At equimedia we have a web development team whose primary goal is conversion. We deliver inspired creative concepts and execute technically advanced solutions, but we don't lose sight of the simple goal of how best to convert a website visitor into value. With this in mind, our development team thought we'd share some of our top tips for improving conversion on a website:
Make sure your web analytics tool is set up correctly: Unless you are confident in the data you are analysing, then any changes you make based on web analytics findings are just as likely to reduce conversion rates as improve them. But then again, how will you know if your benchmark data is wrong from the start? This is essential.
Take a close look at what your competitors are doing: This doesn't mean copy them. What they are doing might not be working. Or it might work for them, but not for you. But this is a great way to help stimulate ideas and to help critique what you are already doing yourself.
Control, test and learn: You can rarely be 100% sure that a website change will impact conversion positively. The only way you can truly see the impact is to test it. Make sure you have a "control" in place that allows you to be confident in the results & don't test too much at once. Where you can, use A/B or Multi variate optimisation tools to manage this program for you. Furthermore, you can also uncover great Insight from User Testing (there are many solutions for this that don't cost the earth).
Add a search box (if only for a limited time): This can help identify what content visitors to your site are struggling to find with the existing navigation. You can then adapt the navigation accordingly.
Segment your audience: Not all visitors are the same. Spend some time (if not lots of time!) considering who your target audience are, who are your most profitable customers and what gaps you think are in your customer set currently. Then use these audience segments to drive your website optimisation approach; consider how each segment would require different things from your site and how you can speak to each of them (this doesn't mean throwing absolutely every message onto a cluttered home page!).
Segment by device: Desktop, tablet and smartphone users will interact with your website in different ways. A recent Google Survey summarises this well. If you can, treat each of these users differently. For example, a mobile landing page might not need to contain much content, but focus mainly on providing contact details and other ways for a visitor to respond. Furthermore, when looking at web analytics data, don't lump smartphones and tablet traffic into a "mobile" category!
Optimise over and over again: Website optimisation isn't something you should do once a year. Try to encourage your team to continually find opportunities to improve your website. Encourage and reward your Agency partners for findings improvements. Try to engender a culture of optimisation and put a structure in place to keep the momentum in place.
Keep it simple: A typical visitor to your website has probably got a fairly average level of website nous (unless you've identified "tech heads" as one of your audience segments) so their key requirement is "don't make me think". Don't feel you need to implement the latest cutting edge technologies just to keep up with the joneses.
Finally.... common sense rules still apply: big, clear buttons + simple headline messages + straightforward language + no clutter + clear sign posting = decent conversion rates.
Click here to read our case study on conversion work we've been doing for Petplan & contact us if we can help you to apply some of these principles to your website.