Imagine being an owner of an offline retail store. You get 1000 visitors to your store daily; but only 40 of those thousand visitors interact with your store staff. Most visitors leave within the first minute, without uttering a word. They leave no traces. You would not be able to reach out to them again, only a tiny percentage of them may pay a second visit.
Can you imagine running such an offline store? In a digital business, that’s 4% conversion rate, and its considered to be great. Attention is the rare commodity, most websites are lousy with poor content, and 4% becomes the industry best.
The Internet entrepreneur is a million-dollar dream. So many people start a website or app in the quest to set up an online money-making machine. While in reality, only a tiny percentage of web business ever make money.
As an internet entrepreneur, you start with an idea. You create a website or a mobile app to create your online presence. You have limited expertise in the design and development of websites or apps.
If you are already running a digital business, you must be feeling the pressure. If your website visitors are not interacting with your business, getting more visitors will not help either. Trying a new marketing channel, spending money on ads or creating random blogs will take you nowhere.
If you are running a business, you already have a fair idea of who your target customer is and the problem you are trying to solve for them. A shallow idea of what your customer look like or a vague definition of the problem seldom helps.
You need to dig deeper. The functional design speaks for itself. Its THE bare minimum, not much no less.
To transform your website into a conversion engine you need to be clear about the value proposition.
Here is my 4 step process for optimizing your website for conversion
The Conversion optimization starts with an understanding of your visitor. You can only delight customers if you know them well.
To win the conversion game, you need to understand your visitor better than your competition does. You need to understand what you visitor like or dislike, their decision making process.
Not every visitor is your customer. You can never achieve 100% conversion.
Broadly you can categorize your website visitors into three kinds-
Have you visited any government website like Railway ticket booking or Corporate ministry? No matter how slow or confusing the website is, you will always navigate your way to complete the transaction.
If you are an authority website in a niche, you will definitely have a segment of visitors who will definitely buy from you. No matter how shabby your design is. They are your fans and will always make a purchase, subscribe to your email list and return to read your blog posts, they are not worried about design and navigation.
A section of the visitor on your website would be students, your competitors or casual information seekers, or they can never afford your product. They will never buy from you.
This segment of visitors is sitting on the fence. The focus of the conversion optimization process is to convert these people. They are willing to buy but have a few objections, confusion, trust issues, price sensitivity etc. They are talking to your competition also. Converting these visitors mean achieving the full potential of your website.
Conversion is any measurable action taken by your visitor which adds value to your business. It could be filling up a form, sharing information, taking a quiz, calling your business or making a purchase. Based on their impact, the conversion can be divided into two categories – Micro and Macro Conversion.
Examples of Macro conversions are making a purchase, sending a request for quotation, calling your business, booking a table, placing an order, subscribing a service etc.
Micro conversion is signing up for a newsletter, creating the free account, adding the product to cart etc.
Your website exists for a purpose. Their job is to engage the user and drive them to a specific action.
Yet, only a tiny percentage of the websites are scientifically designed to meet their purpose. The design elements, the fonts, the navigation menu, the callout; do they exist for aesthetics or to add value to the end user.
Look at Homepage of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. You will rarely spot a design element which is unnecessary. Its because they test everything before making it live.
When you drive traffic to your website, you expect visitors to take certain action. The conversion rate is your website visitors taking a specific action divided by the total number of unique visitors.
Conversion optimization starts with understanding your visitor, the information they are looking for and how to make it available to in a single click. It’s a systematic way of increasing the percentage of visitors who take your desired action, i.e. signing up for the newsletter, purchasing a service, placing an order.
If you are running a brick and mortar store, you can simply walk to a visitor and understand why they purchased or not purchased from your store. To replicate this on web, you need tools. There are tools to cover every aspect of a visitor’s journey. I have covered the most frequently needed tools. You can decide which all tools you will need to get started with conversion optimization.
Having the ability to install the tools by your own, saves you a lot of time. The tag manager helps you just do that. A Tag management solution helps you reduce dependency on a developer. Additionally, You will have a lighter header file which improves the speed of your website and chances of a human error while installing the code.
This easy to use Google Tag Manager Guide for Marketers will help you get started with tags.
Web analytics tools help you get started with conversion optimization. It offers a lots of quantitative data such as which pages are getting maximum amount of traffic, how the traffic flows, how much time a visitor spends on your website, which are the most valuable pages on your site and which traffic flow leads to the highest conversion.
When you use web analytics in combination with tools which offer qualitative data, it helps you uncover the most profitable conversion strategy for your website.
If you have an up and running website in all probability you are using Google Analytics already. Start by checking if the configuration is correct, I would suggest you move your GA code to Google Tag Manager. Here is a quick guide to configure Google analytics on your website, also check this for most important GA metrics for Conversion optimization.
The Heatmap tools can help you discover –
1. Which part of the page is getting most attention.
2. How far visitor scroll down on the page
3. Which area of the page is clicked (Even if its not a clickable item.)
Study the heatmap report of your most important pages or pages to uncover the optimization opportunities.
Want to get a feel of How people interact with your website or what they did on a particular page? The session recording tools give you a feel as if you are looking over their shoulder while someone is browsing your website.
Session recording tools capture the flow of mouse and watching the recording can help you understand
how a visitor flow on your page,
which stage do they exit,
how far did they scroll and
if a user has encountered an error while on the page.
Worried about your form not capturing enough leads? May be you are asking too much details or an information which nobody wants to share?
The form analytics tools help you understand
which of your form fields are causing visitors to abandon.
How much time does a visitor spend on your form.
percentage of visitor dropped out on each form field.
Which fields are always left blank.
Any error message while submitting the form
Which browser or device creates difficulty while filling up the form etc.
If you want to get answers to some of your pressing marketing questions, surveys might help.
Asking right questions can uncover a lot of hidden gems.
Use survey to understand which product customer like the most, what is the ideal price point. Ask Questions to both customers and non-customers.
You can use this collection of 20 best survey questions, or Download this free guide on how to use survey tools to understand your website visitors.
Poorly written copy confuses the visitors. If they can’t understand the written words, they will not buy. Purpose of your copy should be to communicate and persuade the visitors to buy rather than sounding intelligent. Start using tools like Grammarly or Hemingway app to write clear, error free English.
Use this guide to understand how to write a great website copy.
Using the tools listed above including screen recording, eye tracking and other similar tools you can discover lot of usability issues on the website. Create a swipe file of page designs and understand why it works (Don’t just copy blindly). You can use wireframing tools to create work in process designs and take user feedback before getting it through code.
Most websites falter with value proposition. Check the value proposition your website has and how its clear communicated on your website. Your sales copy may be suffering from the unclear brand waffles or curse of knowledge. Try to create a simpler version of rather complex brand communication.
Conversion rate optimization helps you understand your customer. You develop insight about your customer which in turn help you with your SEO.
Better conversion rate means more time on the website and more repeat visitors.
Once you improve the conversion rate, you can expect a better ROI on your SEO and paid marketing efforts which means you have more money to spend to get more visitors.