Getting traffic to a website is only a piece of the online marketing puzzle.
To make your traffic-generation efforts count, you also need to focus on strategies that push your visitors down a conversion funnel that’s molded around their goals.
Remember, you can’t win your target audience’s trust just by churning out pieces of content that blatantly attempt to sell your brand. While there’s nothing wrong with parading your unique selling points, online users care more about the value propositions will benefit them.
This is where it can get a bit tricky, especially for solopreneurs or small startups on a tight budget.
To put things in perspective, standard brand-building and digital marketing campaigns involve different aspects that can be difficult to handle alone. There’s content development, social media marketing, newsletter management, and a dozen other activities that are best done with a full-service team behind your back.
However, there are still a handful of opportunities that will enable you to attain significant results with much less work.
That, my friend, is what we’re about to discuss today.
In this post, we’ll talk about some of the most cost-effective CRO hacks that can bolster any website’s conversion rate without a hefty investment.
Let’s get started.
#1 Building Authority Through Q&A Websites
In a hyperconnected world, utilizing Q&A websites like Quora has two-fold benefits for underfunded marketers.
First, they can function as a free content idea generation platform that can fuel your content strategy. And second, they also serve as content distribution channels that will push your brand right in front of users who need your solutions.
It starts with a keyword that will help you find questions that you can answer with your own content.
For example, let’s say you own a small event planning company that focuses on weddings.
Quora is really an awesome platform and completely underused by marketers, companies, startups and executives and this is why this is one of my favorite CRO hacks. With the right strategy, you can turn Quora into a lead generation machine. On Quora, you can enter a simple query like “find a wedding planner” to look for questions that your prospective leads are asking.
If not done yet, you should definitely incorporate Quora to your content marketing strategy. If you don’t have a post on your website that satisfies any of these questions, then the first order of business is to create one right away. While you’re at it, you can also inspect some of the questions already posted to find unique solutions from the Quora community — unless, of course, you’re already 100% confident in your ability to answer these questions in an insightful and comprehensive way.
Once you have the content ready, the next step is to start answering similar questions while leaving a link for readers who may be interested in your brand.
The only rule you need to remember is to write a self-sufficient answer that provides value to users without requiring them to click your link. Try not to mislead the audience by embedding a link in a dubious manner, like forcing an optimized anchor text or sounding too “salesy.”
In relation to the example above, here’s an answer that rewards readers with useful information as well as naturally leaves a link to the brand’s website:
#2 Generate and Showcase Testimonials
If there’s one thing an online consumer trusts more than high-profile celebrity endorsements, it’s the recommendations of peers — be it friends, family, or previous customers whom they can relate with.
Statistics show that 85 percent of consumers believe in online reviews and testimonials as if they’re from someone they know.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a well-known company or a local business they’ve never heard of before. As long as the review is convincing and legitimate, they are more likely to trust and purchase from any brand. Getting and showcasing testimonials is so easy and this is why we love this CRO hack.
To use positive reviews to your advantage, you need to start generating them first. A simple strategy is to automate an email that requests for reviews whenever a customer completes a transaction with you.
For underfunded brands, even a free email marketing tool like MailChimp can definitely get the job done. It features pre-built automation templates that will help you set up a review request email in mere minutes.
The most obvious use case for this kind of automation workflow would be e-commerce brands that can track purchases.
If you already have an established social media presence, you can also organize a simple contest that incentivizes the act of posting positive remarks or user-generated content regarding your brand.
For example, you can launch a social media contest with the right tools to encourage existing leads to upload positive about your brand in exchange for something valuable. It could be a free product, a special discount, branded merchandise, or anything else that your target audience can appreciate.
Below is an example of a straightforward social media contest that can effectively generate user-generated content for a brand:
Apart from supplying your content marketing front with valuable user submissions, a social media contest also lets you leverage your audience’s own reach to spread brand awareness.
#3 Improve Your Website’s Performance
Believe it or not, your website’s loading speed plays a pivotal role in your conversion rate optimization efforts. It will allow you to gain more traffic and generate more leads.
Making sure your visitors stay actually get to see your content.
It’s a well-known fact that longer load times are linked to higher bounce rates, which pertain to users who abandon a website without viewing a different page. Having a fast-loading site is one of these proven website design tips to help you fuel your business growth
Statistics show that up to 40 percent of consumers won’t think twice about leaving a site that takes over 3 seconds to load — up to 53 percent for those who are mobile.
