Website conversion rate optimization is all the rage these days. In fact, it’s now the most important priority to digital marketers as we are no longer simply measured on generating website traffic – All of a sudden, we’re reporting on cost per acquisition (CPA), conversion rate per channel and customer lifetime value (CLV).
We now need these visitors to turn into paying customers.
Website conversion rates vary per industry but the average conversion rate is approx. 3% – With the best converting websites converting as much as 40% of their traffic! That sounds crazy, right?
Brands like ProFlowers, Schwan’s and Office Depot – that convert as many as 40% of their traffic are part of the conversion rate optimization elite – Household names that have spent millions of dollars on researching user behavior and optimizing their website based on testing and tweaking their web pages.
Not all brands have a million dollar conversion optimization budget and the resources to plan, test and optimize new website changes. And if you’re like most marketers, we’re just happy to get things out there let alone test subject line emails before send out or update an image on a landing page. We simply don’t have time.
But what if you could improve your website conversion rate without the big budget and without the huge time sucks that is usually required?
We want you to convert more than 2% of your web traffic. And we’ve put together 8 ways for you to double (and even triple) your website conversion rate. You don’t need to be an experienced developer and you don’t need a master’s degree in web psychology – You just need to dedicate 30-45 minutes to your website. It’s that simple.
1. Focus on your site speed and make your website quick
Due to fast-paced Internet speeds, web users have become increasingly impatient. Eight years ago, (2006), if a website took longer than four seconds to load, 40% of the visitors would leave the site. Today, we abandon web pages unless they load in two seconds or less.
Prioritizing site speed improvement is difficult. It’s a technical fix that you need to prioritize over new functionality on the website, so how can you justify this investment?
According to research by Amazon, every one second delay will drop your conversion rate by 7%. To put this into perspective, if you sell $100,000 online per day, a one second delay will cost you $2.5 million per year. When you read numbers like these, it’s easy to prioritize, right?
But even if you do not sell $100,000 per day online, you still want to deliver a great user experience.
A quick fix to boost site speed is to remove any rotating banners you have on your website. Not only do rotating banners kill website conversion rates but they also slow down your website.
Replacing a rotating banner with a static banner should not take more than a minute. If you want invest more time in site speed performance, run your website through Google’s page speed developer tool
2. Explain the benefits of what makes your site unique
Each website provides a unique experience. Some websites focus on an easy-to-use website while some websites offer a wider range of products. 9 out of 10 buyer’s comparison shop, which means they need a reason to come back to your website instead of a competitors.
Set aside 5 minutes and write down all of the reasons why a customer should choose your brand over another. Some examples can include;
- 24/7 customer service
- Free shipping on all orders
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Voted “Best eCommerce store”
- $10 gift card with each purchase
Write down as many reasons that you can think of and then add them to your home page as well all of your marketing automation communication – And make it easy to find.
3. Create user friendly error handling on your forms
Like most websites, you will have some kind of web form – Whether that’s used to contact your customer service, request a demo of your product or sign up to a free trial.
Inline validation is a way to inform the user that a field is required but, has not been completed. What usually happens is that when a field is not completed, an error message appears and informs the user that in order to continue, all required fields must be completed (as shown below):
Research by Etre and Luke Wroblewski found that positive inline validation has a great impact on contact form completions, which include;
- 22% increase in success rates
- 22% decrease in errors made
- 31% increase in satisfaction ratings
Soft Media implemented inline validation on their web forms and it had an immediate impact that lead to a 170% increase in website conversion rate and 277% increase in completed contact forms.
4. Use thank you pages to increase goal completions per visit
“Thank you for your order. Please leave the website.” – This is how most thank you pages on the web look.
Do you know when the best time to sell to someone is?
Nope, it’s not in the morning at 9am after their coffee or on payday at 1pm. It’s right after your initial sale!
When a visitor has made a purchase or has signed up to a free trial, why send them away from your website to check their mailbox, only to then forget about your brand?
