"Conversion rate optimization" is a mouthful, and it might seem like a very work-intensive process.
As a marketing manager, you certainly know the value of taking the time to perform tasks like split-testing, key performance indicator analyses and website audits, but an in-depth website conversion assessment? Yikes.
Conversion rate matters to your website more than you might think. Doubling your conversion rate means doubling the number of leads and sales opportunities that you get from your website. What would your management team or sales manager think about twice as many opportunities?
Fear not. You can probably increase your website conversion rate without too much effort. With these three suggestions, conversion rate optimization is an easy task to accomplish.
1. Stick to Your Core Message (KISS Principle)
Keep It Short and Simple (KISS) is a principle that can be applied to virtually anything, including your website.
Start by reviewing your website and measuring every part of the homepage and every section of your main pages against your core value proposition. If your website contains elements that don't directly help visitors figure out what they want, give those elements the boot (including those elements that are there because of internal politics or to pat the company on the back).
Consider how user experience design should work; users should be able to easily navigate your site to find what they need. When your website doesn't convert, that means your visitors aren't finding what they're looking for.
One of the usual suspects is "feature creep" -- the tendency of additional content and features that clutter the page, take attention away from the website's core offering, and distract visitors from their research. If your website is full of "value-adds" and side features, you could be distracting your visitors from their mission and sending them right to your competitor’s website.
KISS is the answer. Stick to your core mission – only adding things to your website that help your customer choose. Check your site and its individual pages and components for feature creep. Is there too much going on? Are you distracting visitors with unnecessary features and burying your value prop or helpful information? Simplify your site, and your conversion rate will improve.
2. Ask Your Visitors
Successful conversion rate optimization requires you to answer one question: "Why aren't website visitors converting?" The best solution might be to ask them.
The simplest way of doing this is to run a usability test on your website to get user feedback. Give them a task to accomplish and watch them do it. If they stumble in the least, it’s time to fix the website and try something different. UserTesting.com is a cost-effective solution to help you improve your conversion rate by gathering feedback from real people (and you can even watch them use your website).
Google Analytics can be a good place to look for answers, too. High bounce rates and exit rates indicate that when a visitor comes to a page on your website, they don’t find what they are looking for. Find your top 10 pages with the highest bounce rates and exit rates and put those on the list of pages to improve first.
You could also program a small pop-up box to appear on your site -- small enough not to disrupt the browsing experience, but noticeable enough to get eyeballs. Ask simple, pointed questions that get to the heart of what you need to know:
- What did you come to our website to do?
- Can you tell us why you would or would not share this Web page with your friends and family?
- What did you think of this Web page?
You’ll receive helpful feedback about how you could provide a better user experience and thus get a higher conversion rate.
3. Tweak Your Copy
Revising website content is a simple thing to do when you have the right mindset, and it can have a big impact on conversion rates. The finer details of conversion rate optimization often hinge on website content. For instance, the website copy may not be sending the right brand messaging or delivering the right message at the right time.
Common things to assess when tweaking your copy include:
- Is it too long or too short?
- Is it optimized for search?
- Is it too hard to read?
- Is it scannable?
- Is it benefit-driven?
- Does it convey a negative vibe or tone?
- Does it actually serve its purpose?
- Does it make it easier for readers to get to what they want or need?
Finally, remember your audience. As you take these simple measures, keep in mind your target customer's perspective. Write in their words instead of in your own “company speak.”
Conversion rate optimization is about the customer in the end; your website should provide excellent user experience and give your customers reasons to use your product or service. Know what you're selling and who you're selling it to, and the rest will come easily.