Improve website conversions the easy way

In a perfect world, prospective customers would come to your website, browse the goods or services on offer and before too long, make a purchase. However, we all know it isn’t that easy and a lot more work is required.

But even if you have created a commendable website with unique and relevant content, average conversion rates are between two and 10 per cent according to Marketing Sherpa. Although a lot depends on your industry and website efficiency, there are a few things any business can do to improve and increase conversions.

The Internet’s biggest hitters such as Amazon and eBay are understandably streets ahead when it comes to achieving website conversions. While you might not be able to compete with such momentous marketing budgets, any entrepreneur or enterprise can take their tactics and techniques on board.

What’s more, optimising your website or creating a better user experience is in your own hands and it doesn’t have to cost that much money either. So let’s go back to basics and explore some ways to improve website conversions the easy way.

Improve the user experience through simple design

Several developers want to show off their skills and expertise by creating a website with awesome graphics and plenty of flash based content, but these impressive visuals won’t guarantee conversions. If anything, they’ll make visitors want to leave the site altogether. There is a time and place for stunning website design, but conversions are bound to increase by getting the basics of colours, contrast and images right.

Stick to a specific colour palette and use these shades to point the user’s attention to important aspects of the page such as your Call to Action (CTA). Contrasting colours also work well while sufficient white space won’t overwhelm or distract visitors.

Be generous with the amount of product photos you decide to include and if possible, take them yourself. Stock images are all well and good, but your brand will look like every other online retailer or e-commerce store. Choose pictures that cover every angle, use plenty of light and make sure the customer can zoom in. Before making a purchase, consumers want to explore a product in as much details as possible. Therefore, videos are also a good idea, so think about shooting some short clips too.

Website loading time is of the essence, so prioritise speed.

We live in a day and age where people expect everything immediately, especially online. Therefore it is no real surprise that 40 per cent of people abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. But even a one second delay in page response can result in a seven per cent reduction in conversions. Consequently, website loading times should be one of your biggest concerns.

But if you’ve got plenty of rich high resolution images ready and waiting to go, striking the balance can be difficult, as web-optimised images will load quickly and take up minimal space, but might not look the best.

That being the case, think about using a caching tool, which will save the latest version of your page on the server and load quickly when a visitor clicks on the site. You may also want to enlist the services of a content delivery network such as Amazon Cloud Services to speed things up too.

Include a clear and concise CTA, but only one

If this article is anything to go by, an abundance of prospective customers or clients could read your opening headline and the first paragraph, but then decide to leave without seeing what you have to offer. Therefore, the need to be clear, concise and compelling is crucial, particularly with your CTA.

Try to come up with a catchy yet straight to the point headline and succinct content that creates a sense of urgency. If visitors feel like they need to act quickly, the chances of achieving a conversion are increased. Take any offer on Groupon for example. The title gives detail about what is included, presents the savings in a concise way, tells you how many other people have taken up the offer and perhaps most importantly, has a big and bold CTA.

In many respects, the page’s CTA is your prime concern, as this is how you’ll secure those all-important conversions. Therefore it should stick out like a sore thumb. Don’t move away from your colour palette but give it some contrast, surround it in white space and use some visual cues or aids.

If a customer trusts your brand, they are more likely to convert

Even if your goods or services are cheaper than industry rivals or online competitors, trust has a big part to play in a customer’s purchasing decision. If consumers believe your brand won’t deliver its promises or live up to expectations, they will probably go elsewhere.

Don’t forget about the importance of security seals, as customers will want assurances that their credit card and personal information will be kept safe. Testimonials from existing clients or customer reviews can also inspire confidence and trust, while an honest returns policy will convince visitors that you’re the real deal.

Don’t assume these changes will work, continually test your website

It is dangerous and dim-witted to simply sit back and wait for these changes to take effect, as every business is different. Therefore, you need to be sure that the alterations and adjustments you have made work for your website and above all else, your customers.

Continually analyse the effectiveness of your web pages using conversion rate optimisation tests (CRO) alongside A/B, multivariate and usability experiments. There are plenty of tools and resources to help you do this, so don’t shy away from jargon or technical language you might not understand.

All of these tips might not have the desired effect, but doing everything in your power to improve conversions is a good idea, which can have a dramatic impact on the successfulness of every business.

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