A great business website should provide some free value to its visitors. This could be in the form of informative blog posts and tutorials or entertaining videos. However, the website’s ultimate purpose is to drive sales, so some pages should be designed to encourage visitors to take a specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or purchasing a product. When the visitor completes the desired action, it is called a conversion. Thus, your conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete the action. Higher conversion rates are great for business because it means your site’s visitors are advancing one step further through your sales funnel. Marketers and small business owners are constantly looking for ways to improve their conversation rate. Are you looking for ways to improve your own site? You can pay a contractor or consultant a large fee to optimize your landing pages for you, or you implement the following conversion hacks yourself and watch your conversion rates soar.
The most important step you can take to improve your conversion rate is to make sure your site is responsive. Responsive design simply means that your website will “respond” with a user-friendly layout that is optimized for the screen size. It ensures your site looks well when viewed on monitors, laptops, tablets, or mobile devices. This is extremely important because today’s consumers are increasingly accessing the internet from their phones. Sites that are not responsive are difficult to view on mobile – they may require the user to continually scroll sideways, or images and text may not load properly. When this happens, people will just leave your site, and you miss many valuable conversion opportunities.
To check if your site has responsive design, simply view your site from multiple browsers and devices. Be sure to check it from a tablet and one or two smartphones. Is the layout simple and easy to read? If not, you need to make some site changes. You have several different options. If you have a proprietary site, you can hire someone to convert your code. If you use WordPress, you can simply change themes to a responsive one. Be sure to back up your theme files and plugins before switching themes, and check to make sure everything is working properly after the switch. If you created your site using a web builder such as Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly, your site should already be responsive. However, you should still edit your site layout and content to make sure your site is as user-friendly as possible.
A/B testing sounds complicated, but it is simply a way to test which version of a webpage leads to higher conversion. It is also called split testing. You compare two versions of a webpage, A and B, by showing them to similar users at the same time. After a period, you then check to see which page had better conversion results, and then you choose to use that version on the site going forward. For example, you might test two versions of a landing page prompting users to download an e-book – one version of the page has a large image, while the other has no images. You may discover that the first version has a 30% conversion rate, while the second one has a 12% conversion rate. Running these tests helps you boost your conversion rate by allowing you to discover which content and layout will yield the highest rate for your specific site.
A/B testing can be done for free using Google Analytics’ basic content experiments feature. Many landing page creators, such as Leadpages and Instapage, have A/B testing features included in their monthly plans. Some marketing automation software, including Hubspot and Salesforce’s Pardot, also offer A/B testing.
If you are trying to convert visitors into buyers, then you need to gain their trust. Many consumers are hesitant to make purchases on lesser known websites. They are concerned about privacy, the security of their payment information, and the quality of the product. If a site contains a lot of generic language and stock photos, consumers may wonder whether an actual business with real people actually exists beyond the site. To allay their concerns, be sure to include the following trust-building elements on your site:
- Contact information: Be sure to include a physical or mailing address, phone number, and email address on your site. The info should be easy to find. Common locations are in the page footer and on a dedicated “contact us” page in the main navigation. Also include contact info on the purchasing pages, so that a buyer may easily contact you if they encounter issues.
- About Us or History: Consider adding a page that explains who your business is and what you do. Make it personal – add the founder’s photo and bio, or include headshots and titles for your leadership team or staff. Depending on the type of business, you can also add a photo of your brick and mortar location. Photo quality is important, but decent, “real” photo of your location or team lends more credibility than a higher quality, generic stock photo.
- Security: Ensure that your checkout pages are secure. Buyers will not enter their personal information if they don’t see the secure padlock symbol next to the url. If you cannot guarantee security, try using a service like PayPal or Stripe to handle your payment processing.
- Return Policy: Ensure that you have a plainly written and easy-to-find return policy or satisfaction guarantee.
- Product Descriptions: Have detailed product descriptions! Post accurate, high-quality photos, and describe as much as possible about the product’s attributes. If you are selling a service, be detailed about what is included and what is not.
- Reviews: Product reviews and testimonials from past customers can lend a lot of credibility and boost your conversions. Consider integrating reviews from a trusted third-party site such as Yelp, Facebook, or Angie’s List into your site.
These three hacks provide easy initial steps to boosting your conversion rate. You can implement them yourself and start reaping the benefits immediately.