These days, everybody have a website (which is an awesome idea, since it took like forever for some businesses to come around on the whole digital thing).But the problems with websites are far from over; just because everybody has one, doesn’t mean they have a good one. Like the poor Ebola pandemic, bad websites have taken the Internet by storm.
What do I mean by ‘bad websites’? Put simply, bad websites are those that don’t convince visitors to take an intended action, whether it’s to read an article, buy a product or request a service.
“Bad website is like a baby diaper. Nothing is worse for your business than having a website that smells up your visitors’ experience”
Since website conversion is focused on improving what you currently have rather than chasing something you don’t have (like more traffic), it’s often an underrated tactic. Consider that, in most cases, increasing your website’s conversion rate by a nearly 1% will improve your bottom line more than doubling your website’s traffic numbers would. And yes, the one that sounds easier is easier.
Poorly constructed and managed websites are also a problem because they can derail your whole digital marketing strategy. All of your digital marketing efforts are geared toward getting customers to do something and the majority of the time, that something takes place on your website.
Your website needs to be a well-oiled machine that can handle and support the full weight of your overall marketing strategy by effectively becoming the central hub of your digital presence.
So, what can you do about it? The fact is that a given website’s conversion problems can stem from many different areas: it could be a development issue, a design flaw, poor writing or some combination of all three.
To cover all the basis, we’re going to outline the full process of brainstorming and optimizing a conversion oriented website from scratch. Some of the tips will be process related (intended for businesses that don’t have a website or just want to start over) and others will be actionable tips (for businesses who are looking to improve their existing website).
Here are proven tactics you can use to increase your website’s conversion rate.
Conversion process Refresher:
There are various forms of the popular conversion process, and while each differs slightly, the purpose of the illustration remains the same: to guide customers from awareness to action.
In this example, the conversion funnel has four steps: awareness, interest, desire, and action. Understanding how to manage each of these phases will allow you to better position yourself for sales.
Awareness. The first phase is obviously awareness. As soon as a person becomes aware of your brand, they transition from a consumer to a potential customer. Your goal then immediately becomes to move them from awareness to interest.
Interest. It’s during this phase that you have the potential customer interested and need to turn that intrigue into desire. This is arguably the hardest step, as you have to convince the individual that they actually want your product or service.
Desire. Once the potential customer desires your product, you need to give them reason to purchase the product. This usually depends on elements like price, brand value, and various logistics.
Action. Once the potential customer takes action, they become a customer. This group will represent a minute fraction of the total number of consumers that was in the original awareness phase of the funnel.
- Set Up A Sales Funnel
Sometimes what kills your conversions is that you are still stuck in the old and traditional means of marketing. The law of reciprocity has redefined the landscape of marketing from the old mantra of buy, buy, buy to educate, educate, educate.
Asking for sale (signup, whatever) at the early stage of the buyer journey can be detrimental to the entire process. People might be “just browsing”, not be psychologically ready or not in a hurry to buy right now.
The more expensive and/or complicated the product, the more time people need before they’re ready to commit.
Sometimes offering a demo or a free trial instead of asking for a signup or purchase can bring significant improvement in conversions. But in many cases, you need to just slow down and build a sales funnel to build trust, develop relationship and prove your expertise.
Let’s say your product is an online course on how to bake a cake. Here’s how you should go about it.
What the visitor wants:
To learn about how to bake cake
What you want:
Get the visitor to buy your course
How to do it:
Offer valuable for free on how to bake a cake via your blog, videos, free reports, whitepapers
Become their trusted advisor
Give them compelling reasons to sign up to your email list (in exchange for some good info)
Free drip content video course via email
Send them to your sales copy and ask for the sale
There are arguments among professionals in the industry that it takes least 7 contacts with a prospective buyer before they’re ready to buy from you. I haven’t seen any recent research to back this argument up, but I know for a fact that the longer and deeper your relationship with the prospect, the more likely they are to buy from you.
So, slow down. Offer value and results in advance, way before asking for the sale. Just capture their email address, so you could continue talking to them.
- Communicate Value
Communicating value is the number one thing that determines whether people will bother reading more about your product or hit the back button. It’s also the main thing you need to test – if you get it right, it will be a huge boost.
If I could give you only one piece of advice on communicating value, it would be to test your value proposition the less known your company is, the better value proposition you need. When I go through a lot of my client website, the conclusion was that missing or poor value proposition is one of the most common shortcomings.
