We’ve all been there at one point or another. You have a website you’re pleased with, you’re telling people about it and advertising it online, but it’s not converting visitors to buyers as much as you had hoped, and it’s beginning to feel like a money pit. Don’t despair just yet; there are tips and techniques you can do to improve the conversion rate of your website. We’ve put together a quick guide to get you on the right path to increasing your website traffic and conversion rates.
1. Page Speed
There are multiple benefits for a fast loading website; particularly now there’s more website traffic from mobile than there is from a desktop. One of the key reasons is your website conversion rate. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if sites take longer than 3 seconds to load. The longer the site takes to load the less likely you are to convert visitors into buyers.
Numerous elements impact how fast a website loads and depending on your site setup and budgetary restrictions some of these elements might be out of your control. All isn’t lost, optimising your images before uploading them to your website decreases the amount of data being transferred when people visit your site and is one of the ways you can decrease your website load time and increase your potential conversions. For those of you running a WordPress website, you have probably come across plugins that optimise images for you. Although some of these are a good step in the right direction, optimising images before you upload them reduces the risk of adding the wrong image to your website, adding bulk to your website hosting and putting a strain on your web hosting resources.
Another way to improve your site speed is to use a CDN, content delivery network. CDN’s store copies of your website on servers closer to where your visit is accessing it from. The benefit of this is the information doesn’t have to travel so far as well as the fact that the CDN provider specialises in getting content to visitors quickly. These can be tricky for newcomers to websites and servers to setup however so be careful you don’t accidentally stop your forms and dynamic content from working correctly.
2. Keep it simple
You may have heard of KISS in your business development or management training. KISS stands for KEEP, IT, SIMPLE, STUPID!…. Perhaps not the most helpful way to keep this message in mind but it’s worth listening to none the less.
When it comes to web design keeping it simple applies to almost every part of the process. Keep your message simple and easy to understand, keep your site structure simple enough that people can find their way around quickly. One of the most common areas you’ll hear this applied is in menu design. Some of the most effective sites are those designed to give only a few options to visitors. This is because they convert visitors quickly, not overloading visitors with too many choices and many terms they may not be used to. By keeping menus as short and concise as possible, you’ll increase the speed people will make a decision and get them moving through your sales funnel.
Does this mean menus with many options should be avoided at all costs? Not at all, but there is best practice to stick to when creating more complicated menus. If you feel you need a more complicated menu structure check to see if your web designer knows about the Hick-Hyman law and how that impacts how people process information.
3. Call Visitors To Action
Call to actions, otherwise known as CTAs are statements, headlines and buttons that encourage your visitors to do something. For example, buying your product or donating to your cause. A common mistake we see with people struggling to convert visitors is that their call to actions is cluttered, hard to see amongst the other information and are always for the “sale moment”.
When visitors come to your site, they’ll be in different states of mind. Some will be ready to buy, and for those visitors, you need to make sure your call to action is easy to find and simple to use. For other visitors, they’ll still be getting to know you, trying to build trust. If your website is full of call to actions that encourage a total commitment, then you’re likely going to see less website traffic and a smaller conversion rate.
Try mixing it up a bit with a transitional call to action that provides the visitor with more value for a small amount of commitment. A common one is to sign up to your newsletter or your online course. By receiving more value from you, their trust in you will grow and when they are ready to buy you are more likely to get the sale than someone they don’t yet trust.
4. It’s all about your visitors
It’s all too tempting to write a website bragging about why you think you’re the best and why everyone that visits your site should be hiring you or buying from you. The problem is this is a bit like a parent saying how great you are…. Well, they would say that they’re your parent. If you didn’t think you could provide value to your website visitors in a way that others don’t, then you probably shouldn’t be operating a business or charity.
Instead, your website is about proving your point, about providing value to your visitors and letting other people say how good you are.
Try answering some of the smaller issues visitors have. For example “When do you need planning permission to build on your own land” could be a useful webpage for a builder or architect. “How donating to charity can benefit your business” may be a beneficial page for a charity looking to work with businesses. Having helpful content that speaks into what the audience are searching for can also increase website traffic.
By providing value you are not only showing you know what you are talking about, but you are also building that all-important relationship with visitors. To convert a visitor into a long-term customer, you need to develop a relationship. For more information on providing value in your marketing read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. If you have content of value on your website, you are far more likely to increase website traffic too.
5. Social Proof
It’s difficult for most people to be the first to try something. It’s nerve-racking and can lead to the feeling of anxiousness. By providing social proof of your product or services on your website and on third-party websites, you can help ease that nervousness and encourage more people to buy from you or donate to your cause. By having reviews on third party websites too, it can encourage website traffic back to your own site.
Think about adding reviews to your website or to third party websites. Over 73% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase. Testimonials, a portfolio and case studies help show people who have bought or given to you before and have benefited from the process. A video case study is a powerful tool for providing the impact you’ve had. Take a look at some of our examples to see how you could benefit from a video case study.
6. Content First Design
It may seem a bit backwards, and I’ve met copywriters and content creators before who struggle with the idea of not seeing a web page before they start thinking about what content to put on it. Content first designs focus on getting the right content to your visitors quickly and clearly, resulting in a better user experience.
By planning your content before building or designing your website you have a better chance of developing a site structure that encourages people to engage and explore more of your content. The more content of value a visitor finds on your website the more they’ll like you and think of you in their hour of need.
I hear some of you saying but I’ve already got a website, I just need to improve the website traffic and conversions. Well, it’s never too late to start planning the journey people will go on as they explore your website. Although it is best to have the site structure in mind when you create your site, start thinking about how you link to your content. Internal links, links between pages on your site, can help improve the search engine optimisation rank of essential pages as well as encourage people to visit more of your website.
7. Exit Popups
Last but by no means least to increase your website traffic and increase conversion rates. The exit popup. Love them or hate them they do have their uses. Take for example that someone has engaged with your site, they’ve looked through the pages or products, but they haven’t pressed that direct or transitional call to action button yet. An exit popup is your last chance to impress them with an offer they can’t refuse or with relevant information they may not have seen yet.
Try going big with your exit popup, provide something of high value where you can. You already know they are ready to move on so small value isn’t going to get your desired result here. If you can offer a trial period or discount, for those of you, who can’t do that maybe give something away for free like some appropriate research or guide. The goal is here to encourage a second visit, a chance to go through the journey again, this time with a different result.