What Is Conversion in Online Marketing?

When people think of digital marketing, they usually think about online marketing or social media marketing. And that’s a fair assumption to make. After all, over 80% of the work gets done online.

But what happens when a customer interacts with a brand in a completely different way; through a mobile phone, for example? Or a chatbot? Or when a customer visits a store, but a sale doesn’t happen because of a lack of trust or a poor customer experience?

Conversion is the process of turning a visitor into a customer. And just like in physical retail, it can be a complex process involving many interactions with the customer and the brand.

The good news is that while it’s a lot to take in, the definition of conversion doesn’t change. It’s still about getting visitors to take the action you want them to take.

The Three Phases of Conversion

Conversion follows a very specific set of steps that always occur – even if the visitor comes from a different source.

There are three distinct phases to any type of conversion; 1. Interest 2. Desire 3. Action.

Getting visitors to click on a link, fill out a form, or visit a website is only the start. Marketing analytics tools like Google Analytics or Facebook’s Conversion Manager can help you better understand what happens after that initial click.

Let’s take a look at each phase in more detail.

1. Interest

First, the visitor must show interest in your product or service – this is called the “engagement” phase and it occurs when the visitor comes to your website from a search engine or through social media.

When a visitor becomes interested in your product or service, they will start showing signs of engagement – such as scrolling through your web pages, watching videos, or clicking on links to other websites or social media accounts that are related to your niche.

Take the time to understand what makes your product or service stand out from the crowd. What makes it special? What is the unique selling point (USP)?

Your USP should be valuable enough to be included in your product’s description on your website – without being too much information. Include long-tail keywords in your content that relate to your product and build a list of related products and services. Make sure to use your brand name and include keywords within your headline and body copy.

If you run a small business, you may not have the budget for expensive marketing campaigns or digital marketing tools. In that case, you can try out free marketing tools like HubSpot or Hootsuite to get you started.

2. Desire

After showing interest in your product or service, the visitor must now have a desire to purchase or try out your product or service. This is called the “conviction” phase and it occurs when the visitor comes to your website from an organic search or social media.

To start off, it’s good to have a clear picture of what the visitor wants. You can use the SEO (search engine optimization) tool Google Trends to get a quick overview of what topics your audience is searching for related to your product. You can also use social media’s analytics to track themes, phrases, and hashtags that are trending in your social media platforms.

Take the time to understand your customers’ needs and expectations. Are they looking for an easy way to find the best deals? Are they looking for specific products?

Next, you want to get the visitor to enter the “conversation” about your product or service. Start by asking questions about the customer’s experience (What is their pain point? What are they looking for? What do they expect from a brand or business they’re interested in?), then use the answers to craft a persuasive argument regarding your product or service.

Craft a compelling value proposition (this is different from a description of your product or service) that will resonate with the customer. For example, maybe you’re selling a product that helps businesses grow their Instagram following. In that case, you could offer a free demo or limited-time offer for your product.

An easy way to remember the difference between a description and a proposition is this: A description is what your product is (a chair, for example). A proposition is what your product does (reduces stress).

The good news is that you’re already in the conversation. Organic search and social media provide a unique opportunity for brands to get in front of their prospective customers. And since getting in front of your audience is one of the most effective ways to grow your business, don’t forget about this opportunity.

3. Action

After showing interest and receiving a persuasive argument for why the customer should choose your product or service, the customer must now take action. This is called the “follow-through” phase and it occurs when the customer clicks on a link or finishes a purchase on your website or social media.

To start off, make sure that your website is set up in a way that encourages the customer to take action. Give them a clear call-to-action button or link that allows them to easily find the information they need. Add a splash of color, a bold and bright text, or a graphic that is simple and easy to understand.

If you’ve ever shopped at a retail store, you may be familiar with the exit strategy. This is the process of customers leaving your store and your website with a purchase in hand. To create an easy exit strategy, include a shopping cart or a buy now button on every page. Make sure to test different methods of encouraging your audience to make a purchase.

One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to get customers to take action is by offering a free trial or a limited time offer. In addition, you can use tools like Google Analytics to determine which promotions and offers drove the most traffic to your website.

Now, you’re probably wondering how to measure the success of your conversions. When it comes to digital marketing, the standard way to measure the effectiveness of your campaign is through the use of analytics tools.

These tools will give you a clear picture of how well your website is performing and it will also show you where you might need to make changes to improve the experience for future visitors.

Final Takeaway

While it may be tempting to focus on the fun parts of marketing (such as getting a pretty graphic designed for your website), it’s essential to remember why you’re doing this in the first place. You want to grow your business, right? Well, conversion is about getting visitors to take the action you want them to take.

To get started, simply show interest in your product or service by creating content that relates to your niche. Then, create a clear call-to-action that will pull the reader into the next step. Finally, make sure to follow through with a persuasive argument to convince the customer to choose your product or service.