How To Grow Traffic & Conversions With HubSpot Marketing Hub
How To Increase Traffic To Your Website
If you are a marketer or involved with your company’s website in any way, a metric that you may often look at is the amount of traffic coming to your site. Increasing traffic to your site is important but have you thought about the quality of your visitors? The higher the quality of your traffic means the more conversions you will see. Traffic for traffic’s sake is unlikely to improve sales or help grow your business.
The purpose of this article is to discuss ways to increase the volume of quality traffic to a website but to also improve conversion of that traffic on the site. We will also look at how HubSpot as a marketing platform can simplify, automate and report on many of the processes that are involved, reducing time, improving conversion and increasing ROI.
It stands to reason that better qualified or quality traffic on a website is likely to deliver better results in terms of conversion and revenue we look at how to convert traffic more successfully later on this article, but the first step is clearly to deliver the traffic to the site in the first place.
What is Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)?
Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is the process of optimising landing pages and website pages to produce more conversions from traffic, by reaching the required audience more effectively and focusing on the people who are actually looking to pay for those services. What’s great about CRO is that it helps you get the most out of the traffic that you already have, increasing ROI. CRO can also apply to digital advertising content but we’re going to focus on landing and web pages here.
When you give users a better experience you can improve conversions by converting users to customers in fewer visits. You are also likely to positively impact customer lifetime value (the value of a single customer over the entire time they buy from you) because customers are happy with their experience and feel confident in returning to your website again and again. It’s also good to remember that a small increase in conversion rate can mean a large increase in revenue.
CRO & The Buyer’s Journey
Now we have explained what CRO is and what it can be used for, it’s clear to see the value it offers as part of an effective digital marketing strategy. After all, if your paid and organic search is delivering the right traffic but it is not converting then ROI as well as revenue will be adversely affected. We’ve looked at how to generate greater quantities of better-quality traffic and later in the article we will examine some practical ways to improve your CRO. It’s worth being clear now though that the Buyer’s Journey is a key element in deciding what your website pages should be providing for different types of customers. After all, a customer who isn’t sure what their problem or need is will require different help and information to the customer that is already well-informed and is making a final choice between options.
‘Illustration to demonstrate the key stages of the typical Buyer’s Journey’ – Credit HubSpot.
Understanding the buyer’s journey that your customers go through is key to a successful CRO strategy. Be aware though, different audience segments may experience different buyer’s journeys. You need to understand your audience and know what to offer visitors who are in different stages of their buyer’s journey. For example, if a visitor is part of the awareness stage you should consider offering more educational content that helps them identify their specific problem whilst including information about your company as this may be the first interaction they have had with your brand. They are in the research or consideration stage, when they have identified their problem and are sure what the issue is. They are now looking for potential solutions so educational, comparative and helpful content that shows them options will be received well. Visitors in the decision stage will have decided how they want to resolve their problem and will be weighing up the available solutions so this is the stage where information about specific USPs, benefits, special offers etc will be most effective.
Calculating Conversion Rate
You may be familiar with conversion rates, they express the percentage of visitors coming to a website or landing page that convert by meeting a business goal, for example when a visitor submits a contact or lead generation form or makes a purchase. A conversion is a measurable action that progresses a potential customer towards becoming an actual customer and it’s one of the best ways to measure the performance of your web and landing pages. It is also a great way to measure the improvement in your CRO. There is a simple calculation to work out the conversion rate on a website…
Conversion rate = (conversions / total visitors) * 100%
One thing to bear in mind as you calculate your conversion rate is the reality of your data, for example a landing page with an 100% conversion rate seems impressive until you realise that you have only had one visitor.
Implementing Best Practice Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
A good place to start is to consider where and why you might be losing conversions, that is why visitors are bouncing of a specific page instead of performing the conversion you want there. This means considering the purpose of the page, from both the company and visitor point of view. Does it answer the question it is supposed to, is it relevant, does it lead the visitor to more related information, does it offer easy ways to move along the buyer’s journey? What about calls to action (CTAs)?
