As an online business owner, you of course want to attract as much traffic to your website as possible. You probably invest heavily in various organic and paid strategies to bring business your way. But if the traffic you attract doesn’t convert, you’re wasting your time and money.
This is why it’s important to carefully balance lead-generation with conversion rate optimisation. Neither can get the job done on its own – you need a strong and consistent blend of both. Still, if you’re going to focus on just one of the two, you may as well make it conversion rates.
After all, it’s better to attract 50 visitors per day and convert five of them, than to attract 50,000 visitors and achieve no conversions at all.
In this article, therefore, we’ll be looking at a series of simple yet effective ways to improve conversion rates. Many of which can be implemented with no real technical knowledge or expertise required.
So in no particular order, here’s a definitive rundown of the tips, tricks and techniques you’ll need to give your conversion rates in nudge in the right direction:
1. Ask for as little information as possible
Right now, there’s no bigger turn-off for the average consumer than being asked to share their life story. In fact, the more information you request, the less likely they are to go any further. Consider your conversion funnel and determine which fields can be eliminated from the equation entirely. Unless they are 100% mandatory, get rid of them immediately.
2. Add warranties and guarantees
The addition of a warranty or guarantee instils the kind of peace of mind that can make all the difference. It tells the visitor that there is an insurance policy of some kind backing their purchase, encouraging them to take the next step. If you’re unable to offer warranties or guarantees, you need to question the value (or otherwise) of your offer in general.
3. Use tangible verbs strategically
Roughly translated, experiment with different approaches to the CTAs you position on your pages. Instead of saying ‘buy now’, you could swap it for ‘get yours’ or even ‘let’s go’ from time to time. Whatever suits the purpose and tone of your website.
4. Use social proof
Social proof can be an immensely powerful tool for boosting conversion rates. Particularly when presented in the form of reviews and testimonials, which can reassure visitors that they’re making the right decision. Use social proof to your advantage across as much of your site as you can get away with.
5. Show them the numbers
If one of your most popular products has sold to the tune of 5,000 units, let the world know about it. If another product has received 98% positive feedback, why keep it a secret? This is essentially another type of social proof you can use to seal the deal, giving the visitor confidence to continue with their purchase.
6. Consider add-ons carefully
In some instances, upselling extras during the checkout process can be a great way of generating more sales. In others, it’s simply a delay and distraction that could send would-be buyers in the opposite direction. Feel free to experiment with add-ons, but monitor the effect they have carefully and remove them if necessary.
7. Keep it on a single page
The more pages the visitor has to go through to complete their purchase, the less likely they are to do so. Their name and address on one page, delivery preferences on the next, terms and conditions on the subsequent page and so on. It all adds up to one long and unnecessary headache. If possible, give them the opportunity to make their purchase all on one page.
8. Offer instant customer support
Ideally, the customer should be able to immediately get in touch at any time during the conversion process, should they have any questions to ask. Live-chat has become the firm favourite for today’s consumer, but a telephone number that’s clearly displayed at all times can also work. Ensure that if they want to get in touch with you, they don’t have to jump through hoops to make it happen.
9. Keep conversion elements above the fold
All primary conversion elements on your pages should be kept above the fold, meaning they can be seen and easily accessed at all times. The further down the page you position your most important conversion elements, the more likely they are to go overlooked and have zero impact on the visitor.
10. Create dedicated landing pages
You carry out an online search, you find a product or service you’re looking for and you click the paid-ad link accordingly. So, why on earth would the brand behind it direct you to their home page and have your start looking again from scratch? It makes no sense and only stands to frustrate potential customers. Instead, create dedicated landing pages for every PPC ad you create and publish.
11. Include a privacy statement
Don’t simply assume that your customers will instinctively expect you to safeguard their privacy. Instead, make it clear that their safety and security are taken seriously and represent a priority for you as a business. A simple and concise privacy statement is the best way to communicate this information, which should be positioned as prominently as possible.
12. Recommend similar products
There’s always the chance that the product the customer is looking at isn’t quite perfect for their needs. But one of your other products could be. Particularly if a similar or related product has earned even stronger feedback and recommendations, it could tip them over the edge and close the deal. Recommending similar products should therefore be considered mandatory.
13. Ensure input fields are optional
If you choose to request information, which is preferable for you as a business but isn’t 100% necessary, ensure you make these fields optional. Once again, it’s a case of making it as quick and easy as possible for your customers to convert, without asking them to share too much information.
14. Speed things up
If your customers need to pass through four pages before completing their purchase, that’s four opportunities for them to be irritated by your poor page loading times. The longer it takes them to get where they want to be, the less likely they are to take action. Do whatever it takes to enhance the speed and efficiency of the checkout process, even if it means intensive coding efforts.
15. Remove all distractions
There’s a time and a place to bombard your visitors with marketing messages and general spiel about your business. This isn’t it – give them ‘tunnel vision’ and eliminate all distractions from the equation once they’ve expressed interest in converting, you need to ensure they focus 100% of their attention on getting it done.
16. Accept multiple payment types
It’s a point we’ve covered on numerous occasions before, but warrants reiterating. The more payment types you accept, the more customers you’re likely to win over as a result.
17. Brag about free shipping
From the moment the visitor lands on your website, it should be abundantly clear that you offer free shipping. If you don’t offer free shipping, you’re already on a slippery slope. Online shoppers today expect free shipping as standard, along with a variety of shipping options to choose from where possible.
18. Happy, high-quality images
You need to ensure the motivation and optimism of the visitor is maintained right through to the end of the conversion process. This can be assisted by using a high-quality unique imagery, which paint a positive picture of whatever it is they’re buying and what you represent as a business. Generic, uninspiring stock photography can have the opposite effect and should therefore be avoided.
19. Offer a price-match guarantee
If you can guarantee that your prices are the lowest of any competing seller in your niche, they’ll have no reason or motivation to look elsewhere. You may occasionally be undercut, but there’s a good chance neither you nor anyone else will ever detect when it happens. Again, if you cannot promise to match the price of any competing seller, you need to carefully consider your value proposition as a whole.
20. Don’t demand registration
Last but not least, there’s simply no excuse for imposing mandatory registrations on your customers. If they want to sign up, they’ll do so. If they simply want to place an order for something, they shouldn’t have to register as part of the purchase process. Suggest an optional membership with various rewards and incentives for signing up, but under no circumstances force them to register. It’s almost guaranteed to backfire…spectacularly.