No matter how many hours you spend on Google Analytics pages, you are likely to feel challenged when you see any sign of a slump. Something even more worse than this is when the traffic arrow is going up while conversions are in the negative range. This is a danger zone and everyone’s biggest nightmare.
I like approaching conversion repairs from three different areas: usability, search engine optimization and information architecture. A forth addition, social marketing, is also worth including in cases where conversation marketing is part of the business plan.
I have put together some few guidelines below that ought to help you get the desired results. I have seen these solutions work on a number of occasions and they are generally easy to implement.
A. USABILITY/ UX
A few critical elements should appear in the top third of your home page, because the page fold moves nowadays with different monitors and resolutions.
Company name: Trust and Credibility are key to conversion rates. If your company name differs from the logo, get it up top and not in the footer.
Why choose us: State why your site visitor should choose your service or product. Normally, you have about 3 seconds to convince a user why they should continue staying on your page.
Why we’re better for you: A clearly stated product niche or service and, in your content, indicate you know who your visitor is and how you can meet their needs. This is a unique selling point for your business that many websites ignore.
How to start: Place your lead call to action task in this space. It can be a button (“download free trial”) or a short form (“get started now”). Do not force anyone to scroll to complete the top user task.
Here’s how to buy: Start a conversion funnel here. Some visitors will have been to your site earlier. They want to get past the formalities and start a task.
Other things to consider are;
- Ads. Why are there many ads being displayed on your website from other websites?
In cases where traffic is up but conversions sink, it’s advisable to look at the user interface. For example, Is it confusing to follow? Are there distractions? Are there too many links? Is there too much to do? This is the area where We find the most problems. Your slumping conversions may be tied to a poorly designed web site.
- Color contrasts.
A common issue we find in most of the websites we audit. A lot of them choose the wrong colors to use in their sites. Some websites are too edgy while others are too intense and this will make your visitors anxious or frustrated and cause them to leave.
- Forms also play a significant part and can be a key abandonment trigger. Registration forms that have too many steps and are prone to functional errors. Shopping carts that are poorly designed or don’t work properly in all browsers. Sales lead forms that require personal information and a sample of your blood before they’ll work. When generating the above examples, try limiting the required fields because if someone can’t fill in that field, the form will throw an error and Conversion lost.
- If you offer customer service, you should make this information clearly visible on your website. Make your toll-free phone number easy to locate and read. Indicate office or call-in hours. Create a customer service page that offers assistance by answering commonly asked questions. Rather than scattering this information haphazardly in the site, gather it up into one page. Every customer that has to hunt for answers or help is likely to give up midway and thus conversion lost.
- Add User Instructions during every task. Missing out on user assistance is another very common way to lose conversions.
- Another way you can avoid conversion loss is by adding ways where your visitors can contact you incase of a problem or something doesn’t work. An example is when you have to switch browsers since some features work in selected browsers only. Not every prospective customer will think of switching browsers to make a purchase work.
- Every form, application or shopping cart should have a link to a feedback form so that visitors can let you know why they couldn’t complete a transaction. This simple move could make a huge difference in sales and your overall customer-satisfaction reputation.
B. SEO CONSIDERATIONS
Create a text tagline containing your site’s unique selling proposition with one or two top keywords in it. This verifies in an instant that a search query has found a good match and the user will remain on the page.
Opening page content should back up and clarify with more detail what the meta description presented in search results. If your meta description is written in a way that creates incentive to click for example, be sure to fulfill that desire.
Maintain fresh content. Sometimes a conversion is lost because it seems dormant and no one is home.
Avoid missed opportunities. Believe it or not, 404 not-found pages can be huge opportunities that many miss out on. It may be a long shot but some people come up with creative, compelling reasons to continue with the main site when directed to something promising.
Write page topic focused content. You can tell when a site owner is overly enthusiastic about what they have to offer. An overwhelmed visitor becomes frustrated and is more likely to leave for the organized competitor.
Create robust product descriptions. Avoid the lone image with a “click to learn more” link. Every product deserves a keyword with a rich teaser description giving a clear reason to learn more or take an action such as adding a product to the shopping cart.
Landing pages are often done so poorly they’re the assassins of conversion funnels. It’s even worse when it is attached to a PPC campaign. Be sure that an ad landing page matches the topic the ad claimed it would be. Rule number one should be to Never mislead site visitors.
C. INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE
Build global navigation that offers directions to groupings of pages. Base their line up order on what you know about your target user. Navigation should always be designed to meet the top needs and interests of your target users.
Similarly, All navigation labels must describe a category in terms your customers use. An example is products or machine parts. Remember not to put every product category in the top level. Guide visitors into drilling down into your deeper pages where you have “sub-groups” of your products, for example, item groupings and different designers.
The key is to not lose anyone and Breadcrumb navigation does exactly that. It offers visitors a sense of place and guides them forward or backwards. Getting lost in a website is one of the reasons people leave a website.
Orphan landing pages should be avoided at all costs. Cohesive information architecture is easier to track so that you can watch how someone moves from page to page on your site. You want to be able to monitor visitor movement so that you can know what approach to take and where to make corrections.
Even the smallest details can produce an instant increase in conversions. Things like navigation and making a page easier to read, by increasing font size, are some of the changes you need to observe if you want to get a conversion. If someone is unable to find an item for example, they are likely to leave and you end up losing a conversion.
One final note. If you wonder about making a change to a page design or moving a call to action prompt to a different location, try split testing first. Set up a test site and experiment. If you have a functional piece like a shopping cart or proprietary application, make sure it’s tested for functionality on all browsers and that error message testing is performed. Conversions that are tied to unfinished tasks can be repaired.
By implementing the practical recommendations above, I have heard countless happy success stories. When the arrows and numbers start to move up, there’s excitement and incentive to keep at it. The beauty of implementing all I have told you is that it is easy to do only if you follow carefully.
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