Websites that don’t convert are not contributing to your sales. If they aren’t contributing they are wasting your time and resources. That is unless you have the luxury of running your website as a hobby. Most people in business are not in this fortunate position so their websites have to attract and then convert their visitors. Conversion doesn’t necessarily mean that your visitors have to buy something from you. Their conversion can be to any part of your sales process so, for example conversion could mean:
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Providing their details to download a white paper
- Submitting a contact form
- Requesting a quote
- Booking an appointment with your online booking system
- Sharing an article
The aim of converting your visitors is to get them to engage with you. To move from being a passing visitor to putting a checkpoint down in your relationship by doing something more than just looking.
There are thousands of ways to change your website so that it converts more traffic. Indeed the science of conversion has spawned an industry of experts. Whilst there is no universal list of things you can do that are guaranteed to work in your specific situation the following list of tactics have generally been proven to convert more visitors and so it is a good place to start.
Keep it simple – reduce the steps.
If you want people to take action and to get them to do it as easily as possible, then limit the number of clicks. Generally speaking, the more steps the less likely people are to convert. At every click a few more people will be deterred from continuing the process, so even if you are getting some conversions you can increase the number by having fewer steps.
For example, if your primary goal is to build your mailing list by collecting email addresses, consider if you need to collect information such as home address and telephone number at this stage. If you are selling a product, how many pages does the process involve? Not everyone has high-speed broadband so for people with slow connections waiting for each page to load may cause them to quit the process early.
Have a clear and compelling CTA
CTA = Call To Action, i.e. the instructions that tell your visitors what to do. Don’t assume that it is obvious and they will know. It may not be and most people won’t know what to do unless you explicitly tell them. Studies of Internet users’ behaviour show that people take less than two seconds to evaluate a page of information and decide whether or not it is relevant. In two seconds your CTA has to jump out and give clear instructions. The most precise way to know what works best is to test and measure what you do. Therefore don’t just rely on the words and style of the CTAs used on other websites. Test them out to see if they work for your community and your product by using A/B tests. That is using two versions of the same page were you change just one thing. For example does “Buy now” work better than “Click here to purchase” or “Buy today” or “Get yours today” or “Order now”? What colours stand out and attract more attention? Where should you place the CTA top or bottom of the page etc?
Deal with objections
People buy based on emotions and then justify their purchase with logic so how are you going to get your visitors to the finish line once you’ve got them to the decision to buy. You need to give them a logical reason to complete their purchase with you. Otherwise they may go and look for what you are selling elsewhere at a cheaper price. You need to communicate exactly why your product stands out in the crowd. What is its unique selling proposition that says your solution is the only solution to their problem because only you can deliver it in the unique way that exactly meets their needs. For example do you:
- Offer guarantees
- Ship faster
- Have a greater selection
- Offer bonuses
- Technical support and expertise etc
People like to feel as if they are making sound logical decisions when they buy something. Whilst there will always be the mavericks amongst us who are happy to be the first to take a risk and try something new, the majority of customers would rather follow the crowd and trust what other people have trusted previously. Social proof, anything that indicates other people know, like and trust you will give added confidence to your prospective purchasers and help convert them into customers. Social proof can be:
- Your popularity on social media
- Number of comments on a page
- User ratings
- Mentions in the press and media etc.
Language that excites
Human beings are hardwired for language, words form pictures in our minds and these connect us with our emotions. Remember people’s buying decisions are emotionally led. Therefore use words that:
- Appeal to people’s desires: the need to be successful, liked, admired, accepted, happy, stress free;
- Remove fear/risk, i.e. guarantee, systematically, consistently,
- Reinforce that they are making the right decision, ie most respected, number one, top rated, proven, game changer
We can’t say it enough – Hear, Understand and Give back incredible value so that your customers know, like and trust you. Increasing your conversion rate isn’t just about tweaking your website, it’s about your whole relationship with your customers. One of the most overlooked methods of increasing your conversion rate is to start by being the company your customers think of when they think of a solution to their problems or when they want to order a similar product again. Therefore be memorable, deliver an amazing customer service and keep in touch, all of which equates to giving your customers a great big Business HUG.
Ola Agbaimoni – The Business Detective
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