Generating traffic for your site is crucial to your success but so is converting that traffic. You work hard for every visitor you get, so you want to make sure your site is designed to convert that traffic. That’s where Conversion Optimization comes in.
Systemically improving your site to increase conversions is a great way to grow your business. Of course you’ll still work to increase your traffic but if you simultaneously work to improve conversions, you’ll see more growth.
Resist the urge to make changes to your site on a whim, or based on you what you like or what your Mom’s best friend’s daughter’s husband mentioned at a BBQ last week. Even if your Mom’s best friend’s daughter’s husband is a “Marketing expert” – it’s important to realize that while there are best practices in marketing, not every strategy works for every site in every niche.
“One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions” – Admiral Grace Hopper
Well said Admiral Grace Hopper, well said.
This is why we use data (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’ll find success in the data and the details!).
So let’s break this thing down…
Start by calculating your conversion rate:
- Identify what conversions you want to track. It may be sales or opt-ins or downloads.
- Take the number of people that took whatever action you are tracking and divide it by the number of site visitors you have.
- Once you’ve determined what your conversion rate is, you can start to work on improving it systematically.
- You can calculate conversions for the site as a whole and page by page or product by product.
Keep a good log of your stats and changes you make (include what was changed and what date and time) so you can refer to it in the future. Trust me; you’ll be glad you did.
In addition to your conversion rate, there are other KPIs (key performance indicators) that you should track so you can get an idea of how each page is performing. You’ll want to watch these stats and work on improving any pages that appear to have a problem.
Key metrics to track:
- Bounce Rate
- Exit Rate
- Average Time on Site
- Average Page Views
When you are evaluating pages that appear to be a problem, here are some things you should consider:
1. What is your Value Proposition? This is the sum of all the costs and benefits of taking action. You want people to feel there is high value in comparison to costs.
2. Relevance. How closely does the content on your page match what your visitors are expecting to see? How closely does your value proposition match their needs?
3. Clarity. How clear is your value proposition, main message, and call-to-action?
4. Anxiety. Are there elements on your page (or missing from your page) that create uncertainty in your customer’s mind? Any uncertainty is going to create some level of anxiety, which will obviously hurt your conversion rate.
5. Are there any distractions? What is the first thing you see on the page? Does it help or hurt your main purpose? What does the page offer that is conflicting or off-target?
6. Are you creating urgency? Why should your visitors take action now? What incentives, offers, tone, and presentation will move them to action immediately?
Other tips and advice:
- In addition to an awareness of user objectives, it’s important to account for the different traffic sources your traffic came from and their varying levels of knowledge and engagement. If someone comes in from a search they may not know as much as if they come in from a social media post that had some initial information. What level of knowledge they have and where they came in from will impact their experience. Try to include content for the novice and advanced customer.
- Map your in-bound user flows.When mapping out your user flows, start at the top—the point at which users first exposed to your site. You’ll probably want to address the flows that impact the most users first.
- Is there “Cognitive overload” on your page? If there is, it may put doubt and indecision into the mind of the user, causing them to waver over whether to convert.
Ask yourself the following questions to help you create content that will convert better for you:
o Are they actively seeking a solution to a problem, or are they casually browsing?
o What problem are they trying to solve?
o How can I best capture the user’s attention?
o How do I relate to the user?
o Is there a message that will resonate with the user?
o Is there a pain point that my product or website alleviates for the user?
o How can I articulate this solution clearly and quickly?
o What compelling calls to action will get our target user to click?
o What does my headline make people feel? What do I want them to feel?
o Do I have strong imagery?
o Do I have “Proof points” to back up what I’m saying?
o How strong is my call to action?
o Am I using Social Proof effectively?
Improving your conversion rates is crucial to your future growth and revenue. It’s not always simple and it’s rarely black and white. The best thing you can do is create a system to record data and details and ask yourself the questions above to try to fine tune your content and user experience.