The #1 Secret to a High Converting Sales Page

This is a guest post by Alex Whalley, owner and founder of the Build | Rank | Profit eCourse.

Crash Test Dummy

Now before you jump on the assumption train, allow me to clarify what I mean by ‘sales page’ because I am not talking about your typical squeeze page or the ‘no option but to buy’ pages. You know, the ones that will more often than not automatically pop up 37 and a half more windows before they finally accept defeat.

I also want to step away from the make money online niche because the main focus here is on physical products – products that cover every niche possible. The same rules apply for anything you might promote through Clickbank, although again – these methods might not ring true for the MMO niche where OTO’s, Pop ups and massively overhyped sales copy is the norm. Worth testing though, who knows?

Normal Sales Pages

Today I wanted to talk about a normal sales page, a page that has no hype, no exaggerated claims (OK maybe a couple) and certainly no “one time offers” that vomit all over your browser when you leave, because these are the pages I make, and these are the pages that bring me a fulltime income online.

Now there are probably a hundred ‘secrets’ that may or may not help you increase conversions on your niche site or blog, but the no.1 secret of all of them is only a secret because most marketers have spent way too long in their own (WordPress) backend.

Think Like a Consumer and NOT a Marketer

This is the secret to configuring a well converting site.

The problem I see all too often when researching my competitors is that the majority of the Amazon (physical product) niche sites in existence are terribly hard to navigate, not so easy on the eyes, and seem only to be focused on the keyphrases they are clearly trying to optimize for. This is a typical example of a site built purely on the teachings of a third party – and at no stage has the owner of the site ever considered that a real person might actually visit them one day.

So how do we fix this?

The secret to good conversions is not only in the sales copy on the page, but on the attractiveness and ease of use of the site as a whole. Therefore it is imperative that we not only create optimized pages of content and surround it with longtail article content, we also create a navigation structure and main page that does not scare the visitor away, and if anything encourages them to investigate further.

What is it that I am trying to achieve?

You should ask yourself this question of every page that you build, every backlink that you create and every article that you publish because it subconsciously makes you stop and think about the purpose of each element.

To put it simply: SALES. Higher conversions and more targeted Visitors sure, but ultimately we want to make more money right?

In order to do this I need to make sure that the most popular models/brands/styles (whatever is applicable to the product you are promoting) are easily accessible, that the reviews can be easily found, and that the site as a whole invites them to click.

Don’t Throw Away Your Research!

I assume that like any diligent marketer you have already done all your homework and found the best keywords, both longtail and short tail to optimize your site for. You have also done some homework on the product itself no doubt, in which case you would have learned an awful lot about the product and how people use it, look for it, etc etc.

Don’t just make this information relevant to your SEO, make it relevant to the entire site.

Navigation

Creating a sidebar Navigation is all about knowing the product, understanding what the customer wants, and learning how best to deliver it to them.

So many sites that focus on a particular product are impossible to navigate, and unless I want to buy one of a few specific models I have no choice but to leave. There is also no access to resources of any kind – and if the site is ranking, they must be there. Which brings me to…

Article Marketing

Everyone uses article marketing, well I do and its extremely effective, but why not utilise this content as well as giving it away?

Every time I submit an article for distribution I also rewrite a version for my own sites. What this does is not only strengthen my own SEO with pages of relevant and unique content, it also adds credibility to my small niche site, so long as you give your visitors access to this category via the nav menu or sidebar of course!

Before you can even begin to start putting all the aspects of your site together you need to get back into the customers head.

You already have all the information in front of you, we have gathered it from Amazon, Market Samurai, Google, the list goes on, so take all this information and use it to build a framework.

Are you in the health and wellbeing niche? Maybe you need to have links to categories like natural remedies, herbal remedies, organic remedies, health scams, and so on. (I don’t know, I have never entered that niche!) This way your prospective buyer, if not interested in the product they are looking at, may just stay to investigate further. And not just that, imagine what that many relevant categories would do for your rankings?!

To put it simply, you want to increase click through rates and conversions,

Build a site that appeals to the market around the product, not just the product!

How Can I Apply This To My Blog?

Yes that’s all well and good Alex, but I don’t promote physical products, in fact I don’t even have a niche site. Nope, it’s just me and my blog.

If you are a blogger in any niche except the make money online one then these rules can definitely be applied to your situation. Just because you are not promoting a physical product does not mean you shouldn’t spend time understanding what the market wants, how they search for it – and where they usually go to get it. The more inviting and navigable a site, the more likely that your visitor will stick around, and you know what starts to happen when they do that!

You’d Be a Dummy Not To Test

Finally, it would be irresponsible of me not to mention the ugly bit of the equation.

As much as I would love to tell you that one particular design or element works wonders this is far from the case. The layout of your site, the options you pick for navigation, and the products/services you choose to promote front and center can all have a massive impact on your conversion rates.

The only way of ever knowing what works and what doesn’t is to test. Then once you have tested, you test some more. Only time and experience will tell you what works best, but once you find it – kudos to you, now go build another site!

Your Conversion Rate Secrets

Do you dabble with marketing your own or affiliate products? What are your high conversion rate tips? Please share them in the comments below!





