It is all good and well attracting significant traffic to your website but you need to be able to convert this into sales. There are many different ways in which you can look to boost conversion rates. In isolation they may look fairly simple but cumulatively they can have a significant impact. Let us look at some design tips to boost conversion rates, increase your sales and ultimately increase your profits.
Table of Contents
1. Use Google Analytics to check Bounce Rates
If you have Google Analytics on your website you will be able to check an array of different factors regarding traffic, content and a very interesting statistic known as the “Bounce Rate.” The bounce rate relates to the number of single page session visits to your website expressed as a percentage of overall sessions. In effect it measures those who entered and exited your website from the same page without viewing any other pages.
Google uses time factors, thereby excluding those who landed on the “right page” and read your content as opposed to those who simply clicked on and clicked off fairly quickly. If you look through your Google Analytics stats you will see that different pages have different Bounce Rates. This data can be very useful when looking to improve conversation rates.
It may be tempting to focus on pages with a relatively high bounce rate, with little chance of a sale. However, you should actually focus on those with low bounce rates which are more popular.
These could well be your low hanging fruit sales pages of the future – with just a few tweaks.
2. Have you heard of the Z and F patterns?
There are two specific marketing theories which suggest that superimposing a capital Z or F across your website will highlight the “hot areas.” Research has shown these are the areas to which our eyes are drawn and therefore if sale prompts, buttons and content are in or around these hot areas there is more chance of concluding a sale. Whether you utilise the Z or the F pattern will to a certain extent depend upon the design of your website. If you have navigation menus across the top then the Z heat pattern would be more relevant. While if you have navigation menus on the left-hand side the F heat pattern may be more relevant.
Next time you are surfing the Internet, make a conscious note of where your eyes are drawn. This will give you a greater understanding of the Z and F patterns.
If you can incorporate these into your website’s design, placing sales prompts in highly visible areas, this will ultimately increase your conversion rate.
3. Speed up your website to improve user experience
The structure and design of your website will have a significant impact upon loading speeds which can directly impact conversion rates. You will have noticed this yourself, if you access a website which takes a long time to load then many of us will simply lose interest and go to the next one. There are many issues which can slow down the loading time for websites such as large images, interactive coding and even failure to remove historic code which is no longer used. The subject of images is an interesting one because on one hand you want to catch and retain the interest of a visitor while not impacting the loading speed to a great extent.
Another factor to take into account is the efficiency of your website hosting provider. Ensure that you search for a provider with high uptime and adequate resources to suit your website. That is, adequate RAM, CPU and storage for your website files. It is always recommended that you monitor your package to ensure that you do not deplete the allocated resources. If you have high traffic and your website behaves sluggishly, then upgrading your website hosting plan is the next step. For more information on complete and reliable UK hosting solutions click here.
In the early days there is a strong argument for split testing different designs to see which ones load better, which ones retain user interest and ultimately which ones convert at a greater rate. In theory split testing could have a detrimental impact on your short-term income but you need to look longer term, small tweaks can lead to great improvements in conversion rates.
4. Remove distractions
Over the years we have seen significant research into the online decision-making process and the removal of distractions. What has become evident is that the more choices a potential customer has the longer they take to decide.
Research has shown that between for example a stall with 24 pots of jam of varying flavours and one with just six options, the six flavours selection had a higher conversion rate. This is because there were fewer options, less indecision and visitors knew quite quickly whether they were going to buy any one of the six different flavoured pots. Where potential customers were given the option of 24 different flavours, their thinking process was extended and many would decide to “leave it” and come back again. Whether they ever came back is debatable.
As a consequence, it is advisable to remove distractions which may take away focus from your core bestselling items. We are not necessarily suggesting that you do not list the non-core items. We simply suggest that you give more visibility to the most popular products/services. Maybe look at some kind of scrolling code which is less visible than the more popular products but still there for those looking away from this core group.
5. Know your colours
While it may not be seen as politically correct to pigeonhole men and women with regards to their reaction to different colours, research over the years has given us a good insight. We know particular colours can prompt specific thoughts and actions. Therefore, when taken into consideration, the overall design of your website will also have a significant impact. To give you an idea, research has shown that:-
- Women prefer colours like blue, purple and green
- Men are more attracted to blue, green and black
- Blue tends to encourage trust
- Yellow represents warnings
- Green normally represents the environment and outdoor activities/products
- Orange tends to prompt an impulse buy or a hasty action
This is just an example of some of the information gleaned from research over the years. While not set in stone, it can be a helpful starting point. This is why certain coloured “Order Now” buttons work better than others. In the same light, different products and services are more closely associated with a particular range of colours. You can do your own research on the use of different colours to prompt different actions. However, your website designer should be well aware of these already.
6. Use of testimonials
The use of testimonials as a means of rubberstamping certain products or services you offer can be a controversial subject. In recent times we have seen companies accused of manipulating testimonials by writing them and publishing them as if written by unconnected third-parties. That said, a testimonial page which looks “natural” and seems to correspond with what the potential customer already has in mind, can prove very useful in closing the deal.
Many website designs also incorporate random testimonials across a variety of different pages. As well as injecting a degree of confidence, if a customer is looking to buy a particular product or service it also demonstrates a degree of human interaction. At the end of the day we all appreciate automated websites to a certain extent but anything which can soften this appearance can only improve conversion rates. In addition, you need to ensure that your testimonial section and random feedback are up to date.
If you were to check a testimonial page and the last customer feedback was from two or three years ago, that could undo all of the good work previously carried out. Why has there been no feedback for two or three years, does the company have something to hide or has it been fairly inactive?
7. Creating a sales funnel
Creating a sales funnel quite literally means using various pages of your website to intrigue and attract the attention of internet surfers. Once you “grab” their attention, encourage them to continue in the next part of the sales process. As the information gets more detailed this will shake off those with relatively little interest. Ultimately, leaving focused serious potential customers for you to convert.
The matter of improving your website content, readability and overall design goes hand-in-hand with this sales funnel strategy.
There should be minimal distraction and maximum attention grabbing information. You can even throw in the odd offer or freebie to close the deal. It would also be sensible to split test different types of sales funnels and strategies to see which work best. Again, what you lose in potential income in the short term while testing strategies you will more than make up in the longer term.
Bonus: Above all, remember to KISS!
The term KISS, regularly used in America stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid.” It is a constant reminder not make a simple sales process complicated. The initial attraction will be the design of your website and the offer/promotions. After that, interested parties will look for more detail on a particular product or service before they buy. This continuous feeding process keeps customers “warm.” It gives you the opportunity to complete the sale while they are “in the mood.”