4 Reasons why you need to optimize your site for conversion.
In 2008, BackboneITGroup conducted a survey of online marketing practices and found that just 11% of businesses were actively engaged in conversion rate optimization.
That means the other 89% were focusing their efforts on increasing traffic and then just hoping for the best once those visitors reached their websites.
Since then, CRO has come into its own, with more and more companies recognizing the need not just to get people to a landing page, but also to keep them engaged and persuade them to act once they’re there.
If you’re one of those original 89% and you have yet to jump on the CRO bandwagon, take a look at these four benefits of conversion rate optimization and then decide whether you can afford NOT to get started.
When it comes to selling merchandise to customers, we tend to focus on only one thing: selling our wares. This is obviously important, since it is only through selling inventory to customers that we are able to make a profit and stay in business. However, there is one very important aspect of salesmanship that can be overlooked, and that is the role of the customer in the sale.
Why do you tell friends about a particular website?
- It was new and cool (who doesn’t want to be the first to discover the next greatest thing)
- It had great prices
- It had something unique to offer (information, products or services)
Have you noticed an odd relationship between your brick and mortar store and your online store?
Perhaps you realize greater sales and better overall relationship with your customers in your brick and mortar location than you do online. Why is it so difficult to improve website sales when you offer the same great products under the same great name, product guarantees, and pricing?
The answer could lie in the way you interact with customers.
Should your customer’s experience on your website be more important to you than the amount of merchandise they purchase from you? The answer is yes, if referrals and repeat business are an important part of your business model.
Improve Your Conversion Rate
Conversion optimization is not just about selling to that new visitor. If you are not doing a good job of attracting repeat business from your existing customer base and if you are not getting referrals from satisfied customers, you are leaving money on the table.
Landing Page Testing to Reduce Frustrated and Confused Visitors
Have you ever visited a website looking for a particular product, but found upon arriving that you have the name wrong? Perhaps you search the site, browse categories, and click random links, but you can’t find the product you’re looking for because it’s listed under a different name and the website hasn’t offered any clues as to where it might be found.
Helping Customers Take The Next Step
If you operate an online business, you want to make sure your customers never experience this kind of frustration. In Chapters 14 and 15 of “Always Be Testing” by Bryan Eisenberg and John Quarto-vonTivadar, the authors help you develop a strategy to meet customers where they are and to help them take the next step, no matter where they are in the buying process.
How do you really know what things are most important to your audience, and what will be the easiest and most appealing for them to use? You can find out about this through user testing. Testing will let you know what does and doesn’t work about your website, and what is distracting or misleading for your visitors.
Usability testing consists of showing your website to possible users and asking them to perform some common tasks while noting where they run into trouble.
From there, it is your task to try and fix the problems that testing demonstrated without creating any more—which can become quite the juggling act! For this and other reasons, testing needs to be an integrated part of your website planning and design. It is definitely not a last minute operation to try and eliminate all the usability issues that a website has. It is important to note that although things may seem perfectly obvious and navigable to you, you have been working on it since its inception. Your high level of familiarity with the site will make you a biased observer.
How do you test? There are a lot of different ways. With time and available funds, you can hire a professional to design and run tests for you. This is, of course, the best way to use testing to its fullest potential. However, oftentimes you may not have the resources available for this sort of testing. This is where quick and dirty form of user testing shines. It is a lot less thorough and precise than traditional testing, but it will work to identify the major usability problems present in your site.
Most of what testing takes is time and patience. You need to be able to watch someone attempt to use your website without interfering or giving directions. The entire point is to find out where they get stuck or confused, not to get them through the task of locating a product info page. You can feel free to avoid fixing minor problems that only cause a momentary pause in site usage; what you need to focus on are the big problems. These range from problems in navigation to something so basic as being able to tell from a glance what the site is all about.
User testing is an essential task of designing a website that is user-friendly, which avoids making anyone think.
Two very helpful websites, where you can learn more about usability, are:
Advanced Common Sense
User Interface Engineering
Have you taken a good look at your website lately? Not just by uploading new content or adding products. I’m talking about really looking at your layout, navigation, and content as though you had never seen them before.
Increasing your conversion rate requires a pleasing website visitor experience that will easily lend itself to finding information and taking action.
I’m going to be starting a series of articles about how Carl and I go about a Conversion Optimization and Website Usability review. Today I’m going to start with how our reports get produced.
One of the striking differences between websites is how some websites are so far removed from the people behind them. The visitor moves through the site with no sense of the person they’re dealing with. On other websites you really get a sense of the people behind the home page.