The average adult spends around eight and a half hours a day online browsing, shopping, learning and on social media (possibly even more time than they spend sleeping), communications regulator Ofcom reports, which means we should all have a pretty clear understanding of what a satisfying online journey looks and feels like.
So, when it comes to putting ourselves on the other side of the screen and analysing our websites as business owners, why do we still sit scratching our heads and asking, “why aren’t our website visitors converting?”
Hit or miss?
Sometimes it’s easy to become fixated on how many hits your website has had. Was it more, or less, than last month? But this isn’t the only measure of success. Far from it. It’s what customers are doing when they get to your site that really impacts business performance.
You might be nodding your head in agreement and thinking about all the time you’ve spent perfecting the most compelling call to action in a desperate effort to crack that optimum conversion rate goal. Perhaps you’ve played with the location of your call to action on the page, tried different wording for your call to action button, or even adapted your site so that it pops up after the page has loaded.
That’s brilliant! But here’s the thing…the call to action is not the be all and end all. What if the call to action hasn’t actually been the main problem all along? What if it’s the content on your website that needs fixing?
When you think about the vast mix of elements involved in the decision by your customers to buy your product online or use your services, you start to see just what a complex journey this can be and why it needs thorough consideration…
…there’s the ‘big’ stuff such as design and branding that can be absorbed almost subconsciously by your visitors. Then, there are the practical elements such as how easy it is to navigate around the pages and the level of product detail included. Reputation also plays a part; if a visitor has had either a positive or negative experience in the past on your business or you’ve had some poor reviews, you’ve got some historical baggage to contend with. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other factors that will influence how a customer converts on your website.
So, what are some tactical tips for improving your conversion rate optimisation (CRO) through better web content?
Know what your customer wants – and give it to them!
Avoid high bounce rate and low conversion by aligning webpage purpose with visitor intent. When developing a new webpage or reviewing existing pages, customer personas can act like your compass; providing guidance on how to communicate information in a way that resonates with your target audience and makes them convert. Imagine stepping into the shoes of your target customer and navigate your site through their eyes, rather than how you would buy or what would get you to make contact.
When it comes to page loading times, get out of the slow lane (Honk! Honk!). How many times have you been shopping for something online and switched to an alternative provider because you haven’t got the time or patience to wait for the page to load? Exactly.
Look at me
Ditch your tired old website design with a fresh look that screams ‘look at me’! An image speaks a thousand words. What’s your website design saying?
Everybody loves a shortcut
Don’t force your visitors to take unnecessary steps such as registering before they can buy. Present this as a choice that has potential benefit to them e.g. register to track your order.
Why are you making your visitors work so hard?
Use concrete and emotional messaging rather than abstract and intellectual. Convey the features and benefits of your products/services as you might to a child e.g. ‘Expand your horizons with a pass to freedom’ should be replaced by ‘travel where you want and when you want, with a flexible season ticket’.
Freebies work like a charm
There’s nothing wrong with using the word ‘free’. We’re all wired to enjoy getting something we don’t have to pay for, if it’s worth receiving. Encourage your customers to feel like there is added value to shopping or working with you.
Product detail shouldn’t be an afterthought
Jazz up your straplines all you want; your visitors will only convert if they also have all the information to hand to make a well-informed decision. Provide product specifications, measurements, photos from every significant angle, facts, details and practical points. Never forget these essential nuts and bolts – because they will definitely close the deal.
You can go your own way
It’s positive to be inspired by what other businesses are doing to improve their website user experience and conversion rates, but it’s vital to adapt these tactics to the subtleties of your business. Every business offering is different and within that every customer is deeply complex. Figuring out how to optimise conversion in a way that’s tailored to your business model is a complicated project that often needs expert insight, customer surveys and analytics.
Have you recently taken a walk through your customer journey? Go to your website and try it again today, counting count the number of steps it takes to get what you want. Can you find all the information you need? Ask yourself honestly if you would buy or go elsewhere.
If the answer is a ‘no’ but you’ve got no idea how to make it a ‘yes’ then get in touch with us. We’re marketing experts and copywriters in Basingstoke, here to help you make your website work harder and smarter to grow your business. Work with Brevity and we’ll find ways to tap into what your customers really want to make increasing conversion rates easy. Call us today on 01256 830 310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org