Your website conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually make a purchase. Increasing that rate can boost your sales dramatically, even without spending extra money to draw more traffic to your site.
Here is a five-step process for improving your website conversion rate.
1. Collect and Organize Data
It is nearly impossible to make good decisions without hard facts. Therefore, the first step is to collect and organize the data you need to decide what is currently working for you and what you need to change. With so much available information, however, it would be easy to get bogged down. To avoid data overload, focus on these main factors:
- Your company. What are your goals and objectives? On which products or services do you want to focus? What is your customer lifetime value and, based on that number, how much are you willing to invest to get a new customer? What is the best offer you can make to a prospective customer?
- Your customers. Who is your ideal customer? What are your primary and secondary target markets? How do your customers find you? What devices do they use to access your website? What are the main reasons your existing customers buy from you instead of someone else? What are their main objections to buying your product or service?
- Your current stats. How much traffic does your website get each month? What is your current conversion rate for each marketing channel? Where in the sales funnel are you losing the most sales (in other words, where is the bottleneck)?
2. Focus on Copy
Your website’s copy, or the words you use, is the single most important element in driving conversions. Your layout and design help to convince visitors that your business is credible, but your words convince them to make a purchase. Here are the seven elements of strong website copy:
- Unique selling proposition (USP). The USP is what sets your business apart from every other competitor. It might be a particular aspect of customer service, such as custom designs in 24 hours, or it might be a unique skill that no one else in your area possesses. Whatever it is, highlight it in your copy.
- Irresistible offer. What can you offer to prospective customers to make buying from you a complete no-brainer? Whatever it is, it should be a strong enough offer to overcome procrastination, remove perceived risk, and set your company apart.
- Call to action. For some reason, many companies fail to ask for the sale directly or move prospects to the next step in the sales process proactively. A strong call to action tells your customers exactly what they need to do to claim your irresistible offer. It should be clear and easy to follow, as well as attention-grabbing.
- Strong headline. Your headline is the most important part of any web page. You have approximately three seconds to grab a visitor’s attention and convince her to read more, so make the headline count. Focus on reassuring your visitor that she is in the right place to solve her problem or fulfill her need, and encourage her to keep reading more.
- Benefits. Many business owners get bogged down in describing the features of their products or services. Potential customers, however, want to know what is in it for them. Talk about how you will solve their problem rather than about how terrific your product or service is.
- Social proof. Testimonials, positive reviews, and endorsements help to convince prospects that you can solve their problem or fulfill their need. They want to know that your service or product is legitimate and that it works for real people like them.
- Credibility. Online shoppers are understandably concerned about scams. Credibility indicators such as membership in a trusted association, press mentions, and third-party verification seals help to curb those fears. One of the easiest ways to build credibility is to provide full contact information, including your physical address, email address, and phone number. That information reassures customers that you will be available if any problems arise.
3. Add a Lead Magnet
There are three basic types of visitors for any business website. Buyers who are imminently ready to make a purchase are the easiest to convert because you only need to convince them to buy from you instead of someone else. The other two, browsers and shoppers, are not yet ready to buy but might do so within the next 18 months.
A lead magnet lets you hook shoppers and browsers so that when they are ready to buy, they are more likely to return to you instead of someone else. It is something of value that you offer for free in exchange for the prospect’s contact information.
Free reports, white papers, and other educational materials are typically the best choice because they help position your company as an authority in your industry. Later, you can use the provided contact information to nurture, educate, and follow up with your prospects.
4. Test, Track, and Tweak
It takes time to see the effects of each change, so resist the urge to implement too many at once. Track your conversions carefully, make small tweaks rather than sweeping changes, and have patience. Over time, you will see where to focus your continued efforts.
5. Repeat for Each Web Page
Each page of your website is another opportunity to build conversions. Focus first on the web pages that receive the most visits, and then repeat the process for all of your key product or service pages. The effort will pay off as your conversion rates increase over time.