Often the success of a business website is measured by the amount of traffic it gets. However, what happens after that traffic lands on your website, is even more important. It doesn’t matter if your business is able to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every month if very few (or none) of them actually become customers.
So how can you make the most of the traffic you are already getting? What effective strategies can you use to convert the maximum amount of website visitors into warm leads and paying customers?
Why Is Conversion On Your Website So Important?
Lets say you’re currently spending $1000 on attracting website traffic and converting 2% of visitors. If you were to focus on increasing your conversion rate to 4%, you’d still be spending the same, but you would have twice as many customers. That means your cost per customer acquisition will go down and you’d be getting more customers without any increase in advertising expenses!
Increasing your conversions lets you get the maximum benefits from the traffic you’re already attracting. It is actually cheaper to keep an existing visitor than to find a new one.
Why Aren’t Visitors Converting?
Some typical reasons why your website visitors may not be converting into customers are:
- Your website doesn’t make it simple enough for them to convert
- They’re not convinced that you’re the best person for the job
- They’re not ready to take the next step yet
- They’re not ready to buy from you
- They don’t know how to take the next step
- Or some combination of the above factors
Here are 10 basic tips to help you ensure your website is geared to attract and convert the maximum number of visitors coming to your site.
1. Be Clear About your Value Proposition
When visitors land on your website, what is it that they’re looking for? You should be able to identify the number one problem that you are solving for your audience and then make your site’s home page all about how you’re solving that problem.
For example, if you are a jewellery designer, what do want people to think right after they land on your website? Is it:
“Hey, I’m Jamie and here are some cool bracelets I designed”
“Hi, I’m Jamie Anderson. I design affordable silver jewellery for your wedding. Please check out my recent designs that you can purchase right away.”
Which message, in your opinion, is more focused on attracting and keeping a visitor? If you said the second one, you’d be right because it immediately identifies the audience for the site (brides looking for affordable silver jewellery for their wedding day) and it communicates what you want them to do on the site (purchase after viewing items in the gallery).
Research shows that you have about 8 seconds to make an impression online, after which people will either stay or leave your website. Use those 8 seconds to instantly make clear what value you are providing.
2. Write Fresh Content
Have you ever landed on a website only to discover it was last updated 4 years ago? Your instinct is to immediately navigate away because the content is so old you think the entire business is obsolete!
It’s difficult, as well as a logistical nightmare, to have to update your website’s home page and other static pages too often. Which is why you need a blog.
A blog is the easiest way to ensure your website has fresh content on it, to satisfy both readers as well as search engines.
A blog, updated regularly, keeps visitors coming back and helps them be more engaged with you. When people are actively reading and sharing your content, your business feels happening and relevant.
Blog content should be updated on a regular frequency (once a week works for most industries). If you cannot create your own content, consider bringing on board a blogger to help you with content creation.
3. Have a Clear and Enticing Call-to-Action (CTA)
Every page on your website must have a specific purpose. Whether you want people to buy, subscribe, share, email, call – whatever you want them to do, you have to make it both clear and easy for them to do so.
This is so important, it bears repetition: Make it easy and clear for your website visitors to take the action you want them to take.
The 4 elements of a great CTA are:
- Appropriate Placement
For example, if you need them to sign up to your newsletter after reading your blog post, but they can’t find the sign up link, then you’re not making it easy for them to complete that action. Placing the signup box at the end of the blog post would solve that.
- A Sense Of Urgency
When you give prospects a limited timeframe to accomplish something and couple that with the benefits they’ll get if they act soon, you’re instilling a sense of urgency in them.
- Communicates Value
No one really wants to click on anything without knowing what they’ll receive in return. Make sure your call to action communicates the value that clicking that button will get them in return.
- Compelling Copy
CTAs are all about copywriting. For example, if you want people to feel they’re part of a group, you can use the word “Join” as opposed to Submit or Subscribe. “Join” implies a community and feels inclusive as opposed to the bland “Subscribe”.
4. Establish Your Credibility with Social Proof
A business often makes statements like:
- “Best plumber in Sydney”; or
- “Provide the best floral photographs for weddings”; or
- “Offer the most delicious double roasted coffee in the world”
Statements like these are great but you need to back them up with proof because visitors may have heard the exact same thing from your competitor’s website.
Some ways to provide proof include:
Testimonials help establish third-party credibility. They serve as social proof because visitors can see that real people are recommending your product or service. Try and get written testimonials from your customers and feature them next to their picture and website name or URL for maximum credibility. Whenever possible, get customers to state how you specifically helped them.
- User Reviews
Reviews are a bit different from testimonials because they typically involve a star rating along with a comment. Most retail websites use reviews next to product listings and allow customers to leave feedback on the product.
- Facts and Figures
Which statement seems more credible: “we help new moms find the best baby gear” or “15000 new moms subscribe to our newsletter to get the best deals on baby gear”. Whenever you can corroborate your claim with numbers and statistics, do!
