Optimize Your Site To Hack Some Quick Growth

By on March 24, 2015

Optimize Your Site To Hack Some Quick Growth

Growth hacking isn’t a marketing and sales strategy per se, however it is an essential tool for spurts of growth along the continuous and gradual rise up and to the right on your business’s growth charts. One of the key applications of growth hacking is continually looking at all your marketing and sales efforts and asking the questions:

  1. How can I make the message better?
  2. How can I make the offer clearer?
  3. What could I apply to better optimize my efforts?

These questions asked over and over will help to tweak and refine every aspect of your business to make all departments convert better. A clearer marketing message will help drive more prospects to your funnel. A better sales message will convert prospects to clients with greater efficiency. Utilizing every member of your team and each department as a conversion and growth hack opportunity will catapult you scale over time so that everyone in the business takes growth under their wing as an important, essential job function.

But you have to start somewhere before you can be doing everything, everywhere. One of the best places to start assessing and improve your site is by optimizing your website. For most businesses this is the first, or highest profile interaction with clients, so it’s not only a great starting point but also an essential piece of the conversion funnel and growth hacking process.

Here are three simple actions you can take right now to increase the conversions and growth of your business by optimizing and refining your website.

Step One: List Build With A Landing Page vs. A Home Page

Many business owners make the mistake of treating their home page like their about page. The focus on their benefits, the nuts and bolts of what they do and offer and talk about themselves and their qualifications. Those are great proof points, essential even, at a certain point in the funnel, but the truth is that your home page should be a landing page if you want to see real growth. It should have a simple, clear call-to-action with really only one prime real estate action that any visitor could take. Remember the LIFT model of growth hacking that says you want to increase the clarity of your message and reduce anxiety and clutter? Clutter kills and nowhere is this more apparent or essential than your home page. Make the message as short, clear and simple as possible. No distractions, no clutter; just a clear, simple message and action to take. Make it about your prospect. What is their pain point? How are you solving that right now? How are you conveying the solve you offer? You want to get them to take an action like joining your mailing list or signing up for your membership a.s.a.p.… so how do you do that? With a clear, simple landing page vs. a home page that’s cluttered and talks about you.

Let’s look at an example: Dropbox vs. Barracuda storage solutions.

Dropbox’s website is about as clean and simple as a website comes. The offer is to sign-up or sign-in. That’s really all you notice at first and the only actions you can take. If you look around a little you’ll see there’s a link to learn more and a link to learn more about their business solutions: but even those messages aren’t website tabs, just hyperlinked text mostly hidden in the top of the page. Dropbox has mastered the clean, simple landing page vs. home page growth hack approach.

Now look at cloud storage option Barracuda. There is a primary call to action, but it’s less noticeable on the left side more than half way down on the page. There are lots of things going on at the top of the site: tabs, phone numbers, live chat options and more. It’s dark and harder to read and the call to action doesn’t look as pronounced.

You may think as a business owner that by offering so many options, you’re providing your prospects with a great host of options but the truth is you’re cluttering your site and confusing your prospects.

Consider who you know top of mind: dropbox or barracuda? That might solve any hesitations about making a clean landing page website vs. a home page website.

Step Two: Content Upgrades For Conversion

This is a great growth hack that is easy to implement and incredibly effective. You have all the Google analytics and site stats to know which posts are most effective on your website. Odds are good, too, that as a business, you’re only writing about one or two topics, right? Did you know that you can custom tailor pop-up offers to match your most popular blog posts? Implement this hack, then watch your list subscriptions rise as you offer content upgrades that match your most popular posts.

You know in today’s world that you have to consistently offer valuable, actionable content for your audience, no matter your business. Information is a great way to build value and trust with your audience and converts prospects to leads to clients. If you have an audience reading your blog posts, you’ve got prospects. One great way to convert those prospects to leads, or even clients, is to custom tailor content offering upgrades at the end of the blog posts that they’re already reading.

For example, let’s say you’re a family accountant and only write about retirement tips and college savings plan ideas to help attract new clients to your practice. If you know those are your most common, and most popular blog posts, use a widget pop-up installed on your blog to offer readers who stay on a particular post about either topic, a specific offer related to that post. If someone is on your site reading a post on the “Top 5 Tips To Save For Your Child’s College Now,” you can set a plugin like Optin Monster, to pop-up at the end of any post with a customized offer like, “Want to learn more about how to prepare for your child’s college? Enter your name and email for a free planning worksheet.” Whatever the offer is, you make it match but expand, on the topic they’re already reading. It’s a proven technique to grow your list and convert more prospects into leads.

Step Three: Start Your Own Challenge And Convert

If you were breathing in 2014 then there is no way you missed the summer “Ice Bucket Challenge” rage that trended across the country for months. That’s a great example of just how enticing, popular and viral a “challenge” can be for a business or cause. Why not start your own challenge and get people to join you?

Obviously there are some tips to follow here to really get the most out of your challenge. First, the challenge should obviously be directly related to your business in some way. For example, if you’re a physical trainer you could start a 30-day 30-minutes of activity challenge, or if you’re a financial services provider maybe it’s 30 Days of Savings. Whatever the challenge it should be relevant to your industry and what you offer. Second, it should be free and you should provide a lot of valuable content along the way. Never charge someone to join your challenge if you’re looking for a growth hack. This is really an opportunity for you to build trust with your prospects so at the end of 30-days, you’re the expert and they know and trust you. Third, to growth hack the challenge, you need to provide a landing page for your challenge and be prepared with a content plan to reach your sign-ups.

To go back to the earlier example, if you’re a physical trainer and it’s the 30-day 30 minutes of activity challenge, make a challenge video and host it on a landing page like Lead Pages or Click Funnel. Next, ask your prospects to take the challenge pledge and sign-up for the tools and encouragement they need through the challenge. Use those sign-ups to deliver consistent, highly valuable content throughout the duration of your challenge. Then when the challenge is up, you have a robust list of engaged leads you can now message with an offering of your sales and services to convert them to clients. It’s a simple and powerful growth tool for any business if you’re willing to put in the time and energy to establish it.

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right .