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Before we delve deeper into how one can increase your website’s conversion rate, let us first make sure everyone is on the same page regarding what the concept means. The conversion rate is normally defined as the percentage of visitors who take the action you would like them to take.
One shouldn’t automatically assume this means buying something. It can also be any of the following: Signing up for a subscription; registering as a user; downloading something, e.g. trial software; sending in a request for more information; upgrading from one level of product or service to a higher one; spending a certain amount of time on the website, or returning to the site a certain number of times. It really depends on what you are trying to achieve at that moment.
Let’s say your website gets 50,000 visitors during a specific month, and 5,000 of them buy something or take the action that you were aiming for. In this case the conversion rate would be 5,000/50,000, that is 10 percent. There are various technicalities involved, such as whether or not you count the same visitor twice if he or she visits multiple times – or buys more than one product, but the general principle remains the same.
Below are some of the best ways to boost your website’s conversion rate.
Not only will a first page ranking on search engines give your website a lot more visitors than a ranking on page two or lower. It will also change the way in which visitors view the site. According to research data, website visitors view the first couple of sites at the top of the search engine results as being business leaders in their particular industries. They are therefore more likely to buy something from them, or sign up for a newsletter, or free offer.
If you want the right kind of traffic, therefore, i.e. the kind that will buy more easily or at least take the next step (see the second paragraph of this blog), you should make a serious attempt to get your site listed on the first, or at the very least the second page of major search engines.
Unnecessary steps. If you have ever visited a website where you became interested in the product or service and wanted to make an enquiry, but you had to struggle through pages of promotional material before you could find the ‘Get more info’ link, you will know how off-putting this can be. The same goes for when you actually want to order something.
Another big no-no is asking the customer to fill in a form that will take longer to complete than reading the Bible or the Koran: you are going to lose the bulk of your visitors long before they take the next step. Some website owners e.g. report a 10 percent increase in signups for every form field they drop.
Distractions. There are few things as bad as visiting a site that tries to get your attention in too many different ways. Keep your landing page concise, to the point and effortless to navigate. The golden rule is: if it’s not essential, get rid of it. Try to stick to headlines, subheadings, product/service features and benefits, reviews or testimonials and some visuals to show what you are offering.
Few people like to deal with a completely unknown company. If they visit a website and see a couple of testimonials from satisfied clients, or a positive review from a trusted source, this immediately creates a situation of trust, and makes them more likely to take the next step. For your homepage, adding a couple of logos will help a lot to overcome the trust gap that exists when a visitor arrives at your site for the first time.
According to growth marketing specialist Angie Schottmuller: “If quality social proof buffers notable uncertainty, get ready for some remarkable conversion impact — in some cases up to 400% improvement.”