To get started with conversion rate optimization, first let us agree to what conversion rate really is. Simply put, the conversion rate of a website is the percentage of visitors or visits that result in completion of a conversion event. Conversion event is a very broad term and it totally depends on the (business) goals of a website; it may be user registration, purchase, whitepaper download or free trial, etc. Obviously, a business desires that more number of visitors (ideally all) complete the conversion process.
Conversion rate optimization is a huge discipline in itself as there are numerous methods for increasing the conversion rate of a website. However, if you are just getting started to get serious about squeezing the maximum out of your traffic, following are three basic yet super-effective tips:
1) Test your “Call to Action”:
Your “Call to Action” is the main button or link that persuades the visitor to start the conversion process. Call to action can be your registration or checkout button. Needless to say it is the most important part of the conversion process. Your call to action should be the most prominent part on the page and should excite the visitor to start the conversion process. Different elements should be tested in order to see what works best. Try varying message, size, font and colour of the button or link. A quick tip: it is always best to avoid using texts that are vague and don’t convey any meaning. For example, commonly used examples of less effective call to action are “click here”, “submit”, “read more,” etc. Are you using such buttons or links on your website? Change them immediately. Instead, you should use more descriptive and persuasive text that tells your visitors where they are going and why they should go there. This will then drive your visitors to take the desired actions. Placements of the call to action is also important and it is recommended that this be above the fold and be near points of attention.
Ideally, you should setup a split test for testing different variations of your button or link. However, to begin with you can tweak your call to action so as to make it most prominent element on the page. A person standing 15 feet away from the screen should be able to recognize your call to action.
2) Simplify your conversion funnel:
The conversion funnel is a set of pages (like the checkout process or registration form) that leads to your conversion goal (like a product purchase or subscription). Most web analytics tools (including some free ones) can be configured to allow you to visualize where your visitors are leaking from your conversion funnel. You may be surprised to know that most visitors abandon step 2 of your conversion funnel because you are asking for their personal details when they are not motivated enough by step 1 to warrant that. A complicated conversion funnel needs to be simplified in order to push the traffic through to the final conversion page. A few tweaks to simplify your funnel thereby increase your conversion rate:
- Remove all extraneous links from pages within the conversion funnel
- Remove all unnecessary steps from the conversion funnel
- Don’t put too much focus on up-selling other offers
- Only ask for information that is completely necessary in completing the conversion process. Visitors are hesitant to reveal their information if it unjustified
- In the case of shopping carts, clearly let the visitor know about postage and packaging costs, taxes and your returns policy as early in the process as possible
- And make sure that you remind your visitor what they’ve added to their cart by placing a link back to the product
3) Don’t let your visitors doubt your business trustworthiness
No matter how persuasive your call to action is or how simple your website is, if you do not give the impression of trustworthiness to your visitors or give them confidence in your website, you are not very likely to improve your website’s conversion rate. Your visitors need to know that you are not fly-by-night operation and you are here to remain. There are different methods which you can apply on the website pages to increase visitors’ confidence in your website and products. These include:
- Assuring your visitors that you value their privacy and that you have a secured site. This can go a long way to instil confidence in any interactions that visitors have with your website. This can be done by adding HackerSafe (or similar) badges that show that you take the issue of website security seriously
- Having a professional looking and uniform layout throughout your website will give the impression that your website is well designed and professionally maintained. This would include having consistent placements of navigation buttons and branding throughout the website
Those were simple yet extremely effective tips which many businesses fail to consider. Many a times, the conversion rate is sub-optimal and business owners aren’t even aware of that. They are too happy with their single percentage point conversion rates. But now that you know there are tons of tweaks that you can do which will directly impact your website sales and revenues, you should better get started now!
How is your experience with these tips? Tried them on your website? Do share with us your story.