So you've spent hour after hour implementing all the right practices to drive fresh traffic to your website. You are blogging about topics that your target audience cares about. You are promoting your content in the proper channels. After digging into your website analytics, you are definitely on the right track... so where are the leads? Shouldn't more website traffic mean more leads? Isn't that the point of all of this?
Getting traffic to your website is definitely the first step (some might argue the toughest step) in the equation of increasing your website conversion rate and getting new customers. Sometimes so much attention is placed on getting the ideal customer to your website that the actual site experience is overlooked. What good is all the traffic in the world going to do if everyone comes to a screeching halt the moment they get to your website? Let's take a look at Conversion Rate Optimization or CRO.
Understanding Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimization is the process of enhancing the design and content of your website and landing pages to increase the amount of website visitors convert or complete a desired action. In another way, it is making changes that increase the number of website visitors that fill out a form, call for an appointment, download an ebook or visit your location. Website analytics and user feedback are two key tools in determining what changes to will yield the best conversion rate.
Establish Goals / Measure Success
If this is your first round of CRO, then you might not quite know what your benchmark numbers are. Not a big deal. Start by identifying your KPIs for your online efforts. Are you trying to increase form submissions? Then track the percentage of website visitors that complete a form. Measure this over a certain time period and then establish a SMART goal based off that number to work towards.
6 Ways To Increase Your Website Conversion Rate
#1: Using Landing Pages
Too often I click on a Paid Search Ad for a company's specific product or service and get direct to your home page... ugh. If what I'm looking for is not front and center, there's a good chance I'm backing out of your site and going to the next option. There goes a wasted visitor and wasted money for the click.
The ideal alternative would be to create a landing page that talks only about the product / service I am looking for. You got my attention with your ad and now I'm on your website... be sure that you keep me and get me to convert.
#2: Use Calls To Action
Your Call To Action is one of the most important components of Conversion Rate Optimization. This is your main focal point that tells the site visitor why they need to do exactly what you want them to do. The Call To Action should contain both value and urgency. An example of this could be "Stop Wasting Time and Money Driving Traffic to Your Website That Does Not Convert. Schedule a Free 30 Minute Consultation on How to Improve Your Website Conversion Rate Today!" with a "Schedule Now" button at the end. This CTA addresses both value and urgency.
Here are a couple different types of Calls To Action you can use on your website or landing pages:
- Lead Generation - Get your site visitor to schedule an appointment or requesting a call back.
- Form Submissions - A well constructed form can help gather information you seek.
- Read More Buttons - Sometimes you just need to get them interested in learning more. Create a CTA that makes them dig deeper into with more detailed information.
- Product Demo / Free Trial - We are in a try it before you buy it consuming world. If possible, provide a free product demo / trial offer.
- Social Sharing Buttons - Make it easy for site visitors to share your website or landing pages with their social media audiences.
While your website / landing page can have more than one CTA, it is important to clearly identify your primary Call To Action so the visitor is not confused as to what they should do.
#3: User-Friendly Forms
One of the most overlooked items is long, bloated forms that are intimidating to your site visitors and never get filled out. I'm talking about that Schedule an Appointment form where you ask them for their name, phone, favorite color and if they like Jordan or Lebron better. Do your site visitors a huge favor and cut down the form fields to only what is necessary for your conversion. If you can get away with only collection their name and email, stick to that. It will drastically increase the number of people that submit the form.
If you haven't noticed yet, the number of site visitors you receive from mobile devices has drastically increased in the past couple years. Make sure your forms look and function well on mobile devices. Otherwise you could be alienating half of your site visitors from converting because of a difficult to complete web form.
#4: Rock Star Content
Content is King. Tired of that one yet? Sorry, but it holds true.
Nothing could be worse than grabbing the attention of your site visitor and having them dive into your bland content only to lose their attention to what they need to pickup at the grocery store on the way home. You've worked this hard, don't lose them now.
A couple items you could include in your content:
- What objections do your customers have? Address them in detail.
- What questions do your customers have? Thoroughly answer them.
- What kind words have others said about your product / service? Post testimonials (text or video) of satisfied customers validating what you are talking about.
#5 - Take Time to Choose / Create a Solid Image
Our eyes are drawn to images. A well-chosen image will help engage the site visitor into continuing their view of your website page or landing page and increase their chance at converting.
Here are some tips for using images:
- Use actual photos of your products / services. This does necessarily mean you have to hire a photographer and conduct a professional photo shoot every time you want to optimize your conversion rate. Most smart phones come equipped with excellent digital cameras and photo editing tools.
- Don't steal photos from the internet. Not only is this wrong, it is also very easy to track and can likely lead to fines. Only use photos that you've taken yourself, paid to have taken or you have paid for right to use through one of the many stock photo sites out there.
- Get creative by using an advanced photo editor (like Photoshop) to fuse multiple images together to create one that is perfect for your page.
Spending time on a good photo(s) will pay dividends in the long run.
#6 - Remove Unnecessary Distractions
Did I just finish telling you to add a bunch of stuff only to cap off this post by telling you to remove things? Yup.
You only want to have items present that are going to contribute to converting your website traffic. If it does not help you convert, consider removing it all together. More is not necessarily better here.
A landing page created as a destination for a Paid Search campaign might not have navigation or a phone number present... only a headline, image, copy and a form. Why provide a link to your Portfolio and give the visitor you just paid Google for the opportunity to become distracted from filling out your form by going to check out your recent work.
Where To Go From Here
- Set a SMART Goal. Determine what your desired conversion will be. Don't limit yourself to a single type of conversion such as a "Schedule Consultation" form. Creating different conversion opportunities will help attract different site visitors at different stages of the buyer's journey.
- Begin using Landing Pages. Create landing pages to drive conversions through your website. Landing pages can also be used in conjunction with paid search, television, radio, direct mail and social media campaigns.
- Optimize your website / landing pages as outlined in the steps above. The time this takes will be well worth it.
- Measure your results and review them on a regular basis. Try to identify what works well and what doesn't. Make adjustments to get the optimal conversion rate.
Send us a comment! What are some of the best strategies you've implemented on your website or landing pages to increase your conversion rate?