If you are running paid campaigns for example, you should be sending your traffic to a dedicated landing page that is specific to the campaign and offers the content that the campaign content promises. This is because those visitors are looking for something very specific and have clicked on an ad because it appeared to be relevant and answer their question. It is unlikely that a standard web page on a website would be specific enough to engage with that visitor and respond to their specific query smoothly while leading them to convert.
While CRO is an art, there are a number of tools that can make the process far simpler to implement and manage. We have found HubSpot to be the most user-friendly, intuitive digital marketing platform for this purpose so we’ll use that as an example for our purposes here.
Using HubSpot For Conversion Rate Optimisation
HubSpot is a platform that simplifies, improves and automates customer engagement from first contact and throughout the customer lifetime. It encompasses a wide range of functionality and integrations and you can find out more about the platform and the Inbound Methodology it evangelises here. However, for the purposes of this article we’ll focus on how HubSpot facilitates effective CRO.
Building Effective Landing & Website Pages
As HubSpot has CMS functionality it allows users to easily create landing and website pages tailored to meet visitor’s needs. Those pages can be rich with additional functionality that includes contact and capture forms, topic specific chat bots and nurture workflows adding to the conversion potential and engagement of the page. Behind the page, the platform’s built-in automation and integration records the visitors interactions with the page, adds them to the relevant lists and segments and notifies the right people so that they can respond appropriately. Effective data management functionality enables useful segmentation and properly planned workflows, relevant to those segments, automated nurture and follow up. This allows the business to maintain the best practice contact with the prospective customer and deliver helpful content in order to draw them further along the buyer’s journey, building engagement and increasing the chances of further conversion. As well as looking at the content offered on your pages, it is essential to consider the overall user experience delivered by each page too. Make finding information, additional content and tasks as easy as possible for your users and reduce friction in their buyer’s journey. You can do this in a number of ways but look first at some of these areas.
- Forms – Keep forms simple and only ask for the absolute essentials. You can always garner more data about your visitor in later stages but the greater the number of fields the higher the likelihood of a visitor not engaging.
- Usability – This is more an SEO issue, but it is a key requirement. You can’t expect your visitors to have to work to interact with you. They just won’t, they’ll move on to your competitor instead. Ensure that the site works well on all browsers and devices, especially mobile. Test forms, check navigation and links. The site needs to be functionally seamless to deliver a good user experience.
- Walk in their footsteps – by this we mean, put yourself in your users’ shoes. Start on each of your key landing pages (you can use Google Analytics to help you establish which pages are most landed on) and work through the journey your users take from there. Use Hotjar or similar on pages that aren’t performing to see where the points of friction are that are causing users to leave the page. You should plan out journeys for all your different audiences from each of the key areas of your site towards conversion and remove as much friction as possible for each one. This process is really a basic UX (User Experience) exercise and can become complex. We have trained UX experts as part of our team who would be glad to help you work through your user journeys. If you’d like to talk to us about your UX, just get in touch, we’re happy to offer advice!
Page Comparison Testing For Better CRO
It’s hard to know exactly how to present the different elements on a webpage for best results. That is why it’s advisable to compare options in a live setting. This allows the business to see which types of page perform best, what elements work most effectively and what really doesn’t work well at all.
Testing Different Page Options
Start by coming up with a hypothesis. By this we mean, pick an element of the page that you think could be impacting your webpage’s performance. It’s essential that you only test one difference at a time, otherwise you won’t know which difference is responsible for the results you see.
Make some educated guesses, using your knowledge of the site, your Google Analytics data and any other data you may have from performance tools like Hotjar, about which site elements have the biggest impact on your conversion rate and profitability. Here are a few of the most common areas of impact you could consider first:
- Headline - did you know 80% of your audience won’t get past your headline? Make it relevant, interesting and short to entice them to read on. If it isn’t what they are looking for you’ve already lost them
- Offer - try different content, language, tone or layout to see what works best for your audience. Is there a better way to present the content which makes it easier to access and digest? Is it full enough, is all the information they need there?
- Calls to Action – Consider what you are actually asking the visitor to do. Why should they? What’s in it for them? Is it clear enough? Also, make it visually appealing and easy to find try using different fonts, colour, size or placement of your CTA to find what works best.