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Comments

  1. says

    We should all take a page out of the ecommerce playbook when we’re crafting pages to spur up sales. Ecommerce has been refined through best practices since the early days of the web; each site is crafted to lower the resistance for people to buy.

    Blogs, on the other hand, throw out this conventional logic in place of trying to cram as much information as possible within the screen. Think of the first time you landed on a larger blog – did you not have a split second where you didn’t know what to do?

    You see top posts, commenters, latest posts, offers, graphics, video, advertising and so much more. Each of them begin to pull your attention away from the main focus.

    The long-style sales page was adopted to keep people focused and guide them through a logical progression that continued to answer questions and concerns along the way. Unfortunately, marketers have taken this and hypercharged these pages so they have been littered with hype.

    I think we need to reject this idea of online sales. We should, instead, adopt a traditional ecommerce approach to your products and offers. Give people information through various pages on your website but at their own leisure. Keep each page focused toward a single action – in case of a product: to buy.

    Great topic Alex, it’s definitely taking business well beyond just blogging.
    Murray Lunn just posted Defining a True Vision and Mission for Murlu

    • says

      Murray,

      Mate trust you to see the business vs. blogging side of the arguement.
      And how right you are. in order to convert, regardless of what sort of site we are talking – we first need to understand who the customer is, and THAT is business right there.

      Thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts Mr Lunn
      Alex just posted The Money is in the Content The List is Useless!

      • Murray Lunn says

        I’m going to completely nerd out on you here Alex.

        Remember what G.I. Joe said: Knowing is half the battle.

        I wish market and customer research were two topics I learned prior to launching my projects years ago which had resulted in failure.

        It didn’t take until I spent a considerable amount of time learning who I would be marketing to that really opened my eyes when it came to “project” vs. “venture”.

        I would instantly jump into a project, pour hours of my time and resources, launch and then sit confused because I didn’t understand why people didn’t take notice. It all stemmed from the fact that I didn’t do my homework into whether or not IF someone actually wanted what I had to offer.

        My approach these days include a lengthy amount of time trying to get into the heads of my target customer. I try to find what needs they have prior to ever launching a new venture.

        Because I know the realm of what people are looking for – I can best suit my approach to my venture so I don’t waste time and resources during development. I can see the bare essentials that need to be done to get to launch and then, as people come to the business, I can test/poll/survey people as to where I can take it to the next level.

        Anyway, long story short: research, test, optimize.

  2. says

    Wonderful Article, Alex. I am newbie to affiliate marketing and right now I am trying to promote some of the affiliate products which I think would be good for every wordpress blogger. Since I am still in the learning curve, I am yet to find out my high conversion tip. Anyway, thanks for sharing these useful tips. Hope it will help me to increase my conversion rate.

    Sathish
    Sathishkumar just posted How to Make Money By Domain Flipping XXX Domains

    • says

      Sathish,

      First off I would like to say ‘Welcome to the IM niche!’ :)
      I think the fact that you know what your target audience is going to be and the types of products you want to promote as an affiliate mean you are already in a better place than most experienced IMers!!

      Having a focused audience and select few products is the first step in creating a high converting sales page, so you are already half way there!

      Thanks for your comments Sathish
      Alex just posted 5 Ways to Massively Increase Your Conversion Rates and Make the Most of Your Traffic

  3. says

    Great post Alex. Funny thing with this is that people build sites for spiders and not people, which is ironic as sites built for people are very good for spiders too, and have additional SEO benefits. Ultimately the metrics will tell you what’s popular on your site and what isn’t. If people actually use those metrics and continue to improve their site, then they’ll get even more benefits. Funny how all that works.
    Robert Dempsey just posted Is Success In A Popular Niche a Foregone Conclusion

    • says

      Unless of course your blog is about Marvel comics and you are targeting spiderman, in which case ‘most people’ will build the perfect site ;)

      Thanks for raising the point about metrics.
      Like the point I made about testing, all the theories in the world are useless without trial and error.
      Thanks for sharing brother, always know you will add value to the conversation
      Alex just posted The 30 Day Article Marketing Challenge

  4. says

    Hey Alex,
    could not agree more. I actually do the same on my niche site. Well, it isn’t built for Amazon but it has soma Amazon products and the sales are going great.

    The navigation is very easy and in accordance with my keyword research. I have main keywords in the navigation bar leading to pages with those keywords, and those are sending people to even more keyword focused pages where the products are.

    So I would also suggest people to follow your advice because I am sure that is one of the reasons my site is making those sales, they layout and simplicity of use.
    Brankica just posted Yahoo! Answers The ultimate guide to traffic generation with YA

  5. says

    Alex,

    Over all look and navigation work for me!

    Just last night I was on a site to buy a razor. I was so impressed with the sites navigation. They made it so easy to buy. The overall look of the site was very nice and the sales pitch for the product was personal and friendly.

    In the side bar I found exactly what I wanted to look at. I made my choice and sent it to the cart and clicked buy more to add extra blades for my razor and voila! There it was. I did not have to go back to over all sales page, they new what I was thinking and put the right blades there for me to buy. Then the upsell at check out was super.

