I’ve wanted to write this post for a while now, but I’ve been waiting to change the Socialable website and see how these changes will affect my conversion rates. I was very surprised to see the amazing results I got, almost instantly, just by changing the design, making it clearer what Socialable does from the home page and making it easier to navigate. All of these changes led to a 39% increase in generating more enquiries.
Everybody with a website is primarily obsessed with getting more traffic (although I can’t deny how much I love traffic either!) but in the end, what really matters is getting traffic that converts. After all, getting new clients, new leads and making more sales is more important then having thousands of visitors in a day that never buy anything from you. I will go as far as to say that traffic is nothing if it doesn’t convert. However, that is easier said then done – and creating a website that converts is no easy job.
Consider yourself as the puppet master of your own website. Whenever someone searches for your blog or business online your website is the first thing they will see. So you will have to design a great website where ideally you will be the one who guides visitors throughout it and will help them flow through it until you get them hooked on your content, on your product and on your business, you will make them want to come back and you will make them want to buy your products or services.
Many people leave it to chance and don’t actively try to create a website that converts. However, studies show that a structured approach really works: “seventy percent of the responding organizations who said they had a structured approach to conversion had improved sales.” The same report found that most companies however are not very satisfied with their conversion rates that have “been on a downward trend in the last four years, with just over a fifth (22%) of companies surveyed are satisfied with their conversion rates.” This is a frightening statistic, and I’m sure many businesses find themselves in this situation. But what can they do?
A great website that converts starts with great design. Your home page is probably one of the most important factors, as you only have a few seconds until a new visitor makes up his or her mind on whether he/she wants to continue exploring the rest of the website.
You will have to ask yourself what you want to get out of your website? What do you want people to do? Make sure you have a very clear answer to this question, as only then you will be able to create a website that not only relates to this problem, but also solves it. And it isn’t just you who has to be clear about what you want to achieve, but it should also come across very clearly to your visitors. There is no room for ambiguity in a website that converts. Once you know exactly what it is you want, you will then turn into the puppet master that I’ve mentioned earlier: the one who is actually able to drive the visitors on the path he chose until they get to the point he wants them to get to.
Now that you know what you want your website to do, let’s go through a few tips that will help you get it there:
1. A/B testing and Multivariate testing
The sad news is, there are no sure-fire ways to create a website that converts. Every website and every business is different and needs to be regarded as such. Therefore the only way to create the best website for your business is to do lots of tests. A/B testing (also known as split testing) and multivariate testing are two of the popular testing methods for creating the perfect website. Most of the tips that will be shared in this article relate in some way to these two types of testing methods: they are the variables that will be considered when doing the testing. So what are these two methods? With A/B testing, you take one element (that relates to conversion) off a page and make adjustments to see which option gives you the most conversion rates. For example, you might change the position of the “sign up” button until you find the perfect spot (i.e. the one that gives you the most conversions). Multivariate testing, on the other hand is a little more complicated. The notion behind the two methods is similar, but with multivariate testing you will have to identify several factors on a page and try different variations until you find the perfect solution. A/B testing is much easier to implement then multivariate testing and can take considerably less time, but the former method can yield better results in the end. Not to say that A/B testing is no good, but if you have the time and the resources, it is recommended to try multivariate testing.
2. Beautiful website
As I’ve mentioned earlier, new visitors can make up their mind regarding a website in a matter of seconds. For some, it’s even less then a second. And without traffic that stays on your website for longer than 10 seconds, there is no chance of conversions. It all starts with a beautiful website that your audience will appreciate and enjoy. Choosing the right colors, fonts, sizes etc. are all very important factors that will decide whether visitors will be interested in spending more time on your website.
3. Clear home page and landing pages
Of course, beauty is not everything. Another extremely important factor is that your home page and landing pages all have a very clear message. Once someone visits your website for the first time, they have to understand in a matter of seconds what your website is, what your business is and what you are selling. You also don’t want your visitors to have to scroll down your home page to find out what you do – and that’s because most people won’t do it. There are probably thousands upon thousands of websites similar to yours, so why should they lose their time?
4. Excellent loading time
Website load time is a huge factor when it comes to website conversions. The average Internet user will not wait more than 2 seconds for a web page to load, reports find, as evidenced in this infographic. The same infographic reveals another interesting statistic: a staggering 40% of Internet users will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Research has also found that there is a clear correlation between loading time and conversions: “a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion.” Fortunately there are some solutions. You should start by keeping only a few installed plugins on your website, as the more you have the longer the load time will be. Website themes can also influence loading time so it would be a good idea to change your theme if all else fails. If you have a WordPress website, try W3 Total Cache, an amazing plugin that will really make a difference to your site’s performance.
