Get Ready for the Next Big Thing in Marketing: Conversion Marketing

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This is your chance to be ahead of the curve in understanding a new marketing trend – a trend that is just beginning to make its first waves. I’ll tell you exactly what Conversion Marketing is, but first, let me give you a little background.

Internet marketing basically tracks with the way Google operates. As the automated processes of this gigantic software machine become more and more sophisticated, websites have gone through mutation after mutation, trying to keep up. Google’s purpose is to develop the programming that results in users receiving the most relevant, useful content in response to their search requests. As Google passed through each new phase, web developers scrambled to figure out the latest system being used and then, unfortunately, all too often tried to work out ways to scam the processes. For awhile, the best scammers arrived at the top of the search results and better-quality sites were shut out.

For a few years, we had a lot of websites that people could barely read. But because they were filled with the right keywords, Google offered them at the top of the search results. The problem was that they omitted persuasive sales copy. They might land at the top of the search results, but no one would ever buy anything after landing on that page.

That Was Followed by the Backlink Storm

Then there was the era of buying, trading or otherwise acquiring backlinks. This meant that another site (the more prestigious, the better) placed links on their site that led back to your website. This was supposed to mean that some other site owner found your content relevant and useful. What it ended up meaning, really, was that some sites began to sell backlinks to anyone. “Link farms” sprang up – these were groups of sites that all linked to each other. Well, this practice got so out of hand that finally, Google began penalizing sites with too many backlinks. Penalizing, in Google terms, means that if you would normally have shown up on page two of their search results, now you end up on page 355.

In general, Google is working hard to deliver the goods. Their refinements, while painful at times, have been moving in the right direction. Now, when you search for “Florist, Mobile, Alabama,” you actually get a list of florists in that city, rather than a lot of listings for brokers like FTD Florists who will send your order to a shop in Mobile and take their cut.

Taking a Cue from Google

What Google values now is content that readers find valuable. They advise you to “create a useful, information-rich site.” “Make pages primarily for users, not search engines.” “Think about what makes your site unique, valuable and engaging.”

So now we find ourselves in this this brave new world of content that is valuable and engaging for consumers. The next big wave that is predicted is the business of shaping that content to convert visitors to your site into purchasers, members, subscribers or supporters. In essence, you are activating them. Perhaps you’re a non-profit and you just want them to come carry signs at your next human rights demonstration. But a cosmetics company would want people to become buyers. On the way to becoming buyers, however, their visitors might first be newsletter subscribers or free sample recipients.

So a new type of marketing is now developing, Conversion Marketing. Have you ever started an online purchase and then abandoned the shopping cart because you changed your mind or found a better deal somewhere else? Any company with a shopping cart wants to make sure you make it all the way to “SUBMIT.” So an easy shopping experience, customer feedback after the sale and sharp customer service all contribute to the conversion of as many site visitors as possible into customers. Also, emails telling you your product has been shipped or asking about satisfaction with the sale enhance their ability to build that loyal relationship with you.

Have you ever visited a site and suddenly seen a chat window pop open or a figure appears and begins talking to you? These are some of the conversion marketing techniques being used.

The more a site can scrape up any personalized information to offer you by tracking your path through their site, the more likely you are to stay on the site and buy something. Have you ever noticed when you are thinking of buying something on Amazon, they will tell you what other people bought WITH the item you are considering? And Netflix offers you other movies that are similar to the one you just watched.

A site should also make it completely painless to sign up for newsletters, download free items, find a phone number to call, learn your location, your hours and so on. Once you read an article about restoring vintage cars, you should be offered free tutorial videos relevant to car restoration and oh, by the way, here’s where you can buy parts for your ’57 Chevy or ’67 Mustang.

As internet marketing grows into maturity, it’s a relief to see that marketing methods are being directed at the consumer where they always belonged, not at the automation that is Google’s vast indexing machine. With intelligent Conversion Marketing, people actually find products and services they are interested in. A company has a chance, finally, to build a real relationship with customers because they are talking to the right people and offering them the right products. Everyone benefits. Except the scammers, who have, fortunately, gone to the end of the line where they belong.