A common mistake entrepreneurs make is that they do not provide enough information and value about the products and services they sell. Let’s take a laptop computer, for instance. If I’d describe it like this (all true facts):
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core 3805U (1.9GHz, 2MB Cache)
Screen:6″ (1366 x 768 HD Resolutions)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit Edition (Includes Windows 8 Professional 64-bit)
RAM:4GB (DDR3 1600MHZ)
Optical Drive: DVD Rewriter (Records DVDs 8x & CDs 24x & Dual Layer Super Multi)
Graphics: Integrated (Intel HD Graphics)
Wireless LAN: Wireless (802.11b/g/n Wireless)
Would you pay ₦70,000 based on what I just listed here?
No, that would be ridiculous. Yet so many sites do exactly that (luckily the maker of this laptop provides more information than that). They just list a bunch of bullet points with features along with the price.
The best way to sell products and services is to add as much information about them as is possible. Pages and pages and pages, videos and images. It’s true that 79% of people won’t read it all, but 16% read everything! That 16% is your main target group.
If one reads all of the product info and is not convinced yet, you have a problem. But if one is convinced after reading just 1/4, they can skip the rest and just complete the purchase right away. Up to 50% of potential sales are lost due to inadequate information, says International Data Corporation, a global research company.
You need to provide enough information so that the prospect could convince themselves
Add pictures, videos, reviews to all of your products. Intelligent, neutral and benefit-oriented sales copy works the best. Take a look \at Amazon – they manage to create a lot of content for most products they sell, and they sell millions of products.
Furthermore, don’t forget to list the price after you communicate the value. Otherwise people might make a snap judgement based on the price without reading the value it offers.
- Create Urgency
Sometimes, the best marketing tactics are those rooted deep within human psychology. In fact, the greatest marketers are those who have the most in-depth knowledge of how the brain works. One of the key features of the human brain involves urgency.
It’s marketing 101. Offer limited time promotions to create a sense of urgency. This age old marketing tactic exists for a reason – because it works. Yet you’d be surprised at how many sites out there don’t give their visitors a sense of urgency! Use the following tactics to make sure that buying right now is a motivating factor:
Give a clear deadline
Use urgent copy, such as “Limited Time Offer”, “Offer ends soon”, etc.
Use strike through pricing
Give users a clear next step, and funnel them towards making a purchase
Sweeten the deal – give customers added incentives to purchase your already attractive offer, like free shipping
4.Add A Call To Action
On every page of your site, you should be guiding visitors towards a desired action. Think of each page as an opportunity to funnel buyers towards a purchase, lead generation form, event promotion, social share, etc. in order to make more money and/or promote your brand.
Persuading site visitors to do what you want is no easy task, but taking time to master the art of the call to action can dramatically improve your bottom line.
Here’s a few great examples of creative calls to action. A few best practices include:
Less is more when it comes to choices. If you give multiple choices, give weight to one choice over another, so customers don’t have to think too hard.
Give careful consideration to your call to action button colors. Different colors inspire different emotions, and some colors attract more attention than others.
Large, visible text captures attention, but make it too big and you’ll off put potential customers.
If you offer one main product, give customers a clear way to purchase it right away from the home page.
Keep call to action button text short.
Movement attracts attention. Adding movement to your site in specific areas can draw visitors towards a call to action.
Make it stand out. Your call to action button should have sufficient space around it so that it clearly stands out.
Make your call to action contextually relevant to the content on that page. If you were shopping on BestBuy.com for a new TV and were scrolling through a TV category page, it would be weird if in the sidebar you were prompted to sign up for their camera lens newsletter.
Whatever you claim, you need to back it up with proof. People are skeptical and they want to see the evidence, they don’t want to be the only one buying from you.
one agency that does this very well is vibeweb solution. Their website is a littered with proves of what they have achieved and testimonials from client.
So what kind of proof can you provide?
Customer testimonials. People who used your products verify your claims. It’s a good idea to use testimonials from customers that were in a worse situation that the average customer. If even people in terrible circumstances could get the results, so can they.
Case studies. We’ve all seen before and after type of case studies. Very effective.
The results of scientific tests and studies. I know a log home manufacturing company that wrestled with the claims that log homes lose a lot of heat in the winter and they’re expensive to keep up. They commissioned an independent study from a well-known university. The study found that the log homes are as energy efficient as any other kind of buildings. Now the manufacturer can refer to this study to back up their claims.
Third-party reviews. Did a trade magazine or a blog write a glowing review? Show it off and link to it.
Social proof. If you have thousands of customers, make it a well-known fact. Nobody wants to be the only idiot using your service. If you have thousands of people / companies use your service, can’t be all that bad!
Show it! Nothing like a good demo to prove what your product does. Use videos that showcase your product in action.
There are many more conversion rate optimization tactics that can be used by business owners to increase website conversion. If you know any other tactics that can be used to increase conversion, please feel free to leave a comment below.