Trends That Can Improve Your Website Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate is critical for business success. Unfortubately, even businesses with heavy traffic fail to increase their conversion rate are not able to create a ROI that comes with a steady growth. Such scenarios are often the result of inconsistent analysis of performance and inefficacy in taking measures to improve.
Before we delve into factors that plays a major part in increasing conversion rate on a website, we need to understand what is ‘Conversion’ and what is ‘Conversion Rate.
For an eCommerce website; the measure of the proportion of visitor who made purchase on the website can be termed as conversion. Whereas, Conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who actually bought something in relation to the total number of visitors on the website within a particular period. Now, to maximize the conversion on website, the concept of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) comes into play.
Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is the application of methods/nuances aimed to increase the conversion rate of customers on websites. CRO can include all the processes ranging from rigorous data analysis to review of factors driving customers to engage for a longer time on the website.
We see a lot of websites popping out every day from every corner of the world. A process which has made it a lot easier to create websites has surely enabled most of us to own a website. In addition, it has increased the rate at which the new websites are going live on day to day basis. But the grim and undeniable truth is that not all of these websites fetch traffic of their expectation.
Marketers who want to explore CRO must be able to know how users approach a website, what they click first, what’s the chain of action, and what’s actually forming a barrier between their desire to convert and the lack of a concrete conversion. A conversion is quite a general term but it means that a goal on a website has been completed.
The goal can be to sell a product to users, for instance: If 1,000 users get to see a web page, but only 100 of them actually convert, then we’re looking at a 10% Conversion Rate - the conversion rate is the number of times a given user has completed a goal divided by the traffic of that specific website.
Conversion Rate Optimization has one obvious goal: to improve conversion rates by leveraging the power of actual data, intense analysis, and strategically precise action.
Let’s take an example to understand why optimizing pages according to the need of users is important?
A user enters a keyword say ‘How to make Pizza’ & the search landed him on your website. But, in the absence of any relevant information on the process to make pizza, it is less likely for customers to stay longer on your website.
User landed there because of the probability of some relativity of content available on your website and their search. In such case, you would never want them to browse for some time and leave.
According to libbey bierman, working as an analyst at sageworks; Data shows that around 1% of sales revenue is generally spent by small businesses on advertising.
For an eCommerce website, Listing the features of product is important, but it’s even more important to tell potential customers exactly how your product will help them or solve their problem. Including a no questions asked refund policy on a website might result into higher conversion rate. Even with the associated risks with such practice, increased sales will usually fill the void.
Landing page is typically a page where a user was redirected after clicking on some link, advertisement, or via any social sites. According to the rule, a website has at most 2.5 seconds for which any user scrolls or navigate the pages. If the website is in any way making it harder for the user to find relevant information then they will hit the back button & probably be gone.
Try to put the information matching with your ads in order to keep the customer’s interest alive and curiosity to look for more on your website. According to the research carried out by ‘Google’ in 2018, the probability of customer bouncing from mobile website increases to 123% as the page loading time goes from 1second to 10seconds. Similarly, as the number of elements goes from 400 to 6000, the probability of conversion dips to a whooping percentage of 95%.
Incorporation of ‘Call to Action’ button to appeal customers to perform action that seems as conversion worthy to you. A call to action written with ambiguous and unclear language leaves users wondering what will the consequence of their click be. This can bring frustration and eventually prevent users from clicking the button.
On the other hand, your main website button might be visually lost. Being your most important element, the one that will generate conversions, it must always be prominent.
Fix: This prominency can be achieved by making the buttons unique. Consider reorganizing the information architecture of your page by making the CTA easier to find using a primary color that will make it stand out from the crowd. Also, in the case of CTAs less means more. In fact, limiting the number of buttons on a page will make them appear important to the user. When you provide too many options, your users will likely end up in the so-called Paradox of Choice .
Reduce bounce rate
While making an effort to maximize conversion rate by increasing other measured metrics, you’d never want to increase bounce rate. In order to understand the causes of higher bounce rate, we must know what is Bounce rate first.
According to Google: Bounce rate is the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to analytics server.
Before you implement the strategies to reduce bounce rate, it’s good to take the help of Google Analytics to identify the pages which have higher bounce rate. After that you can take remedial measures to lower the bounce rate of website.
Working on following things might help to reduce bounce rate by a significant percentage:
- Improvements in User Experience.
- Reduce Loading Speed of web pages.
- Introduction of Useful internal and external links.
- Optimize pages for all kind of devices.
- Use of alternative navigation styles to encourage scrolling.
Marketers spend a lot of time driving traffic to their website and blog pages with the hope that the target audience will join the opt-in process. But, if these destinations don’t entice prospective customers into the sales funnel and educate and convert them into customers, you are wasting your time.
