The process of increasing conversion rate is not about changing a button’s color or a heading. It is a complex and long-term process that you should know how to manage, tune, and optimize. We will highlight three groups of factors that influence conversion rate:
Quality of traffic
How much do visitors want to buy your product? How relevant is your site and can it satisfy their needs? Agree that it’s unlikely that a pupil will buy Patek Philippe watches and men would buy cosmetics. The best qualifier visitors that want to buy your product and can do it (have money and relevant traits). The worst quality of traffic consists of bots.
How does your company compare to competitors in regards to positioning, reputation? How do you highlight your product’s advantages? Why is it better? Do you have USP (unique sales proposition)? Do you have better prices, guarantees, terms of delivery, support, etc.? Are your customers satisfied with you?
Important: You should remember that if your company is an outsider and your products are bad quality in comparison with competitors don’t reckon that a nice site will help you increase sales. Unfortunately, many startups try to solve a business problem with the aid of a good site. In this case, all optimization processes are useless, because business problems can’t be fixed by changing the characteristics of a site.
Here we can include such characteristics as speed of download, usability, payments’ methods, contacts, a mobile version, high quality videos and photos, etc.
As we have seen, many marketers in the process of optimization work only with the third group of factors; although, the problem of low conversion can lie in a different group. Please, don’t forget about it.
Part 1: Marketing
1.In the first part of our article, we’ll describe popular marketing techniques that are used for increasing conversion rate.
2. Set up Analytics on your site. It helps find pages that have high conversion; also you will know what type of traffic is better for your site (sources, countries, devices, etc).
3. Analyze sales trends: seasons, days of a week, time. What products do your customers prefer? Knowing this information helps you propose the right product at the right time to your clients.
4. A/B testing. It’s not a tactic but a strategy. Certainly, you can generate 3-4 ideas and test them, but it is better create a process: collecting and validating ideas, testing, site updates.
5. Make clients segmentation. Create a buyer persona for each segment: sex, age, geolocation, interests, a level of income, why he buys your products, etc. This valuable information helps you create better advertising campaigns and special offers, compose letters, improve your site.
6. Always ask questions: What Does Rose (Tim, Nick) say about our site? Will she love it? Is it convenient for her?
7. Monitor activities of market leaders. They spend millions of dollars on testing with the aim of increasing conversion rate. You can get their solutions for free. However, don’t forget that they enjoy consumer trust and have good reputation. So they can throw away many trust-building elements that you will need by default with the view to building trust.
Hint: This is an old, but actual list of Top 10 E-commerce sites that have the highest conversion rate.
8. Analyze the activities of your competitors and benchmark ideas from other industries. For instance, Kissmetrics publishes good case studies; Smart Insights provides information about average conversion rate; Statisa.com gives valuable marketing information about your marketing segment, etc.
Diagram: What is the average conversion rate for a site?
9. Your site should answer the question: Why should I buy from you here and don’t buy from your competitors?
10. Create more than just a USP and explain why I should buy from you instead of doing nothing. We know that many visitors hesitate and prefer to postpone purchases. How can you convince them to buy right now?
11. With the aim of getting extra information about your clients, ask them to fill out a small questionnaire on the “Thank you” page. Promise them a bonus for the next purchase after they complete it.
12. Use different discounts that depend on the average sum of purchase, how often clients buy your product, payments methods, etc.
13. Nobody enjoy “surprises” like hidden commissions or a product needs additional configuration. For this reason, make important information visible to users, especially info about shipping rates.
14. Many know about cross-selling and up-selling, but what is about downgrading? Can you propose cheaper alternatives with less functionality?
15. Test different marketing offers in off-season. For example, for international accountants day – get a discount if your work as a bookkeeper; Einstein’s birthday – everyone who posts his the most famous discovery gets a bonus, etc.
16. Do you have a loyalty program? What will stimulate customers to return to you? Fortunately, you can find many solutions that will help you create own loyalty program in seconds.
17. Propose to buy Gift cards
18. Use Exit Popup software with the aim of increasing conversion rate on your site
19. Create own email strategy with good follow-up sequences that will convert your leads into clients.
20. Use external lead generation software on your site.
Part 2: Usability
21. Your site should have an adaptive or responsive design
22. You should optimize images, scripts, plugins and other elements on your site with the aim of getting better results of making your page download faster. Use pingdom.com or other tools in order to check it.
