If you’re a merchant with an online presence, you need to make it simple for customers to navigate your website’s conversion funnel. That conversion can be anything from signing up for a newsletter, registering for a webinar, downloading content, filling out a contact form or clicking that Checkout button. Conversion is the most important factor to the success of your online marketing goals and everything on your website should focus on turning shoppers into customers.
Here are five ways to get there.
1. Simplify Your Site
According to a recent study by Business Insider, 25% of people said they abandon online shopping carts because the website is too complicated. In fact, companies typically spend $92 to attract customers to their site, but only $1 to convert them. This strongly implies that a lot of merchants need to reduce the barriers to conversion by focusing on site usability. Here are some tips for better usability.
- Make Navigation Seamless: Visitors need to be able to get to where they want to go without thinking too much.
- Remove Unnecessary Page Elements: Avoid using too much text or distracting sidebars. Replace text blocks with bullet points where possible (people don’t read, they scan).
- Use Images in Moderation: An image or two is a great way to keep users visually engaged. However, use them sparingly and keep them clean and professional.
- Use Compelling Buttons: Ensure that buttons are easy to find and read. Don’t bury them in hard-to-find hyperlinks. Remember, this is your desired action.
- Implement Easy-to-Submit Forms: A form should have the minimum required fields and be in a prominent place so the user can easily see it when the page first loads.
2. Minimize Load Time
A second or two in loading time can make or break your website conversion rate: 47% of eCommerce customers expect page load times of less than 2 seconds before they consider leaving and 40% will abandon a site when waiting 3 seconds. There’s more: Radware reveals that a site that takes 5 seconds to load experience 35% fewer page views and a 105% higher bounce rate, with a -38% impact on conversions. To keep that customer interested and engaged, you need to ensure your pages load fast.
3. Have a Clear Call to Action
Essentially, a Call to Action (CTA) takes the user to a page, which should clearly deliver on the CTA’s promise (download, sign-up, buy). Like a headline, the CTA is what grabs the visitor’s attention and moves them to conversion. More than 90% of visitors who read your headline also read your CTA. So, think creatively: the more interesting your CTA is, the more likely you’ll turn your visitor into a customer.
4. Discover What You Shouldn’t be Doing
Web analytics software such as Google Analytics or Crazy Egg is essential for understanding your visitors – where they came from and which links they clicked on. Google Analytics is sufficient for most websites, but Crazy Egg takes it to another level by showing you which parts of your pages your visitors click on, including clicks that weren’t on a link (perhaps they should be!). Whatever you choose, using analytics will reveal what’s getting the most attention and allow you to optimize intelligently.
Using the right targeting and testing methods can increase conversion rates by up to 300%. Companies spend so much time building a website that they often neglect to actually test the site to see if it’s working properly. This task usually falls on the one who built the site, but everyone involved should take part; on every browser, device and operating system. This is also where A/B testing comes in. A/B testing is the most used testing method for improving conversion rates. It allows businesses to see what works and what doesn’t. For eCommerce sites, the purchase funnel is typically a good candidate for A/B testing, as even marginal improvements in drop-off rates can represent a significant gain in sales.
The key overall is simplicity. If your site is fast, easy to view and navigate, customers are much more likely to stay engaged and move through the conversion funnel. If you analyze and test, then you will educate yourself on what is (and isn’t) working. Only then will you see the difference between attracting visitors and converting them into lifetime customers.