How to Convert Your Search Traffic into Real Time Customers: Marlon Brando’s Timeless Conversion Advice

Bill Acholla
August 2, 2018 ·
How to Convert Your Search Traffic into Real Time Customers: Marlon Brando’s Timeless Conversion Advice

“I was just a beginner in the industry with a website that sold lighters. There wasn’t anything special about it, so whenever I used to look at some of my website metrics, I saw that a lot of visitors were coming to my site, some of them were even checking out the products and how long it would take to ship, but none of them were clicking on that buy button.

I had no idea what to do. There’s not a lot of innovation that you can add to lighters in any way. I tried bringing in new inventory, new lighters that had unique designs and everything, nothing changed.

It just so happened that one night I was watching The Godfather and Marlon Brando delivered that iconic “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse” line.

It hit me – why don’t I focus on the offer itself rather than the product on my website. I called in a meeting with my tech staff the next day and we came up with numerous new strategies.

The first thing we did, referral offers. Refer us to another customer and if they buy from us, get a 20% discount.

Refer us to 2 and get 25% and so on. Then we brought in customer loyalty programs, revamped our entire newsletter email policy and content, starting customization offers as well as focusing on Facebook pixels and Adwords more efficiently.

I always knew my product was good. I always knew that there wasn’t anything entirely wrong with how my website was. I just needed to create that urge, that attraction. Turns out technology has made it easier than I had initially thought.

It was because of this shift in our strategy that I was able to turn the search traffic that we had always had into solid and real-time customers. It had nothing to do with the product, everything to do with how we sold it.”

That’s how an ordinary lighter site managed to increase its conversion rates. It didn’t take a complete overhaul of the entire inventory, just a re-adjustment of how their website welcomed the guests. These overhauls played a huge part in turning those guests into real-time customers.

The digital age has indeed transformed everything.

The digital age has indeed transformed everything. Not only have the rules been altered, they’ve been rewritten completely. Customers are more aware, smarter, more connected and have a lot of prior research at their disposal before they even consider buying your product or service.

This leads to a problem that so many businesses regularly face i.e. customers regularly visit a website, check the products, look at the reviews, spend hours on the various customization options and then, leave. They don’t click “Add to Cart” and check-out. They simply close the tab and move on.

Over the years, the debate about which software or strategy is best when it comes to converting those prospective customers into buying has taken new twists and turns. Like this blog that weaves through the various merits of both CRO and SEO and how these software solutions can help your achieve your goals.

There are multiple options that have been specifically designed for the different needs organizations have in terms of converting customers.

Time to buy

There’s a great blog post on Backlinko that discusses all the options that you have in terms of increasing your conversions. As you’ll probably notice… those testimonials talk about using different strategies depending on their unique position.

And that’s the key to achieving the results that you want for your website. There’s no “one-fit-for-all” approach or strategy. All of it depends on a number of factors which is precisely why you need to ponder the options you have at your disposal before coming to a conclusion.

Leverage Your Partners

One of the best and most effective ways of increasing the likelihood of turning a visitor into a customer is by developing a sense of assurance in their minds. Everyone wants quality for the money they’ll be spending. Nothing speaks volumes of quality quite as much as reliable and trustworthy names.

This is why so many sites have the names of their reliable partners/customers such as Amazon, eBay, Microsoft or NBC on almost all their pages. Suppose you’re a tech website and put yourself in the shoes of your customers and think about it.

Wouldn’t you feel more confident about your purchase knowing the company you’re buying from has had constant dealings with HP, Apple and 3M? Showcase your relationships with such brands. This isn’t the most foolproof and psychologically sound way to raise your conversion rate but it is probably one of the easiest too.

Partner brand logos are powerful assurances that create an instant positive and dynamic impact in the mind of visitors on your site.

SEO Audits Aren’t Dead

Search Engine Optimization, you can bring in as many arguments as you want but nothing can negate the fact that SEO is guaranteed to not only increase your conversion rate but help you identify discrepancies in your website that might be turning visitors away via the reliable SEO Audit.

Before you can actually fix any anomalies in your website, you’ll have to find out what these discrepancies are. That’s precisely what SEO Audits are designed for. You can find out how to carry out an SEO Audit for your website here.

This is exactly SouthWest Airlines did with their website when they realized their online traffic was on par with their clients and yet they weren’t getting as many customers. An SEO Audit allowed them to find the gaps in their site and fix them appropriately.

An SEO Audit will help you understand how your website performs in terms of search, social media, internal external links, unique words, keyword placement and the whether you’re using the current marketing strategy to pull in more customers.

SEO Audit

If there are any irregularities, you can promptly start fixing them. This will result in a swift and immediate increase in your conversion rate as you’ll be able to target people who would actually be interested in what you have to sell.

Limiting Access Works… If You Do It Right

This might seem a bit too selfish and has been described as a classic example of baiting but, it works. The best example of this is Quora.

Not only is it full of relevant questions that receive frequent answers from the experts and pioneers of that field but it’s also completely free…with a catch. To avail all this heap of knowledge, you have to sign up.

In other words, Quora makes it necessary for you to be a real account holder, rather than a guest on their site. This is a strategy that works best if you have something that you can offer in-demand knowledge or products to prospective buyers.

If you’re an online retailer, you can offer them discount coupons or vouchers, on the condition that they sign up.

Again, it’s not a question of the product/service itself but of how you market and sell it. You need to present it in a way that the customers feel they have something genuine to earn by signing up.

Offer them just enough to know what they’ll be getting and then convert them into customers by a follow-up of dazzle and delight. This is a tried and tested method that has been used frequently to deliver the required results.

Optimization for Mobile Domination

Technology changes everything. When talking about web traffic, this fact is perhaps even more applicable. Majority of the people you’re targeting use their smartphones over traditional computers to browse the internet and carry out their tasks. This includes buying products and services online.

A lot of websites don’t take optimization as seriously as they should. This means that while the site is well-designed, SEO Audited and has all the relevant logo sponsors…there is little or no optimization for handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets.

Optimization for Mobile Domination

There’s only one word that can summarize something like this i.e. disaster. It’s like having all the required ingredients and creating the perfect recipe but not having a dish to serve it in. Not only does it undo all the hard work, it leaves a decidedly negative impression in the minds of customers.

This was a problem that a lot of newspapers faced. Marca, the leading sports magazine in Spain reported a steep fall in its overall readership since 2013. This was around the time people began accessing their site more from their smartphones.

It took them two years to finally address this problem. Today, they’re back at the very top as the most read sports paper in Spain. Even if you’re a loyal customer and are absolutely determined to buy a product/service, you won’t be able to if the checkout page doesn’t load properly on your phone.

Use the tools at your disposal to find out how most online traffic accesses your site and then ensure that you’re optimized across all the platforms prospects are fond of. In the end, any company would benefit from revisiting that game changing one-liner from Marlon Brando in The Godfather. It is all about the offer that you make.

If you want to make it impossible for your customer to turn down, you need to present it in a way that convinces them of the lucrativeness. Remember, there are plenty of alternatives that the guests on your page can turn to, if you fail to convince them with your brand.

There are always steps that you can take to constantly improve the conversion rates on your site. The tools that can go a long way in helping you achieve your conversion targets are easily available. All you have to do is take the initiative and make that offer as compelling as you can.

99 Conversion Tips
99 Conversion Tips
Originally published August 02, 2018 - Updated December 15, 2021
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Bill Acholla
Bill Acholla Bill Acholla is a Digital Entrepreneur helping small business owners build their brand through content marketing.

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