23. Check on speed of download of the payment page, especially when you use external pages of payment service providers that don’t belong to your site. In many cases these pages download too slowly, and it can significantly reduce conversion rate.
24. Delete all unnecessary links on your site product pages (Links that don’t help to complete a purchase or distract your customers)
25. Reduce the quantity of fields that a user should complete in order to buy a product. For example, you can obtain a lot of valuable information from social networks if you set up a social authentication feature on your site.
27. Try to show the most important information in the first screen. If you don’t know what information is the most important for your visitors, use tracking services that can monitor users’ actions on your site. So you can find important blocks that you should place on top of your site pages. Good services: CrazyEgg, SmartLook.com
28. Call to Action (CTA) – a must have on every page. Use different variants: Buy, Subscribe, Register, Try, Call, Start, etc. Test which a CTA converts better. Don’t forget about the rule of thumb that it’s preferable to have only one CTA on a page. For example, “Try right now” or “Subscribe to our newsletter” but not both at once.
29. Go through the whole buying process by yourself. Start from the Main page on your site and up to the “Thank you page”. Is it possible to reduce this journey or make it easier?
30. Can you reach any page on your site in less than three clicks? You should reduce the nesting level of your pages where it’s possible. This will increase usability and have a good influence on SEO of your site.
31. Publish testimonials and reviews about your product. Use video testimonials. Propose a discount or free shipping to your clients in exchange for testimonials.
32. Reputation is impossible to buy. So, don’t allow negative feedback about your service to spread out in social networks or independent sites, like scam.com; just because they can’t reach your directly. Always be in touch with your customers. Create easy ways to communicate with you: chat, “contact us” forms, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, forum profiles, etc.
33. Show users a progress bar as they a product. He must know how many steps he needs to complete in order to purchase a product and how he can return to the previous stage.
34. We advise you to test different variants of the Order form on your site. For instance: “One-page order form” and “Order form that has several steps”.
35. Help users to fill out fields in your order forms with the aid of hints. Show explanations of different errors that can appear when a user fills out the form. For example: In the Field “Phone number” you can type only digits, but not: “Error occurred”.
36. Don’t force a customer to fill out the same fields twice. I know some sites where you must type your name in the process of registration, in the process of buying a product and in shipping details. However, you can fill out these forms automatically. The same with an address, you should provide it in your profile, on the page with payments details, on the order confirmation page, and on the page with shipping details. Don’t make such obvious mistakes.
37. Take photos of your product from different angles. Provide a zoom feature in on these pictures.
38. Create a video demonstration of your product. How can it be assembled and used.
39. Create a category with the most popular products and highlight this category on your site. Popular names of such categories are Bestsellers or Best Deals, but you can create your own.
40. Publish answers on the FAQ on your product pages. A customer should find all information about your product without leaving this page.
41. Allow an increase of font size on your site. This feature is important for people who use smartphones.
42. Interesting fact: small pictures of products in the cart increase probability of buying these products.
43. Show trust badges on your site. Popular are badges of antivirus software (this site doesn’t have viruses) and payment services (it is safe to pay here).
44. Show the most important information about your return policy on your product pages. Don’t hide it on a separate page.
45. In case you use promo codes or coupons keep this field from being obviously visible. You can use a link, or a customer can type it in the comment of the order. Otherwise, many customers will abandon the cart in order to find this promo code on the Internet. Not all of them return.
46. Social integrations, share buttons, possibility to read reviews from social networks about products on your site. These all help increase conversion rate.
47. Implement a Search feature on your site. It will help visitors to find the right products and you to collect information about what they want.
Good example of the search feature on wildgems.com
48. How many channels do you use to communicate with customers and sell products (Phone, website, email, social networks, mobile apps, etc.)?
49. Do you work with customers from other countries? If your answer is “yes” – does your site support other languages? Can you show prices in different currencies? Do you calculate the cost of shipping to other countries?