- Images showcasing your business
Images are a great way to offer visitors a glimpse into your backstory and how your business is run on a day-to-day basis. Aside from basic product images, you can add images to your blog posts, your About page, your Team page, your Home page and just about every page on your website.
- Recognition and awards you’ve received
Were you voted as one of “Australia’s top 10 travel websites”, received industry awards such as “best place to work” or received recognition as “official reseller in Australia”? Now’s the time to tout your horn about these and similar accomplishments.
- Videos about your business
Videos are a great way to establish trust because the combined effects of auditory and visual story help people feel more closely connected with your brand. Even if it’s a video about your product, seeing it in 3D helps customers relate to it better. If you feature an animated video of your service, it will help clarify concepts in lesser time than plain text would. Whatever kind of video you decide you use, it will help your brand if it’s relevant and good quality to watch.
- Trust Badges
You can and should sprinkle trust badges all over your website. Are you a member of a larger business network or a trade organization? Mention that. Does your website offer customer guarantees and a clear refund policy? Mention that. Is your website safe and secure to do online shopping on? Mention that. Do you never send spam? Mention that.
All these methods are about establishing your visitor’s trust and making them feel comfortable with your business.
When people land on your website, they need to be able to trust you enough to buy from you.
5. Use Design Best Practices
Good design that promotes conversions is all about intuitive navigation, and being easy on the eyes.
Here are some design tips that help with conversions:
- Conform to Accepted Norms
It’s good to stick to what people are used to in a typical website. For example, people expect hyperlinks to be in a royal blue color. If you decide all your links should be red underlined, it may confuse people as to whether that’s clickable or not.
- Reduced Clutter and Have More White Space
White space allows your text and images room to breathe. It helps focus your audience’s attention on that which is most important. Too much text or clutter on your website will make it hard for your visitors to know what do, and it will be difficult for them to focus on what you need them to do. An easy way to reduce clutter is to remember that every page on your site should make one singular point.
- Intuitive Navigation
When people visit websites, they expect to see a certain navigation structure. They expect that they can click on your logo anytime and that will take them back to the home page. They expect that your contact page will contain your store location and phone number, they expect to find privacy policies buried deeper in the content, such as in the footer. Keeping to standard website layouts will help your readers navigate intuitively. Too many funky splash pages will just get them father from the conversion goal.
- Mobile Optimized
People will be browsing your website on mobiles, tablets, phablets and all sorts of computers of different size. Make sure your sites design and content is clear and visible on all screen sizes.
- Color Psychology
Colors indicate different emotions. Putting your “Buy Now” button in green (which in traffic light parlance means “go!”) versus putting it in black will probably affect your conversion rates. It’s important to know what emotions your website’s colors invoke so you can choose colors that complement your intended outcomes and brand perception.
6. Increase Site Speed and Lower Load Time
The slower your website loads, the faster visitors abandon it, leading to a high bounce rate (the rate at which people leave a website after viewing only one page).
Here are some more site loading stats from kissmetrics.com to think about:
- A 1 second delay in site load time can decrease conversions by as much as 7%
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
To reduce your website’s load times and increase site speed, try implementing the following:
- Use Google’s Webpage Test to check your existing site load time
- Using the above tool, see which areas of your website take up the longest time to load
- Make sure all images are in JPEG format. JPEG compresses images especially for optimal web viewing
- Keep image files clean and remove all junk files from images, such as unused palettes
- Enable browser caches. This will help eliminate browsers from having to load your entire site every time someone visits. Repeat visitors will receive a faster loading site due to some elements being cached
- Optimize all heavy content, such as video files, for optimal web loading and embed videos on third-party sites whenever possible to reduce load times.
7. Tell a Story
An engaging story captivates and engages your audience. Use sections of your website, such as your About Page to tell the story of your brand and business. Use other places, such as your blog, to continue to tell stories that help visitors see all the dimensions of your brand’s personality.
Some ideas for storytelling include:
- Showcase your customer’s stories
- Talk about your personal journey to build the company/product
- Describe how your product/service came to being – from idea to execution
- What challenges do you face in your business and how you solve them
- Interesting ways people use your products and services
You can find more details on how to write an engaging story for your business in our article, How Telling An Amazing Story Will Boost Your Sales.
8. Offer A Compelling Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is what prospects receive when they sign up for your offer. A powerful lead magnet is a crucial element in getting site visitors to convert. Most people use an eBook, a whitepaper, a cheat sheet, a resource guide, a video, an email series, coupons, free demos, trial membership, free shipping, podcast, webinars or other form of compelling content as their lead magnet.
To ensure you have a lead magnet that converts, it:
- Must be something your prospects want desperately
- Must look good – be well-designed with eye-catching graphics, and
- Contain a powerful call-to-action and benefits-oriented copy to entice people to click on it
Using these tips, you can make the most of the traffic that you’re driving to your website. It would be a shame to keep spending more on gaining new customers if your website isn’t already converting your existing visitors.
Do you have anything that you’ve done to your site that worked well which you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your comments below! Also, if you have any questions just put them in below.