I love website conversion and find myself becoming more and more intrigued with attempting to master this fine art. It blends design, psychology, user experience, development and combines a deep understanding of how people actually use the internet and how they read webpages. Overall, it’s pretty interesting stuff.
During the course of my studies, I’ve come across many factors which affect conversion rates, and so here are my top 5 quick and simple fixes to help give your website that little extra ‘kick’ in getting people to sign up, register, buy, enquire that almost any website should consider.
1. Drop The Image Slideshow
While it’s nice to skim through vivid images and messages from slide to slide, the fact remains that most users will just ignore them. Have you ever waited to read every slide that scrolls by? Most likely not, and your website visitors will most likely be doing the same.
Visitors to your website will have a very short attention span, and by having too much information at the top of your homepage as a banner simply causes ‘information overload’, and uneccesarily so.
Rather than having an animated slideshow, try using a static image with a clear message about your business, products or services. It will pack a far greater punch and you can always change this section perdiodically to mix it up and offer your visitors some other new offer/message/benefit.
2. Improve Your Contact Form
So you have a great website design, lovely SEO-rich copy, but what’s really going to generate real value for you is making sure potential customers sign up or make an enquiry through your form.
There are many factors that make up a good contact form (and will probably be a blog post of it’s own soon enough), but some real basics you can apply relatively quickly would include placing the form on the right side of the page with action-inducing text on the left, minimising the number of fields your form asks for, and carefully choosing the text on the submit button (never use ‘SUBMIT’, instead choose something like ‘Get Started’, ‘Go’ or ‘Yes, Register Me Now!’) for instant increases in form submissions.
3. Optimise For Mobile Users
As more and more people use the internet now through mobile phones (in fact, over half), by NOT accommodating mobile usage, you could be slitting your own web conversion throat, so to speak. How frustrating do you find it having to zoom into a page, scrolling while zoomed in then doing the same on every new page of that site you visit. It’s frustrating and in web terms, frustration only leads to people leaving your site.
By making a mobile site or a responsive website, users will be delighted at the improved display on mobile devices, whatever phone or tablet they are currently using. Expect increases in conversion and lower bounce rates from mobile devices.
4. Limit Your Copy
When you read a newspaper, do you read every single word or even every paragraph on each page? No? Then why have huge paragraphs of text on your website? Nobody reads huge amounts of text. We live in an age of short, succint snippets of information. Blogging has become micro-blogging. Twitter limits to 140 characters, reflecting todays trend of only devouring small punchy snippets of information.
I see it day in and day out, websites using huge paragraphs on information and copy on their websites. It’s pointless. Unless you are using carefully thought headings to cater for people who scan read, it’s just a waste of mass space on the page and simply dilutes the real value of CTA’s and actionable text. If your copy offers no real value to your message or to your users, why have it?
In those circumstances where you do have to have long sections of text, make sure you are using CSS and other styling to break it up, group into sections or divide it into more manageable chunks for people to take in without being put off at the sheer amount of words on the page. Remember that less is more, and reducing the amount of text can actually help conversion rates.
5. Steer The User With Actions
Every designer strives to create a visual impact on website visitors. They want visitors to think, “hey, nice website!”. While this is great, it can often lead to problems in converting visitors into buying customers, sales leads and thus, real ROI.
The fact is that people DON’T like being sold to, but they DO love to buy. Understanding this when applying to a website design is crucial to leveraging users and converting them into customers at their own will.
Understand that the moment a visitor hits your website, they should be systematically taken through a highly intentional sales process from start to close. Your website design MUST facilitate conversion-minded navigation. It’s great to have a nice shop window which shows off all the glorious design and products in a nice layout, but are you really here just to offer window shoppers a nice experience?
What you don’t want are customers leaving your site with just ‘nice feelings’. You want them leaving with a product shipped or service ordered right? Leaving users to their own devices will simply kill your conversion and by harnessing the power to guide them from the product to the checkout is where your conversion – and ultimately your revenue – will truly lie.