Why you should care about conversions

August 1, 2017
Posted in Web Strategy
August 1, 2017 Eugene Volkov

Time: 15 min

What is Conversion?

If your goal is online marketing, then website conversion is the most important factor in your plan. Website conversion means that you are successful at getting a website visitor to perform the action you want them to perform. A conversion is a metric you track with an end goals – common conversion goals are:

  1. Signing up for your newsletter
  2. Buying Your Product
  3. Downloading an e-book
  4. Clicking on a paid online Ad
  5. Following your Instagram profile

Your online business success is measured by something called a website conversion rate, expressed as a percentage. It’s also sometimes referred to as visitor-to-lead conversion rate. If you have a business-to-consumer (B2C) website, you want to be above 3 percent for eCommerce and Retail, and above 10% for other IT / Technology businesses; if you have a Business-to-Business (B2B) site, you want to be around 5 to 8 percent.

The percentages for conversation rate should only include real leads; ensure not to count all the spam you get. Your website analytics platform (Google Analytics, BoostSuite, etc.) has the capability to filter out spam, malicious web sources, wrong target zones and even your own testing activity. There’s a little bit of setup involved on your part to track the pages & activities you want to, the rewards of quality and meaningful data is totally worth the initial setup time & effort.

Analytics will allow you to optimize conversation, for example: If you’re getting fewer than 500 high quality / relevant visits per month, you need to do something to improve your conversion rate.

Optimizing your conversions means that you take a methodical, structured approach to improve how your website is performing for you. Your business decisions should be driven by meaningful data, not guesses.

Read this post for eCommerce / Web Metrics  to understand they key metrics you should be focusing on 

How Do I Improve Website Conversion?

Create a Clear & Simple Call to Action (CTA):  The most important thing you can do is create a clear, obvious, strong call to action. Whether the CTA is on a website banner, paid Ad, you Instagram post, Newsletter, or a pop up coupon a strong CTA is absolute key to increasing your chances for conversion. When someone visits your website,the content must be clear about directing the user to perform a certain action.

Tip: content should be simple and uncluttered. Examples:

  • If your goal is for users to fill out a form, make that form the most prominent element on the page, keep it simple and prompt.
  • If the call-to-action is to make a phone call, make sure your phone number is in large font instead of being buried on the page. This is why landing pages are simple. They don’t typically have more than just the bare basics needed for the user to clearly see the CTA. It should be obvious what you want people to do once they have landed on your website.
  • Always try to create a sense of urgency that urges them to take action within a specific timeframe

Lots of marketers effectively use a three-pronged approach: (1) tell visitors what you’d like them to primarily do (email), (2) give them a second option (phone call), (3) then give them an opt-out option if they don’t want to do either of those things (maybe instead they just sign up for your newsletter).

Don’t crowd your messaging: Pitfall; don’t have more than one CTA per page/Ad/Message, meaning one single action you want users to take. Don’t mix asking them to phone, and asking them to download, and asking them to sign up all on the same page. Note: It’s perfectly fine to have multiple instances of a single call to action on one page though (vertical scrolling sites can have the same CTA on top, middle and bottom of the page).

Show Credibility: When you buy something, don’t you want proof that it works? Of course you do, and it’s no different for your own website. If you can offer proof that your offer or your product or services work, this is perhaps the best hook you can use to convert leads into customers. Lots of marketers use different forms of proof, like statistics or testimonials or case studies. Basically, any data that you can provide to convince a user is a great addition to gaining their trust to convert.

Users will show you the way, just listen: Another important tip is to observe, listen and do what your users are directly or indirectly hinting you to. If your conversions aren’t working, you need to adjust rather than trying to get your customers to adjust to you. Pay attention to your tracking tools, what is the data telling you? How are people interacting with your pages? What actions are they performing? What’s the pattern? Don’t be afraid to ask visitors what they’d like to see from your site. It’s a great way to not only find out what they’re looking for, but also to determine the easiest way to provide them with that information.

Tip: Don’t guess, just ask! Most website providers and platforms have really good survey and feedback add-ons that make this job easy as well as affordable.