- Media – A picture paints a thousand words so using pictures that align with the visitor persona and the message you are trying to express can help. For example, if a business is selling soothing baby products, images of happy or sleeping babies will reinforce the message and represent the thing the visitor is trying to achieve. Try with and without an image like that to test the theory.
Once you’ve made your hypothesis, decided what to test in a first round and created your two-page designs to compare, it’s time to run your test. There are a number of ways to test pages and how you go about it will depend on the platform your site is managed via. If you’d like some help with planning and implementing some page comparison tests, we have extensive experience across a range of platforms and would be happy to advise and help, just get in touch!
A/B & Adaptive Testing In HubSpot
Whilst we’re discussing testing, an easy and effective way to test versions of the same page against each other is by A/B testing (where you test 2 versions) or Adaptive testing (where you test multiple versions). To run an A/B or adaptive test, all you have to do is set up at least two different variants of a page and split your traffic between them. Again, how you run A/B or Adaptive testing will depend on your website management platform or CMS.
A/B testing and Adaptive testing can be run easily using the HubSpot functionality. It works by serving 2 versions of the same page to visitors to the site, some get version 1, others see version 2. The platform collects data on how visitors interact with each version allowing the user to test different elements of the page to get the most effective combination in place.
Example of A/B Testing Results Page In HubSpot
The point of conversion is often the point at which the visitor offers their data to the business, whether signing up for something, making contact or making a purchase. This makes form central to the CRO process. Let’s look at how to make them as effective as possible.
Have you ever visited a page where you were interested in the offer but were then put off by the length of the form required to take advantage of it? It’s important to gather the right data from your visitors but one reason that users don’t convert is because there’s friction in the process. By shortening your forms to the bare necessities, you’ll create trust amongst your audience. A shorter form is easier to fill in so more likely to get conversions.
As well as simplifying your forms, you should think about where you place your form on your page and this will depend on what you are offering. You can set up A/B testing to identify which form works best for you.
Types Of Forms To Choose From
Pop-up forms are a great way to get your visitors attention and by adding these to your pages you can catapult your conversion rates. Some quick tips for getting high conversion rates from pop up forms are:
- Trying a different offer
- Trying a time delay
- Trying different positions of the pop up
- Making it easy to close the pop up
- Set the pop-up to only appear once over a certain amount of time
Pop ups are an effective way to see more conversions, one thing to bear in mind is you don’t want to overdo it with pop up forms, it’s important not to have a pop-up form on every page of your site and to not show the same pop-up until a certain amount of time has passed. The objective is to intrigue and help, not irritate!
Mentioned earlier, live chat has become a popular way to communicate with site visitors because it allows them personalised interaction in a convenient and recordable way. When a web visitor doesn't convert, they might have a question or concern about your product or service. To avoid losing potential customers, you should consider adding live chat to your site. With live chat, your customer service or sales employees can alleviate concerns of prospects who are on the fence. Consider a visitor who has searched your site for a period of time then goes to leave, a live chat notification as they go to leave offering help could be just the thing to re-engage the visitor.
Social proof, such as adding testimonials to your site, builds trust with your visitors. The more narrative and personal those proofs are, the more likely they are to resonate with your audience. Without a doubt, your reputation and online presence impact your conversion rate. It should be apparent to potential customers that your current customers have had a good experience buying a product or service from your business, so make it easy for them to see how satisfied your current customers are with video, testimonials and reviews.
Maintaining Efficacy Post-Conversion
The need for CRO strategies doesn’t automatically cease once the conversion has happened, it is key that the user experience continues to be excellent after the visitor has completed the action you wanted them to and they have converted. After all, a conversion isn’t necessarily a sale, so you need to keep the momentum going with that visitor to drive them towards ultimately becoming a customer and hopefully a repeat customers and evangelist for your brand. HubSpot have a useful graphic that illustrates the process that they call the ‘Flywheel’. It seeks to explain what happens when a business is completely aligned on delivering exceptional customer experience. The flywheel, demonstrates the momentum that satisfied customers offer to drive referrals and repeat sales, keeping a business spinning! You can find out more about the flywheel and how HubSpot is the perfect platform to facilitate a best practice inbound marketing strategy with effective CRO in our article.
