5 Steps to Increase Website Conversion
Updated: Nov 15
Most businesses spend a lot of money on setting up a website and driving traffic to it. However, converting visitors into customers is an important part of a digital marketing strategy that often gets forgotten. Do you have an online conversion strategy? If you want to make your marketing budget go further, I recommend thinking about the following five elements:
1. Optimise your Landing Page
If you are running an effective online marketing campaign that includes tactics like search engine optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising (i.e. Google Adwords) you should never drive all traffic to your homepage. I’ve heard that just 5% of all John Lewis’ website traffic comes from their home page. Instead, your digital marketing efforts should drive visitors to the page that’s most relevant to their online search; these ‘landing pages’ should link to the visitor’s online search query.
The next stage is to make sure every landing page is optimised to achieve the highest conversion rate possible. Unfortunately, this is a weak area for most businesses - many drive traffic to a particular page and hope that the content and design work for them. To help improve landing page conversion rates, the following elements should be considered:
• Highlight how you resolve your customer’s problems
• Explain how you help reduce buying risk – i.e. how do you overcome consumer concerns such as quality, cost, service, etc?
• Communicate a clear online value proposition (OVP) – i.e. why should they buy from you and not a competitor?
• Have a clear call-to-action – highlight what you want them to do next, such as go a particular page, sign up for a newsletter, call to make an appointment, etc.
• Layout – improving the area ‘above the fold’ almost always accounts for increased conversion rates (a traditional publisher’s concept that also works online)
According to conversion expert and author Benji Rabhan, most people think about design before lead generation/conversion and this is the wrong way around. He believes that half of conversion rate optimisation is about tweaking and testing design/layout and the other half is about the message and words on the page.
2. Make your Website ‘Mobile Friendly’
More and more people are browsing on mobile devices such as mobile phones and iPads, instead of using traditional desktop computers. However, the large majority of websites have not been mobile optimised, which means that navigating around a site on a mobile device is difficult and some content/design disappears off the screen. Even large brands fall into this trap!
If you would like to check how your website appears on different screen resolutions, I highly recommend the free testing tools: Test My Site and Matt Kersley. However, before you think about allocating budget to either change your website into one with a responsive design (i.e. it adapts to the device you are viewing it on) or creating a separate mobile site, it’s important to check what your actual visitors are using. This is where the free software tool Google Analytics can help – it will tell you what devices your visitors are using to access your website. I’ve found that most consumer-orientated sites generally have a 60/40 split between mobile and desktop devices.
Recent research suggests that brands can increase their mobile conversion rate by 19%-100% with responsive design. It can, therefore, be argued that the ROI against the cost of implementation is potentially high.
If you do have a mobile optimised website, think about using ‘click-to-call’ buttons instead of asking visitors to complete data fields for email addresses, etc. which can be ‘fiddly’ on a small hand-held device. Try to make the user experience as simple and easy as possible.
3. Nurturing your Leads via Email
Many businesses take a lot of time and effort to build a database of email addresses but once they have it, it’s often under-utilised. According to the digital marketing advice website Smart Insights, 72% of companies’ rate email as excellent in terms of ROI. The good news is that nowadays there are a lot of inexpensive and easy to use email systems such as Constant Contact and MailChimp.
However, a more recent development that offers exciting potential for businesses is the growing number of marketing automation systems available. As a former business owner myself, I know that one of the biggest issues that stop a company from growing (via marketing lead-generation) is time. Most business owners know what they should be doing but never seem to have the time to do it.
A marketing automation system will send emails ‘triggered’ by a certain action and, if an email hasn’t been opened within a certain period, it will automatically send another with a different subject line. Emails can also be set up to go out at key buying periods, etc. This is ideal for businesses with a product that is usually used within a particular period of time so that you can remind customers that their product needs replacing soon (and offer them a discount for buying it within a certain time-frame). The possibilities are endless – some systems even link to a customers’ / potential customers’ social media account!
Although time is needed at the beginning to set everything up (i.e. mapping customer journeys/ touch points and compiling emails with the right messages for each stage), the medium to long-term benefits of having regular email communications running, however busy you are, are clear.
Critical success factors for this type of conversion tool are: having enough opt-in email addresses to start with, making sure customer journeys are carefully mapped, finding the right software provider with a scalable system and allocating a long-term budget to this tool. Recommended providers include Act-On, Hubspot, Pardot, Marketo and Eloqua.
4. Using Psychology for Persuasion
Ratings, reviews and testimonials are not just acquisition tools– they also help increase conversion rates; research from Bazaar Voice showed that for one of its clients the use of reviews achieved 60% higher conversion and 82% more page views per visitor. This type of content is powerful because of social validation – according to Susan Weinschenk, products with recommendations generate 20% more sales than items without them.
This type of tool not only helps with the buying decision making process but can also help with Google pay-per-click advertising conversion rates – research by Google Inside Adwords in 2011, showed that adverts with ‘seller ratings’ get a 17% higher click-through rate (CTR) than the same adverts without ratings. However, a website needs at least 30 reviews from the last 12 months to add Seller Ratings.
5. Test, Test and Test Again
Ultimately, every website is different and to find the most effective approach, tools such as Google Analytics and Crazy Egg (eye tracking/ heat maps) are needed to identify the most important parts of the site and then A/B testing should be used to identify what layout and content generate the most conversions.
A/B testing is when two versions of the same page are designed and 50% of visitors are taken to one page, with the other half visiting the other. Conversion rates can then be analysed to find out which page generates the best conversion. This can be done with the help of Google Analytics Content Experience API.
Creating a smooth and positive customer experience is key for all users in the buying process. If you want to discuss how you can optimise the customer experience and increase conversion rates, then give us a call on 07811 430 730 or email us at email@example.com