The Missing Link to Conversions: Relevance & How to Attain It

by Sharon Hurley Hall

Last updated on December 29th, 2017

There’s a lot of advice around on conversion optimization. We often talk about changing button colors, designing user experience and improving calls to action. All of these are important parts of conversion optimization, but what’s sometimes missing from the conversation is why we do all this.

It’s so our marketing is relevant to the people we are addressing—and that’s an aspect we can no longer ignore.

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Relevancy, SEO and Personalization

Let’s take the question of search engine optimization (SEO).

Over the last couple of years, Google has made relevance a hugely important search signal, while decreasing the importance of keywords. In search results today, it’s not just about finding the content that matches the phrase the user types in, it’s about discerning user intent and delivering the answers users really want.

The Google Knowledge Graph is just one example of this, and Google continues to tweak its algorithm and search results display so more users get the right result the first time. Ensuring that your marketing content shows up when users search in your niche will help with conversions.

Linked to this is the increasing importance of personalization which, says Eric Siu, is no longer a luxury. He says customers want more than awareness of the brands they connect with; they want to be engaged with them.

In other words, people don’t want to look at ads; they want to talk to you. But when they talk, they want to feel like they’re having their own private conversation with your rather than being on the end of a one to many broadcast.

People are used to customizing the online experience, and that’s especially true of millennials. The ability to consume TV shows when they want them via services like Netflix is taking a chunk from the bottom line of most TV and cable companies. Social sites have got in on the act, with Twitter allowing users to create custom timelines.

And even those who still look at ads want them to be relevant. The more relevant your marketing is, the more likely you are to win the click.

4 Ways to Make Marketing More Relevant

1. Identify the Audience

Since relevancy is all about being fit for purpose, the first thing you must do to improve results is identify your audience. Analytics tools will help you understand where your audience is coming from, how they found you, what they are looking for and more.

Don’t just rely on Google Analytics. Use other analytics tools and stats from your email marketing service so you can build up a comprehensive audience profile.

As part of this, think about audience segmentation. You will likely have a few different audience segments. Instead of marketing to everyone in a blanket way, tailor marketing to individual segments to be more relevant, market more effectively and deliver the kind of personal experience that most people are looking for.

This is an ongoing process. You must track your audience’s response to every piece of content so you know when it’s time to change strategy.

2. Figure Out What Matters to Them

If you’re going to be relevant, you need to be a detective and use the information you already have about your audience to figure out what’s important to them. One way to do this is to check out social media sites.

There’s a good chance that some of the people who follow you are part of your target market. Use tools like Twitrland to figure out what they talk about most. Check out mentions of your brand, visit forums and even ask questions to figure out what makes them tick. Then you can create marketing content that pushes their buttons (in a good way) and makes them click yours.

3. Be Helpful

These days, if you want to find out how to do anything, you look for the solution online. As part of your marketing, identify the problem people are trying to solve and provide the answer. That makes you more relevant both for people and search engines.

An example on Hubspot shows how Marcus Sheridan built his pool installation business by answering all his customers’ questions. His site also surfaces even when people are searching for competitors—because his content is relevant.

4. Be Mobile Ready

mobile and conversions

Image: Pixabay

To be relevant, your marketing has to be mobile ready—it’s not optional. The latest statistics from Pew Internet show that 58% of American adults own a smartphone and 35% of those over 16 own a tablet. And they’re using them.

Media consumption on mobile devices is rising, and most people get really annoyed when content doesn’t work well on the device they are using. Fail to cater for this audience and you will be dismissed as irrelevant before they even look at any of your marketing content.

Overall, the best summary of how to be relevant comes from Pam Moore, who says: “Focus more on content and connection than you do on pretty pictures.”

3 Case Studies on Relevant Marketing

Here are a few examples of how marketers have achieved great results by making their campaigns more relevant.

1. Increases Open Rates

Strong View shows how identifying three different consumer segments and targeting each of those with personalized messaging in email marketing integrated into a consumer lifecycle approach resulted in a 500% increase in email open rates, a sevenfold increase in click through rates and a 29% decrease in unsubscribes.

2. NASA Rides the Oscars to 13,000 Retweets

Social media marketing can help you show you’re relevant with real-time reactions. An example highlighted on Marketing Technology Brief shows how NASA piggybacked on the Oscars with a relevant tweet about the best director win for the movie Gravity. This tweet was retweeted more than 13,000 times and favorited more than 7000 times.

3. Unilever Boost CTR with Targeted Content Creation

IDIO helped Unilever communicate better with users of its SlimFast forums by creating relevant and engaging content. To do this it worked with bloggers to create and curate content on topics driven by its forum community. The clickthrough rate for its marketing increased from 23% to around 32% and Unilever gained 55,000 membership subscriptions.

Personalizing content for increased relevance can also be used on your website. Hubspot gives six examples of anonymous personalization that can help your audience feel more appreciated and result in an uplift in sales.

Bottom Line

Today’s consumer is all about relationship. They’re looking for brands that take the time to know them, and they reward those brands with their loyalty.

In short, relevance and personalization can build relationship, and as a result, dramatically improve your conversions. It’s time these often-forgotten tactics become more of a priority.

What are your favorite techniques for making your marketing more relevant?

Read other Crazy Egg articles by Sharon Hurley Hall.

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Sharon Hurley Hall

Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her career has spanned more than 25 years, including stints as a journalist, academic writer, university lecturer and ghost writer. Connect with Sharon on her website.


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  1. Jadi says:
    April 4, 2017 at 10:31 pm

    Thanks Sharon Hurley Hall it’s really helpful for our brand site.

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