Why You Need to Consider Attention Ratio In Your Inbound Marketing


Attention is singular. That’s the basic philosophy behind Attention Ratio, a term first coined by conversion expert (and founder of Unbounce) Oli Gardner. Here’s how he defined the concept:

The ratio of links on a landing page to the number of campaign conversion goals. In an optimized campaign, your attention ratio should be 1:1. Because every campaign has one goal, every corresponding landing page should have only one call to action – one place to click.

That’s it, blog post done! Well, not quite. Attention ratio, as you will learn, is crucial not just on your landing pages, but throughout your inbound marketing strategy. Keep reading to find out why.

How Your Audience Processes Information

Consider yourself a member of your target audience. You were just served with a piece of content – a social media update or blog post, perhaps – that seeks to drive you toward a specific goal. That goal might be to click on a link, or fill out a sign-up form in order to become a lead.

Now imagine the amount of actions you could possibly take on this piece of content. Naturally, the more you have, the less likely you will be to take the desired path. If you have the choice between merely liking a piece of content or clicking on the call to action button, the chances that you will take the desired action will decrease.

The reason is simple: we have an increasingly short attention span, especially when browsing content online. That, along with the psychological concept of stressing out over multiple courses of action in what is commonly referred to as the agony of choice, decreases our chances of taking the right action if more than one option presents itself.

Attention Ratio as an Action Driver

Paying attention to attention ratio, then, allows you to optimize your digital marketing efforts toward success. If you want your audience to click on a specific link, don’t give them multiple options. If your homepage is designed to funnel your audience toward conversion pages, don’t link to your ‘about us’ page. And if your emails aim to encourage direct replies, don’t fill them with links to various parts of your website.

Attention ratio, in other words, should determine the way you structure your content in order to guide your audience toward the desired path. It serves as the driver of the desired action, reducing the noise in your messaging and increasing your success as a result.

Incorporating Attention Ratio in Your Digital Strategy

When defining the concept, Gardner focused it specifically on conversion-optimized landing pages. And that makes sense: on a landing page, your attention ratio can truly be 1:1. You can remove noise like your navigation or hyperlinks, leaving your call to action the only possible action for your audience. In other parts of your marketing, that process is not as simple.

A social media post, for example, will always give your audience the ability to like or comment on your post instead of clicking on a link. Still, you can use the concept of attention ratio as a guiding principle to streamline your content as much as possible.

It begins with setting your goal for the individual message, which should be singular. In inbound marketing, that goal is often conversion-oriented: clicking through to a landing page, or filling out a sign-up form. Then, you should be sure that everything about your message (the content, headline, and action item) point toward that goal. The more singular it is, the more likely your chances will be that your audience actually follows through on your call to action.

Attention ratio, in other words, should be a guiding principle throughout your digital marketing efforts. To learn more about how you can incorporate the principle into your strategy, and drive conversions and ROI as a result, contact us.


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