The fundamental role of a website should be to act as a business’s ultimate salesperson. Too often companies focus solely on the visual appeal of their website, and while this is important, it is not what’s going generate consistent sales. Functionality is the most important factor to consider when creating a successful website. Sales funnel optimization is a strategy that can help turn your website in to a lead generation and conversion machine.

What is a conversion funnel? A conversion funnel is essentially a way of visualizing and understanding the process of how potential customers become paying customers. In other words, it is the steps that your potential prospects take to become first-time customers. Paths can be long, short, direct, or complicated. Understanding the different steps of your funnel will allow you to take actions to improve its flow.

Conversion Funnel Optimization

Analyzing your conversion funnel is the best way to figure out where you are losing customers and how to fix those issues. While the conversion funnel looks different for each website, they all have three basic principals: awareness, consideration and conversion. Let’s discuss each.

Awareness. Brand awareness is the largest component of your funnel. During this step, prospects discover your business and visit your website for the first time. Tools like social media, PR, Internet marketing and advertising are commonly used to increase brand awareness and attract new customers.

Consideration. Once they’ve landed on your website, a customer will evaluate it to determine if you have the goods or services they want and if they are affordable. Two critical factors in this step are sparking consumer interest in your product or service and triggering their desire to take action.

Creating interest is important because it encourages prospects to stay on your website and look around. Inviting headlines, copy and website design elements like graphics are great factors that help generate interest in your business. Once you’ve grabbed a prospect’s attention, you can use valuable content to create a desire for your services. People most often desire a solution to a problem. Make them desire that solution. A good copywriter can be worth his or her weight in gold when turning interest into desire.

Conversion. The final and most important step in a funnel is the action step. This is the ultimate goal of your website or, in other words, the final action you want users to take. For most websites, this action is making a sale, but for others it may be signing up for a newsletter, downloading a file or taking other actions. The easiest way to get customers to take action is to make it simple and easy for them to do so. Make the process of taking action uncomplicated for consumers so they can quickly get the information they need. Do not make them navigate through hordes of pages to purchase your project. Use icons or buttons to make it clear what they should be doing.

Tips for successful funnel optimization: Think of your funnel as a set of filters. At each step, some prospects will be filtered out, leaving only the ones who are qualified to make it to the next level. One way to increase the number of consumers that make it to the final step is to extend your reach and bring more prospects into the funnel. User experience is one of the most important things to consider when optimizing your funnel. Carefully crafting your user experience can ensure that the user stays on task and keeps moving through the funnel, having been given just enough information and options at each step. This can increase the number of qualified prospects that make it all the way through your funnel and increase your conversions.