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.
Here is an example page I have designed based on the below advice:
1. Unclear Call-to-Action
Ensure you have:
- A clear page headline
- Well defined action block
- Sub-headline in your action block
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?
- Is your CTA repeated multiple times on a page without looking spammy?
- Do you have multiple CTAs – sign ups, sale, call, downloads? If so this needs to be slimmed down
- Minimise everything on your site not pointing to your CTA
- CTA above the fold – you shouldn’t need to scroll down to see it
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..’
2) Too many choices
- Don’t present too many choices, including side menus and advertising
- Group categorising can help minimise too many choices
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.
- Wild backgrounds and colours, garish texts, visual embellishment and flourishes
- All graphical elements that don’t specifically support the conversion action
- Videos which begin as soon as the page opens, nobody wants that
- Third party banner ads and pop ups – these are designed to take someone away from your site and onto someone else's and will distract your traffic.
3) Too much text
- Use a clear title and headings
- Place all of the important text first
- Use short bullet points
- Shorten all the text you have into short manageable chunks
Don’t overwhelm people with text or they simply won’t read it.
4) Asking for too much information
- Cut form fields down as much as possible, you can always gain further information in a follow up call, or feedback email
- Don’t ask for information when you don’t need to
- Organise form fields into logically labelled groups
- Let people know how close they are to the end of the form by advising ‘final step’
- Have shorter forms on landing pages opened with a mobile device than a desktop device.
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).
5) Lack of trust and professionalism
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.
Clear and contemporary
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.
6) Testimonials, Endorsements and Social Media
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
- blue chip client lists and logos
- media coverage
- social likes
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