You have invested time and money into creating a website for your business so it makes sense to ensure it is working as hard as possible. You and your designer would have put thought and effort into trying to understand and target the right audience but do you really know whether the site is performing as well as it should?
What is a conversion?
A conversion is any action that you require a site visitor to take. A conversion could be:
- Completing a contact form
- Purchasing a product
- Signing up to your newsletter
- Subscribing to your blog
- Signing up for a product or service
- Signing up for a webinar
Essentially anything that is the target of the website in the first place. These are the actions you want a visitor to complete, after all that is the primary purpose of a website.
The first task in conversion optimisation is to start tracking your conversions. Using analytics software (such as Google Analytics) you can define your conversions and track these compared to the number of site visitors. This give you a baseline to work on.
Once you have implemented your optimisations you can then track conversions to see if there is an improvement.
What is conversion optimisation?
As the name suggests conversion optimisation is about trying to optimise a part or the whole of a website to convert as well as possible.
Firstly you should identify your core goals of the optimisation and what parts of the site they apply to . This way you can then focus your effort on the relevant areas.
For example if you are looking to increase product sales then you will want to focus on the product details screen (but not necessarily exclusively). Ultimately you need to look at all the elements that might contribute towards achieving that goal.
You will then want to look in detail at the design, layout, wording, colours, font sizes and any other elements that may influence the person to convert or not. You can then try to create alternatives and variations to these elements and then test to see if they improve conversions.
So what things can influence conversion?
Well, just about anything! It really depends on each individual circumstance as to what can increase (or decrease!) conversions. Some key elements that influence conversion are:
Sometimes changing a single word can increase conversions massively. For example changing “Start your free 30 day trial” to “Start my free 30 day trial” increased conversions by 90% in one case study! Adding specific content to some elements can make the difference as well. Imagine a sign up form where you add a line “We respect your privacy and will keep your email address 100% secure” this could increase conversions considerably as it answers a question the user may have.
Changing the design of an element or website can have significant impact on conversions. Having a website design that is well targeted and meets the expectations of the user in terms of quality, professionalism and trustworthiness can make significant impacts on conversion rates. Having an element well designed with clear structure and calls to action can make the difference in terms of someone seeing it or not. An example of this can be making sure the font size is appropriate for the target users, that there is sufficient contrast and the colours match the overall design and also provide visual hierarchy to make the elements stand out. Just making a button bigger or a different colour has resulted in significant increases in conversion rates.
Verification / Reassurance
Adding reviews, ratings, testimonials and guarantees can reassure a user that your product or service is legitimate and worthwhile. Adding these elements along with social verification (think Facebook ‘Like” boxes and Comments) can make the difference in terms of someone feeling comfortable giving you their information or money.
Putting it in to practice
Start of by doing some research. Make sure you understand your target market, put together a profile of who your ideal client is and think about the issues they face and questions they have then try and present the content and design to match.
Try to look at the existing design and content from a fresh perspective or from the perspective of your ideal client. Think about whether the content is compelling and action focused. Think about whether the design is clear and obvious. Make notes on potential issues or ideas.
Have a look at resources online which outline common conversion optimisation approaches and read case studies to see what has worked for other companies. Use this as a guide only and try to see how this might apply to your market and clients.
The process of conversion optimisation can be trial and error. You can make a decision which will have a huge impact or no impact at all. It all comes down to testing to understand what works and what does not.
Test it all out
Once you have come up with your new optimised version of your page or element you can then test it out in the wild. There are two potential ways to do this, you can simply replace the old version with the new and monitor your analytics to see how conversions go or you can perform A/B testing. A/B testing allows you to run two versions of your site / page / element side-by-side to compare results. Some visitors will see one version, some the other. You can then compare. Google and other providers have tools that allow you to set this up.
Allow time for some decent data to be collected. Research has shown that making decisions on small data sets often delivers skewed results. Leave the test running for a while and then analyse what has worked and what has not.
All sounds too complicated?
While all this sounds very complicated it can be quite a simple process. With good planning and focus you can target very specific items and hopefully get a great improvement in conversion rates.
If it all sounds too hard but you are interested in increasing conversions then why not give us a call on 1300 77 3569 to see how we can help you?