Converting Your Visitors To Customers
Whether your website is purely informational and your goal is to build a readership through converting visitors into newsletter subscribers or you are looking to sell services or products online, conversion is all about getting people to take action there and then.
It can seem like a huge mountain to climb but there are a number of things you can immediately do to convert visitors into customers. What's more, making those critical improvements need not be expensive.
Taking the Process Further
Getting users to your site is only the start. Surprisingly, thousands of online businesses successfully attract visitors to their site (using effective search engine optimisation techniques or "SEO"), but then sit back and wait, assuming customers will follow. Not so.
For most websites, a few small changes might be all it takes to start converting visitors into customers in increasing numbers.
Identifying the "Roadblocks" (Dissuasive Elements)
Offering an online experience with no unnecessary diversions or roadblocks is critical. Many of these roadblocks are the same for brochure and e-commerce websites.
Remember your site visitor has a range of options (other sites) to go to that sell the same product or service (or similar), all at the click of a mouse.
Types of roadblocks [that will have visitors clicking off your site in droves] include:
- Confusing navigation.
- Broken links.
- Contact details not being clearly visible (or even not there at all).
- Products or services being wrongly categorised.
- Incomplete product or service information.
- Spelling mistakes in product or service descriptions, pricing, and terms of sale.
- Too much text or text in long paragraphs.
- Vague or unreasonable return policies.
- The testimonials/customer feedback on the site over-claims (and therefore seems fake).
- Images (especially product images) are small or blurred.
- The website is simply not visibly attractive.
Replacing the Roadblocks (Persuasive Elements)
Give your visitors a rewarding online experience from start to finish. This can be achieved through the following:
- Check your navigation — Simple to follow navigation will allow site visitors to find the information they require without having to ‘hunt around'.
- Make sure all your landing pages are keyword-specific — For example, if your online shop sells baby clothes, when a user types a search query into Google looking specifically for, say, baby grows, ensure your baby grows page has been separately optimised for that particular search term (by identifying and including the right keyword phrases, code etc., for that page). The user will then land directly onto the right page of your site (instead of landing on your home page, and then having to navigate to the baby grows page from there). The same applies to services e.g. if you are a company which deals with office refurbishment have separate pages that deal with each of your services and optimise the content on each page.
- Have multiple calls-to-action throughout your pages — Don't just put Call Us Now, Buy Now or Find Out More about Our Services as a link at the foot of the page. Give potential customers several opportunities to contact you or buy products and services as the visitor scrolls down.
- If your site sells a range of products, ensure all product images are clear and of a reasonable size (and that they correspond correctly with product descriptions).
- Ensure every transaction at your site is secure — If visitors are in no doubt that your online shop is a safe place to shop, they will return to buy from you again and again. They will also recommend your site to others as a place where they can buy with confidence. All this will help you to forge a solid and trustworthy reputation.
- Offer free trials — Allow visitors to experience your products through demos or free trials.
- Offer discounts and special offers — People love a bargain. Special offers and discounts will help foster an affective commitment towards your site and your brand overall.
- Include reviews of your site — Ensure they give a positive but balanced review, because honesty fosters trust. And trust results in sales!
- Offer free postage and packing (and shipping) if you can — This way, customers will have just one price to consider.
- Return policies — That are fair and easy to understand. If your site visitor knows they can return an item if there is a problem they are more likely to buy. Honour your return policies.
- Always be contactable — As well as an e-mail link, ensure you have a telephone number clearly displayed on your site. Get back to customers promptly even if it's just to acknowledge receipt of their e-mail or phone message.
- Check your site links — Go through the links on your site to ensure they work.
- XML Sitemap — Build an XML Sitemap of your site (shows the links to all of the pages on your site), upload it to your hosting server and submit it to the search engines. The search engines use Sitemaps to index your site pages. There are a number of FREE tools available which will allow you to do this: G Site Crawler or XML Sitemaps.
- Welcome feedback — Encourage it. Ask for it. Find out what your customers like and don't like. Then make the necessary changes quickly.
It's important that you take time out to analyse your site's traffic data and marketing effectiveness using a stats analysis program. In this way you can continue to identify where to improve your CRO.
Where to Start?
If your website is losing business; if demand for your services badly needs a boost; or if the key messages on your website simply aren't reaching as many people as you'd like contact us for website review.