Getting people to your Web site is one thing. Getting them to do something while they’re there is another. And then, of course, getting them to do what you want them to do is another beast entirely. But, as a marketer, that’s your job; to get someone to your Web site in order to take a desired action. So is there any way to increase your chances at a conversion?
If you’re finding that customers are landing on your site but are either leaving prematurely or are leaving without doing what you’d hoped they do, below are four conversion optimization tips to stop that from happening.
1. Promote Benefits, Not Features
Your Web site doesn’t sell a product or a service; it sells a customer benefit.
It doesn’t matter if your business is set up to sell life insurance or overpriced toasters, realize that it’s not the item itself that your customer is paying for. No one is interested in the features of that new toaster. What they are interested in is the benefit it will have on their life.
The benefit may be a lazy Sunday morning breakfast at the table with their family or that they save 15 minutes every morning because that toaster cooks frozen waffles faster. It’s not the features themselves they care about – it’s the benefit to their lives and the story behind it.
And that’s what you have to promote. By promoting the benefits to your customers you show them what’s at stake and give them a story they can’t pass up. Promote that, not your four heating options.
2. Remove Distractions
You know what path you want someone to take when they land on your product pages. You want them to add the item to their shopping cart and either continue shopping or check out. That’s it. Two things. So why are you giving them 10 different options and directing them to a sea of non-buying distractions? When it comes to design, less is more. People can’t handle having more than a few choices. If you show me you have 500 different pairs of sneakers on your Web site and you try to show me ALL of them, as well as all your other apparel, I’m going to run away screaming. I can’t process that many choices. And (unfortunately for you) your customers aren’t much different from me.
Take a look at your Web site, especially pages designed to convert, and get rid of anything that does not serve the intended purpose for that page. I shouldn’t be able to get from your shopping cart to your home page in one click. All I should be able to do is finish my checkout. Give me something to distract from a purchase and I’m going to pick that every time. Don’t give me something and I’ll have nothing else to do but enter my credit card information.
3. Create a Clear Call to Action
You may know what you want customers to do on your Web site, but do they? If they don’t it’s because you’re not creating clear (or compelling) enough calls to action to make them move. Encourage forward movement by using color, visual cues, and site hierarchy to lead people toward a particular action. Don’t be afraid to tell someone what it is you want them to do – buy, click, read, subscribe, follow, friend, etc. Your customers don’t know what they’re supposed to do until you tell them with a call to action that grabs their attention and keeps them on course. Craft CTAs around these site goals.
4. Be Smart About Placement
Placement matters. In the olden days when people got their information from newspapers (I know, we’re going way back), journalists were careful to make sure the most important information was above the fold because that was their best chance of their audience seeing it. On the Web, we have our own above the fold. It’s everything a user can see before they have to scroll down the page. But we also know there are other hot spots that a user’s eye is drawn to — like the golden triangle. When you’re working up your calls to action, make sure you’re placing them directly in a user’s line of sight. Study how people navigate your Web site and place these conversion-heavy items where their eyes are going to be.
If you’re noticing that people are landing on your site but not converting, it could be that you’re going after the wrong traffic. Or, it could be that you’re simply not doing a very good job moving the traffic you have. The four tips above can help increase the number of conversions happening your Web site by keeping customers on task and removing any unnecessary distractions.
Great post. It isn’t an easy task to get people to convert on your website that is for sure. It takes some practice runs with different content and landing pages sometimes to figure what is working best.
Thanks for the post.
Great reminders as usual, Lisa.
Now, I’m going to have to go back and look over things. I just did a redesign on my main site/blog; I’m basically giving people 3 choices.
I may have to refine it a bit more—but your post has got me thinking…
The Franchise King®
Along the same lines as placement (as mentioned above), clutter can create quite a bit of confusion for customers. If you have a large number of images and copy jammed above the fold, you might be missing out on making a solid first impression. Be sure to clean up any cluttered web pages and remember that simplicity goes along way with customers.
Lauren at Volusion
Solid advice. Point #2 is particularly important because people have such short attention spans on the web.
This is so useful. Especially since I just brought my site back up to speed. Right now I’m trying to get my hand on anything that will help me take it to the next level…and this is one of those things. Thank you!
Thanks for these useful tips just when I wanted. I’m currently working on growing my blog and planning on including a subscription box. I think it’s really important to keep these 4 tips in mind when designing the opt-in box.
Thanks for the great advice!