Before you can improve conversion rates on your site you first have to understand what is wrong. There may be a number of issues restricting your conversions.
By tracking actions, or in-actions, of the visitors on your site you can usually uncover many problems. However some are so obvious, you’ll laugh at how you never realised before.
Ensure you have:
You know what your company does but does your audience? Does your website clearly say what you do, or do you have multiple buzz words flying around which don’t really make any sense?
By having a clear CTA you can advise a customer what will happen after they have taken the desired action and what they can expect.
The CTA button shouldn’t say ‘submit’ or ‘continue’, good practice is to finish the sentence ‘I want to..’
Are you overloading your site with too many choices. People have short attention spans, they want to get in, do the job and get out. By overloading people with choices you are forcing people to research which can cause inaction. If customers can’t find an easy way to do something, they will leave.
A good way to start – especially on an ecommerce site – is to order your stock by what links to each other. For example if your customer is looking for an iPod, don’t display manufacturer specific camera batteries.
Don’t overwhelm people with text or they simply won’t read it.
Offline we are careful to follow etiquette, give people space and a high degree of privacy. Due to ‘anonymity’ online these rules seem to have flown out the window.
Companies seem to want to know your name, contact details, age, sex, location, shoe size and favourite colour just to download an app or register to a site. Although this information may be worthwhile for marketing, it may be better to send out an email asking for additional feedback later on.
Not only do extra form fields put people off due to lack of ease and time, but some people aren’t willing or can’t give the information you require, due to the situation they’re in, for example sitting on a train on their mobile.
An increasing number of emails are being opened on mobile devices; most companies I’ve spoken to are indicating 60%. Filling information out on a phone is much harder than on a computer. Dating site Match.com has tackled this by having the landing page recognise the device and adjust itself accordingly. If the person signs up via mobile, the site will accept a single opt in, if the person signs up on a desktop device they will need to double opt in. (Sign up then confirm their email address via an email sent across for them to click through).
First impressions count. Unfortunately people will form an initial impression of your website within milliseconds. This initial reaction will heavily impact their likelihood of taking the desired action.
The website design should be professionally executed with all the graphical elements acting as a whole brand.
Less is more. Ruthlessly edit everything on your site until you have a clear and natural feel.
As explained above, too much choice can quickly lead to inaction. Make everything on your site easy to find, organise categories and sub-categories in a thoughtful way to make it easy for a potential client.
These can include guarantees, policies such as a no-returns policy, safe shopping/privacy symbols, trials and introductory offers and alternative transaction methods.
Transactional assurances may lower a visitors anxiety levels, but you can also raise your visitors’ affinity level for your website by promoting third party validation.
This may be in the form of trust icons such as:
This notifies people that higher authorities believe you have a quality service or product.
To have the most impact these must appear above the fold so they are seen instantly.
For more information on trust icons please see the blog Using Trust Icons to Optimise a Landing Page
Understanding and following these simple rules can increase your conversion rates and appearance of your brand