Instead, use your thank you page to upsell or cross-sell. For example;
An eCommerce store can use the thank you page to;
- Upsell: If a towel was purchased, offer a bundle set of 4 towels with a limited discount
- Cross sell: If a bag is purchased, offer a matching purse
- Reward: Offer a 10% discount for every friend the buyer refers to your site
A SaaS business can use the thank you page to;
- Link to gated content such as white papers, guides and eBooks
- Invite the user to a free webinar you are hosting
- Invite the user to an event in their area
Optimizing your thank you pages will increase the number of actions performed by a web visitor, and thus increase your website conversion rate.
5. Launch a pop up banner on your most visited pages
“Arghh – They’re so annoying!!”
I hear this all the time. Pop up banners are annoying. And so many websites use them. So why do you want to annoy your visitors?
The answer is simple. They’re actually not that annoying.
Last year, SuperOffice launched a pop up banner on their website. It wasn’t the prettiest banner and colleagues complained that it was hurting the user experience and we should remove it.
But if we let opinions run our websites, then we wouldn’t get very far. Instead, we chose let the data decide. Using behavior tracking reports, SuperOffice found out that every 1 in 4 visitors who saw the banner became a lead and the banner has generated more than 75 leads from 244 clicks.
That’s right. It’s converts really well. Even with a poor design.
6. Include your most important website goals in your footer
Research has proven that not only do people scroll on your website, but those that scroll are more likely to buy, which makes sense as they are more engaged with your content.
What are your website goals?
- Do you want people to complete a web form?
- Do you want people to sign up to your newsletter?
- Do you want people to download your white papers?
- Contact us
- Request a demo
- Sign up for a free trial
- Subscribe to newsletter
- Watch a webinar
Identify your most important business goals and include links to them in the footer of your website.
7. Add Hellobar to the top of every web page
Unfortunately, not all people use the web in the same way, which means even though a big green call-to-action button may appear obvious to you; it won’t necessarily be obvious to someone else. Don’t believe me?
Run a usability test using www.usertesting.com and you will quickly see that even the biggest and brightest button can still be missed.
But there is one way to get more focus on your most important conversion message – Use Hellobar.
Hellobar is a bar that appears on the top of your website. You can include it on one page, several pages, across your entire website or even on your blog. Here are a few examples;
All you need to do is create a short message, call to action text and then add it to your website. For example, you could one use one of the following messages;
- Get your 30 day free trial today – Sign up now
- Get free shipping on all footwear – Shop collection
- Find out how to grow your Twitter followers – Free guide
And if you have a website in multiple languages, translate the message and include on all of your websites.
8. Collect customer feedback and use the data to improve your site
Understanding problems your customers face is one of the keys to success. If you can find out why your customers do not complete a purchase through surveys and evaluations, this information becomes priceless. Here’s what I mean;
A website visitor tells you that the reason they did not complete a purchase is because shipping costs are too high. Now let’s multiply this by 1,000. So you have 1,000 buyer’s that almost bought from you but didn’t. What are you going to do about it?
You will most likely do one of the following;
- Offer free shipping on all products
- Offer free shipping on all first purchases
- Offer free shipping to orders over $50
And while that doesn’t mean you will convert all 1,000 users. Even if you can only convert 40%, that’s still an additional $20,000 in sales if your average order value is $50 that you would otherwise have not sold. See how valuable this feedback quickly becomes?
Hurtigruten found that 40% of web visitors were seeking pricing information. While the pricing information is available in the booking process, they wanted to make it even easier for visitors to find and access pricing information.
A pricing page was created which displayed average prices for the most popular cruises and within six months, the page had received more than 60,000 page views and thousands of bookings were initiated from this page, resulting in more than $300,000 in sales.
What are you waiting for?
While many experts consider website conversion rate optimization part psychology and part science, many of the improvements above have significantly improved website conversion rates, and all without the high cost of investment and resources.
Cancel any meetings you have and use the next hour to implement as many of these tips as you can. And an even easier way to get started is to sign up for a free trial of eMarketeer’s all in one marketing software, which includes many of the solutions featured in this post.
Let me know how these tips helped your business in the comments section below.
Do you have any other tips to share? I’m looking forward to the discussion.
If you liked reading this post, you will also enjoy:
- How to Write a Great Blog Post That Guarantees Success
- Grow Your Business with Trigger Based Email Marketing
Header image source