Editor's Note: Jane Hurst is a business writer and regular OMI contributor. Today, she joins us to share 12 simple website hacks you can use to increase your company's conversion rate.
Did you know that nearly half of all Internet users consider a website credible if they like its design?
As a marketer, improving the design of your website is an essential way to boost your conversion rates. It's easy to get caught up in advanced techniques like SEO and Social Media, but there's little point starting secondary things without more important ones in order.
There are good rules of thumb for a website that will maximize consumer satisfaction: your site should be aesthetically pleasing rather than plain, but not busy and annoying. The better it looks, the higher your chances will be of ranking high on search engines.
In this article, we'll look at 12 things you can do to bring your conversion rate up quickly -
1. Reduce Clicks
People want to find information quickly, and they don’t want to have to click on page after page to get to what they want to see. Make sure that your site is designed so users can find what they are looking for using the lowest amount of clicks possible. Keep popups to a minimum on your site. When possible, it is better to avoid using popups at all; not only does this increase the number of clicks a user must make, but it will slow down your site, and annoy a number of prospects.
2. Proactive Live Chat
It is one thing to answer customer questions via email. But when you get involved directly by chatting with them online, it’s a whole new ball game. You might be surprised at just how much this can do for your conversion rate. As an example, Intuit started doing this, and saw a 211 percent boost in their conversion rate. If it’s good enough for Intuit, it is definitely good enough for you.
3. Google Site Search
The easier you make things for your visitors, the better your chances are of converting them into actual customers. One thing you can do is add Google Site Search to your own website. While it is not going to boost your conversion rate as much as other things you do, every little bit counts. Adding this to your site can boost your conversion rate by 10 percent or more.
4. Single Page Checkout
Most people don’t want to spend a lot of time purchasing things online, and they don’t want to jump through a lot of hoops. Instead of using a multi-step checkout process, turn yours into one where everything is on a single page. This could help to improve your conversion rate by 20 percent or more, and it is a smart thing to do when you are looking for conversion optimization ideas.
Consider online services like BigCommerce to grow revenue with built-in conversion optimization solutions – including single-page checkout.
5. Guarantee Security Seal
People like to know that their purchases are guaranteed; as a result, your conversion rate will increase if your customers understand that their purchases are protected. Consider using a Security Seal, which signifies that all purchases valued up to $500 are guaranteed to be delivered, customers whose identities are stolen while using your site can have as much as $10,000 of protection, and a price match guarantee if they find the same product at a lower price on a different website.
A picture may say a thousand words, but a video is what really sells a product. Instead of just placing photos on your product pages, include videos of the products being used. This can increase your conversion rate by as much as 400 percent, just as it did for Ice.com. When customers can see how products work, they are more likely to buy them. You can even encourage customers to send in videos of themselves using the products.
People want to see customer testimonials before they spend money on products online. When they are able to see that others are very happy with their purchases, they are often more interested in buying the products themselves. You can improve your conversion rate by up to 35 percent just by adding testimonials. If they are happy with their purchases, some customers may even write their own testimonials that you can use.
8. Discounted Prices
Everyone loves to get great deals, and in these tough economic times, most people are looking for the lowest prices on the items they buy. This is one of the main reasons that so many people are shopping online. Make sure that you offer discounts on products or services across your site. This can increase your conversion rate by nearly 150 percent.
9. Use The 8 Second Rule
The average person has an attention span of about eight seconds, so you need to make sure that you are able to grab the attention of your visitors in this brief time period. If you can do this, chances are that they will stay on your site longer, and look at more things. If they like what they see, they are going to buy, and you will see an increase in your conversion rate.
10. Show Real Pictures
People are smart; they can distinguish between a stock photo and a picture of the real deal. You will see a jump in conversions when you are using photos of real people using your products, talking to your agents, etc. This will lend a touch of honesty to your website, and people are going to tend to trust you more than when you are just using stock photos that you grabbed off the Internet.
11. Color Consistency
No one likes to look at a busy website, and they don’t want to be bombarded with a lot of different colors. Your website should have a color scheme consistency. For instance, if one element is a particular color, this should be a constant throughout your website. Stick to one or two colors, three at the most, and don’t use the entire rainbow. One of the colors should only be used for your “call to action” buttons.
12. Minimal User Input
In addition to reduced clicks, it is a good idea to make sure that you don’t ask users for too much information. At the very least, some will feel like you are invading their privacy. In many cases, having to fill out too many forms is going to bore users, and they are going to move on to another site that doesn’t require them to fill out so much information. Again, the fewer clicks, the better.
For more information on any of the topics above, check out the following classes:
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