Most people who have been around the digital marketing world for a while are familiar with the concept of a conversion funnel. In its simplest form, it is a diagram that shows how many visitors to your site become customers. It can be used to track where people are dropping off on the way to becoming a customer, and optimise your website so that more people make it through the funnel. In this post, we’ll explain what a conversion funnel is and how you can start optimising yours today.
What is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel, also known as a marketing funnel, is a visual representation of the customer journey. It shows how many visitors or leads start at the top of the funnel (awareness), and then move down through the funnel until they reach the bottom as customers (purchase/conversion). Marketers use conversion funnels to measure how effective their marketing campaigns are, and to identify areas where they can improve.
Traditional conversion funnels include the process of attracting visitors to your website, identifying the first touch point they had with your brand before visiting the website. The first contact could be a display ad, podcast, video or even a worth-of-mouth reference (those can’t be included in this funnel).
Although you can create a funnel in every way it better fits your business model, the conversion funnel is usually divided in three main stages:
- Upper Funnel – Awareness: when someone visits your website and goes through your pages;
- Middle Funnel – Consideration: when the user continues their research and consider your solution as a possibility for solving their need;
- Lower Funnel – Decision/Conversion: when the user converts and proceeds to checkout.
When creating your conversion funnel, you want to understand how the different portions of your website or product fit in each of these 3 stages.
Components of a conversion funnel
The main goal of a conversion funnel is getting people to take a specific desired action. By understanding the four components of a funnel, and creating a strategy that targets each one. These components are the result of one of the oldest marketing models: AIDA. The model stands for: Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.
The first step in your conversion funnel, aiming to attract visitors and potential shoppers to your website. These visitors can be generated through a variety of methods such as SEO, content marketing, social media, paid ads, and any other form you have to reach people.
It is crucial that you analyse where your visitors are coming from and what sources drive the most of your quality traffic. This study will help you make better-informed decisions about what tactics are the most effective.
After the awareness stage, the next big step is to build visitor’s interest in your products and services. You should keep them engaged in your website’s content. Invest in attractive images, attention-grabbing headlines and engaging content. Opt-in forms and newsletters at this stage are also a good option in order to keep closer relations with your visitors. As a result you will keep pulling your customers down your conversion funnel.
The next step after the interest stage is building trust and desire. To achieve this, help your potential consumers learn more about your products. At this stage the visitor is already engaged with your brand which means they are considered highly qualified leads for your business. Nurture your leads by sending them personalised newsletters and keeping them up to date with the brand’s news. Always keep them engaged and coming back to your website!
This final stage is when your visitors take your desired action. At this stage focus on the pages where your customer will be converting, whether it is a product page, a landing page or any other page on your website. From there, examine your check-out processes and make sure they are easy to go through. You don’t want your visitors to quit at the last step because of technicalities. If you lose a lot of visitors at this stage, it indicates that your lead nurturing tactics are not working as they should.
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How to create a conversion funnel?
If you want to increase the number of leads that you generate for your business, then you need to create a conversion funnel. By creating a funnel, you can make it easier for your customers to convert on your website, and as a result increase your sales. Here are 3 steps for creating your conversion funnel:
1. Know your audience
The more you know about your audience, the more effective your customer journey mapping becomes. Understand exactly where your visitors come from, what actions they take and how they engage on your website.
2. Create an ideal customer journey
After you examine how your audience behaves on your website, create the ideal customer journey and build your website in a way that guides your visitors to the right places. Help your visitors get to what they are looking for quicker, reducing churn and the possibility of dropping off to another site.
3. Build interest with content
If you are note sure what that journey looks like, it might be helpful to start working backwards. Meaning that you think about your goals first and then create the path to the beginning of the journey.
As mentioned above, it is crucial that your website keeps the user engaged in the content. Create great content to keep them on your website for longer and start creating a relationship with your brand. Show them how you can solve their needs and why you set yourself apart from your competitors. This is the only way to turn your visitors into leads.
Analysing your conversion funnel
Why is conversion funnel analysis important for your business?
In order to improve your website’s conversion rate, you need to understand where in their buying journey your visitors drop out of the funnel. If visitors don’t find useful content, they will run off to another website that does. To avoid this, understanding where your website is falling to meet expectations is crucial.
A website conversion funnel analysis can help you understand where the funnel is “blocked” and where visitors find churn that makes them drop off. This analysis is the first step for a good funnel optimization.
Choosing the right metrics
In order to define what is working or not in your website’s conversion funnel, start by defining conversion goals based on your website goals. Think about what direction you want your business to take when considering these goals. It is important that you devote some time to set the conversion funnel goals, as these will be the base for the metrics you choose.
Here are a few examples of metrics to track and measure in your funnel, according to Similarweb:
- Monthly Unique Visitors;
- Visitor-to-lead conversion rate and lead-to-consumer conversion rate;
- Request a quote/trial/demo conversion rate;
- % sales accepted leads;
- Average cost per sale;
- Return on ad spending;
- Revenue per visitor;
- Average order value;
- Bounce rate.
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Optimising your conversion funnel
Now that you have designed your conversion funnel and visualised it, you are ready to optimise it and increase conversions. The easiest way to think about funnel optimization is by dividing it in 3 main sections, as it was mentioned at the beginning of this post. Keep in mind that the most important stage to optimise is the one where visitors drop out the most.
Upper funnel optimization
The upper funnel (awareness) is all about driving quality traffic to your website. The type of visitors you attract to your website has a huge impact on the path your audience will follow within it. What does it matter if you are bringing a lot of traffic if most visitors have no interest in your content and will drop out immediately?
Focus on driving quality traffic by adopting the following strategies:
- Optimise your website for SEO;
- Choose your paid search and display ads keywords right;
- Optimise the target audience of your social media campaigns.
Middle funnel optimization
Once you have worked so hard and managed to get people’s attention, don’t let it go away! The middle funnel is all about building trust with your audience and demonstrating the benefits of your products. Depending on your end goal and your business type, you might require some micro-actions from your visitors or not, in order to earn their loyalty. Take advantage of the various tools and techniques to achieve this. Here are a few:
- Testimonials and product reviews;
- FAQ’s page;
- Automated marketing campaigns;
- A/B testing
Lower funnel optimization
Now that you have turned your visitors into leads, start pulling them into the lower part of your funnel. Conversion is your ultimate goal, whether that means a sale or a newsletter sign-up. After all the work you have put at the upper and middle parts of the funnel, it would be frustrating to lose leads at this stage. Unfortunately, it happens a lot, so here are some actions you can take to minimise it:
- Create simple checkout processes;
- Activate abandon cart emails;
- Set push notifications;
- Create personalised offers.
Once a lead has converted, pull it back to the middle funnel again in order to keep it as a returning customer.
The conversion funnel is the process of converting prospects into customers. It can be broken down into five stages, each with its own psychological triggers and considerations. To optimise your conversion funnel, you need to understand how these different phases affect people’s decision-making abilities at that stage in the purchase process.
If you want to increase the number of conversions on your website, we recommend that you optimise it for conversion. To do this, consider how people’s brains work and what they’re looking for at different stages in their purchasing process or lead funnel.
There are plenty of potential pitfalls that can occur during any phase of a customer’s buying journey; understanding where they happen will help you avoid them. The end result should be increased sales from customers who are ready to buy!