As a business owner, you’ve probably heard the phrases “click-through-rate” or “conversion rate” and “optimize” more times than you can count. If you’ve worked with a marketing company before, it’s likely these were all items on a long checklist of things to do and track. Simply put, these are all items and buzzwords that are highly important when discussing your business goals and how your website helps you achieve them. In this article, we’ll discuss 8 ways to optimize your website and improve your conversion rates; because, marketing.
What Is “Conversion Rate”
A simplified definition of conversion rate would be the percentage of users who take a desired action when they visit your site. The typical conversion is when customers buy something while visiting your site. That’s the end goal, to sell stuff and make money.
These conversions are tracked through an analytics program, usually Google Analytics, which offers a vast amount of data such as behaviors, the visitor’s time on site, and pages visited. Having a “pretty” website is only one piece of the puzzle, though. You want a well designed website that not only invites visitors in, but is built with solutions in mind to make them stay and take action.
Optimizing For Conversions
So, how does one create a website that is conversion friendly, anyway? You understand what conversion rate is and why it’s the end goal for every business’ marketing campaign, but how can you optimize a website to make it more conversion friendly?
- Responsive Design. Another one of those popular buzzwords in the marketing world, not for naught. Responsive design describes the process of making a website friendly for users on any device; whether it be desktop, tablet, or mobile. Most Content Management Systems have adapted their templates to facilitate responsive design for good reason. How many times have you navigated to a site on your mobile device, only to find it extremely difficult to navigate, thus, becoming annoyed or leaving the site entirely. The goal here is to make your website easy to navigate on every device so no matter where your users are, they can access and use it with ease.
- Speed Test. Is your site sexy but slow? Are you testing your visitor’s patience while they use your site? We’re here to tell you that just because it looks good doesn’t mean it is good. Most importantly, your competitors will take advantage of your snail speed. Google also lists site speed as a ranking factor. So what can you do to increase your site’s horsepower?
- Optimize images
- Leverage browser caching
- Enable compression
- Clean, Easily Navigated Design. Always keep in mind that your ego needs to take a backseat during website design. The website you’re building is not for you, it is for your users. You want to ensure it has your company’s brand and message while still making it simple for your users to drive more traffic and conversions. There are specific and fundamental design standards you have to keep in mind to allow the structure and flow to occur each time.
- Powerful Headline. Again, your site’s design may be absolutely epic, but you have to draw visitors in. Think of this as the “wreath” on your digital front door. Is it going to be a plain burlap wreath with nothing on it, or is it going to be completely decked out and welcoming? As if that’s not enough, you also have to stay relevant to what your company does. If you’re browsing the internet for a new bagel shop, which one would you choose based on their website’s headline? We Sell Good Bagels. Rated Atlanta’s #1 Bagel Shop 2 years in a row!
- 404 Errors. Are visitors clicking on your pages and ending up with a 404 error? This is extremely bad for business, especially if it’s on a landing page which pertinent information. A 404 error occurs when a page cannot be found, usually due to backlinks or internal links not leading anywhere. You can do an internal site audit to find dead links via Screaming Frog, but it’s typically best to leave this up to the professionals.
- Don’t Make It Difficult. Do you have a call to action, forms, and phone numbers but not in prominent areas of the site? With Google’s instant results, users have gotten used to immediate gratification and you best be sure you’re in line with that; this is the internet, after all. Fixes include auto-fill forms and contextual keyboards for mobile users. If you create too many steps for visitors to reach your “action” page, they’ll drop off and find something easier. (Trust me, I do it all the time.)
- Call-To-Actions. Probably one of the easiest items to implement on your site and one of the most useful to your visitors; the call-to-action. They come in many forms, and are typically buttons with catchy phrases such as “Get Started” or “More Info.” This doesn’t just tell them what to do, it makes them do it. Make sure your CTAs are easy to find and functional — and of course, make sure they work.
- Testimonials. What’s one of the first things you do before you make an online purchase, after deciding you want a product? For me, it’s reading reviews from other customers. I have little to no trust until I’ve read someone else’s account of the product or service. Testimonials reduce the risk of the buyer and offer social proof, so use them on product landing pages.
Whew, that was a lot to read, wasn’t it? Alright, now that you have some tools, go check out your website and create a checklist of items needed to optimize it. If you need help throughout the process, or you want to create a more conversion friendly site, contact us here. (That’s a CTA)