Today a website serves, in many ways, as the online storefront for businesses. It is often the first interaction potential customers have with your brand. If the user experience on your site does not move users towards conversion, then those potential sales may be lost for good. Here are 10 tips to help you optimize your website for conversions:
Tip #1 Plan from the user’s perspective
Whether you are completely redesigning your website or just making a few updates, it’s always beneficial to start the planning process by considering the user’s perspective. Create a flowchart to map out how users currently move through your website. Start from the homepage and evaluate the strength of the calls-to-action (CTAs) on your site from both a content and visual design perspective. Repeat this process on the other major pages on your site, putting yourself in the shoes of your target customer. Assessing your current state may help you identify a few critical weak spots to focus your resources on as you make adjustments; it may reveal that it’s worth overhauling the entire experience.
Tip #2 Use Google Analytics
While you are evaluating your user experience from a qualitative standpoint, you can use Google Analytics to investigate the data. Navigate to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages, and then you can view:
- Highest number of entrances – this will give you an idea of where people are starting from when they get to your site.
- Average time on page – this will give you an idea of how engaging the content on the page is, the longer the better.
- Percentage exit – this will give you an idea of where people are leaving your website from.
If you have Goal tracking in place for the main CTAs on your website, you can also use Google Analytics to assess which of your CTAs have high or low conversion rates. Under Conversions > Goals > Overview, you can see the total number of times the goal was completed over a specified time horizon. You can also view the percentage of total website sessions that resulted in the action you are tracking as a goal. These data points are extremely informative about what is and is not working well on your current website.
Tip #3 Limit Clicks Near Conversion Point
While you may want to show off all the great content your website has to offer and increase page CTR, the journey from a user showing high-intent to the final conversion action should be short and sweet. The more unnecessary barriers you put in front of your visitor, the lower your chances are of holding their interest to complete an action. Building off of tip #1, go through each of your bottom-of-the-funnel conversion journeys as a visitor, and assess where you can remove wasteful clicks. This exercise will also help you gain a better understanding of your visitors’ psychological behavior and how they interact on the site, which can lead to more informed optimizations in the future.
Tip #4 Consider Mobile Optimization From the Beginning
According to Statistia, Mobile traffic accounts for about half of the web traffic worldwide. Trends vary by industry but you will be leaving conversions on the table if your website is not yet optimized for a streamlined mobile experience. As you approach changes to your site, make sure that you are considering the design and content of the site as a mobile experience just as closely as you are planning for desktop. This should start from the very beginning as you are mapping out the user journey and determining the site architecture. Simplified navigation and long, content-rich pages make for a better mobile user experience and better SEO (since SEO algorithms now place heavyweight on mobile optimizations).
Tip #5 Lower the Bar
If you are struggling to generate conversions, the problem might be that you aren’t giving your customers an easy, low-risk entry point. B2B websites may be set up to onboard new clients, but they often miss out on the opportunity to capture contact information from those users who visited their website and are starting to research their potential options. Offer some type of high-value, downloadable content in exchange for an email address. you can continue to nurture prospects through email marketing campaigns, delivering thought leadership and product announcements. B2C and eCommerce websites may not get a sale from first-time visitors, but capturing an email address in exchange for a coupon code allows you to stay top of mind with “window shoppers” by delivering sale and promotion announcements straight to their inboxes.
Tip #6 Test Website Pop-Ups
Pop-ups can be activated to achieve a myriad of conversion goals, as they can generate leads, sales, awareness, and more. Pop-ups that are thoughtfully placed and well-used can provide value to visitors and deliver highly-targeted messages when they are engaged. Because pop-ups can’t be ignored, it’s important to test different messages and offerings to see what resonates best with your audience. There are a variety of pop-up types to try like scroll, click, and entry pop-ups. But the most common ones are time-based and exit intent pop-ups. eCommerce sites typically utilize exit intent pop-ups as a last chance effort to get visitors to purchase by offering a coupon code or additional perk like free shipping. B2B sites often add a time-based pop-up to specific pages and promote a relevant, high-quality piece of content, like a whitepaper, to generate a lead while simultaneously gaining insight into what business service they might be interested in. Most pop-up website plug-ins or platforms offer very specific preferences and targeting options. So, when setting up, determine what your pop-up goals are. Find the right type to test and offer the most useful content that will get your visitors to convert.
Tip #7 Establish Trust
If you want a user to transact with your business, you have to earn their trust. Credible reviews and testimonials from current clients and customers can provide social proof and demonstrate the value of your offerings. Third-party review platforms like Google My Business and Trustpilot can be integrated into your website experience, adding another layer of credibility. Having an SSL certificate is a must for any website and utilizing reCAPTCHA to secure forms will help protect your site from spam, and signal to your users that your website is legitimate. Ecommerce websites should consider auditing the entire checkout process to ensure proper security measures are in place and that a comprehensive return policy and any associated fees are clearly stated.
Tip #8 Add Live Chat
Integrating live chat into your website can be an effective and accessible way to interact with potential customers, increase customer touchpoints, and generate leads. Live chat has proven to be more than a customer service hub, as 79% of businesses say offering live chat has had a positive effect on sales, revenue, and customer loyalty. In addition, 38% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they offer live chat support. Ease into live chat if it currently isn’t on your website and add it to pages where visitors are spending the most time on or are exiting off of. A common place to start is launching a live chat on the pricing page, which is often when visitors have the most questions or hesitancy to convert. From there, slowly expand the chat to more high-converting pages and begin testing out new welcome messages, hours of activation, and quick replies.
Tip #9 Test, Test, Test
A/B testing should be an essential part of your website optimization process and testing for final conversion goals on your website should be an integral part of that process. A/B tests are known to be low in cost and high in reward so when looking to make small but mighty tweaks to increase conversions, focus on testing different elements that actually affect your conversion funnel and make sure you identify the appropriate goal. If your goal is to increase lead sign-ups, then that’s the conversion goal to measure. Prioritize testing different locations, colors, and even anchor text on your CTAs to landing pages with a final conversion action. Don’t test CTAs or copy buried on a page, focus on prominent, high traffic pages. Test one element at a time and give it enough time to produce statistically significant data.
Tip #10 SEO Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of growing organic (non-paid) visibility in search engine results. This encompasses technical and content-driven optimizations that will help a search engine reach and understand your site so it knows what pages are most relevant to a user’s search query. The following factors all contribute to a higher SEO ranking:
- Improving page loading speed
- Updating website content
- Including keyword-optimized metadata to all pages
- Setting up and consistently updating your Google My Business page
- Installing a browser site caching plugin
- Optimizing images
Adhering to basic SEO best practices not only improves visibility but also applying these tactics can help increase your conversion rate.