You finally got your new website “live”. You installed Google Analytics and configured it to record a “conversion” every time a visitor submits your online form. After the first month, you see that 500 people visited your website, and you are excited – at first.
Then you realize that less than 1% of your visitors filled out your form or even went past your first page. You know at this point that your site needs further optimization.
Conversion rate is a measure of the number of visitors to a website who take action to go beyond a casual content view or website visit, as a result of subtle or direct requests from marketers, advertisers, and content creators. Each site owner creates their own idea of a conversion.
To some, a successful conversion rate is only the sale of a product, which of course is wonderful. For another site, a conversion may be capturing the contact info for a potential lead. For many, both actions could be viewed as a conversion.
Why is Conversion Rate Optimization Important?
Anyone can guess how many leads are coming from their online efforts, but actually knowing is priceless. It can help you re-align your marketing efforts and ultimately increase your overall presence. Going further, knowing the raw number of sales or conversions does not tell you the whole story. What if you have 400 conversions in a month, but 80,000 visits?
Alternatively, what if you have 30 conversions and only 100 visits? The conversion rate gives you a look into how your site actually performs with users, so you can identify where to spend time and budget on improvements.
A conversion rate optimization project can drastically increase profit margins and maximize your online business output. It also gives you an upper hand on your competitors, making you more competitive in your target market. In addition to the obvious reasons, optimizing online also decreases your overall cost. Think of it as making your online website and presence as efficient as possible.
5 Ways to Increase Online Conversion Rates
There are many ways to tackle conversion rate optimization and many methods out there that will work. However, there are some basic needs and fundamentals to stick to, no matter your subject matter. Utilize the 5 tips below and you will see a difference.
- 1. Optimize for User Experience
- Make your site accessible and easy to use. The harder it is for your users to find and use your site, the more sales you will lose. A fairly inaccessible site could be losing 5% of potential sales because of it. A highly inaccessible site could even prevent search engines from indexing it, creating a higher amount of sales lost.
- Pay attention to all types of browsers and how your site interacts with each. 80-85% of users use Internet Explorer or Windows, which means that a site that doesn’t work in any other browser could be losing 15-20% of sales.
- Be bold with what you want your users to see and do. Make the desired path you want them to take obvious and easy to follow.
- Make your site user friendly. Not all web users are at the same level and your site needs to accommodate all types. Make it easy for your users to contact you, to find information about your products, your location and ultimately easy to buy your product and/or service.
- Use A/B testing to track your results. Tracking results will give you the capability to increase your individual user experience. Utilize your testing to understand why your customers are doing what they are doing and capitalize on it.
- 2. Don’t Overwhelm Your User, Keep it Simple
- Don’t waste your user’s time. There is no reason to gather every bit of information all at once. Keep your forms straight forward and only ask the needed information first. Someone who has to give un-needed information or too personal of information will not proceed to the next step. Forms that require the user to enter 10 fields before submission are discouraging, and result in a higher abandonment rate than a shorter form.
- 3. Develop Trust
- Develop a strong and professional website design. There are many people that are still cautious when buying online and with all the scams there are now, they have every right to be. A poor or unprofessional design can throw a user off and give them a reason not to trust.
- Be clear, open and honest. Don’t hide costs or product information. Nothing is worse than getting to the end of your order, you’re about to hit submit, and you notice there is an extra $20 processing fee or shipping is double the normal amount. This is enough to terminate the order for most users. This is the same for out-of-date information about your product or service. Keep your website updated and current. No one wants to contact you, only to find out that all the information on your website is wrong and not current.
- 4. Be Memorable
- A good site leaves a user feeling informed and paints a clear picture in their mind about who the company is and what they do.; it is memorable. You want your brand and image to show through so people can remember it for later use. Most online users conduct research online before they purchase. Therefore, your site might be one of fifteen they visit and you want them to remember yours in order to re-visit it once they are ready to buy.
- 5. Know Your USP
- USP is your unique selling point. Your USP is one of the most important parts to optimizing your online presence and is what sets you apart from your competition. Your USP is why a unique user picks you over another company. All companies have a USP, but not all are aware of what it is or how to visually show it. Great customer service, unique products that can’t be purchased elsewhere, prices – can all be USPs. Be sure to make it obvious to your user and display it all over your site.
For every $92 spent on acquiring visitors, only $1 is spent converting them.
In the long run, all companies will have to implement conversion rate optimization strategies, but in the meantime get ahead of your competitors. Those who are not optimizing are most likely not meeting all of their end goals and therefore not getting the most fruitful results possible.
Implement or revise your strategy now to stay up front and center. With the right strategy, your profits will peak and with those increase revenues you will ensure a more stable presence.