If you’re providing a service and you’re getting fewer than say 1,500 visitors per month (know your industry averages, a simple Google search will help you), really look at your site for problems. Maybe your CTA is not clear or your phone number or Send button is not prominent enough. Of course, you can always invest in sending more traffic to your site, but increased traffic without fixing your other problems is just that—increased traffic. If you can’t convert the traffic, there’s really no point in having more visitors, is there?

Web Design and Development

Focus on a functional site, not just prettiness: In our dreams, we all want a beautiful, gorgeously designed website. That’s fine, but keep in mind that your primary design goal is to design your site for visitors. It needs to be optimized for SEO and for tracking visitors. Design for design’s sake is definitely secondary. Function and form win the day. It is definitely possible to design something that is simple and user-friendly, while at the same time being impressive. You primarily need something that is intuitive to navigate, is not overly wordy, and doesn’t have a hail of images (slows down performance).

Keep it Simple: If your website is all about e-commerce, the simplicity in design and function must extend to your checkout process. Make sure the checkout is simple (one page checkout) and streamlined in ease of use. Your web stats package should give you data on how many times people leave an abandoned cart; if you have numerous occurrences, your shopping cart may be the culprit in why you have low conversion rates. And that is a shame, because you literally almost had that person as a customer. They spent the time to shop and add to the cart, so don’t fail when you’re almost at the goal line. Some tips to remember are:

  • keep the number of fields someone must fill out to a minimum
  • enable guest checkout, don’t make it mandatory to create an account
  • minimize the number of clicks
  • have as few pages as possible in the entire checkout process.
  • use a merchant tool to save your client’s credit card information for next time, and use the very successful Amazon model of one-click buying.
  • offer multiple payment options to make buying easy (Stripe, PayPal, Google Pay etc)

Remember that when you make it easy for people to buy, they’re more likely to convert.

What Your Analytics Will Tell You

Improving conversion rates boils down to understanding your analytics data and then making the necessary changes.

It’s important to understand a few of the more important metrics, read this post for eCommerce / Web Metrics we go in depth, meanwhile here are a few examples:

  • Total conversions: the number of visitors who actually executed on your CTA (they signed up to receive your newsletter, downloaded a document, purchased a product, etc.)
  • Conversion rate: the ratio of total conversions to the total number of website visitors. (500 conversions and 5000 visitors is a 10 percent conversion rate)
  • Bounce rate: how many visitors leave your website after only looking at a single web page? (A high bounce rate isn’t good, by the way)
  • Exit rate: the percentage of visitors who leave after viewing a page (rather than converting). You find out the last page they visited before leaving your site, and this can give you incredible insight. If any one page has a really high exit rate, that is a cause for concern.
  • Average time on site: how long did a user hang around? They might not be staying long enough to complete your CTA.
  • Average page views: how many pages and what pages did a user view before exiting your site?
  • Conversion funnel: you’ve probably heard this term quite a bit, but what does it mean? Think of it as the critical path that a user takes to complete the conversion process. A typical example is home page, product search results page, detailed product page and shopping cart checkout. The pathway should be short but effective. The less barriers to purchase you give to your users, the less anxious they’ll be to purchase.

Focus on Product Benefits

You’ve got a great design, and you’ve got an urgent CTA. What’s next? Now it is time to focus on the product. What are you selling? Information? Widgets? Services? It really doesn’t matter, because regardless of what you’re selling, many sellers make the mistake of focusing on the product features rather than on the product benefits.

For example, let’s say you’re selling a sleep aid. Rather than focusing on the fact that your product has a newer or better formulation, instead you need to highlight that it helps you fall asleep faster. It may seem like a nuance to you, but it makes a real difference to the end user. It’s about them, not you. You can create great copy talking about how fabulous your company or product is, but still have low conversion rates. That’s because you should be talking about how your fabulous company is going to solve the user’s problem. It’s a totally different approach than what most businesses take, and it works.

Hopefully, you’re doing most of these things already, and you only need a few tweaks to get higher conversions. If you’re pretty far off base, though, then it is definitely time to take stock of your website and implement these strategies.

  • Analyze your analytics first before you jump in and understand your goals
  • Clean design
  • Clear CTA
  • Compelling copy
  • Iterate & Implement

It was a lengthy albeit high level read, if you need an experienced shop to analyze your businesses web performance, create a strategy for success and boost conversions – you know the Productive Shop to turn to

It’s time for my coffee break – hope your day is stellar too

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