Blog | Website Wizardry

9 Principles to Improving Website Conversion Rates

22/08/2012

There’s more to success in online business than creating a website and putting all your products and services on your web pages; that’s a start but you can’t just sit back and wait for the dough to come rolling in. You will need to make sure that visitors are attracted to your website – enough not to just peruse your content, but to also start clicking your links, subscribing to your newsletter, purchasing your goods and best of all, sharing your website with their friends and family. This is what is known as conversion.

Conversion, in online terms, refers to an action performed by a user on a website that has worth to a company, whether it’s a sale, an inquiry regarding products and services, subscription to a newsletter, a viewed video, etc. There are many ways of improving website conversion rates, and here are just some of them.

1. Identify your target audience.

First, it would do you good to establish a specific demographic. Why? This will help you customize your content particularly for your target audience. Strive to really learn about your prospective users and their needs and wants. Determine the following:

i) The keywords they type in search engines that will lead them to you

ii) The kind of websites they visit and what attracts them to those websites

iii) Their criteria for buying

iv) How they make a decision to purchase

This will help you determine the kind of content your website must have and design your product offerings in such a way that they won’t be able to refuse.

2. Provide a positive user experience.

As important as it is to create awareness about your products and services, it is equally important to create a positive user experience – how your user interacts with your website as well as their after-sales experience. Your website should be well-designed and user-friendly, and should not confound your visitors.

Provide as much information regarding your products and services as possible. Consumers are still relying heavily on details before they make a purchase. Also make sure that your website is compatible with all types of browsers and not just the popular Internet Explorer. Imagine users that may be using other browsers coming to your website only to find out that it is not working properly. This immediately translates to lost opportunities. Additionally, make sure that users can easily see your call-to-action buttons such as your shopping cart or ‘buy’ button. It would help if you are able to offer a variety of payment options as well.

Check your website for broken links, forms, slow loading pages, etc. Pay special attention when it comes to the backend. Make sure you are notified of any purchases or payments made through your website so that you can fulfill the order your customer lodged.

3. Determine and develop your unique value proposition.

What differentiates you from your competitors? What are your core strengths? If there are many companies selling the same products as you, why should your target audience choose yours? This may be offers for free shipping, or a buy one take two promotion. Use your landing page to help your visitors decide to purchase from you.

4. Build your user’s trust.

Security is always a concern especially on the Internet. Your target audience will more likely trust a website that has security protocols in place; a VeriSign logo will clearly communicate to your visitors that you have a SSL certificate. Providing them with a physical address and contact number will also put them at ease. Those who have concerns with privacy and shipping processes will look for a privacy policy and an order, payment and shipping policy, respectively.

5. Provide Point-of-Action Assurances.

This provides the customer with an added layer of assurance  and goes hand in hand with building your user’s trust. As an example, Facebook used the phrase “It’s free and always will be” to assure users that they won’t charge for membership. Another one would be “Sign in using our secure server” at Amazon.com. It mainly involves foreseeing any issues or problems that your users will face and addressing them right away.

6. Write attention-grabbing headlines.

Similar to when you’re scanning the newspaper and looking for stories that will hook you, your users are looking for a clear, enlightening and compelling headline when they visit your website. This will either lead them to click out of your website or closely examine all that you have to offer. Your goal is to have them do the latter, of course, as this will help your conversion rate. This then takes us to the next point which is…

7. Write search engine-optimized content.

To do this, you will need to consult a keyword tool, such as Google Keyword Tool in order to determine which keywords or key phrases are popular. Once you know which words or phrases people are looking for, you can then integrate them into your content, as well as meta tags, title tags, etc., in order for your website to rank higher in search engines. A search for “chocolate covered strawberries” will lead to your website if you incorporate the related keywords properly into your content.

8. Relevance is key.

Make sure that your content corresponds with your traffic source, such as banner ads. If you place an ad saying “Buy 2 tickets to so and so’s concert and get 1 more ticket free”, make sure that customers are brought to a landing page that says the exact same thing and not “Buy 2 tickets to so and so’s concert and get 1 more ticket at half off”.

9. Analyse your website statistics.

Finding out your traffic source, especially the most profitable ones, will help increase your return on investment or ROI. The key things to look at when analyzing your web statistics are:

i) Traffic source or Referrers – This is where your visitors are coming from, whether they are affiliates, search engines, etc.

ii) Visit Duration – This will tell you how long a visitor lingered on your website.

iii) Pages/Visit – This is the number of pages visitors have viewed on average.

iv) Bounce Rate – This refers to the percentage of visitors who left your website from where they landed on.

v) Keywords – This provides you with information on the keywords or key phrases used by visitors that led them to you. Aside from this, it will also give you an idea of how search engines view your website and its content.

We hope you found this interesting and informative.  It’s extremely important to always be challenging your conversion rates.  We for one do it every single week and we encourage our clients to do the same.  Good luck with yours!