Organic listing is generally the natural listing of the web pages that google has deemed valuable for searched term. Hence the goal must be to produce an informative & valuable content revolving around a key term.
Ranking on top of the search listing is a long shot but its fully worth taking.
Some of the ways to improve the organic listing of the website could be
- Use of Social Media Sites to spread the word.
- Update website on regular intervals.
- Include links to and from external/relevant websites.
- Optimize site for the search engines.
There is no denial from the fact that customer testimonials matter a lot. Statistics have always pointed towards the importance of online reviews on e-commerce websites. According to the report of Spiegel Research Centre; published back in 2017, around 95% of shoppers read reviews for product specific information.
Psychology also plays a major role in making reviews even more important. We as human beings tend to seek social proof to reassure ourselves on the basis of other individual’s experience. Thus, outlining customer reviews on the product page might help to influence decision of your prospective clients.
Implementation of A/B testing on the website
It is a comparison of two versions of a single variable to test the efficacy in terms of conversion rate on the website. However, there is one inherent limitation that comes with such practice. The test only tells you about the alternative which worked for majority and got you more conversions. It does not consider the opinion of people for whom the changes brought by A/B testing didn’t even matter and had some other reasons to leave the website.
In start, for some marketers it was an acceptable gamble that would not cost the business much. But, after all, shouldn't we want to implement the result that works for everyone and yields maximum conversions.
At last, there are no golden rule or standard recipe that could guarantee you maximum conversions. Rather, it’s a process of relentless work and constant testing implemented over a period of time with regular analysis of output.
More Ways to Optimize Your Conversion Rate
First you have to decide what you’re going to promote or sell. After you determine how you’re going to source your products, set up your store, and start sending visitors to your site with paid advertising, you may think that’s it.
In an increasingly competitive digital buying world, there are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to encouraging customers to buy items from your business.
This act is called a conversion, and it’s just about the most important metric you’ll need to watch as you plan on building your business and increasing revenue.
And conversion doesn’t just happen: you need to optimize for it.
This applies whether you are just starting up and running the whole show yourself, or if you are an ecommerce manager or marketing director who has signed up to hit massive goals and KPIs for the year.
First, let’s begin by defining a conversion – which often has a different definition business to business.
Understanding Online Store Conversion Rates
Conversion rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that land on your website who complete a desired action. You need to know your end goal to accurately define conversions that align with business goals.An ecommerce conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who purchased something from your online store (in a set period of time).
However, this metric is not the only way to measure success of your online store.
Below are typical conversions for an ecommerce website:
- An online sale.
- A user adding a product to their cart.
- A user adding an item to their wishlist.
- Email signups.
- Social media shares.
- Any KPI your company finds valuable.
This ecommerce CRO guide covers how to increase ecommerce conversion rates on your site.
Each of the bullets above are worth a guide all their own (the links of which above will get you on the right track).
“Conversion” is such a broad topic because it can be impacted by every aspect of the user experience on your site.
Conversion rate optimization is the process of improving the shopping experience to drive a specific KPI — usually, sales.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) can be conducted on landing pages, category pages, or any other customer touchpoint.
What is a Good Ecommerce Conversion Rate?
Average ecommerce conversion rates are 1% – 2%.
Even if you are doing everything right, you can still expect to win the sale around 2% of the time.
The following 28 steps are what helped to reach 2% conversion on my own site.
The outcome of these steps is measured by conversion rate, but in reality they all made a small, incremental improvement to the overall shopping experience.
A 2%+ conversion rate should be the baseline goal for your online store.
Once you hit that and are doing all 28 of the below effectively, then you can move onto more advanced conversion rate tactics.
Before we go through what to do to increase conversions, we need to know exactly what your current visitors are doing to set up proper ecommerce conversion rate benchmarks for your online store.
Where are customers getting stuck and how are they interacting with your website?
Once you find your benchmarks these should be compared to measure success.
Of course when experts talk about increasing conversions you will hear a common theme: Test, test, test.
However, it is important to know what are your current conversion issues are and understand the basics before you can know what you should test.
Utilize the Following Tools To Improve Ecommerce Conversion Rates:
There are some invaluable and useful ecommerce tools to help analyze your current conversion rate issues.
The following three are favorite conversion analysis tools.
HotJar is an excellent tool for understanding from a high level how your users interact with you website.
As a heat-mapping tool, you get the functionality of click, cursor movement, and scroll-depth mapping.
Depending on your plan, each heatmap experiment will capture between 1,000 and 10,000 pageviews and compile an aggregate analysis.
However, that’s just the beginning of HotJar’s capabilities.
Session recording can be an invaluable tool for analysis of customer behavior in real-time.
