If you want to meet your sales goals, make sure each element of your small business website works in unison to turn site visitors into paying customers.
When you first create your website, it is natural to focus on design and making sure the user experience on your site is positive. However, you also need to look at your conversion funnel. Focusing on conversion rate optimization (CRO) helps you reach your sales goals as a business. Each element works together until more and more site visitors are turned into customers.
A mere 22% of businesses say they are happy with their current conversion rates. It’s harder to know how to fix it, though. One expert says to add videos, while another says to focus on the sales funnel. It’s all pretty confusing at first glance. Fortunately, there are some things you can do today to begin to turn your conversion rate around and generate more conversions. Most of these techniques are pretty simple, too.
1. Unclutter Your Landing Page
The first thing you should do is unclutter your landing page. If your goal is to convert site visitors to, say, newsletter subscribers, then the singular focus of your page should be on the newsletter, and every element of that page should work to funnel that person through until he or she signs up for your newsletter. Reduce anything that might distract your lead.
Take a look at Geico’s landing page. Their goal is to provide you with a quote, so they have one thing on their page to drive you through that funnel and convert you from someone who lands on their page to someone who gets a quote from them. This type of singular focus is smart CRO. The leads will be highly targeted, because you either want a quote from Geico or you don’t. There are no other options on the page.
2. A/B Testing
Out of the companies that use landing pages, only about half take the time to do testing and figure how to make changes aimed at higher conversions. Yet, this is one of the most powerful things you can do for your business model. With split testing, you’ll easily see which elements work and which don’t.
Start by changing just one element at a time. Run A/B tests and see how the change converts with site visitors. This might be something as simple as changing the color or location of the call to action (CTA) button. For the best results, test every single element on your page, including the wording you use and images you add or subtract.
3. Site Speed
A mere one-second delay in site loading speed can have a huge impact on your bottom line. One second translates to about 11% fewer pageviews and a 7% loss in conversions. Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to increase your site’s loading speed. Optimize images, keep clutter to a minimum — see point one above — and use premium website hosting that is blazing fast.
Even though Amazon breaks some of the other rules for CRO, they definitely have an edge when it comes to speed. Amazon is the second-fastest site on the internet. When you open their home page, everything is loaded almost instantly, including images. Even large images appear in less than a second.
4. Text Alert
Adding the option for customers to receive a text alert helps you engage site visitors and reward loyal followers. For example, a push notification when a new product arrives or something goes on sale keeps your business at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. There are many ways to create new point-of-contact opportunities with your customers and drive sales via SMS text messages.
In today’s smartphone-filled world, it seems that people engage with their phones more than the world around them. You might as well tap into that trend by sending out alerts to those who already like your product.
Images can help drive user engagement and conversions, but only if they are used appropriately. In one study, researchers found that people don’t particularly like stock photos using models. They prefer real people and product photos that enhance the overall message.
What does this mean for you? Your images should be highly relevant to the topic at hand. Whenever possible, stay away from stock photos. If you must use a stock photo, don’t use an image of a perfect model.
Bellroy keeps the focus on their product by highlighting how slim the wallet is. You can also use a slider tool at the top of the landing page that shows you what the wallet looks like with cash and credit cards inside. This up-close look at a specific product is quite effective for showing just what the product can do.
Is your copy benefit oriented? When consumers land on your page, are they immediately greeted with how your product or service can benefit them? Even if you just want to collect an email by offering a free ebook, present how that free book benefits the reader. Offering your value proposition draws the reader in and makes him or her more likely to take you up on your offer.
There is a 73% higher probability that consumers will buy your product if a video explaining the product is available. A video clearly shows the benefits of the item, which drives conversions. Show the benefits to the reader, and you have a better chance of convincing him to try your product.
Improve Your CRO Takes Time to Pay Off
Improving your conversion rate takes time and deliberation. At the end of the day, conversion is about creating a great customer experience for your users. This is accomplished through the use of visuals, tweaking minor things and showing the customer what the benefit is to him.
A site that is optimized for conversions isn’t a fast fix. It can take time, tons of A/B testing and many failures before you hit on the right combination for your target audience.