As more and more people are browsing the Internet on their smartphones and tablets, it is essential that you spend some time to make sure that the mobile version of your website not only looks great, but also loads fast and can convert just as well as your regular website. Fortunately it is very easy to create a mobile website with the help of a tool. Some of the best tools are Mobify, Wirenode and Mofuse and for WordPress users there are also lots of great free and paid tools such as Mobile Press or Duda Mobile Website Builder. For WordPress websites, you can also get a theme that is already mobile-responsive, such as Responsive or WP-Radiance.
6. Clear and strong call to action
One of the most effective ways of conversion are clear and strong calls to action. As I’ve mentioned earlier, your visitors have to be clear from the moment they land on your first page what you want them to do there and they should be reminded on every page. Don’t have too many calls to action, as this can confuse your visitors. In order to find out what the best call to action is for your website, do some split testing, as this is the easiest way to find out what your audience best responds to.
In order to create the perfect website, you need to get into your audience’s head to find out what they are interested in, how they browse the web and what makes them click – literally. I am a big fan of ClickTale, a great tool that offers more insight then you can even handle. By using it you will be able to see a heat map of your website that will reveal each one of your visitors’ mouse moves, clicks, and scrolls. It even allows you to monitor visitors in real time, just as they are browsing your website. What is really great about this tool is that you can look at your websites’ conversion paths, and see where people are abandoning. By knowing what is going wrong on your website, and what is deterring people from converting, you will be able to maximize the potential of your conversion funnels.
I know, I know, you hate pop-ups! You and everybody else, including me. Having said that, pop-ups work. And they work very well, with minimum amounts of effort on your part (although there will be some complaints here and there, I can’t deny that). I have personally seen a huge increase in conversions and legitimate enquiries once I installed a pop-up. I really recommend the Vcita pop-up (the one that pops up in the bottom right corner of Socialable) as it is not nearly as intruding as other pop-ups, and it doesn’t require giving out too much information. It’s especially great for scheduling appointments and calls. I also have the WP Subscriber plugin on my website, another great pop-up that has helped me grow my subscribers list substantially, as well as my conversion rates.
Form fields are a very important part of the conversion process. Many people abandon at this stage, so it’s necessary to create the perfect form, not too long and too short, that will help you maximize your conversions. Of course, this will also require lots of A/B testing to find the perfect solution for your website. A very short form will get more people to complete it, but does that mean more conversions? Or just more time lost going through spam? And if you require lots of information from whomever completes your post, does that mean only those who are very interested will do it? Or will most people get bored and annoyed and leave it halfway through? In order to find the best form, you can also use ClickTale, which I’ve mentioned earlier, to get some great insights: since you can watch your visitors’ movements at any moment, you will be able to find out which form fields are taking very long to fill, are left blank or are even prompting visitors to leave.
10. Play around with the “Buy It” button
If you have something to sell or even something free that users have to opt-in to get, then you probably have some form of the “buy it” button on your website. This button is another great candidate for extensive testing, even multivariate. Try different text, a different color, different sizes and different locations within a page until you find the perfect combination that gives you the most conversions.
11. Testimonials page
A testimonials page can also really help with conversions. If your visitors are completely unaware of your website and business, then they are much likely to trust you if you have lots of testimonials. A few badges here and there will not hurt your case either!
12. Google Analytics
Although a service like ClickTale can offer some amazing insights that relate directly to your websites’ conversion funnel, good ol’ Google Analytics can also be of some great help. By studying your analytics regularly, you will understand much better how people travel within your website as well as the most popular content etc.
Are you pleased with your website’s conversion rates? What tactics are you employing to get more conversions? Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below and please share if you enjoyed the post.
Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and likewise as one of the top social media power influencers, she is one of the most dynamic personalities in the social media market, she actively leverages ethical online marketing for her clients and for Socialable.
After launching her first business within three years of becoming a mother, her financial success was recognised by being a finalist at the Best MumPreneur of the Year Awards, presented at 10 Downing Street. Following a resultant offer and wishing to spend more time with her daughter, she sold her first business to focus on social media, developing a multi-site blog and online marketing portfolio that generates in excess of 600,000 + page views per month.
A business owner, social media consultant, internet mentor and genuine digital guru, Lilach is consulted by journalists and regularly quoted in newspapers, business publications and marketing magazines (including Forbes, The Telegraph, Wired, Prima Magazine, The Sunday Times, Social Media Today and BBC Radio 5 Live). What’s more, her books have achieved No 1 on Amazon for Sales and Marketing and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
When Lilach isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family and is an avid fan of Zumba.
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