The Secret to Increased Online Sales: Conversion Optimization
Picture a real estate open house where the home is filled with people who are enthusiastically touring, from basement to attic. They seem quite interested!
They can’t find the real estate agent, though, so they leave without the opportunity to ask for more information. Fortunately for them, there is another attractive-looking house just down the road, and that one has a real estate agent ready to answer questions, provide business cards and brochures—and, of course, take offers.
The digital comparison to that is Website A, where there may be plenty of site visitors, but it’s too challenging for them to see where to go to ask for more information. So, with one easy click, they leave that website. Another click? They’re at a competitor’s site that’s much easier to navigate.
The business team at Website A is puzzled by the lack of sales, and so they come up with strategies to increase traffic to the site. And, although the traffic does go up, sales remain flat. This is therefore a situation where focus needs to be put on conversion strategies, with its goal being to clear out any obstacles to bring window shoppers another step closer to buying.
When someone arrives at your site, what do you want them to do? Fill out a form? Sign up for the email newsletter? Download your new e-book? Here are tips to help make that happen.
Baseline Conversion Optimization Techniques
Before you get involved in more in-depth strategies, double-check all foundational items. For example, if you aren’t getting people to sign up for your email newsletter, make sure that particular form fill is working well. Test it on Google Chrome, Firefox and Edge, on desktop and via mobile. Does everything work well for you? Ask a select number of other people to test it as well, just to be sure.
Also ask a group of people to navigate through your site. Do they have problems finding anything? Are any form fills not working for them? You could also provide a short survey for them to complete to gain further intelligence.
Internally, take a look at how much information you’re requesting on a particular form. The biggest form fill mistake we see is that people design them by determining how much information they want. Instead, ask yourself, “How little do I need?”
Each form fill element creates a friction point, one where a prospect may decide to abandon the form because you’re asking for too much information and/or because it’s taking too long. It’s proven that longer form fills reduce conversion rates so, even if your sales team wants more qualifying information, get the leads first by requiring the least amount of information possible.
Make sure, too, that you’re actually asking people to perform a desired action. For example, if you’ve written a blog post that you feel certain will encourage site visitors to download your latest e-book, are you asking people to do so in that post? If not, edit the post appropriately and monitor what happens to your conversion rate.
Home Page Performance
HubSpot published an infographic that does a great job of quickly sharing what elements a home page should have to engage site visitors. Does your home page headline pass the three-second test? In just three seconds, that brief blurb should make it clear what your website and company has to offer.