Do you want your website to convert more traffic into leads, sales, and customers?
You work so hard to get visitors to your site, but are you ensuring they take action once they arrive?
Just a small increase in CRO% could have a huge impact on your business. I’m a Suffolk-based web designer and digital marketer (just outside Bury St Edmunds). I specialise in improving CRO and providing cutting edge SEO services (but that’s for another time). In this article, I’ll share tips to help you increase your website’s conversion rate through a combination of web design, structure and functionality.
Learning just a few tips, tricks, and strategies to grow your small business could make a massive difference to your bottom line. So, why is conversion rate optimisation so important?
Well, there is no shortage of web designers. But not every business has a website that actually produces high leads/sales conversion rates, customer retention, or low bounce rates. When designed correctly, Your website is your best salesperson. It works 24/7, it never calls in sick, it works through all the holidays, it has your perfect sales pitch every single time. So, the key is to make sure that as much traffic as possible actually takes action. These eight tips will help you achieve exactly that…
Tip #1 - The 2.5 Second Rule
Does your website pass the two and a half second rule?
Studies show that when somebody clicks through to a website, they’ll give you (on average) two and a half seconds before hitting the back button if they don’t find what they’re looking for (the number of visitors that do this is measured as your bounce-rate). I’ve personally met with clients that failed this test.
So, within two and a half seconds, you have to make it very clear who you are, how to contact you, what you do, and how to move to the next step. Does your website pass this test?
Try it out, take a quick look at your site, have your friends do the same, maybe members of your family too. Better still, ask some strangers to do it, people, that have never visited your website and don’t know you. See if they can come up with those answers quickly. If they can, then congratulations, you passed!
Tip #2 - Would YOU Pick You?
Try this, go to Google, search for your competitors, click on their website real quick, do this for the first 10 competitors you find.
Now look at your own website and be honest with yourself, does it look better than your competition’s? Would you pick you? Your customers are following that same process when they’re researching whom they want to do business with. As they do this, they’ll dwindle it down to the top two or three. their decision is likely to come down to design. So, if you’re not in the top 2-3, you’re probably missing out on conversions. This an area that you must tighten up. A few small tweaks could have a really positive impact.
Tip #3 - Less is More.
Keep your website design smooth and simple. Don’t give somebody a tidal wave of content as soon as they hit your page. This will likely cause them to hit that back button straight away. What you should do is summarise into your ‘wow’ lines, just one quick sentence, your wow line, what it is what makes you different.
Tell them what you do and why they should choose you. Get nerdy, not wordy. Focus on creating as much impact as possible in as fewer words as possible. The more wordy you are, the more people will leave your site and kill your conversion rate (and increase your bounce rate which could affect your position on Google).
However, When it comes to SEO it’s great to have lots of content. So you need to be creative about how you meet both criteria. Take a look at the homepage here at WDM. You’ll see we have clean and simple messaging until the bottom of the page. There, if the visitor wants to read more, they can. When a visitor clicks the ‘more information‘ tab they’ll have the opportunity to find out more about us in detail.
It’s also a great way for us to get our target keywords in our content without forcing it. We talk about Web design, Conversion Rate Optimisation, Ecommerce Web Design, and SEO services (along with a few others). There’s an additional few hundred words there but by condensing it into a tab, it’s not distracting to the user.
Tip #4 - Easy Navigation, Clear Conversion Funnel.
When a visitor arrives at your website, they really need to be able to understand how to get where they want to go (or how to easily find the answer they’re looking for. If that’s difficult, you know what’s gonna happen – Yep, they’ll bounce straight out and find the answer somewhere else.
So, make sure it’s easy for them to see where to go, map out your conversion process (doing this on paper can be a good practice to follow). Try not to provide too many options. They’ll come in on your homepage, then they’ll gonna go to this page, then that page. Map that experience out, so that you are strong all the way through. It’s a clear path to conversion. If you have a clear path to conversion, you’re going to have a higher conversion rate.
Our website you’re on right now should be a good representation of this. We use a strong silo architecture (we’ll talk about this another day) and funnel visitors into just 3 options. If you look at our homepage, you’ll see the main navigation menu is actually off-canvas (to avoid distractions). The page contains just 3 core navigational links. The buttons go to either our bespoke web design page, web design packages page, or our SEO services page.
Tip #5 - Build Trust
Websites with high conversion rates also have a high trust factor (or are perceived to be trustworthy). If your visitors don’t trust you, they won’t ever add value to your business. So, wherever possible, make sure you display everything that could signify and instil that trust. This can include trust badges (such as secure page verification, SSL etc.), you could highlight any awards and achievements. Show how many years you’ve been in business. Show some of your reviews. By showing them the reviews on your site, it will prevent them from feeling like they need to leave and to find reviews elsewhere.
Last of all (and perhaps most important), make it extremely clear how to contact you. If a potential client/customer can see a phone number (landline is best in most cases) and address, along with a contact page and details of your business, this instantly tells them there is a real person that’s readily available to deal with any potential issues that may arise.
By showing these things throughout your website and the customer journey, you’ll give them the confidence and trust that they need in order to convert.
Tip #6 - Test for Mobile Optimisation
So many business owners get caught up at work looking at their site on the desktop and think it looks amazing, but they fail to really check it on their mobile phone (or an emulator). Always check that your website looks great on multiple devices, it needs to load well, and follow the principles of the other tips in this article.
Make sure that your call to actions are above the fold, meaning that when somebody loads your homepage, they don’t need to scroll down to see that information. It should be there right away. If it’s not, you’re failing on the two and a half second rule, and you’re losing out on conversions.
A good web designer will check all this for you, but if you’re building it yourself, be aware. How much of a priority this is will depend on your target audience. Most traffic now comes from mobile but there are a few industries where desktop reigns supreme, particularly in the B2B sector.
Tip #7 - Multi-channel Retargeting
97% of your traffic isn’t typically going to convert on the first visit. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad traffic, it just means that the visitor is in the research phase of the buying cycle, they’re not ready to convert right now. So, by retargeting those visitors across multiple channels, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, they’re seeing you and you’re staying at the top of their mind.
This is like a mental ranking space, so when they are ready to convert, they are far more likely to come back to your website and choose you over your competition. This will increase your overall conversion rate as time goes by.
As a side-note, it’s often a good idea to get them to subscribe to an email list. By having a good email funnel that segments visitors based on actions, you can send targeted follow up messages. This could be to convert new traffic, but also to gain repeat customers.
Tip #8, Strong Ad' Copy, (Paid and Organic)
This is key to a high conversion rate. If you have people coming to your website that really shouldn’t be there (because you’re they are not your target audience), that will make your conversion rate look bad.
To prevent this from happening, you need traffic that’s highly targeted. visitors that want what you provide. To achieve this, you must have clear ad copy. The user needs to know exactly what they are going to get, whether it’s through a paid ad or an organic listing on search engines like Google (or even like a post on Facebook), you need to be extremely clear and concise. Ensure that your copy is highly targeted, and provides the information that is expected.
For paid ads, this will not only increase conversions but also lower the CPA (Cost per Acquisition).
For organic copy, taking time to make sure all your meta titles and descriptions are well-optimised will improve CTR (Click Through Rate) and in turn, may even boost your search engine rankings.