-7 days. What’s so interesting is you can see what pages you need to optimize because
they are people are landing on them the most. Heads up, this “how to make a wedding guest spreadsheet” I wrote back
when I started my calligraphy business. It went a little viral on Pinterest and it still brings in so much traffic. So one way that we’ve been
looking at optimizing this since my audience has changed from serving brides
in a one-on-one capacity as a wedding calligrapher and stationer to educating
creative entrepreneurs, is how can I use this page and then rework it for the
audience. Does that make sense? So that’s an example of like optimizing this
existing traffic and making it work and funnel into my business. Now these are
some other examples of landing pages that I want to look into and that we’re
working on optimizing and using these as a benchmark. You also want to identify
places where people commonly exit. I’m going to come down the exit pages and here,
I can see some lower performing pages that may be missing some capturing
opportunities. This is interesting this is a thank you page, so after you
hop in with an opt-in you get shuffled off to this page. What am I NOT doing
here?? Look, 115 people left after this page. What can I do to make this page
stickier and provide other opportunities and resources to help get people what
they were looking for or what they need? That’s an opportunity for that. This is
just a briefing of Google Analytics that you can use and look at in your own
business as you’re in here. You want to make note of other things: are they even
hitting your contact page? Where are people coming from referral sources? That can
tell you a lot about the messaging that people may be looking to see when they
land on your website. How are people finding your site? Put on your scientist
cap and figure out what kind of trends and patterns are you seeing. Now, HotJar
has a pretty cool tool available on their free tier of pricing, which is
pretty great. You can use it to investigate your sales funnel a little
bit more and see where in that you may be losing people due to a leak or a gap.
Let me show you what that looks like. This is the tool called HotJar and this is the home
page of it I just wanted you to see this again. They have great opportunities for
minimal testing on their free levels, so I would recommend that if
you’re a creative entrepreneur your business is you know substantial but not
GINORMOUS, you can get enough insights and things done to make some changes.
I really recommend it. What I wanted to show you is in here for
building a funnel. I already started a little bit so you can see, but what I
would do is click over to funnels and start a new funnel. We’re just going
to tell this—it’s going to be on looking at launch
application submissions. Okay, so these are launch copy application solutions
these are the clients that are coming in and wanting to work in this capacity. So
let’s say “homepage” or it would be a blog—well it’s actually I’m gonna take
that one out because I want them to go to the services page. Then after they go there and do exact match on that, I want them to go to you
just copy page exact match on this, too. See how
I’m entering the URLs here? The URL for this is copy and then I’m gonna add
one more set in the application. Okay so what this can do now is measure the
people that are going through these steps and I can see where the drop-off
is. My students inside Copywriting for Creatives know that I like to start with
the quantitative data first when we’re talking about optimizing your website.
Whether that is Google Analytics or heat maps, the data doesn’t lie. Numbers don’t
lie! But after you look at the data and the numbers, you can do one of two things:
door number one you could go in and change what you think it may be a good
idea to shift up or play with. Maybe you want to add more icons and graphics or
beff up your portfolio a little bit more, your services page—maybe you want to flesh it out with some more testimonials.
You could do all this—not bad things!—and hope sales go up, OR you could do what is
behind door number two: You could start like we just did figuring out where the
biggest just drop-off is or where that flow gets stuck and once you understand
where the problem is then you get to play with what the problem is behind
door number two. It’s really seeking to understand your customers better—their
needs, what is causing them to hesitate, or come up with objections,
what are those conversations that are going on in their mind … and then you can
make adjustments off THAT. Now, how many of us are doing what was behind door
number one? It’s okay! No shame. There so many of us especially as creatives I
think, guilty of making minor, minor tweaks and changes on our website. Maybe
it’s updating little photos or tweaking our about page, but there are some more
tactical, needle moving things you can do which brings us to step number two in
optimizing your website: obsess over your users. Now sometimes, the very best
conversion tools are free: listening, right? Aking that potential new client
“what was it about your calligraphy services that made her reach out and
want to work with you?” If you’re a creative director, how did a potential
new client hear about and want to work with you? Even watching and listening to
your new website design client as they go through your onboarding process, they
look at your proposal, and they come back with questions … what are they saying back to you? Looking at our analytics—what we did in
step one—that’s quantitative, right? We’re looking at numbers, stats, bounce rates. My
students inside Copywriting for Creatives know that I love to teach you
how to use and look at things like heat maps, scroll maps, and split testing. Those
are all examples of quantitative data but the qualitative data is the really
juicy stuff that gives us the “why” behind those numbers and statistics. The
easiest way to do this is like I just said: listen. But a super fun way to
collect data—I am the biggest nerd, at least I think it’s fun!—a way that you
can collect data like this is using different website feedback tools and
user testing. I’m gonna do a quick screencast so you can see this in action
and use it to your advantage. When you go to this is the page that you’re gonna see and all I want you to do this is okay to say but
you can do create with just a trial so if you’re just testing your website and
