A professionally designed website is the first tool you will need to increase your conversion rate. Your website needs to be designed with SEO in mind; in fact, every detail of your site needs to consider SEO. People won’t buy a single product nor sign up for a single offer if they can’t find your website. In the online marketing world, the main way people find you is through Google and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo.
Successful online retailers use a combination of website usability, website credibility, online merchandising, shopping cart and checkout process tactics to increase online conversion rates. As a successful retailer you should be looking to adopt the most applicable tactics while testing their effectiveness on your conversion rate.
Some of the benefits for increasing your conversion rate as follows:
- When your conversion rate does increase, take advantage of the fact you can now afford to pay twice as much per visitor.
- You can pay about twice as much per click on AdWords, which can bring you a disproportionate number of additional visitors.
- You can start advertising in media that had previously been too expensive for you, such as Full-page magazine ads, Newspaper ads, Direct mail, Radio ads, TV infomercials
- Your affiliates can earn twice as much as before, and this will cause the large affiliates to leave your competitors and join you.
Consider your overall website design
Is your website visually cluttered and overflowing with too much information? Is your website poorly designed with hard-to-read logos or missing relevant data? What would happen if you went into a local store that was poorly organized with bare shelves and shoddy lighting? Would you stay? Or would you leave and visit a competitor’s store? Many of us would leave and head to a store that offered a more pleasant, efficient shopping experience.
The same applies to your website, which is the storefront of your business. You need to make it stand out with a clean, user-friendly layout. Your website should give visitors the feeling that you are a respectable, trustworthy company. If you ensure that it does, you will see an increase in overall conversions.
Improve the content on your site
We know that content is king, especially for search engines, but how much information are you providing to your customer? You should provide enough information about your products and services for your customer to make an informed, immediate purchase decision. Customers hate having to dig around for additional information or having to email you to find out more product details. If you are leaving out product information, you are losing conversions.
Use SEO tactics when creating content for your site. That includes spending time doing keyword research, properly titling and indexing your pages, and providing relevant content on your various site pages. Be sure to include detailed product information and prices, and fees for your services.
When people land on your website they are most likely looking for something. They’ll convert … if you give them what they want. In their head they have keywords they want to see on your site to make sure they are at the right place. Be sure to let your visitor know ASAP that they are at the right place. Use the words your visitor is looking for.
Take the Risk Away
If you know that your product / service is good, you shouldn’t be worried about making customer satisfaction guarantees. This has proven to be a good element to increase the conversion rate. People like to take advantage of special offers, seasonal discounts, discounts that they can get because they are a part of some other group. Winter sales, holiday sales, mother’s day free gift, discount for people who used Google search (your website can identify those visitors). Use your imagination to convert the visitor better and faster.
Always lead customers
When a website is offering many similar products, some guidance is needed to drive potential customers to take desired action. Recommended products functionality is a great start. There are however more intelligent recommendation engines such as criteo which learn over time what users are buying and offer similar recommended products to customers.
Show additional payment gateways
If you offer additional payment gateways such as PayPal and Google Checkout make sure you list it above the fold on the homepage and landing pages as some customers prefer to pay using those services. The other added value here is that by offering these 3rd party gateways, customers feel the website is certified and checked by those providers thus increasing a website’s credibility.
List price savings
Everyone likes a good bargain! Listing a product’s saving in percentage or list price Vs. our price is a great call to action and stands out on the page. Consider adding savings by percentage at the refine search page which attracts bargain hunters. Best practice is to allow customers to receive special offers by RSS and email. Online offers are an integral part of any ecommerce development plan.
Log-in is bad for conversion rate
Never ask the customer to log in to add a product to the shopping cart. 80% of potential customers are initially searching for the best offer, price and spec before deciding on where to buy. By requiring customers to log in prior to adding a product to the shopping cart, you might be stuck with only 20% of the potential customer inventory.
Offer shopping cart preview
Have the shopping cart preview ‘follow’ customers during the shopping experience, while ensuring the cart appears in a non intrusive place on the site. A visible shopping cart is a great call to action, reinforces a customer’s state of mind when purchasing a product and provides a simple ‘favourite’ list.