9 Easy Ways to Increase Online Conversions
So you’ve built a great website with professionally designed graphics, user-friendly navigation and compelling content. But instead of the steady stream of traffic and purchases you were expecting, you’re not even getting a trickle.
So what gives?
Too many entrepreneurs and small business owners have an “If you build it, they will come” mentality. They think that building something that looks nice is all they need to do to attract buyers.
The truth is that creating a website, no matter how visually appealing, isn’t even half the battle.
The hardest work comes after your site is up and running, when it’s time to market your product or service, engage potential customers and convert them into leads and sales.
Whether you’re struggling to get eyes on your offerings, build your list, or want to grow your sales, these tips will help you effectively utilize the best marketing tool you have: your website.
1. Look under the hood.
Is there something technically wrong? There are many wannabe developers out there who don’t understand what it takes to build a robust, responsive site.
Follow the path a customer would take from the time they land on your home page, throughout the whole buying process. There could be an error message when you try to put a certain product in your shopping cart, or a 404 page where your shipping and returns info should be.
Be sure to check your site on several different browsers and devices too, ensuring the responsiveness looks good everywhere and not just on the typical browser you use.
Checking your site speed is a good place to start. If a page takes forever to load, people aren’t going to wait around. Get insight into your site speed here.
2. Pay close attention to your headline.
The average web surfer who’s using a search engine visits approximately 25 sites in only 3-4 minutes. That’s not much time to grab someone’s attention.
To increase online conversions and grow your sales:
- Avoid saying “Welcome to my website…” or other fluffy space-wasters. You don’t want to spend your precious seconds on words that don’t encourage visitors to take action.
- Be short and sweet. Your headline is not the place to cram in every detail. Focus on 6-12 words that contain your target keywords to capture interest.
- Get descriptive. Using a thesaurus is the perfect way to come up with some different ways of saying things that will tap into people’s emotions. Think beyond words like “good” and “great” and get your visitors excited.
3. Show people how your product or service will benefit them.
Don’t get caught up in explaining the mechanics of what you’re selling. Instead, answer the questions your visitors will have, such as: How will it change people’s lives for the better? Why do they need it?
Tap into your visitors’ pain points, and tell them the right story in a video, blog post, headline…
Here’s an example from one of my clients, the Financial Recovery Institute. Instead of telling people the course names or how she teaches, Karen describes the benefits they’ll get from taking Money Coach Training.
4. Inspire your visitors to take action.
Using tangible action verbs can help increase online conversions. Get your visitors excited about whatever it is you’re selling, and include a sense of urgency.
For example, instead of saying “Register Now” for a webinar, you could use “Save Your Seat Here”. Rather than “Get the course” for a program you teach, try something like “Start Learning Today”.
Create more enticing value propositions than simply “Buy it” or “Shop now” to motivate people to take advantage of your offer.
5. Have strong calls to action.
Whether it’s filling out an online form or clicking a button, tell your users what you want them to do next. Like your headline and body copy, your CTAs should be succinct and benefit-driven.
That said, don’t put CTAs everywhere in your body copy, thinking that more is better. You want one main call to action per page or “action” you want someone to take, not one stuffed into each paragraph of content.
6. Make it easy for visitors to give you info.
People don’t like filling out long forms to download an eBook or sign up for email newsletters. Popular digital marketing entrepreneur Neil Patel boosted his conversion rate on NeilPatel.com by 26% just by removing one form field.
To get more website leads, ask for what you want in as few fields as possible. We ask our visitors for only a name and email address before giving them our free Ultimate Guide on improving profitability and conversions.
7. Make the right visual impression.
It’s time to take stock of your stock photos, and to look long and hard at the images you’re using to represent your brand
Your visual brand should be consistent throughout all of your marketing materials, from your blog imagery to your email newsletter pics. Too many small business owners use tacky stock photos or low-quality images simply because they’re easy and available to them.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, and none of those words are going to be “leads” or “sales” if you don’t carefully choose the imagery that’s representing your brand.
And please, speaking of stock photos – never, whether on your website, in social media or your newsletters, use a stock photo that hasn’t been purchased and still has the watermark on it. Not only is this very unprofessional looking, it is also an illegal use of the stock photo and you could be fined if found out.
8. Use reviews and testimonials as social proof.
We use social proof each day to navigate our decisions—online and in the real world. Here’s a real-world example: when you’re choosing somewhere to eat, are you tempted more by the lively restaurant full of happy customers, or the empty one across the street?
Now, think about how you buy online. I’m sure you’ve used a review—positive or negative—to influence a decision. Research from BrightLocal shows that positive reviews make 91% of consumers more likely to use a business, while 82% will be put off by negative reviews. And, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a local business.
One unique way that online marketing platform TrustPulse.com gives buyers social proof is by dynamically sharing the name and location of people who have signed up for their services.
9. Never stop testing and tweaking.
To get more website leads, you need to know what works and what doesn’t. Use A/B testing to serve up visitors different versions of your site, or try a variety of headlines over the span of several months.
Remember, what helps one site owner increase online conversions might fail miserably for another.
It can be a challenge to successfully create the most compelling copy, imagery and calls to action, so consider hiring a professional marketing company to help you get results.
Whatever method you use, you’re going to have to try, test and try some more…getting the right formula to grow your sales is an ongoing process.