    Making the site easy to navigate and hit the buy button was BIG. I will be going back to buy there again.
    Sheila Atwood just posted I Said Blog Disclaimer and You Yawned

    • says

      OK Sheila, I cannot thank you enough for that!

      The proof is in the pudding, and Sheila you are a sweet desert if ever I saw one ;)

      I rest my case.
      Now, why didn’t you come to MY shaver site?!?! LOL J/K

  6. says

    Hi, Alex. This “secret” that you mentioned is never secret at all. Rather, it’s merely a forgotten fact: In the online world, content is king/queen. It’s the content—and its presentation (i.e., the layout, markup, usability, etc.)—that breaks the deal. I’ve been to a lot of pages and have ignored ads. My ad-ignoring eyes go on autopilot the moment my brain perceives chaos and clutter on the page. But, each time I find a page with a simple layout and great content, I tend to notice the ads while keeping my focus on the content.
    Elmer M. just posted Gratitude Attitude – The Perfect Gift for Personal Happiness

  7. says

    Hi Alex,
    When you said physical products, you made me think about e-commerce stores and it seems like you hit the nail right. When we look at any product and its description in a(good) ecommerce store, we see that everything is mentioned in a proper manner and even the navigation is made in such a way that the customer finds the product. In the same manner if you are trying to promote a physical product through a sales page, it is important that you have given enough descriptions and details so that the customer can understand the product and then decide to buy it. Like you said it is important to think like the customer and not like the marketer.

    Regards,
    Shiva
    Shiva just posted Free And Premium WordPress Link Cloaking Plugins

  8. says

    I just started blogging this past year, and I’ve been amazed how easy, and frustrating it has become. I know that blogging could be a key source of new traffic, but trying to manage the time to do it has been challenging. I know that I would BE A DUUMY for not testing this, so thanks for the information.
    Virginia Beach Wedding Photographer just posted Event Photography for Astro DJ Anniversary Party at The Westin Hotel- Virginia Beach

  9. says

    Awesome post Alex. thanks for sharing these valuable insights.
    I have been saying that for a long time myself, and some people get it while others still continue to only think about themselves. also, I think the IM niche could learn a lot from this, and the entire industry would be a lot better if it was followed rather than the current trend to over hype everything, and push push push for sales rather than seeking to provide an enjoyable experience.
    James Pruiit just posted Guest Posting Tips- Facebook Fan Page Templates- and Outsourcing

  10. says

    Seeing the site as a consumer is very important rather than treating the optimization process as an expert. I have to agree with the things mentioned above. But as for me, I have only 2 core principles in optimizing a page for conversions:

    – don’t confuse the visitors. Through navigation, content, design and element placements. It’s best to directly lead them to where you want them to land.
    – use a strong call to action, always. Psych yourself as if you have just read the content for the first time.
    Jason Acidre just posted How It Took Me 2 Days and 1 Backlink To 2nd Page of Google For a High Competition Keyword

  11. says

    Thinking like a consumer is what it’s all about!

    I think, as marketers, the biggest problem we have when trying to think like a consumer is what you might call the “curse of knowledge”. Simply being aware of consumer purchase trends makes it hard for marketers to really sit in the shoes of the average consumer. My perspective on consumption has changed dramatically since I’ve started working in marketing. You almost have to employ a kind of method acting to really get into the right state of mind…at least I do.

    I take a little swing through the McDonalds drive through, have a burger, and take a stroll through Walmart before I make any assessments about a given landing page.

  12. says

    hwy Kyle you have a good point there. what I do is have friends and other people I know outside o marketing look at it, and give me an honest opiniion. also. part of it is a matter of really knowing what your customer wants and needs. most people I meet online think niche research means picking out a keyword. this lazy attitude towards market research is why so many people fail. if you dont know your customers, you won’t sell anything.
    James Pruiit just posted Advanced Search Tracking- Keeping Up With Your Syndicated Content

  13. says

    I have always said that even that SEO Optimization is important, optimizing for your user is a lot better. I will always focus in my user first and then I focus on the search engines.

    And yes a good way to optimize for the user is by giving them a good website experience, I remember the book I read Don’t Make Me Think, and they talk a lot about this part.

    Great post…
    Luis Posselt just posted Tutorial Joomla

  14. says

    One way that I’ve found is a good test for knowing when something seems to “salesy” instead of actually helping out my reader is to write a post with a particular person in mind. On my blog, I literally write some posts to answer a question from a specific person. Then any recommendations to buy, etc that I have would be advice that I would actually give to that person if we were to be talking face to face. What do you think? Do you ever do that, Alex from down under?
    TJ McDowell just posted Canon Rebel T2i Video Mode Review

  15. says

    Thanks for the info. Any chance that you could give an example of a well constructed site (for physical product affiliate sites) and a bad example? Great resource here, Im reading article after article.
    Pat just posted Acne Remedies

  16. says

    Alex I must say I verify the correctness of your observations/experiences … experience we all go through but few, the likes of you, learn lessons from them and help others learn without going through the pain of experimenting.

    Commendable work …
    Azam just posted Haircut at Supercuts



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