not doing this for clients that’s what I would recommend that you do so you’re
going to create a new account in request trial and then let me show you in I
created a dummy account what that looks like on the back end so you can do this
just for about seven days which gives you enough time to test your own website
and let me show you how that works once you’re in the dashboard this is what
you’ll see and I want you to come over here and click new and you’re just going
to create a new test test a website and now you get to rocket enroll in so what
you can do first is select your participants and I would go ahead and
recommend you’re gonna need to bump this down to three during your trial if
that’s what you’re doing and I mean I would probably do some smart phones some
computer either way either way is fine smartphone would definitely be nice to
test some mobile but after this you can go ahead and trim down now you will see
there’s a lot of features like the good features of course you need to pay for
but basically age and gender probably things that you’re going to want to
bring into what’s closer to your target market
especially if you’re a creative industry that targets a certain group of people
you’ll want to do that so let’s set this and then the next thing that you do is
start building out the test itself so you can type in the name of your website
here if you want to give them a little bit more information you can do that as
well and then just start dropping in what you want them to do you may have to
play with this for a sec before you start to understand how it works but you
can have them give them different things to do I like this section that has
popular examples you can choose questions so if you’re kind of stuck on
what to do I would recommend that you pop into here and grab a few of those
but essentially you build out this test plan now it’s going to give you a couple
of different options so make sure you have enough things in there it’s going
to do it um like an a/b test and a BA test you’ll again once you hop in you
can really see how this works a little bit more but once you have the test
together you can roll with it once you submit your test you can get the
response back very quickly like within less than 24 hours so let me show you
what that looks like again I did this test run to prove
what this looks like on a just a sample account so this is an account i would
recommend again unless you’re doing this for lots of clients and you really need
it that’s part of your business it’s a little expensive so you can just do the
test drive so I did that to see effect if it works the same and it does and
this is the response that you get back so then you can go in and actually watch
these videos of what people are saying as they look at your website this part
pretty much looks the same as the paid version which I like I went ahead and
can still make notes over here of the things that I listened throughout you
can speed it up which can be helpful because they tend to be sometimes a
little long dish but once you play the video you can hear exactly what happens
as they go through the test that you set them up for and get the best feedback in
the world if you ever heard that before that assuming only makes up of you and
me after we look at all that data in step one we don’t want to assume
anything and that’s why step two here is so important plus what I love so much
about user feedback is that it shakes me out of the rut of being so in love with
my own ideas website recording sessions will straight up remind you that if it
is not clear to your user it doesn’t matter the third way to optimizing your
website is making sure that it loads fast and it’s bug free you may think
your website looks so good and it probably does when you’re looking at it
with your browser and your MacBook after you’ve got all the imagery and copy
plugged in but we can’t forget about this step now I mentioned mobile
optimization and last week’s video I’ll link it below but in today’s video I’m
gonna do a little screencast of some ways that you can make sure that this is
buttoned up and something like load time isn’t the reason that a reader or a user
has bounced from your website because especially as creative entrepreneurs a
lot of us have pretty big files we have large images we have our portfolio work
that all of that is on our website but we want to make sure things aren’t
loading quickly so we can capture your audience’s attention and convert them by
making them do that one thing that you told me that you want your homepage to
do so let’s take a look at how we can do that and looked at this at a long time
at different devices so we’re gonna see how this goes so this is a this is my
productivity course this is the closed page so it is
open right now it’s waitlist only so that’s what that page looks like let’s
look at it on a different device so I’m gonna left click or double click if
you’re on a Mac for a laptop come down to inspect and once I opened that up
this comes up this very techy looking thing and what we want to do is make
sure see this little toggle device toolbar see how that’s clicked when that
is open I can see what this looks like on different devices so right now it’s
in responsive mode I’m gonna come over here what’s there – tin okay so it’s
gonna pull it down to those sizes and now I can scroll through and look and
see what it looks like there see how interesting that is so maybe let’s see
do it iPad you can see what things look like yeah so understood for it so that’s
a great tip that you can use to go in and look at different pages and see what
they look like on different devices this is how I run a quick speed audit of my
website to make sure it’s not something like a load time that’s holding me back
ok we’re back in good old Google Analytics and for this I want to come
over and open this behavior tab and go down the side speed pretty easy and then
from there speed suggestions so what I want to look at here are these are the
top pages that have been trafficked in the past 6 days and what I want to look
at is the load time over here so that backslash that’s the homepage that’s
some people sometimes there’s that backslash there so that’s what that is
but the rest of these well we have a lot of really telling information here so if
a site loads like within 3 seconds I think that’s pretty good up to 7 though