With page targeting define, HotJar will record individual user sessions which you can watch at your convenience to understand how users interact with the user-face on a purely organic level.
Further, you can set up attribute-based filters based on visit length, pageviews, country, device, and more – individually, or in combination – to drill down deeply on specific segments and types of users.
Quantcast’s Measure is a relatively new addition to our “analysis stable” of go-to products but has quickly proven itself valuable by several measures.
The easiest way to explain Quantcast is that it’s a tag-based analytics tool that fills a niche between Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics in that it measures users’ site usage and provides advanced demographic data on a per-click basis.
The result of this is deep insights into who visitors are on a personal level which have translated into business intelligence for creative teams who can tailor messaging and imagery to resonate more deeply.
Also innovative is Quantcast’s option to view metrics on a composition view (demographics as a percentage of the whole) as well as on an indexed basis compared to the average website based on your country.
What this means practically, is you gain insight into the segments of visitors that you’re reaching disproportionately to the general public.
3. Google Analytics: Unified Sessions/Signals, Goal, and Event Tracking
For most websites, setting up Google Analytics or something equivalent gives you a great view into your website visitors including:
- How visitors found your website: This could be from keyword searches in google, referral websites, or direct visits.
- How long visitors stay on your website.
- Where the visitors are from.
- If the visitors are returning or new.
- What browser, operating system was used and if the visitor used a mobile device or desktop/laptop.
- How many visitors converted (based on goals setup) and the interaction that lead to the conversion.
- Link to your Google Adwords campaign to track paid traffic as well.
Google Search Console gives you a peek at what keywords users are typing to find your website (if they click on your website or not). It also shows you various errors that may affect your website rankings such as slow loading pages, broken links, etc.
Be sure to verify your site with Google to enable Google Search Console tools.
Ways to Boost Your Conversion Rates:
1. Use high quality images and video on your product pages.
Think about what you want to see when you are shopping.
When you are shopping online you can’t touch the product or put it on.
The best thing you can do is show a detailed image or video so that the customer knows exactly what they are getting.
I suggest using high quality images and video on the product pages as that help the the user visualize the product better and increases conversion rates.
2. Offer free shipping.
Online shoppers have come to expect a certain standard that they have grown accustomed to on Amazon.
If your store does not offer free shipping, customers are going to look elsewhere, period.
In today’s market, free shipping is an absolute must!
Think you can’t offer free shipping? Keep in mind that this is often a psychological game.
Increase your product prices to cover shipping cost if that’s what needs to be done.
3. Provide limited time coupon codes.
Create coupon codes that customers can use at checkout for a limited time and get a specific amount off or a percentage of the purchase.
When your coupon code expires this will drive urgency and shoppers will more likely go through with the purchase and not get distracted.
4. Be competitively priced.
If you are selling brand name items that a lot of other stores offer, unfortunately you need to price your products at or below the average price in order to compete.
Be sure to adjust your prices frequently to see what resonates.
Also know that the quality of your marketing and imagery will heavily influence the price someone is willing to pay.
Fitness brands like Lululemon and Outdoor Voices have done this extremely well.
Market your brand to the right audience, with the right messaging and the right imagery, and the revenue will come in.
5. Tweak and test your checkout process.
If your store checkout process is too long, complicated or unconventional, you may lose a lot of customers right as they are ready to buy. This crucial step in the funnel is where a lot of your A/B tests and personalization strategies should take place.
Of course, there are industry standards for most hosted platforms such as BigCommerce, but you may still need to tweak the process based on your customers.
6. Use cart abandonment software.
If you are getting a lot of abandoned carts – i.e. someone lands on your site, puts an item in the cart and then leaves – then abandoned cart software can greatly increase your store conversion rates.
Some ecommerce platforms offer this software free as part of the store functionality. Thankfully,
Their software allows you to create follow-up emails that will send the user an email with their cart contents as well as allow you to give them a coupon code to get a discount as an incentive to complete their order.
Decreasing abandonment rate should be a high priority for online store owners, since this cohort of users have demonstrated interest — and abandonment is often between 60 and 80%.
7. Use live chat software.
This can increase conversions, but if you choose to use live chat software, you should be available during business hours to immediately respond to customers that request a chat.
Do not let the software go into the mode that says you are currently unavailable and that they can leave a message.
It would be better to not implement at all if you can’t be there when they want to chat.
What this does, though, is build a direct communication line from your potential customer to you.
Creating a real human connection will help build trust for this purchase as well as lifetime loyalty in the future.
8. Let customers know your site is safe.
This is subtle, but a really big deal. You need to build a certain level of trust in a short amount of time for customers to be willing to enter their credit card information on your website.
