Is it possible to make more money from your website without getting any more traffic? Yes: increase your conversion rate!
The conversion rate of a website is the percentage of people who take a specific action on your site. Yes, sales are one type of conversion, but other website conversions to be paying attention to are the number of newsletter sign-ups or accounts created.
So, how do you maximize any of those conversion rates? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Be an authority
Yes, you’ve heard this before, and you’ll probably hear it again, but it’s simple: if you don’t look like you know what you’re doing, no one will want to pay you. If your website has broken links or your checkout screen doesn’t work, customers suddenly have less faith in you shipping the right order at the right time. Make sure everything you do online is the same level of quality as the services you provide.
Internet shoppers can contradictions: impatient and cautious at the same time. Impatient, because they don’t want to wait and find out more about the product during office hours. Cautious, because they want to know as much information as possible about the product before purchasing it.
First, supply the answers to common questions in the FAQ page (even if the information is stated elsewhere – consider linking to it). Also make sure that contact information is prominently available so that customers can call or email direct questions. To go the extra mile, look into services which embed “chat with a salesperson” capabilities directly into your webpage.
Target the right people
When you are advertising, focus on the people who want to make purchases. Make sure you are ranking for the keywords of any items that you sell, not just related products that might generate a lead. Making long-term relationships is good, but being found by a person who is ready to make a purchase is great.
Make your site usable
There are plenty of little tweaks that can make your shopping cart, and your whole site, more customer-friendly. The site needs to be easy to understand and use. Make sure your design doesn’t disguise any buttons or links that your visitors need to follow. Also check that your pages load as quickly as possible, and work in any browser.
Call to action
Make sure your website, and each individual page on the site, asks your users to do something. Make a purchase, sign up for a newsletter, receive coupons, contact us. Not all pages need to have the exact same call to action, but all the pages should be encouraging potential customers to either make a purchase or keep in touch.
Watch individual users interact with your site, as much as possible. Find people to test your site who are in your target audience, if at all possible. Different techniques and site designs work for different groups of people, and if you take every piece of advice, your site will suffer. Make decisions based on what works, not what should work.
After watching individual users, you can test large groups of visitors by using A/B testing, directing different streams of traffic to different versions of pages. You can find services online which will do this automatically, providing you with concrete results with less work.
In any business, treating your customers well is the first step to getting great referrals. The second step is to ask customers directly to tell their friends. You could suggest that they forward the newsletter to anyone they think might be interested, or make it clear that online coupons can be shared. With a little more work, you can set up an affiliate program or offer monetary incentives for referrals. Not only is this a way to increase traffic, it is a way to get more targeted traffic.
Make a special offer
No, this one is no surprise to anyone – but web shoppers are always looking for a deal. Try offering a discount or free shipping. Even better, give users a discount when they create a free account or sign up for your newsletter.
These strategies have worked for a number of ecommerce websites. Which strategies are working for yours?