50. Can they use credit to pay for your product?
51. Implement a Click-to-Call feature that helps managers contact customers via phone.
52. Check filters: correctness of working, speed of download, show only actual results, convenient to find and use, etc.
53. Use infinite scrolling to show your products. It is more convenient than pagination.
54. Many people make decisions because of others reviews. Use this psychological trick on your site. Examples: “93% of customers with product X buy this product Y”, “78% of customers recommend this product to their friends”, “85% of Digital agencies in the UK use our service”, etc.
55. Do you have famous sites as partners? What about publications about your company in other resources? Place such information on your site. It provides credibility to your resource.
56. Create a virtual assistant on your site. A bot that poses questions and gives recommendations what a product is better. It helps people with limited knowledge about products to choose the right one.
57. Is it possible to personalize your site to a single visitor? For example, men have no interest in women’s clothing; instead show them more relevant information.
58. People like a deal, so show your price in comparison with competitors.
59. Make a landing page from the “404 page”. You can create a special offer for people who come to the 404 page.
60. Show the cost of the shipping with the product price. ComScore research shows that 47% of buyers would abandon a purchase if they got to the checkout and find that free shipping was not included.
62. Show the approximate time of shipping, especially if you can deliver products faster than your competitors.
Part 3 A/B Testing
In the process of A/B testing concentrate on:
- Firstly, conduct A/B tests that can potentially increase your income. Work with USP, positioning, benefits of your product;
- Secondly, work with special offers, terms of shipping, upselling offers, new payment methods, etc.
- Improve your Cart page and Payment page
- Finally, start working with these pages: Product, Category, and the Main page.
You know that if your conversion rate increases by 20% on the Cart page, it is much better than the same result on the Main page.
64. You should test:
– Registration on your site after purchase completion (some customers leave site without purchases because of the registration process)
– The first required field is email (if a person doesn’t finish his purchase, you can send him reminder emails)
The most popular Example
– Cancel Registration and allow them to buy a product as a guest. Example: sockdreams
65. Test different types of bonuses: free shipping, gift, discount, points on a customer’s account, etc. For example, E-talling research shows that free shipping is a crucial point that influences a customer’s decision to buy a product.
66. Test different types of guarantee that you can provide: return policy, warranty period, bonuses, etc.
67. Test the placement of the shipping cost on a page; inform them how many products they should buy to get free shipping.
68. You should test: Fields quantity and arrangement, their sizes and colors, hints.
69. Cross-selling and Upselling mechanics can help increase overall income to your site. So don’t forget to test them too.
70. Test buttons: position on a page, color, size, CTA texts, etc.
71. Block placement on a product page. Use analytics to find what are the most important blocks on this page. Test: different positions, sizes, colors of these blocks. Vary the types of some blocks. For example, change photos on a video, a description text on an infographic.
72. Test different texts: CTA texts, headings, descriptions, etc. Use magnet words in your texts.
73. Use knowledge of color psychology when you update your site (Good infographic about it from Kissmetrics)
Part 4 Advertising campaigns
How to improve the quality of advertisement traffic is a topic of separate White Paper. If you want to get it, just subscribe to our newsletter and receive new White Papers, Reports and Case Studies for Free. In this section I’ll describe how to prepare a site for advertisement campaigns.
74. Send traffic from advertisement campaigns directly to your product pages. Some marketers prefer to send it to the main page. However, it dramatically decreases a conversion.
75. Implement dynamic header names. For example, when you use Keyword “exclusive watch for my wife” in Adwords ads, people that come to the page because of the ad should see the same heading “Great exclusive watch for your wife”. It improves the quality of the page (your ads will be cheaper) and increases conversion rate on your site. Other customizations: Geo, sex, time of day, age, ad systems, etc. You can create custom headings, banners, and special offers for each advertising channel that you use.
76. Use the same design stylistics for your ads that you use for your site: colors, fonts, buttons, images, logos, etc.
77. Use the whole arsenal of Retargeting Methods. Motivate people to return and complete a purchase.
78. When using promo codes and coupons in your banners implement a feature that automatically types this code on your Cart page and changes the price.
In this article, I wrote only a few ways to increase conversion rate on your site. I hope that this material will be useful and help you make better sites. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive new white papers, how-to guides and reports directly into your inbox.