What does website conversion rates mean?
Simply put, your website conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors that go on to take a desired action such as making a purchase, booking an appointment, downloading a free e-book, or something else that aligns with the goal of your business and your website.
It’s not enough to have a beautiful website that potential clients want to visit. For your website to remain a valuable asset to your business, you want these potential clients to act.
A non-profit organisation seeking donations would want as many website visitors pledging a donation before they leave the website.
The goal of an e-commerce store is to have as many of your website visitors completing a purchase as possible.
If you are a pest controller, you would want as many visitors as possible requesting a free quote.
Your website’s ability to achieve these goals is measured by its conversion rates.
So here are 8 things you can do to increase your website conversion rates.
1. A call-to-action button
Sometimes, if you really want someone to do something, you have to ask. Really clearly. Forget about clever lines and vague suggestions. Know exactly what you want your visitors to do, and place your primary call-to-action in common places where people expect to find them, and where people are likely to see them right off the bat. Consider the Z-shaped reading pattern that most website visitors use to process information on a screen.
And while we’re on the topic of call-to-actions, the study of human psychology tells us that as people, we tend to order our experiences in a symmetrical, simple manner. We prefer things that are clear and orderly. Applying that to your website design, assume that your visitors are afraid of complex and complicated stuff and keep it simple. If you have more than 2 calls to action on your website home page, choose just the one most powerful one. Maybe two, but you should A/B test it and see which works best for your website.
2. A compelling headline
Nothing makes your potential clients lose interest in your website faster than a confusing headline. We’ve all been there – we visit a website and after 5 minutes we think to ourselves ‘I still have absolutely no idea what these guys are about!”. Then we shut the (metaphorical) door and move on to the next.
Remember that the person reading your headline might be coming in without a single hint of a clue about what you do. So, you have to write your ‘hero’ headline with them in mind, without assuming that they already know. Remove all the industry jargon and big words!
Your headline should be concise, clear, and simple. At a single glance when someone first lands on your website, they should be able to identify your company name, what you do, and why they should care. Make your unique value propositions clear so your visitors can see the benefit of your product right away. This is not the time for coyness!
3. Use compelling imagery
Good imagery is sorely under-rated in website design. Many businesses focus on words and copy for the sake of SEO, but neglect the fact that up to 60% of consumers will give more consideration to search results that have images. Also, 23% of consumers are more likely to contact a local business that has an image attached to its listing on Google search results (findings from a survey conducted by Bright Local). Skyword also found that embedding relevant images in content meaningfully improved content performance.
Consumers are incredibly savvy today and most of us can spot a stock photo from a mile away so avoid low-quality images and lifeless stock photos like the plague. If your images are “stuffy” and too “corporate”, you’ll more likely than not turn your visitors away. And we definitely want to avoid that!
Remember that stock photography doesn’t have to be a direct representation of what you do. Just because you provide conference rooms for business meetings doesn’t mean your website should be littered with random smiling people garbed in business suits and sitting around a large conference table. Instead, use your imagination and find imagery that invokes emotions that align with your brand, that conveys the right “feel” that matches your branding. Check out some of these sites for free stock photography with a different edge:
4. Decrease friction
Elliot Shmukler (LinkedIn and Wealthfront) once said that all growth can be boiled down to three primary levers:
- Increase exposure (reach more people)
- Decrease friction (make it easier for people to take the target action)
- Increase incentive (create a better benefit)
So, in the context of optimising design for improving website conversion, it’s not difficult to take steps to decrease friction for potential customers in order to trigger growth.
Think about how many steps (or how many clicks) your customer has to go through to get to the end point you wish them to get to.
How many fields are there in the booking form they have to fill out? Are every single one of them 100% necessary, or can you remove half of those fields to make it that much easier for your customers?
Is it more important for your clients to complete a purchase before changing their minds, or is it more important that they register for an account? Perhaps allowing customers to check out as guests with just their email address would be beneficial and can reduce cart abandonment rates.
Make it super easy for your website visitors to do what you want them to do. Don’t make them jump through hoops for you!
I could go on and on and list at least 10 more other things you can do to improve your website conversion rates but start with these four and I’ll be back with more tips!