So, how do we increase conversions? Well, it’s easy – in concept! You simply track what you are doing and test new ideas. Don’t go to a web designer and say, “I need to have this nice web design and it’s going to say this and say this”, without knowing what your customers want you to tell them.

This is the thing about the web; I can click away from your site in 9 microseconds if I choose. We are looking to have engagement with people if you want to use your web application to increase your prospects.

It is not something that you can get somebody to design, just put up there and say, “Oh, well I’ve done everything I need. I’m just going to wait for the traffic to flow and the conversions”. It doesn’t work that way.

Tracking and testing is absolutely essential, and you can do this with free tools. Track with something called Google Analytics which is free from Google, and test with something called Google Website Optimiser which is also free from Google.

What Google Website Optimiser allows you to do is to put two ideas randomly in front of your prospects and Google handles all the machinery behind it, and then you can test which of the ideas is more palatable to your users.

Remember, you have to think externally. You cannot afford to think internally, “What my company wants to project, what I want to tell people”, because frankly people aren’t interested in what you want to tell them. They are only interested in finding a solution to their problem, at least on the web, because you have no relationship with them. The work I do is ‘engage them’. And you can engage them by testing the ideas that they want to see, and tracking to see which of those ideas works.

It’s a simple concept. You might say, “Well okay, but it takes time and it takes a lot of effort”, yes, it does, but you have now moved on from this immediately because at least you will know what is not working and what you need to change; which pages people are going away from immediately because they don’t like what they see; how your navigation works – all comes from tracking, and then you can test hypotheses by saying, “Well, I won’t talk about us, I will have a page about you”. So you’ll talk about your customers, because that’s what people like to read; they want to read about themselves.

So, instead of having an About Us page, you have an About You page, and there you can tell the people who come to your web pages who you want to work with. So, if you’re an accountant in Dulwich or wherever it is, and you only want to work with people within a 50 mile radius, you have a page about you which says, “I’m an accountant in Dulwich, I don’t want to travel; I only work with people within a 50 mile radius. If you’re not, please, I’m not interested”. And at least you have engaged someone, because they go, “Ehh, piss off, I don’t want the work”, but at least you’ve engaged them. They know what to do and what not to do. Whereas with an About Us page you go, “Oh yeah, company set up in 1991, always profitable, blah blah blah, boring boring boring”. You’re not telling me anything that I’m actually interested in; you’re telling me something that you are interested in, which is fine, but I’m not interested in reading it.

Conversions are about taking an external view of what your customer wants to read, not what you want to present to them. And it’s about tracking and testing. I’m not trying to pretend that this is easy; this is long, drawn out, and needs lots of effort because you’ll be testing ideas all the time and you’ll be tracking them, having to make connections where they are important.

Hopefully I’ve convinced you that conversions are what matter and not traffic.

So how do we make more conversions happen?