6 STEPS TO IMPROVING WEB SITE CONVERSION RATES
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Lately I’ve been fielding a lot of questions from business owners about how to improve the conversion rates on their web sites.
Put simply, a web site’s conversion rate is based on how much traffic the site gets and how much of that traffic takes a desired action. For an e-commerce site it might mean clicking a “buy now” button, while on a lead generation site it might mean filling out a contact form or signing up for an email newsletter.
There are a lot of reasons why your site’s conversion rate may be lower than you’d like, but here are six I see time and time again.
1. Your Product or Service is Ill-defined.
Probably the number one reason I see that people aren’t getting the conversion rates they expect is that their web site does a poor job of explaining what they offer, what problems it solves, and how the site visitor will be better off after using, trying or buying it.
Fix: Ask your best customers to define your product and how it helped them and then use their language on your site. Chances are they’re in a better position to explain what you can offer to people in the same situation.
2. Your Target Audience is Too Broad.
A friend of mine who ran a restaurant once described his target audience as “anyone who needs to eat to survive.” While a good one-liner, it’s that kind of thinking that can get you in trouble. While anyone might eat at his restaurant, his target audience was probably better defined as people who lived, worked or vacationed within 10 miles of the restaurant, liked seafood, and were willing to pay a little more for locally-sourced ingredients.
Fix: Narrow your target audience as much as possible and write to them.
3. You Haven’t Optimized Your Site for Search Engines.
Admittedly, driving more traffic to your site won’t improve your conversion rates…in fact, it may lower them. However, by optimizing your site the right way, you’ll rank well for the keywords your best prospects are searching for. A better quality of site visitors will translate into a higher conversion rate.
Fix: Hire a search engine marketing firm or learn more about optimizing your own site. Be sure to check out the search engine optimization section of the flyte blog and the Maine SEO Blog by flyte’s own Nicki Hicks.
4. You’re Offering Too Much.
There’s a famous study that showed that when consumers were offered 6 types of jam they were 10 times more likely to make a purchase than when offered 24 types of jam. In short: too many choices cause people to make no decision at all.
When you have too many offers on the same page—an ezine, a book, dozens of links, free downloads, etc.—you actually reduce the changes that your visitor will make a buying decision.
Fix: Make just one main offer on every page.
5. You’re Not Using Persuasive Language.
Unless your offer is completely irresistible—free Lamborghini and gas for life when you open a checking account at our bank—changes are you’ll need to be persuasive. That may mean addressing the problems your visitor is currently experiencing or painting a picture of what the prospect can expect after using your consulting/lawn service/aftershave.
Fix: Hire a copywriter. Seriously, it’ll probably be the best investment you’ll ever make in your conversion rates. If you don’t know one, contact flyte and we’ll put you in touch with one.
6. There’s no clear call-to-action.
Have you ever taken a hike in the woods and been unsure where to go next because the trails were poorly marked? Now you know how your audience feels when they get to the end of your web page.
If you want your visitor to take a specific action don’t leave them guessing at what that should be. Every page should end with a call-to-action—usually a link—that tells them what the next step is. Maybe it’s to download an article, or sign up for a free hour of consulting, or to buy now.
Fix: Make sure that every page has a call-to-action and link it to your shopping cart, contact form or other appropriate spot.
These six points are a good place to start if you’re looking to improve your conversion rates. However, there are plenty of other reasons your conversion rates may be so low: your price is too high (or too low), poor photography, or maybe your offering just isn’t what the market wants or needs right now.
If you’re wondering how you can improve your conversion rates, please contact flyte today. Flyte can analyze your web site and make recommendations that will help build your business online.
President, flyte new media