In other words, you are losing around half your potential customers just because you have a slow site.
Fortunately, there are several ways a small brand can optimize their website’s performance in a cinch:
Removing Unnecessary Elements
Although a website’s “visual factor” is important in capturing the audience’s attention, they sometimes become distractions that pull the focus away from relevant conversion elements — not to mention that the excessive use of visuals will cause your website to consume more bandwidth when loading.
Leveraging a CDN
For brands that cater to the international crowd, leveraging a CDN could be the single tactic they need to elevate the user experience.
Short for Content Delivery Network, a CDN reduces latency by utilizing a network of proxy servers. These share the load of caching and serving website data to nearby users to make sure everything runs smoothly.
Compressing Your Assets
Lastly, you can lower your website’s bandwidth requirements by reducing the file size of assets, particularly images and custom codes, with the right tools.
For images, Compressor.io or Imagify.io can be used to automatically compress your assets without affecting their quality. For custom codes, MinifyCode is the go-to option for website owners with no prior web development experience.
Apply this CRO hack by improving your site load time today and you will be on the right path to success!
#4 Double Down on Guest Posts
Everybody knows that an authoritative brand isn’t built overnight.
In fact, it may take several months or even years before you make a reputable and authoritative name in your industry.
The good news is, you don’t actually need to own the authority before you can leverage it to earn your target audience’s trust. If you manage to get featured in a popular site via a review, interview, or guest post, readers who already trust that publisher or influencer may immediately adopt a positive perception of your brand.
These are highly qualified leads who could be ready to make a purchase decision based on the information they read.
As a small brand, guest posting is probably the most viable strategy for you — except if your target customers are webmasters who could publish a review about your brand.
To do guest posting, the first step is to look for sites in your niche that accept guest contributions.
A simple approach is to perform a search on Google with a seed keyword with the term “guest post” (including the quotation marks).
For example, if you’re in the carpet cleaning business, your query could look like this:
The results should include popular websites in your niche that also accept guest posts from brands like yours — assuming, of course, you’re not a direct competitor.
From then on out, your content development strategy will depend on existing guest posting guidelines that webmasters may prescribe.
Keep in mind that websites typically allow contributors to include an author byline, which may contain a link to your own website. To make a solid first impression to their readers, always aim to overdeliver when writing guest posts.
The least you can do is to spice up your content with visual elements. Canva, for example, will allow you to whip up an attention-grabbing featured image, which will make it easier to promote your post on social media.
So, start looking for guest blogging opportunities in your niche, write 1 or 2 guest posts and outreach to them. Done! You've implemented a new CRO hack!
#5 Spread Your Content Everywhere
Aside from sites that accept guest posts, there are a handful of other places for sharing your content and increasing your brand’s online reach.
Social media networks, message boards, online groups — most of these content distribution channels are free. You just need to be relentless in pursuing opportunities to build your presence.
Tedious, yes, but as a small brand, these are opportunities you can’t afford to miss.
Here is a quick roundup of tips you can use to successfully establish your presence in these channels:
• Be Authentic
Always remember that users don’t log into social media to read about brands — they are there to connect with other individuals, groups, and organizations that can help them solve problems. You can make your profile more approachable by using your real photo and communicating in a natural, friendly manner.
• Join Groups
Within these distribution channels are groups that further segment users according to their likes and interests. To make sure your content reaches the right crowd, seek out these groups and participate as an active member.
• Automate Social Media Sharing
Creating content and promoting it is to a high-converting sales funnel. But, it can be repetitive and time wasting when not automated. To streamline your workload, you can take advantage of social media automation tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. These platforms allow you to schedule posts ahead of time so they can be shared during your audience’s most active times.
So, how to make the most of these 5 CRO hacks as an online solopreneur?
Optimizing your website for conversions isn’t easy, especially if you’re running on a small budget.
With the strategies above, you can easily circumvent the challenges of being shorthanded and underfunded. You just need a clear direction as well as the willingness to act upon your objectives.
Do you have another conversion rate optimization hack you’d like to share with other readers? Feel free to leave a comment below. Cheers!
Subscribe to our newsletter! Join us on social networks!