Too many business owners focus on generating a steady flow of traffic to their websites, then sit back and hope for the best. However, it is possible to increase your website sales and conversions phenomenally without spending another penny on generating traffic, as long as you concentrate on your conversion rate optimisation.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the seven most effective ways to turn your website visitors into customers.
1. Find Out What Your Customers Want
It’s a simple concept, but an effective one. As a business, you will know who your target audience are. Finding out exactly what they want is a fundamental element of your marketing efforts. Every demographic is different so you need to make sure your website appeals to your target market.
Create a persona based upon your target audience and run through a set of scenarios on your website, placing yourself in their shoes, to gain a greater understanding of what they’re looking for. Look at your website with a fresh set of eyes, and if something isn’t clear, fix it.
Don’t forget to ask your customers. Interact with them on social media and via your blog to find out what they like most about your website, and what you could do better. Then listen to their ideas and implement them.
2. Demonstrate You Mean Business
When visitors arrive at your website, what’s their first impression? Does it appear amateurish or is it sleek and professional? Has it been updated regularly or is your last blog post dated 2011? Is it obvious what your business actually does, or is your landing page crowded and confused?
It’s essential that your website looks professional when visitors land on it. Having a professional logo shows your visitors that you mean business and demonstrates that you’ve invested in your business (something that will encourage them to do the same).
Make sure your website is neat, welcoming and comfortable to use. Most importantly, ensure that the keywords that enticed visitors to your website are relevant to what you’re offering. When a visitor lands on your site, the keyword phrase that led them there, or at least the general concept behind it, must leap off the page so they know they’re in the right place and that you haven’t tricked them into visiting under false pretences.
3. Highlight Your Unique Value Proposition
To be successful in today’s ultra-competitive online environment, you need something that makes you stand out from your competitors. A special or unique quality to your business or products, which will benefit your customers and encourage people to do business with you.
This is your unique value proposition. If you sell physical products, this could be free delivery and free returns. You may boast the lowest prices or the best range of products. Perhaps you can offer the most experienced staff or service providers.
Whatever your UVP, it must be obvious to visitors when they land on your website.
4. Include a Strong, Singular Call to Action
If you rent out a holiday home and have a set of rules explaining how you would like holidaymakers to conduct themselves in your property, you wouldn’t hide it under the sofa, would you? The same should apply to your website.
When visitors land on your site, you need to make it clear what you would like them to do and how they should behave. Include a strong, singular call to action giving them specific instructions on how you would like them to navigate your site and what they need to do next. If you want them to sign up to your newsletter, tell them. If you want them to make a purchase, create an obvious purchase button for them to click.
Make sure your call to action is in a prominent position on the page, use bold colours that stand out from the rest of your site, and use strong, action-oriented wording – ‘buy now’ instead of ‘click here to make a purchase’.
5. Streamline Your User Experience
The more steps your visitors have to take to reach your final goal, the less likely they are to convert.
Make sure their path to conversion is simple. Leave out any unnecessary information and don’t confuse them with additional, unimportant calls to action – it could send them running for the hills. Or at least navigating away from your site.
This is especially important once they’ve reached the checkout stage. Confusing them with other offers and cross-sells when they’re just about to pay will simply annoy them. However, adding a gentle reminder that they have unpurchased items in their cart if they are about to navigate away from your site is good business.
If you wish to check the flow of your website, sit down with some potential customers and ask them to navigate your site, giving them an end goal to aim for. If they become stuck or annoyed at a particular spot, you know where you can make improvements.
6. Offer Social Proof
Including social proof on your website provides a boost in credibility and shows your visitors that others trust, respect and like you.
Social proof can take many forms. Testimonials may look cheesy, but they’re certainly effective. Ask your best customers for testimonials, asking them to be specific about the benefits of working with you, and sprinkle them around your site.
Include case studies to back up points you’ve made, and display the number of social media followers or email subscribers that you have.
When your visitors see proof of your reputation and excellent working practices, it will help to reduce the risk they’re taking in doing business with you and increase the likelihood of them converting.
It’s worth remembering that we have a herd mentality – if lots of people are jumping on the bandwagon, then it must be worth it, right?
7. Remember People Sell
Finally, remember that people help to sell. Including images, and videos, on your website will show visitors the human face of your business, which increases conversion rates. People like to see who they’re doing business with. Plus, images can help to convey emotions and give your brand some personality.
There are many ways to convert your visitors into customers, and different techniques will have varying rates of success depending on the type of business you’re running. There is no simple, single solution that works for everybody.
However, employing these seven effective steps will give you an excellent basis for boosting your conversions. And remember, if in doubt, test different elements to see what works best for you.
What strategies have worked for you when converting visitors into customers? Is there anything we’ve missed out? Join in the discussion below.