Increasing Your Conversion Rates
Have you seen that perfect website with a 100% conversion rate? Me neither. Let’s face it, no website is perfect, but you have undoubtedly looked for ways to improve it. Requirements for a great website change constantly, whether you talk about design, technological requirements or meeting the expectations of your visitors.
So how do you go about improving your website and increase your conversions? First take a look at your business goals. What are you trying to achieve this year? The next step is analyzing your marketing strategy. How does your website fit in this plan? Is the website designed to inform customers? Is it to manage your brand? Has it been designed to generate leads and sales? The way you use the website also impacts how you use your social media strategy, because you want to put the various tools in a position that their strengths amplify the total output.
With your goal in hand start focusing on the visitors of your site. Try visualize a path of bread crumbs that symbolizes how your visitors need to travel in order to reach your goal. Let’s say you are a retailer, the desired path would most likely look like this:
Visit home page –> click on a product –> product specification –> click “purchase” –> order form & payment page –> confirmation & thank you page.
This process is called a conversion funnel and is a great way of analyzing how well you are converting visitors into converting customers. You can analyze your funnels in most web analysis tool such as Omniture and Google Analytics. It shows you for each step which percentage of visitors complete each step.
An example would be that out of every 100 visitors on your home page 80% clicks on a product. Of that 80%, less than 10% clicks on “product specification” and 90% of those click on purchase and finishes the order page.
This example shows two important things:
a) if a visitor clicks on “product specification” it will almost certainly be followed by a completed sale.
b) a very big problem: there is a massive disconnect between the product information shown on the home page and what the visitor sees after that. This could be due to an incorrect item being shown or an error message or something else.
Using this funnel information will help you find areas in your sales process that are under performing. It will also help highlighting successful approaches that you can possibly adopt elsewhere. The key is to continuously improve all phases of the conversion funnel. Be aware that what works now won’t necessarily work forever. Keep analyzing your funnels.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to look at the conversion rate of the separate steps in the funnel. These are often specific web pages. If you only look at the overall conversion rates you may miss underperforming steps that are hidden by the overall good performance of the other steps. This will cost you valuable revenue!
A good way to improve the conversion rate of your pages is by doing A/B tests and analyses. A/B testing basically means that you are creating 2 versions of a particular site where you make changes to one version and for a limited time (e.g. 2 weeks) show 50% of your visitors version A and 50% of your visitors version B. After these two weeks you analyze the results of both versions to see if your changes had a positive impact. You could implement many changes such as color of the background, font size, changing the layout, removing ads, etc. There are many sites that you can use for this such as Optimizely.com, visualwebsiteoptimizer.nl and the website optimizer found in Google Analytics.
If you monitor and improve your underperforming pages, your conversion rates will significantly improve. This will lead to more website visitors, leads and customers.