A page with “high conversion intent” does not mean it will be a high converter. This is because the intent of the user changes based on where the user came from.
When doing conversion and monetization optimization, we split traffic by channels and website paths. And this post walks you through the reasoning as to why the same “high intent” content can have different conversion rates.
If you’re looking to maximize revenue on a website, split the conversions out by both channel and intent. The same page could have very different conversion rates solely based on the channel or page the person came from.
Below you’ll learn how customer intent changes on the same page for:
- SEO & PPC
- Social Media (Paid)
- Email Newsletter
- Clicking From Another Page
For this article I use a product page as the example, but the same concept applies to blog posts, collections or categories, and long form lead gen. There are more channels like YouTube, influencer, social media organic, etc… and the intent changes for each as the user is in a different stage of the conversion funnel.
SEO & PPC
When optimizing or advertising product pages for SEO and PPC, the traffic you bring in has high intent because you can control the phrases you show up for. Instead of bidding on or optimizing for “which tshirt is good for hot weather” (this phrase is someone doing research and is not ready to shop), you can show up for “small breathable green cotton tshirts” which is someone looking for a specific product.
Pro-tip: The research phrase above is better for affiliate, YouTube, or guide content as a touchpoint.
The more specific the query, the more likely it is to convert. These specifications are known as SEO modifiers. Someone looking for tshirts knows they are ready to buy a tshirt, but is it long sleeve, crew neck, for exercise, a graphic tee, etc… By making it less generic and including large, red, crewneck undershirt, lightweight, good for running, etc… and by having the product page display these details, you’re more likely to get the conversion.
Bonus Tip: Ways you can meet your consumers needs on a product page include:
- Listing your return policies and money back guarantees below the call to action (reinforces the purchase is safe)
- Content about the feel, fit, compatibility with other products, styles, or colors
- Reviews and testimonials (especially with customer photos)
- Price points (and how much of a savings the person gets if it is on sale)
- With clothing, remember lots of people are in between sizes, and making a mention of how a large fits if you’re in between medium and large builds confidence.
- This same concept applies to electronics if it is in between new releases and the person needs a temporary and to services as well
Paid Social Media
Although paid social media and PPC are similar with building target audiences, the reason the person is on the site or platform is different than a search engine. You can target someone searching Google, Bing, or YouTube when they’re looking for a specific product. i.e. what is the best lightbulb with XYZ style base that dims. But the person on social could be there for memes, to talk to friends or family, or watch a “how to” video and they already have the product in hand.
Pro-tip: Even if your ad is “how to change a lightbulb” and features the lightbulb, the person likely already has one. It’s why they’re watching the video on how to use it. Get them into your remarketing for the next time they have to purchase, or sell something complementary.
In this case the PDP won’t always be a direct money conversion, but if you know the bulb needs replaced in 6 months, tag them with an interest in that lightbulb and start the campaign to show the light bulb in about 5 and a half months. Use this opportunity to get them to subscribe to you so you can market back to them. And if you have related products niche wise, try advertising those.
The lightbulb conversion won’t be immediate, and you’ll need multiple touch points, but the conversion will happen if done correctly. It’s just a longer time frame and a bit more expensive. This touch point could also lead to other product sales, so don’t count it out.
Bonus-tip: Make sure you tag and track the user journey (in a legal way). This way you can see how they found you and which channel resulted in a conversion. This lets you know where to focus efforts and budgets, and where to pull from.
Your own subscriber or customer list converts because the subscribers knows you and trust you. They signed up or already shopped. People on a third party list may not have heard of your company before, or they are not actively looking for your products and services, and that’s why conversion rates could be lower. This includes affiliates, co-marketing, third party purchases, and sponsorships. Each of these email newsletters and lists has a different intent.
Pro-tip: Become familiar with CANSPAM before starting a campaign.
Affiliate or blog subscribers have a trust in the site they subscribe to. If the list owner gives their word you’re legit, you will see higher conversions because the trust is there. Purchasing a third party list doesn’t mean anyone actually opted in, you have to build the trust and hope everything is actually legal. Here’s a few situations with conversion theory as to “why” conversion intent changes on product pages.
- In-house – your own subscribers will convert higher if you give them relevant products to their current needs. If you sell gardening supplies and it is spring season, don’t send bulbs which need planted in the fall. Instead send veggie seeds to your audience of vegetable gardeners as this is the time they order.
- Affiliate and third party – These may get some conversions, but you have to win their trust. The user trusts the affiliate or co-sponsor because they subscribed to them. But the list owner may not have done a good job pre-selling or your landing page doesn’t match their intent. See if the selling points in the newsletter match what is on your product page to build relevance. It may help increase conversions.
- Purchased lists – I’ve got no advice here other than spend your money wisely. We never recommend buying lists for any reason. But others do so I’m including it as an option.
Clicking From Another Page
When someone clicks from one page on your site to another, the conversion intent changes. Start by looking how the person came to your site as the beginning of the intent, then why they made it to this page.
Is the person comparing two products (hotels, phone cases, costumes, etc…), looking for an image or example because you mentioned the product in a blog post, or is it someone that did a site search and the product page showed up.
Visitors to a product page from two similar blog posts can have different intent. If the content is about Victorian architecture and cabinetry, they’re interested in the style but not necessarily looking to shop. If it was a post of the five best Victorian dressers for a guest room, the visitor has a higher intent to purchase as they may be actively looking to to decorate a guest room in a specific style. The topics are similar, but the intent is very different.
Just because a conversion from one blog post didn’t happen doesn’t mean blog posts don’t convert. Look at why the post was created and who was supposed to have it. The informative one about style and history could be for building site structure and acquiring backlinks. The listcicle is for shopping. Both service a purpose, and together can grow your company and your brand.
If the person was doing a site search and found the product match, the intent to shop or compare is there because you’re showing you have a potential solution for them. And if it came from a cross-sell like “customers also looked at/purchased” then you may have someone comparing solutions. Shopping intent does exist, so your job is to incentivize the conversion asap for this user.
If you’re looking to maximize revenue on a website, split the conversions out by channel and intent. The same page will have different conversion rates solely based on the page the person came from and how the person entered your website. By knowing this you can maximize revenue and know when to show what type of promos or calls to action for each user.