Conversion optimization is one of those terms that sounds a bit jargony and like something one would want to avoid. DIY musicians have plenty on their plate without getting overly technical about web design and ecommerce. But learning a few principles can go a long way in getting your website visitors to check out your music, find out more about you or purchase music, merch and tickets.
If you're selling stuff on your website, from music to merch, or you're promoting a concert and linking to the ticket providers, finding ways to encourage fans to buy things is an important part of online success. Though conversion optimization often focuses on sales or signups, getting people to listen to music and find out more about you is also something you can encourage.
What is Conversion Optimization?
Conversion optimization in internet marketing is described in Wikipedia as a:
"method of creating an experience for a website or landing page visitor with the goal of increasing the percentage of visitors that convert into customers."
A landing page is a single page on your website that is designed to take a visitor you've attracted through such means as social media and email newsletter links or via advertising and encourage them to request information, sign up for a newsletter, listen to music or sell them music, merch or tickets.
This can be approached a lot of different ways from putting the info and offer "above the fold", i.e. in the area that appears on one's computer screen before one starts scrolling, to creating a much longer text and image sales pitch with multiple points at which your visitor can click to take action.
The latter is a bit more likely to be found on sites marketing services or related products. For a music page it's typically better to make the music player or newsletter sign-up form or concert announcement with ticket links easily identifiable and ready to go.
Though I'm focusing on one's official website, the landing page concept is also relevant to one's social media page or blog posts when you're hoping to get some sort of response or action.
Beyond the Landing Page
But conversion optimization is also important for overall website design. Different visitors are at different stages in their relationship to you and your music. A landing page is typically designed to do one thing. A website is typically designed to do a lot of things.
So making it easy for visitors to find what interests them through clear navigation and overall simplicity is one way to get started. As one design expert encouraged:
"Improve Visitor Engagement...if you can increase the amount of time that visitors stick around by improving your visitor experience, it will impact your conversion volume, as well."
Since every page of a website can be considered a landing page, in the age of search engines and direct page links, one way to use your whole website to promote an action, like downloading a single or signing up for a newsletter, is to have a popup box that encourages just that action on whatever page your visitor first lands.
100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies
There are a wide range of resources available on the web regarding conversion optimization. KISSmetrics recently released "100 Conversion Optimization Case Studies" which gives you an idea of how obsessive you can get but also provides a lot of visual examples that you can easily browse.
Each brief example also links to the relevant post or page where more details are available.
As you see specific tactics that others have used you'll start to develop your own sense of what fits you best while taking into account your visitor's experience.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.