Using website data and analytics as well as visitor behaviour analysis tools like Hotjar offer valuable insight into what areas of the site are performing in terms of attracting, retaining and converting good quality traffic. Examining bounce rate, time on page, setting, tracking and measuring conversions, numbers of returning and new visitors etc will all help to guide your traffic generation and CRO activity. HubSpot offers its own intuitive reporting functionality but now also integrates with Google Sheets to allow data from multiple sources to be drawn together and analysed more effectively.
Analysing data from these sources is invaluable in better understand your audience because it will highlight the content that is driving the most traffic, where visitors are being lost and which pages on your site are delivering the most conversions. With this information, you can tailor your content strategy and CRO to create the right content user journey to optimise results.
Technical & On-Page SEO
The results of your website data analysis might also indicate that your website is not performing optimally. Search Engines rank web pages based on a huge number of elements that include page speed, code quality, alt tags as well as content relevance. Making sure your website is technically healthy is imperative in order to get full value from your traffic and CRO efforts. We find that HubSpot’s inbuilt SEO Optimising functionality is excellent in helping to maintain SEO health as websites grow.
Tools such as SEM Rush and MOZ offer site health analysis and are invaluable in determining what needs attention and how urgently. Our Tech SEO team would be happy to help you run a full audit of your site health to ensure it is working effectively.
Content Planning For Buyer Personas
This might seem obvious but content is absolutely crucial to good SEO visibility, ranking for the right keywords and to engaging with visitors. After all, it is content that search engines use (amongst other elements) to decide if a webpage should be served in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in response to a user search enquiry. It’s not quite as simple as just writing blogs, news stories and new website pages though. It needs thought and strategic planning which is where content strategies come in. Before you can start developing a content strategy or even auditing your existing content though you have to know who you are writing for and what they need to know. Creating buyer personas will help you to understand the audience you want to reach, and to provide the right content to attract them to your website.
Once you understand your audience and have a targeted content plan in place, don’t forget to share your new (and evergreen) content on social media and in email newsletters to reach a larger audience. Remember the more traffic your post generates, the higher it will rank in search engines and the effect becomes cumulative. Evergreen articles can be incredibly valuable as they build position and continue to deliver value over longer periods of time.
Content Creation - Pillar Pages and Topic Clusters
As your content collection starts to grow on the subjects that matter most to your audience and business. You should aim to be seen as a topic expert by Google, other search engines and your audience. You could work toward this by creating a pillar page which essentially is a longer and more detailed blog post that broadly covers all aspects of a topic. Once you’ve written your pillar page, you can look at creating topic clusters which are supporting articles or blogs that go into more depth on related sub-topics that link from it, targeting long tail keywords to show you’ve fully covered a topic. Focusing on content like this will not only help with your long-term traffic generation, but it will also be key to ranking higher for your important keywords on search engines.
How HubSpot Supports Best Practice Content Creation
As part of HubSpot’s SEO feature, users can create topic clusters where they can connect pillar pages to topic cluster pages. The functionality enables effective reporting and visibility on performance as well as straightforward content management.
Value and Differentiation
It’s possibly a touch basic but bears reinforcement – if you want to be heard above the noise and be seen by your target audience it is necessary to be clear about why you are different from the competition and why they should choose you. As the digital marketplace gets busier this is more important than ever. Whether it’s your clear attractive messaging, ethical standpoint, free delivery or unique package options; your difference is what will attract visitors.
Paid Advertising is great way to drive traffic to your website quickly. Though it is not suitable as a sole strategy for digital marketing it works exceptionally well as a means to boost traffic around specific campaigns or segments. Depending on your business and industry, it’s likely you will use a combination of different types of advertising as part of your digital marketing strategy. With search engines, you can run pay-per-click or retargeting ads and with social media you can run display ads or sponsored posts. Measuring the performance of your ads is essential to manage ROI and will enable you to understand which channels work best for your business. Measurement can be done natively but it is also possible to connect your ad accounts with HubSpot so that all your data, regardless of channel, can be analysed and compared effectively in one place, comprehensively. We find that access to this data comparison offers unique insight and offers significant efficiencies.
