Conversion is the term used to describe the rate at which visitors to your website or business become customers. Hosting a business online means that you will likely have tons of people visiting your website everyday, but only a small percentage actually choose to buy your product or service. There are many ways one can increase conversion by making the process as simple as possible for the potential customer while tracking the behavior of website visitors to help you decide what is distracting and what is helpful about the way your webpage is set up. One of the biggest reasons customers decide to go with another brand is an overly distracting website.
If customers don’t know where to click to discover your products or read about their benefits, they will get impatient and search for another product. There is only a small window of opportunity when someone visits your website, so make sure that your page looks clean and is easy to navigate. Today we’ll look at some specific ways businesses can start to increase their online conversion and pull in more customers at a higher rate.
We can all relate to the experience of visiting a cluttered, distracting website. Your eye is drawn to unclickable links and the information seems confusing. This is the biggest deterrent for potential customers. CEO of QuaGrowth Jason Boehle said this on the topic, “Increasing your conversion rate is all about making things as easy as possible for customers visiting your website. Your best selling products should be at the forefront, and you should remove any unnecessary content or distractions on the homepage of your website. The more clicks it takes to access your goods and services, the lower your conversion rate will be.” It’s true that the average attention span for online shoppers is fairly short, so you need to take extra steps to draw the attention of new customers by keepings things neat and orderly on your website.
You can also use it as an opportunity to offer a first time customer discount. If this is the first thing they see upon visiting your site, it will increase their motivation to purchase your products. “Customers will respond at higher rates to a simpler process. Consider having the first field on a customer form be their email address to unlock a first time discount,” said Yuvi Alpert, Founder and CEO of Noémie. “This will increase incentive, and even if they don’t decide to buy your product you will at least have a contact for your mailing list.” It’s important to think about the implications here, that no matter what, if you have a first time customer incentive, you could potentially make a sale while also getting a new customer on your mailing list. However, make sure you keep this process simple as Matt Rubright, Head of Growth at Candidate advises.
“Long forms and purchase processes are a huge deterrent for potential customers. Making signup forms easy, simple and short will increase the likelihood that new customers will follow through with using your service.” Think of your own purchasing habits when building your website and make things as easy as possible to increase your conversion rate.
One of the most effective tools for drawing in new customers is by sharing current customer experiences on your website! These are great ways to gain the trust of the consumer market and you can use them as independent ads on different platforms. “Testimonials throughout the discovery and purchasing process are among the most effective tools to increase your online and ecommerce conversion,” said Karina Karassev, Founder and COO of Stori. “Especially as prospective consumers gain excitement looking at your branding, pictures of your products, and examples of it in use, one of the last things they need is proof. A customer may approach the purchase window and then recall their decision due to a lack of knowledge regarding whether or not your product is what it claims it is. The testimonial provides the truth that your product is as good as it claims, and provides purchase-security to your consumer.”
Customers rely heavily on each other to help them make decisions about what products to buy. Especially when so many healthy brands are moving to a direct-to-consumer model, many are finding that this is the most reliable way to decide whether something works and is worth investing money and time into. “Testimonials and customer reviews are a great way to show proof of your product’s effectiveness and of your values as a company,” CEO and Founder of Kabo Vino Jeyapalan said. “These are important to feature clearly on your website so that potential customers can easily read what others have experienced shopping with your company.” Showing customers that have had positive experiences with your products show not just the effectiveness of the product but your values as a company. You’re showing future customers that their opinion not only matters, but drives the reputation of the brand.
Customer service is obviously going to be extremely important for potential clients and customers. If a brand doesn’t have people on hand to help customers troubleshoot or answer questions, they will be less likely to feel comfortable buying those products. Make sure you’re offering the most you can to help customers feel comfortable and cared for. “One of the best ways to increase conversion online is to implement AI chatbots into your website,” said John Wu, Co-Founder and CEO of Gryphon Connect on customer service solutions. “AI chatbots provide 24/7 support to your customers and visitors of your website. They can assist with answering questions, providing support, and helping facilitate a conversation between the customer and one of your sales reps. This can help increase your conversion online and turn more visitors to your website into customers.”
If you have the resources, live chats with customer service staff also go a long way for a brand’s customer service. “Many consumers visiting your website may be interested in your service, but have lingering questions before signing up. Offering a live chat customer service line is a great way to offer a sense of security and trust with your future customers and make them more likely to sign up after the first visit,” said Adelle Archer, CEO and Co-Founder Eterneva. For some customers, a live person is going to draw them in far more than an automated system will. “Many customers find deeper trust when dealing with live representatives,” said Sumit Singh of Chewy. “This creates a stronger understanding of trust between customer and brand.” Automated systems can certainly get the job done, but even if your chat service is automated you should have another line of communication for customer service such as an email address where customers can reach the company directly.
There are some amazing tools you can utilize to track customer behavior on your website. This can help you gain a deeper understanding of how customers are using your website and what might be leading towards and away the key parts like your products and testimonials. “Use a heat map to show where visitors to your site are actually clicking. This will help you decide what draws in the right attention and what is distracting,” said Sarah Pirrie, Brand Director of Healist Naturals. “Anything drawing attention away from the selling points of your website should probably be eliminated, moved or reformatted in some way. Website layouts should be simple, with no much else other than headlines, testimonials, reviews, and your product features.” An example of a heat map tool you can access is HotJar, one of the more popular services for this kind of website tracking.
Along with using a heat map to track behavior, it should go without saying to test several different website layouts before the official launch. “Testing your layouts is an important detail in designing your website,” said Founder and CEO of electrIQ marketing Brandon Amoroso. “Compare and contrast in an A/B comparison and you’ll quickly see the difference in your conversion rate from one layout to another. Try several comparison tests to narrow down the simplest and easiest layout for customers to access and purchase your products.” It’s important to compare and contrast website layouts, especially when using behavior tracking to motivate the changes being made.
Websites are important, but brands can also utilize other online platforms to increase their conversion rate online. Social media and mobile apps are great places to offer deals, sign up for mailing lists, and draw people directly to your brand. Jeremy Gardner, CEO of MadeMan had this to say. “Many companies are benefiting from offering multiple points of entry aside from just your website. First off, make sure your services, products and forms are accessible through mobile devices. A vast majority of customers are shopping on their smartphones and tablets. Secondly, allowing customers to sign in/up for your service through google or facebook eliminates one big step for the customer, making them more likely to follow through.” Using other tools to offer entry points into a brand is an organic way to get customers flowing to your business, and buying your products faster!
Social media also helps customers get to know a brand and feel more connected to their values and mission. At the end of the day, increasing your conversion rate is about connecting with people! “Your customers want to see that you understand their needs and the world we all live in,” said Dan Lewis of Convoy. “Customers who discover your brand over social media can create a stronger connection with your image, aesthetics and values as a company.” Remember that a brand’s focus should be making a shared connection with customers. Social media is a great way to open this door and invite more customers to your brand.
Simplifying your website, signup process, and tracking your website behavior using heat maps and product testing are all things that will greatly improve any brands online conversion rate. Remember to prioritize connecting with your customers, and making sure their experience is as easy and breezy as possible! This will be the key to increasing traffic and customer retention.