is kind of considered normal especially with the amounts of images these days on
websites but over seven are the ones that I want to look at specifically like
this one and this one so these two are blogs they’re blogs that have video
content and lots of imagery and so this is one thing that I’m gonna look at and
try to investigate how can I shrink some of the images here how could I make
these pages load faster so here’s a little image shrinking hack that I do if
I have a big image say that a photographer has shot for me I’ll pull
it up and then just screenshot the portion that I need for my website and
rename that an SEO file name and load that in
there’s also great tools out there like blog stop my friends Krista and Davy
Jones did a great YouTube tutorial on shrinking images so I’ll link that below
as a resource for you if you have a favorite tool that you use to shrink and
optimize your images would you comment below and leave it I want to make sure
that we can learn from one another and get new ideas so if you have one that
you love let us know one more quick tip don’t forget to check these two things
mobile optimization and load time for ancillary pages that you may be using
with your website I one time was using leadpages and didn’t realize that on
certain browsers when you tried to scroll down the call to action button
wouldn’t come above the fold so no one was clicking
so it wasn’t converting because I was looking at things on my phone with my
browser I didn’t see that and it took a user to point that out to me I learned
the hard way so don’t forget to check this on any other pages that you may be
using associated with your website I hope that makes sense
step number four to optimizing your website is leveraging SEO now in today’s
video I’m not gonna do a deep dive into this because I did it last week it’s
definitely an entire tutorial like a 20 minute mini course on it so I’ll link
that below and you can go and check that out after this video conversion
optimization and SEO have a very intertwined relationship they rely on
one another to function properly so we don’t want to leave that out and finally
step number five to upping your conversion rates is updating the copy to
be more user focused whether you’re already a pretty dang good DIY
copywriter for your creative small business or you’re just getting started
trying to figure out what to say and when to say it I want to show you
exactly what I mean here by using my own homepage as a case study
I just recently optimized the copy in the content on the home page of my
website it was working okay but naturally I wanted to see if I could
make it work a little bit better and here’s what I learned this is super
interesting to me because I think it proves that no matter where you fall on
the copywriting spectrum you need somebody’s eye to come in and look at
what you’ve done my coaches gave me some incredible
feedback on my website copy and this is why I’m so passionate about the private
community of copywriting for creative students that we have because if we’re
not able to ask others am I being clear here
is my value proposition shining through or was this written to my one reader
then we don’t know we can’t create stuff in a vacuum and yes there’s screencasts
for this too so let’s look at the screen do quick tweaks that I made I pulled up
in wayback machine the initial page and what I wanted to show you where these
changes here so do you see this kind of a headline this is eyebrow copy right
here look that and then versus what it is changed to so to super user focus
here and I mean this was fine it was this for a really long time but might as
well get specific plus sometimes my audience doesn’t know what this is right
off the bat so I need to go ahead and speak straight to them I also tried to
define what I do a little bit more and do a lot of things that I’m trying to do
that as well now you’ll also see this call to action button see how we changed
that to be a little more user focused and one other big change was moving this
a lot more in the page so in the other page it was down at the bottom which
heat maps were pretty interesting to look at for that converted okay but I’m
hoping that I can get it in front sooner and help push them into some of the big
things services YouTube blog now when it comes to optimizing your website there
is no one best practice or magical template or copywriting formula that is
going to be a blanket fix every single time I’ve heard it said before and I
truly believe it that best practices can so oftentimes be pooled ignorance for
every best practice that you find and show me I can give you a client example
when we did that and it didn’t work or when we try the opposite and that worked
better I’m telling you this because you have to do this kind of work for your
audience and your business and I promise you that no matter where you are in this
journey it’s possible I’m teaching a free hour-long workshop that is a bit of
a deeper dive into the stuff that we’ve talked about today called separate
yourself from the pack how to write your website words thousands of creatives
have joined me put into practice the things that I teach and grown their
creative businesses head to Ashland writes calm slash masterclass or look
below the link and grab your seat shoutout to
molly marshall marketing who recently made me smile with the comment that she
wrote below the video if you want to get a shout out like this and just comment
below what was your biggest takeaway from today’s tutorial now that you have
these tips and tricks up your sleeve be sure to stay tuned for the next video
where i’m talking a little bit more about the SEO that you can use for your
creative small business if you haven’t subscribed yet like I said what are you
waiting for subscribe below and hit that like button if this helped you out I’ll
see you in that free workshop and see you in the next video as well

Comments 3

  • Increasing your conversion rate questions aaaaand GO! Let me know below, what q's do you have from today's video? What was your biggest takeaway??

  • This is so great! My main goal is to have more people inquire. I have to say I don’t look at my conversion rate too much but after watching this I definitely will. And I should probably review my copy too 😂 thank you for sharing 💗

  • Do you use Showit? I am new to it and I find a little hard to find all the analytics about it!

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