You can have all the website traffic in the world but it’s not until your website is able to convert that traffic into leads and customers that you begin to receive a return on your online marketing investment. In this post, we’ll break down the sometimes confusing subject of how to improve your website’s conversion rate into simple easy to understand English to help you how you can turn website visitors into paying customers.
‘Conversions’ mean different things to different businesses; it all comes back to what action you want your prospective customers to take.
Actions you may want your prospective customers to take:
- Call to arrange a booking
- Book online
- Call for a quote
- Visit a physical location (store, office, workshop etc.) Download a free report
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Try a free sample
- Buy a product/service on the website
Ultimately all the above actions are intended to turn the website visitor into a paying customer.
Sometimes the process is straightforward and the sale can take place on the website, other times a couple of extra steps are involved before a sale is made. In any case there are a number of elements a website needs in order to efficiently convert visitors into customers.
These elements can be divided into two broad categories: Marketing & User Experience
Effective marketing turns indifferent visitors into eager buyers
Your website is the face of your business and it’s on display 24/7.
Your website is often the first impression a prospect has of your company.
How you present your brand in the marketplace can have a significant impact on your prospect’s desire to take action and eventually become a paying customer.
Know your Customer
The cornerstone of effective marketing is: thoroughly understanding your customer.
- What is the main problem that your customer wants solved?
- What are they concerned about?
- What motivates them?
- What do they value?
- What are the benefits the customer is looking to receive?
The better you understand your customer, the better you’ll be able to tailor your marketing message in a way which will alleviate their concerns and motivate them into taking action to solve their problem by accessing your products or services.
Know your Competitors
Knowing your competitors will significantly help you understand the market in which your business is competing. This knowledge can be utilised to position your business in a unique way so that you stand out from the crowd.
Here are some things to take into consideration:
- Who are your competitors online?
- How are they presenting themselves?
- What are their unique selling propositions (USP) and offers? How can you present your business in a unique and positive light?
- How can you create a better or different offer that will make it a no brainer for your customers to choose you?
Everything from the overall design of the site, to the images used on the site, the features, and the tone of your sales copy should be heavily influenced by the answers to these questions.
UX (user experience)
User Experience is about giving the customer what they want and need.
You want your customers to have a positive experience on your website and by extension, a positive impression of your business.
When a prospective customer first comes across your website from a search engine (as a result of a local SEO campaign) it’s very likely that they know nothing about your company. They don’t know who you are, they don’t know how well you do your job, they don’t know how much you care about your customers, they don’t know about your impeccable track record. hey are uncommitted and probably couldn’t care less about your business.
At this stage they are simply surfing the net gathering information they need to solve their problem.
If they are unable to quickly and easily find what they are looking for, they’ll click off your site and go to your competitor’s.
What are your prospective customers looking for?
The answer to this is closely related to understanding your target market and tailoring your message to them. We’ve spoken about that already.
We’re now going to look at the second aspect of conversions User Experience (UX)
How do you create a positive user experience?
Here are some universal elements which are conducive to a positive user experience.
Mobile responsiveness – Mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of the online traffic with the number expected to rise in the future. Your website should automatically resize to fit smaller screen sizes of tablets and mobiles.
Page load speed (especially on mobile) – I think the importance of this is easy to understand.
The graph below indicates the impact that slower loading speeds have on bounce rates (a bounce is when someone abandons your site altogether without clicking through to other pages).
Visual appeal – It only takes 50 milliseconds for a user to form a first impression of a website.
First impressions of websites are largely design related. Great visual design instils trust and encourages visitors to stick around. Conversely poor visual design breeds mistrust and makes people leave.
Clear Navigation – There are certain design conventions and best practices which should be adhered to.
Things like the menu, positioning of content, features, functionality, and compliance pages should follow best practices. As a general rule of thumb visitors should be able to access all the content on your site within two clicks.
Hierarchical content display – This comes back to understanding your target market. You should have your best offer, unique selling proposition, and/or major benefits front and centre of your website. With less important content lower down the page.
Neat and simple design – You don’t want to overwhelm your prospects with too much information and visuals. As best as possible keep the website neat and clear.
Clear Call to Actions – What is it that you want your prospect to do when they visit your site? (call, visit store, buy a product etc.) This should be clear and easy to do.
Segmented content –Especially when it comes to text. Break up the content in easy to read segments with subheadings and images.
Effective customer centred marketing and a well designed website to enhance UX are the the two major components which influence how well a website converts visitors into leads or paying customers. Increasing your website’s conversion rate can go a long way to improving the businesses bottom line. Sometimes small changes can have a significant impact. Hopefully now you have a better idea of what is required to convert your website traffic into paying customers.
If you’d like some assistance on how you can improve your website’s conversion rate then why not get in touch with us for a free website audit. We’ll give you suggestions for improvement specific to your website absolutely free. Contact us today to find out more!
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