All digital marketers and web designers are aware of the importance of optimizing their landing pages, long-form sales pages and product pages for conversions. Few, however, are aware of the importance of optimizing every page on their website to convert at its best.
In this guide, we’ll answer one of the most frequently asked questions in the digital marketing community: How can informational pages be optimized for conversions, and why is it so important to do so?
The search to information to conversion funnel
Every marketer is familiar with the concept of the sales funnel. A person visits your website, either from a search engine results page, from social media or simply from memory. From here, the goal is to get them to enter your sales funnel.
Most of the time, entering the sales funnel involves submitting their name and email address and joining your mailing list. For service businesses, it involves submitting a request for information using your website’s contact form.
Whichever first step your website uses, the goal of most pages of your website will be to guide users towards taking that step into the sales funnel. To do this, you need to create another funnel – this time, guiding users towards your sales funnel itself.
Drawing users in with informational content
To most search marketers, the most valuable keywords are “buying keywords” – the search terms like “buy hiking boots” or “Samsung Galaxy price” that indicate a serious interest in buying a product.
While these keywords generally have the highest direct conversion rate and should always be prioritized for direct sales, they’re not your only opportunity to attract an audience of prospective customers.
Informational keywords – keywords like “Samsung Galaxy vs. iPhone” – are often just as valuable as buying keywords. Instead of sending visitors straight to your landing pages or checkout, these keywords allow you to slowly funnel them towards them.
Are you familiar with conversion goals? Most of the time, a conversion goal is a lead or sale – something easily measurably and commercially valuable. In the case of the informational pages on your website, a good conversion goal is a clickthrough.
A clickthrough to where? To your landing pages or product pages, of course. If your website has informational pages designed to answer customers’ questions (it really should, by the way) each of these pages should have a clickthrough goal.
Think of informational pages as signs outside a store – their goal isn’t to close sales on the spot, but to guide potential customers into the store. Informational pages on your website are signage; they guide customers towards becoming leads.
Optimizing content pages for conversions
There are several ways to optimize your content pages for conversions, all of which can be effective in the right situation. These range from pop-up lead capture dialog forms to calls to action, and include:
- Modal dialog boxes on blog posts and other informational pages that allows users to join your email marketing list.
- Calls to action at the end of each article or blog post directing users towards landing pages, product pages, sales pages or other informational content.
- Calls to action at the end of each article or blog post encouraging users to join your email marketing list using an embedded lead capture form.
- Calls to action encouraging users to buy a product or service, linking to your landing page or checkout.
- Calls to action encouraging users to buy a different product or service, linking to the merchant using a referral code.
The final type of call to action is particularly popular with content-driven websites such as online magazines and news blogs, many of which monetize their content by selling affiliate products.
Are your informational pages optimized for conversions?
Think of your website not just as a resource for users to navigate by themselves, but as a carefully constructed map of informational and commercial pages. Every page is linked to another, with the directions clearly marked to guide your visitors.
Whether your goal is to add new users to your email list and develop your long-term sales funnel or simply to point them towards a product page, plan a conversion goal for every page on your website and make sure it guides users in the right direction.