If you were to ask business/website owners what they need most help with for their website/online business, you can virtually guarantee that 80% would say “driving traffic”. I’d predict that less than 5% would ask how to improve website conversions. That says a great deal about our general thought process when it comes to driving business/leads/sales. With just a few tweaks you may be able to increase conversion rates by up to 50% (and sometimes even more)!
That’s without driving any more traffic to your website!
How to Improve website conversions
Think of your website as a brick and mortar store. There are some fundamental things that are important.
You would of course want your shop located where your customers are most likely to find you. For some businesses this may be the centre of town (phone shop, butchers etc). For others an industrial estate will be just fine (mechanics, ironmongers etc).
In the online world your location is just as important. For search engines it’s the keywords you rank for. But you also need to know where your ideal customers hang-out online so you know where to place most effort. If you offer a professional service then linkedin may be your best bet. For photographers it may be Instagram. If you’re selling pet products then perhaps it’s pet groups on Facebook.
The point is – If you want to increase your website conversions then you need to attract the right people to your website. To do that, you need to know where to reach them. Research your niche and your competitors to find the best places to get your website seen.
2. The Click
Just as a physical shop must appear enticing enough to draw people in your initial offering must do the same. Toy shops have wacky and colourful displays, bakeries display their products in the window, Phone shops show the latest phones and best deals available. Every potential customer sees this before they even enter the shop. By the time they enter, they are already interested in what you have to offer.
If you want to increase website conversion rates then you need to create an offering that brings the right people to your site in the first place. If you’re on Instagram or any visually important platform then your pictures should fit your brand and your product and stand out for the right reasons, (consider branding your images so they’re instantly recognisable).
But what about Search engines?
This is where so many businesses fail to market effectively. Even if you rank well in Google for your target keywords, if you don’t have a clear message (meta description) that draws the searcher in then you’re going to lose out. Your meta description is your advertisement (your shop window). Take time to get it right for EVERY important page on your site. Doing this will not only help you improve website conversions but it may also give you a rankings boost as Google loves sites that have a high CTR% (Click Through Rate). It tells them that you are giving the searcher what they want.
3. Commercial Intent
Remember those keywords you researched. What commercial intent do they have? Did you give this any thought? Depending on what people type in, you can often tell at what point of the buying process they are.
Let’s pretend you sell electric shavers. We’ll look at 3 Key phrases you might see…
- “Best Electric Shaver”
This is a keyword with low-medium buyer intent. In most cases someone typing this phrase has decided they want to purchase an electric shaver but they don’t yet know what they want. To improve website conversions for this keyword/phrase you’d probably want to point them to a page on your website that explains what the best shaver is on the market, backed up by reasons why. Your web page for this keyword should help guide the customer to make a decision. These type of keywords are the prime focus of websites like Which?.
2. “Philips Shaver model xxxx reviews”
This keyword has medium-high commercial intent. The reader is at the next stage of their journey. They’ve picked a specific product and they’re looking for confirmation they’ve made the right choice. Give them that confirmation on your landing page and they are likely to make a purchase.
3. “Philips Shaver model xxxx best price”
This keyword has a high commercial intent. The visitor has already decided what they want. They’re now just looking for the best deal. If you’re able to offer that, then you’ll probably get the sale.
The above was a fairly clear-cut example but it should be enough to get you thinking about targeting keywords that have commercial intent (not just high volume and low competition). By gearing your content to the mindset of your searcher you will almost certainly increase conversion rates.
4. On-Page Conversion Rate Improvements
You may have a beautiful looking website with fantastic images and amazing effects. You may also have incredible content that shows the world how amazing you are. Your visitors may even love your website. While those are all great attributes, they won’t improve website conversions on their own.
The minute a potential customer finds your website they have begun a journey. A good website will be built with specific tasks in mind. You need to decide what the task is for each page then create a clear call-to-action and guide your potential customer to it.
You might want them to pick up the phone, complete an online form or make a purchase online. Your website needs to make that as easy as possible.
You may have heard the phrase that content is king, but don’t let it get in the way of your call-to-action. Studies show you have just 7 seconds to grab your visitors attention. If they don’t find what they’re looking for fast then they’ll leave. Ever been on Facebook and found yourself scrolling much faster than you can actually read? You’re looking for something to grab your attention. Capture your viewer above-the-fold where possible (the part of your website they see before scrolling). Once you’ve done that and convinced them to stay long enough to keep reading, you need to hold that attention. Steer them towards the call-to-action. Don’t subject them to long paragraphs of text. If they’re specifically looking for this then give them a link to an informative page/post on your website (which will guide them back to your call-to-action).
If you look at the homepage of www.webdesignandmarketing.co.uk you’ll see that there are only 3 core options on the entire page (excluding header and footer). These buttons go to a call-to-action page. Although there is a lot of text on this website it doesn’t clutter those all important pages. I’ve placed ONLY the information I feel the visitor requires.
I’m not suggesting it’s perfect (there’s always room for improvement) but each main page is built with this focus in mind.
Please don’t misunderstand – Providing high-quality content is extremely important and should be part of your strategy, but if you want to improve website conversions just put some serious thought into where you place it on your website.
Your homepage probably doesn’t need 200 thousands of words about you or your company. Its job is to hook your visitor in and make sure they want to see more.