If you’re spending time and money increasing traffic to your website but your conversion rate isn’t where it needs to be, then it could all be for nothing. We’ve created a simple checklist of 10 of the best practices you can follow to ensure your website is optimised for increasing your conversion rate.
1. Simplify your website
If a customer is getting lost on your site, is unable to find the information they need or doesn’t understand how to make a purchase, you’re doomed from the start. 46.1%¹ of people say that a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company.
Despite this, many businesses haven’t updated or improved the aesthetic design of their web experience for a long time. Having a clean, simplistic website design is usually best, so remove any distractions and make it obvious what you want them to do.
From when they first land on your homepage to making their way throughout your website, the site visitor should be on a clear journey. Have information easily accessible to prevent any barriers, and ensure that goals are able to be achieved in just a few simple clicks.
2. Optimise your Call to Actions
CTAs can have a massive benefit when it comes to increasing your conversion rate, but if you get it wrong, they could have the opposite effect. If someone has to sit for a full ten minutes filling out a lengthy form just to get a simple callback, chances are, they just won’t, so make sure your forms are seamless and efficient.
The buttons themselves have a direct impact, so instead of just saying ‘submit’, you can add things like ‘Grow my traffic!’ or ‘Yes, I want my free item!’. Colour them, make them stand out visually and ensure they are appealing to click on.
You also need to make sure your CTAs are clear and simple, as providing too many options for a site visitor can also deter them and make them unsure on what to go for, so make sure it’s obvious what you want them to do.
3. Streamline your checkout process
Much like long-winded CTAs, if the checkout process on your eCommerce site is too long and confusing, people will just simply leave and purchase from elsewhere, so simplifying this process is essential for increasing your cart conversion.
A usability study by Smashing Magazine² found that the main reason users hate setting up an account is they expect to be flooded with promotional emails, so allow users to check out as a guest so they don’t have to make an account before purchasing. If you do want to encourage users to make an account, prompt them to save their details for ease and make an account at the end of purchase, so it will be quicker to check out next time.
To increase your sales conversion, you need to make sure the customer can check out in just a few clicks, so make the buying journey clear, accessible and smooth.
4. Add incentives and create urgency
Introducing a sense of urgency is a great way to boost sales, but it needs to be done appropriately. If you are over-dramatising or stating incorrect information, customers will realise this very quickly and their trust in your brand will be shattered forever.
You can create time-related scarcity, such as ‘sale ends today’, ‘last chance to buy’ or quantity-related scarcity such as ‘only 5 tickets left’. Etsy does this very effectively, as you add an item to your basket it tells you how many are left in stock and how many people already have the item in their baskets, and it’s often more than is in stock.
If your product can’t run out of stock, then offering time-sensitive bonuses such as free gifts or discounts to the first buyers can work really well.
5. Understand your customer insights
Data often speaks for itself, and if you’re not keeping tabs on your customer journeys, you could be missing a trick. Dig into your data and use your analytics to check out their behaviour onsite, look for patterns or barriers and make adjustments based on your insights.
Customer feedback is critical too. Collecting feedback in the form of ratings, surveys and reviews is great, but you also need to make sure you act on it. Take customer opinion into account when making updates to your website and product itself, and you will see an uplift in sales.
6. A/B test everything on your website
A/B testing is a great way to figure out what works and what doesn’t to see how you can increase your conversion rate. It’s a technique where you create two alternate versions of a page, page A and B, and send half of your traffic to page A and half to page B. You then measure the effectiveness of each page and go with the option that had better results.
You can A/B test all manner of things. Some good ideas to start with are live chat, videos, images, fonts, page layouts, background colours, textual content and titles. Ensure you have a CTA to measure conversion and use this data to create the optimal website design.
7. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
In this day and age, more than half³ of all internet shopping is done from a mobile device, so ensuring your web pages are mobile-friendly is absolutely critical. A simple way to check whether your site is mobile friendly is to use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which provides information on whether your site is optimised correctly or not.
Responsive design is the best solution, where each page adapts to the layout of each device it’s viewed on. You can also avoid software that is uncommon on mobile such as Flash, place links far enough apart to aid finger tapping, size content to the screen to avoid horizontal scrolling and ensure your text is readable.
8. Make your page skim friendly
Let’s face it, everyone is pushed for time and attention spans are shorter than ever, so creating skimmable content is a simple yet effective way of optimising your onsite experience.
55%⁴ of page views are less than 15 seconds in duration, so making sure there are lots of headlines and titles as well as further information is essential, as it allows users to get the key points they need without having to read for too long.
9. Build trust through testimonials and reviews
In a recent study⁵, PwC found that more than one in three ranked ‘trust in brand’ as among their top three reasons that influence their decision to shop at a particular retailer, other than price.
If someone doesn’t trust your brand, they’re not going to provide you with sensitive information or money. Having a reliable and clear proposition, offering a consistently positive customer experience and being honest and transparent is key.
Building social proof is one of the best ways you can build trust. According to Reach Solutions, 58%⁶ of consumers don’t trust a brand until they’ve seen “real-world proof” that it’s kept its promises, so displaying testimonials and customer reviews, as well as building social proof externally through social media is a great way to do this.
10. Add a live chat feature
Live chat has exploded in popularity over the last few years, and the answer to why that has happened ultimately lies in what it can do for conversion rates. Live chat is now not just a customer service solution, but a lead generation and sales enablement tool.
Using a data-driven proactive chat strategy, a chat box will appear to customers when they need it most and be able to assist them with any last-minute queries or qualm any concerns they have ahead of purchase.
90%⁷ of customers said that the ‘live chat’ button gives them confidence that they can get help if they need it. No matter how thoroughly you think you have optimised your website, there will always be customers who struggle to find what they need. Ultimately, having a live chat agent there to speak to could be the deciding factor on whether that person becomes a customer or not.
At The Chat Shop, we create meaningful interactions at just the right time, meaning prospects we talk to are five times more likely to buy, with a 20% higher average order value and a 98% satisfaction rating.
There is no sense in putting all of your efforts into only increasing traffic to your site, while your conversion rate is still not improving. Work on creating the best onsite experience for your prospective customers, and see your sales increase.