If you want a business that gets leads and bookings from your website you had better know what conversion optimisation is! I’m going to bet that a lot of you have at least some traffic to your website, but how often does that traffic turn into sign-ups to your mailing list, purchased products or contacts about your services? If the answer is ‘rarely’ then read on!
So, you’ve spent time or money getting a beautiful website together to showcase your products or services, but there’s nothing but crickets in your inbox. There can be a great number of reasons your website isn’t providing a return on investment, from poor design or user experience, slow loading pages to not understanding or knowing your audience…but a big factor is how easy and compelling you’ve made it for website users to actually contact or purchase.
If a user is to share their credit card, email, or any sort of personal information on your website, they have to genuinely trust the site. Just like you or your team, your site needs to be professional, courteous and ready to answer all of your customers’ questions.
Simply placing your email address in the footer or some MailChimp sign up that says ‘subscribe’ and doesn’t match your site’s fonts and colours isn’t going to do much for you. A good call to action should compel your readers to do just that, take action. It should instil trust and tell them exactly what’s expected of them. Like many elements of a website, your users will feel most comfortable when they know exactly what to do, where to click and have their expectations met when they do so. Optimising your website for conversions involves understanding how users move through your site, what actions they take, and what’s stopping them from completing your goals.
Depending on the content of your page, you may want to include more than one call to action, giving your readers opportunities to engage with you in appropriate places and especially at the bottom of your pages.
Top tips for increasing website conversions
1. Understand what people are doing on your site
There are lots of tools for this but Google Analytics is a must have to help answer important questions about how users engage with your site. You can find out:
- Where people enter your site, which page they land on first
- Which elements they engage with
- Which pages they spend time on
- Where they came from; referred from another website, search, social media
- What devices and browsers they use
- Who your customers are (age, demographic, and interest)
- Where users abandon your website
This information will help you understand where to focus your efforts. By starting with the pages most engaged with and valuable to your users, you’ll see the largest impact. As well as looking at the data you can also ask your current customers about your site, create a survey or conduct interviews to find out where and why they interact with your site (or not!).
2. Get your messaging on point
Think about your audience and what your page is about, make the words and images you use in your call to action compelling for them. Think about the tone of your site, is it friendly, approachable, professional or corporate? Make sure your message uses the right language so that people understand who you and your brand is.
3. Make it stand out
Create a section on your page that really jumps out at your readers.
- Use a different coloured background
- Think about font colour and size
- Add a button
- Remember to keep this on brand, it should stand out but also fit with your website look and feel.
4. Make it flow
Just dumping a call to action anywhere on your page isn’t likely to be very effective. Look at the flow of your content and place your calls to action where they can be most useful. In long pages, you may want to add more than one.
5. Don’t leave your readers stranded
Adding a call to action at the bottom of your pages is a good idea. If users are reading until the bottom of your page then this is the moment they click on something or leave (maybe for good).
6. Check your systems are working
If you aren’t receiving contacts or purchases through your website it could be that there’s a problem. Test your contact forms, email addresses and check out processes to make sure you’re receiving all your messages. This seems simple but you’ll be surprised how often I find a site that has problems with this. Be sure to test again after you make any updates to your website’s content management system (like WordPress) or plugins.
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