What’s the purpose of a website if not to convert casual visitors into loyal customers?
If you’re looking for ways to improve your conversion rates, these are the five tactics you should take advantage of immediately:
Call to Action Testing
One of the first things your website should provide is a clear call to action. One way this is done is by using a meaningful headline that succinctly tells visitors exactly what they’ve found.
Eliminate any ambiguity on page and make it easy to quickly understand and purchase your product or service. Performing regular Call to Action testing will not only give you important data on your message, but will also provide more useful data on your visitor demographics. It also ensures that your company remains on track with the most recent web trends and can adapt to any future content marketing strategies. When it comes to headlines, make sure you’re explaining not only what your service or product does, but how your customers can benefit from it. This provides your headlines with a sense of value, and is more capable of converting browsing consumers.
See 100 ‘real world’ examples of testing benefits in this KissMetrics study.
By prioritizing navigation, your site makes it simple for users to make their way around and get to transactional pages to complete a sale. Lay out the strategic path you wish your customers to follow, from homepage to sale. Pare down the number of buttons at the top of your site, and instead utilize drop down menus that will allow customers to quickly access exactly what they came for, without confusion or delay.
If applicable, include a search query box to ensure customers can find the answers to all their questions about your product or service. These efforts will decrease your bounce rate and help prioritize browsing that benefits your business. Make sure your customers can get to their desired page within three clicks or less—this rule of thumb will do you a world of good in terms of conversion.
A great example of simple navigation can be seen on the TransUnion SmartMove website.
Make sure your website is easy on the eyes. You can collect all the best information available on your product, but if your customers can’t make sense of your design, the text is useless. In general, companies find the greatest levels of success with neutral backgrounds that encase their Call to Action in contrasting colors. This color scheme is easy on the eyes and quickly calls attention to the key message consumers should be accessing. Furthermore, most major brands include aspects of color psychology in their logos and web design. Depending on your target market, colors can become both a benefit or a hindrance.
PayPal does this exceptionally well, utilizing shades of blue (associated with several banks and a feeling of trust) for their call to actions and logo.
Our culture is about instant gratification, and considering how much consumers value their time, so should you. No one wants to spend more than 2-3 minutes on a form to make a purchase. Consider the last time you were prompted to sign up for something online; if you were huffing and sighing after the 20th entry box that asked you for personal information, you likely abandoned the effort. For this reason, it is important to make sure your forms only include the essentials: name, email address, and password. If you would like to capture additional customer information to complete a sale, this can be completed through follow up emails or additional pages once the key customer info has been successfully captured.
Vimeo has a perfect example here, allowing users to create a profile with a few keystrokes while still allowing users to signup via Facebook.
Proof of Legitimacy
Want your customers to understand just how essential your product or service is? Provide them with explicit indicators of success. This can be managed through the implementation of knowledge leadership, previous customer testimonials, or any accolades or awards your business has accumulated. Your homepage is the area that gets the bulk of site traffic, so ensure your accolades are noticed by placing this “proof of legitimacy” near the bottom of the homepage to make a great first impression.
99 Designs has testimonials on their homepage and a full testimonials page complete with videos and star ratings.
Don’t Forget About Blog Traffic
Blog traffic converts at a lower rate than commercial traffic. This is nothing new. However, websites that are currently seeing substantial blog traffic have an opportunity to increase conversion rates through a number of tactics. The first tip, and perhaps most important, is to ensure that your blog traffic is getting fed back to your commercial pages. This can be completed in a number of ways:
– Connect your blog and your “learning” portal. Many sites have a lot of fantastic information that can get leveraged as part of their blog. Creating (or merging) these learning portals to make an area that blog readers can go to that has both products, information, and editorial content is a great way for an easy bump in conversion. A great example of this is the nutraceutical company VitaMedica. VitaMedica’s learn portal does a great job of this, with several of their blog pages connecting to this expert portal.
– Provide discounts to blog readers. Another fantastic tip to convert existing traffic on your blog is to reward loyal readers with discounts to your products. By creating a delayed pop-up, say 1-3 minutes after a user hits the page, you serve a discount to someone that is actually digesting your content. The user is already engaged with the content and much more likely to bite on a discount CTA. Shopify has a great article on different types of “offers” that can be found here.
– Email blog readers. Adding a simple email CTA on your blog is a great way to pull blog traffic into your funnel. If you are feeling creative, creating a quiz that ends with an email capture is another fun way earn targeted prospects that can easily get segmented into separate stages of the funnel. A great example of this comes from Spire Drone’s “Which Drone is Right for You” quiz on their Part 107 study guide resource. Though this email CTA process will span several departments, in general, the more emails you have the better! Just remember to segment these users and email relevant information.
Great Strategies That Missed the Cut
While these are my top picks for 2016, these five conversion tactics are by no means the be-all end-all, as there are a variety of instrumental strategies your website can employ to further improve your conversion rates. Whether it be using natural language to appeal to the human side of the person on the other side of the screen, having a mobile-optimized site that adjusts to the device on which it is viewed, or incorporating a chat feature in which customers can quickly have specific questions answered, there’s no limit to the improvements and new strategies that can be tried. Here are a few more examples of strategies you might consider implementing:
- On landing pages, remove anything not relevant to user action
- Don’t require registration for checkout
- Offer bonuses, whether it be free gifts or free shipping
- Offer holiday themes during applicable times
- Write tight, concise content
There’s no reason for poor conversion rates when companies have a world of conversion improvement strategies at their fingertips. Utilize these tips and watch your conversion skyrocket, profits improve, and company excel.
The next event in San Diego AMA’s 2016-17 “Closing the Loop” content marketing event series is all about conversion. Join us September 27 at UCSD Extension as top local marketing technology leaders discuss Middle-of-the-Funnel Marketing Innovations: Nurture and Convert More Qualified Leads.
Samuel is a professional contributor and editor with 365 Business, 365 Business is a new organization dedicated to helping small to medium business owners collect and leverage actionable business tips and advice in five minutes or less.