Ask anybody, no matter how big and successful their website, what their biggest goal is and the answer will always be the same – to improve their conversion rate.
It’s essential to get people to your website in the first place because an increase in the number of hits will no doubt increase your conversion rates just because of the law of averages.
Whether it’s a sale on an eCommerce site, a new subscription or even a sign up to your newsletter it’s all about conversions and just attracting more visitors is no guarantee this will happen on a large scale or at least for an extended period of time.
That’s where conversion rate optimisation comes into its own. It’s a systematic process of increasing the percentage of website visitors who convert, however which way, into customers.
The process of conversion rate optimisation involves understanding how people use your website (which is handy for a whole host of reasons). It involves seeing which route users take and where and why they fail to convert.
We’ve talked in previous blog posts about the importance of understanding your numbers, whether it’s the number of visitors or bounce rate and Google analytics to your social media insights, the numbers can tell you so much, as long as you understand them.
A conversion rate is the number of unique times a user visits your website divided by the number of times they convert. Although if you sell a subscription rather than an actual product then that formula changes ever so slightly. To get your conversion rate you need to divide the number of conversions by the number of visitors.
It is important to remember that your website has more than one kind of conversion though, there are the on-page actions which are things like adding products to a cart and submitting a form and then the potentially more important ones – the revenue-driving conversions. They include the actual transaction of completing the sale and any quote requests.
But why is conversion rate optimisation so important?
A higher conversion rate = a better return on investment which is the holy grail when it comes to online business.
It is more cost effective to find the right kind of visitors than just finding more visitors which might not lead anywhere.
Getting your conversion rates optimised defends against the limited patience of your visitors because they know exactly what they are meant to do and everything is clear.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
According to eConsultancy, a company which takes a structured approach in their conversion optimisation are twice as likely to report large increases in sales than those that don’t.
The Conversion Rate Optimisation Report, produced in association with RedEye, also found that it is becoming harder than ever to improve conversion rates, with 65% of companies seeing improvements in conversions in the last year, compared to 70% in 2009 and 2010, that’s where the experts come in.
There are a variety of ways to achieve CRO but the report found that the A/B testing was the most popular method among respondents, with 53% using it compared with 44% last year.
While the use of usability testing by companies has increased significantly, from 27% last year to 38% in this year’s survey.
The research also found that those companies whose conversion had improved over the previous 12 months used on average 26% more methods to improve their conversion than those whose conversion had not improved. So as with social media marketing and SEO variety is the key when it comes to achieving results.
Here at Webthinking we use a tool called VWO which brings together your entire conversion optimisation program, from visitor research to A/B testing to personalisation, all in one place.
It allows us to record the research observations about where visitors drop off and then build revisions to the website and test them against the original website to test and see which ones lead to increased revenue, sign-ups, and goal completions.
We can then measure the two to see how successful changes are and then implement the ones that work.
How can you convert more visitors into customers?
According to the New York Times Bestselling author Neil Patel your conversion rate hinges on six factors.
Value proposition – This is the sum of all the costs and benefits of taking action. What is the overall perceived benefit in your customer’s mind? Those perceived costs and benefits make up your value proposition.
Relevance – How closely does the content on your page match what your visitors are expecting to see? How closely does your value proposition match their needs?
Clarity – How clear is your value proposition, main message, and call-to-action?
Anxiety – Are there elements on your page (or missing from your page) that create uncertainty in your customer’s mind?
Distraction – What is the first thing you see on the page? Does it help or hurt your main purpose? What does the page offer that is conflicting or off-target?
Urgency – Why should your visitors take action now? What incentives, offers, tone, and presentation will move them to take action immediately?
Simple ways to increase your conversion rates
If you want to convert more of your visitors to customers immediately, there are a range of things you can tweak to get better results.
Firstly, think about the colours of your website, after all, first impressions count and it’s about grabbing people’s attention and making them act immediately – so they don’t have time to talk themselves out of it.
Whether it’s yellow to grab the shoppers’ attention, red to create a sense of urgency, or blue to promote trust, think about everything that appears on your sales page.
When it comes to the words you should always focus on why the customer needs you rather than what you do. Instead, use power words to promote your benefits and why someone cannot do with you.
Whatever you do though make sure you check it.
One of the biggest turn offs for web visitors is a poorly working website and the other is error-strewn content. Why should someone spend money with you if you’ve not even read through your own homepage?
It’s all about attention to detail and remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression.