Increase conversion with contextual relevance

1. Review your copy to identify what visitors already know vs. what they need to know, to get an idea of their awareness level for your product or offer.

In his book Breakthrough Advertising psychologist Eugene Schwartz divided the awareness level of a prospect into five different stages: The Most Aware: Your prospect knows your product and only needs to know “the deal”. Product-Aware: Your prospect knows what you sell, but isn’t sure it’s right for him. Solution-Aware: Your prospect knows the result he wants, but not that your product ensures it. Problem-Aware: Your prospect senses he has a problem, but doesn’t know there’s a solution. Completely Unaware: No knowledge of anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion. Continuously ask yourself what your visitors’ goals, motivations, and needs are, to ascertain their awareness level. Most importantly, you need to make sure visitors understand the problem you’re solving.

2. Use the P-A-S (Problem – Agitate – Solve) formula for your sales copy to market the problem before the solution, and improve communication with prospects.

Never assume your visitors are problem or solution-aware. Even if your audience is already problem or solution-aware, you still need to remind them of their pain and how it will continue if they do not purchase your solution. Use the P-A-S formula for every email you write or every landing page and website you optimize. Follow this exact order whenever you’re writing copy: Begin with the problem. Do not start by mentioning your product or its features. Your first priority is to clearly state the problem you’re solving; your audience’s problem. Then agitate the problem, by emphasizing it and creating a sense of urgency. For instance, elaborate on what happens if the problem doesn’t get solved. How painful is the impact of inaction? How is this going to affect your prospects’ jobs, lives? Use facts, but also make sure to mix in plenty of questions and statements that dig into emotions for example, How would that make you feel?, What would you do?, Imagine… Finally, solve the problem you’ve presented; here you can start talking about your product. Make the product you are selling the obvious, no-brainer solution to the problem you’ve described. Always aim to talk about the benefits more than the features. Make your audience feel hopeful that their problems will be solved with the purchase of your product. For example, copywriter Demian Farnworth has blogged how he’d use the P-A-S formula to sell Crazy Egg, a heatmap tool: Losing visitors? (Problem). Every website loses visitors, but every person that bails is lost income, and it seems things are getting worse (agitate). If you want to stem that downward spiral then use the heatmap tool by Crazy Egg to optimize your site based on your visitors usage patterns (solve).

3. Use qualitative research methods like surveys, polls, interviews, chat logs, and support tickets to assess your prospects' awareness levels, then use those insights to optimize your sales copy.

Pinpoint the language visitors use at each awareness level. Map out everything your audience needs to know in order to be able to make a buying decision. Break down every piece of information into blog posts and drip emails to educate and move them up through the awareness stages, thus prepare them to buy.

4. Analyze Google Analytics traffic source reports to identify context, and understand the mindset your visitors had when browsing.

Instead of simply understanding where your visitors come from, go deeper and ask yourself these questions: Why were your visitors on that website? What were they looking to accomplish? What were they thinking while browsing that source of traffic? What did they read or learn on that previous website? How and why did they end up on your site? Understanding the answers to these questions will allow you to continue enhancing the visitor’s experience and possibly leverage their experience on the previous website, to further personalize your content to increase familiarity and hopefully sales. For example, a company that sells online security tools had search engines as their site’s biggest traffic source, where people were searching queries like “my gmail account got hacked”. Surveys and analysis additionally showed people were looking for fast solutions to recover their accounts, and also, they didn’t like reading long posts. When the company tailored concise step-by-step guides on recovering accounts from hackers, omitting problem-awareness content, as visitors were familiar with the problem, and adding content that promoted the security tool, the company site’s conversion increased by 55%.

5. Research how your visitors' behavior changes due to factors like device, time of day, day of the week, and what else they might be doing, and personalize content to meet these behavioral differences.

A visitor’s attention span will be much shorter on mobile than desktop, which means the content you display should be different, from the text to the images. This will also apply to the time of day that someone is browsing your website, or are they at home or work, sitting or walking, in a hurry, or just browsing? For example, Yelp gives dinner recommendations if it’s past 6:00 p.m. where the user logs in, which is a brilliant personalization of the content it displays based on geo-location and the time of day. It’s what makes Yelp as relevant as possible. In another example, Bizible studied how the weekend impacted the volume of leads and conversions for B2B businesses, and they found, unsurprisingly, conversions were significantly lower on the weekend. This information can be used to display CTAs that require a smaller commitment, like grabbing email addresses on Saturdays and Sundays and then email the person during the week when you’ll have their full attention.