Split tests have shown that trust signals can significantly increase conversion.
Finding ways to enhance your on-site trust and credibility should be the basis for many of your conversion rate optimization activities.
Customers want to know that they are dealing with a legitimate store that has industry-standard security measures in place.
This ensures them that their credit card information will be protected. Here are a few things that help:
- Install SSL at checkout (out-of-the-box on most ecommerce platforms) and site-wide if possible.
- Show small images of credit cards, PayPal and other payment options as a visual signal that you use customer-trust payment options.
- Display some sort of McAfee, GeoTrust or other security badges, and make sure that you actually have an active account with them. Don’t just add an image if you aren’t truly secure
9. Setup structure so visitors can easily find what they need.
Structure your product categories in a logical manner, but make sure you use as few levels as possible to allow a user to reach a product as fast as possible.
Setup a rotating banner to showcase top products.
10. Make your checkout form easy to understand.
Make sure that everything on your checkout form is completely understood, such as CVV and input formats.
In fact, if you can, have the fields limit only what can be typed into certain fields to make it easier for users.
So, when a user types a credit card number, format it for them as they go along to make it easier to read and harder to mess up.
11. Always show shopping cart contents.
Show a shopping cart icon with a link to get to it after the user has entered an item into the cart. If they can’t find the cart they can’t checkout. Also, be sure to show customers what they are actually buying as they checkout.
12. Let customers checkout as guests.
Allow users to checkout without signing up for an account. You will have their name and email address when they buy anyway.
Forcing the user to register is just giving them another reason to leave your store.
13. Give detailed product descriptions.
Make sure you describe the product in great detail so the customer knows exactly what they are getting.
Remember, they can’t touch the product and they are not in a store where they can ask questions.
This will also prevent returns.
Even better: add a product video or demonstration.
14. Allow customers to review products.
Why do so many people buy from Amazon? Because of the reviews.
Remember the last time you went to buy a product online.
Did you search for reviews before buying? You could even offer customers a coupon code or other type of incentive next time they purchase as a reward for providing a review. Also, ask the customer to voice any complaints to you so you have the opportunity to address any issues as this will help you receive more positive reviews.
15. Make your “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons prevalent.
Sometimes a user is thinking of buying and can be further prompted to do so by an actionable button that says exactly what to do and that stands out from all the other surrounding text and images.
The absence of these buttons is often the result of marketers overthinking things.
16. Provide product testimonials if applicable.
Ever heard the statement ‘Facts Tell, but Stories Sell’? Testimonials are way more powerful than just a list of features.
Prove your product works by using real testimonials. Start by offering your product for review to prominent review websites (that give honest reviews) and use this as a starting point for your testimonials.
17. Have a great product return policy.
Most customers (over 50%) will read the return policy before buying.
Don’t over-promise here, but definitely make it as painless and as easy as possible for customers to return products (within reason).
This may not sound like conversion optimization, but is another example of basic business practices acting as CRO.
18. Optimize for mobile devices.
According to Forrester, mobile devices will account for more than one third of retail sales in 2018.
If your ecommerce store does not provide a great mobile experience, you are missing out on a large amount of sales.
19. Display Your Phone Number Prominently
Having a phone number prominently displayed on your website will reduce the anxiety of your customers.
They will know that they can always pick up the phone and talk to someone if something goes wrong.
20. Provide valuable content.
Write useful and valuable content to supplement your products. The more value and information you can provide your customer, the more likely they are to buy from you (as opposed to a competitor that does not offer as much).
This includes writing valuable content on your product landing pages, but also using blog content to educate, inform and engage your target audience.
This will also help to increase organic SEO traffic.
21. Capture Emails
Visitors may take more than one session on your website to convert.
That is why capturing emails on your site is crucial. If you can effectively capture emails through a pop-up, offer a coupon code so you can continuously market to them while they are in the decision phase.
This will greatly increase your conversion rates.
22. Grab visitor’s attention quickly.
If you can’t grab the visitor’s attention in the first three seconds, then you’ve probably lost them.
Images will be the first thing someone sees and uses to judge a website subconsciously. Make sure if you are going to use large images on the homepage to choose carefully and try to catch the visitors attention in a positive way.
23. Use “Calls to Action” sparingly.
Don’t overwhelm a visitor with too many options and CTAs on one screen.‘Add to Wishlist’, ‘Share Icons’, ‘Add to Cart’, ‘Learn More’, etc all in the same area on the same page.
Drive the user to the call-to-action that you want them to perform on that page. If they are on a product page, then use ‘Add to Cart’. If they are on the Cart page use: ‘Proceed to Checkout’.
24. Clearly state
Make things very clear Avoiding ambuiguities can increase your trust rate and grow your conversion