From Search To Conversion – Why Your Website Visitors Buy

How To Make The Right Offer To The Right People At The Right Time

woman-magnifying-glass-searchingDo you see poor lackluster performance when using the Google Display Network (formerly known as Google’s Content Network)? It’s most likely not because the Display Network program failed you. Rather, you may not have taken full advantage of the reasons why visitors arrive at your website. Do they arrive from the Search Network or from the Display Network?

While each and every visitor who reaches your website is unique, for this strategy to work, what’s needed is some generalizations of reaching audience profiles. The focus will be on “active” visitors to your site, and “passive” visitors to your site.

The Search Network is the natural search engine itself, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, where potential visitors are constantly and actively conducting a variety of search queries. The Display Network is where your online ads are distributed to targeted Web pages that contain information that is relevant to the keywords of your advertisement.
For Example: you see the “Ads by Google” listings on a lot of websites spread across the internet. There are no actual search queries that is involved, so the majority are just passive generic visitors.

Visitors Who Are Ready To Convert
When you walk into a ‘brick and mortar’ store with a specific purpose in mind, you go straight to the exact aisle where the product you are interested in is displayed. You then pay for it and then walk out with your new purchase.

You were specifically active in your quest for that particular product. This kind of interaction can be similar to an online visitor who happens to find your website using the Search Network, and you display ready to buy products.

Individuals who are using major search engines are in an active forward thinking state of mind. They have already decided that they want your product or service, or they are at least aware of its features and benefits. This web visitor has thought about purchasing your product and has conducted a dedicated search based on the description.

All you need to do is to make sure that your online ad or ‘Order Now’ button is sitting right in front of them, at the exact right time. This is the reason why pay-per-click (PPC) when executed properly, can be a very powerful method of advertising.

Visitors on the Search Network have already decided to make a commitment or are even ready to buy. You just need to nudge and convince them a bit to take that final action. Because of the visitor’s ‘ready’ state of mind, you can offer a conversion push that is a little more intensive, which also requires a higher level of trust, such as you asking for detailed contact information or final payment details.

Those Visitors Who Are Just Browsing
It is pretty common that you have one day strolled down a busy sidewalk when something in a store display window suddenly catches your attention. So you then decide to diverge from your pre-determined designation, and wander into that store to get additional information. Then you went home to get user reviews, or do some comparison shopping, since you are a savvy shopper.

This interaction is similar to a web visitor who stumbles upon your website via Google’s Display Network. The sole goal of using a Display Network advertisement is to distract the visitor’s attention just enough from the original information they have chosen to read, and towards your ad offer.

However, gaining that visitors consideration does not mean that you have their undivided attention or trust. The relationship that you have formed with that visitor is still very fragile at best, much like going on a first date. You do not want to be too pushy or forward, but you want to be engaging enough so that the visitor will at least take interest. When you are setting up your conversion action details, make sure you are alluring but not too overbearing.

Asking a new visitor who was not really actively looking for your product or service, to put down money up front isn’t usually the best way to start a new relationship. So use a softer conversion action for your offer. If you have an e-commerce type of site, you can ask or suggest that the visitor to simply sign up on an optin form, for your free weekly newsletter, a free catalog or ebook.

This way, you will be able to get additional marketing material in front of them at a later email. Your optin contact form should be as short and sweet as possible, while acquiring the important information that’s needed to possibly sell to this visitor later.

However, do not sacrifice mission-critical info that’s needed for you to follow up successfully. If you think that the size of a visitor’s business is a critical core metric needed when determining the quality of a lead, then you should ask for it.

The visitors intention, when someone who’s actually seeking your product or service on the Search Network, and a visitor who is passively reading some information that’s related to your product that appears on the Display Network, can be significantly different.

The actual conversion action that you would expect visitors to take should be appropriate for the channel that you’re targeting. The conversion action strategy that you are using should embrace these differences. Again, think of this similar to dating.

You being too forward may scare off the visitor. However, by the time that someone searches for your product or service, and then arrives at your website via the search network, you are then already on the proverbial 3rd date.


Brand and product/service awareness is the first date. Conducting the exact search query on a search engine can be considered the second date. Finding and arriving at your site is the third date, and by this time the visitor should be more comfortable as well as relaxed. In this state, the conversion action that you use can be a lot more direct, like asking them to buy.

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