Organic Social Media
Social media differs in relevance for different business types and tends to be more valuable for B2C brands, but nevertheless continues to be an important part of many digital marketing strategies. The key to creating differentiation and value is to be an early adopter of new features, working out how new functionality can be manipulated to best advantage in opening a new channel of communication between you and your audiences. For example, Facebook’s automated lead generation feature on messenger allows business to create an automated chatbot experience to link to content offers on a site, which is a great way to drive traffic to your website.
HubSpot’s Marketing Pro offers an integrated and effective social media management suite, negating the need for a yet another separate platform like Hootsuite etc to keep track of your social interactions. It allows users to automate a number of tasks, including scheduling posts in advance across a number of platforms helping you to efficiently plan and execute social media campaigns and ultimately save time.
Chatbots and Livechat in HubSpot
While not strictly speaking traffic generation tools, chatbots and live chat are proven to aid retention and engagement as well as contribute to conversion. Interestingly, the HubSpot chatbot function integrates with Facebook Messenger to create a chat flow on Facebook messenger all within the HubSpot system. Ease of use and seamless integration make these options both easy to implement but offer frictionless service from a customer point of view
Once you start seeing a more traffic visiting your site, you can then look at focusing on improving your conversion rate.
Once you are seeing traffic and conversions increase, it’s time to nurture these leads and engage with them to build the relationship. The process of lead nurturing involves engaging with the converted visitors by providing relevant information, supporting and offering educational content throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.
When creating your lead nurturing strategy, you should think about the following:
- Targeted content - writing content designed for your audience, focusing on where they are in your buyer’s journey with the intent of drawing them towards making a purchase decision in your favour.
- Multi-channel lead nurturing - try to reach and nurture your audience on multiple channels.
- Multiple touches – try communicating with your target audience with a mix of content types and channels to increase your interactions and engagement.
- Timely follow ups - follow up with your leads in a timely manner to keep them engaged and interested, you might consider remarketing to them to keep your brand front and centre of their minds.
- Personalised emails – personalise your emails to promote customer retention.
- Lead scoring – implement a lead scoring strategy to help you determine which leads you should focus your time on.
- Sales and Marketing Alignment - Align your sales and marketing teams to improve your lead nurturing tactics and boost customer retention. In other words, make sure everyone in your organisation is driving towards the same goals and not pulling in different directions.
By creating a lead nurturing strategy and following some of the tactics we’ve suggested, your efforts are bound to be effective. Good luck! If you’d like any advice on how to get started or implement any stage of the process, we’d be glad to help, just get in touch.
How HubSpot Is Designed To Help Improve Your CRO
You now have an idea of how to improve your CRO and include it as part of your digital marketing strategy (if it’s not already). As we mentioned earlier, there are so many different elements which make up your digital marketing strategy that it is sometimes hard to balance the time and efforts needed for each one. That is why we rate HubSpot Marketing Hub so highly. All the relevant marketing tools and data are available in one easy-to-use, powerful platform. You’ll save valuable time but also increase efficiency because of the automations and integrations available that do so much of the work. The platform is centred on delivering effective inbound marketing and delivers the context, granular data and functionality needed to provide a personalised experience that attracts and converts the right customers at scale. You will be able to generate qualified leads by creating and managing your content, capturing leads and nurturing these until they’re qualified and sales-ready.
The HubSpot Marketing Hub includes the following features (don’t forget HubSpot also offers CRM, Sales, Service and CMS hubs to complete the full customer relationship management suite):
Interested In Learning More About Improving Traffic & Conversions?
Hopefully we’ve enthused you about all the opportunity there is to generate better quality traffic and convert those visitors into customers. We know it can be daunting though as well as time-consuming. Our team of SEO, PPC, CRO and HubSpot experts are here to help. Let’s have a conversion about how best to get your website performing better, what you can do to make the most difference and how we can support you to achieve that quickly. (build form with CTA ‘Ask Us For Advice On Your Traffic and CRO Strategy’)
Innovation Visual are the leading HubSpot Agency in Surrey we offer a full range of HubSpot service including HubSpot Onboarding and HubSpot CMS development. We are also HubSpot Platinum Partners.
If you found this useful, why not take a look at our other Knowledge Hub articles. There’s a wealth if useful information, advice, how to’s and strategy available there across a huge breadth of topics.