10 Ways To Improve Your Website To Drive Conversions
AdWords, SEO, Social, Native, Affiliate, Influencer, Content: there’s so many different types of digital marketing channels out there to drive traffic to your business, but there’s one thing you can’t overlook and can’t forget when you’re creating and developing your marketing plan – your website.
Websites for so many businesses these days are the shop floor, and often, the only shop floor. Therefore, when you’ve worked so hard and spent your well-earned money to drive traffic to your website, the last thing you want to do is scare people off with a slow, unappealing website.
Below we’re going to go through some the most important things you should be doing to convert that site traffic into leads, and make sure those leads keep coming back for more:
1) Responsive / Mobile
In 2016, Google updated their search ranking algorithm so that mobile friendly pages rank higher than non-mobile friendly pages. That was the day of reckoning for those who hadn’t considered the importance of catering for mobile and tablets users – not only would their websites be a frustrating endeavour for people to use, it’ll also have an impact on their Google rankings too.
Mobile users are now in the majority when it comes to web usage, and to just neglect catering to these users is unforgivable in this day and age. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, then this needs to change, and this has to become your number one priority.
2) Load Time
There’s nothing more frustrating than heading onto a website and having to wait ages for a page to load. We live in a world where we want everything instantly, and if your website makes people wait, it’s likely that they won’t stick around very long.
Load time is sometimes the last thing web designers think of when creating a website. The process of making the site look aesthetically fantastic, and making the content engaging usually takes priority, but it’s something that you need to mindful of, and something that needs to be addressed immediately.
A high-performance website will increase user engagement, and also help your organic search rankings too. Here’s a list of things you need to be doing if you’re not already:
- Enabling Gzip compression
- Compressing and optimising image files
- Setting up a caching strategy
- Minimising redirects
- Running site through ‘Google Speed Test’
When you’re trying to work out what a company does, what it’s best features are, or you’re just on the website reading for inspiration and education; the quality of the written content is what draws you in, and what makes you believe in the integrity of what’s on offer. Quite simply, the finesse of your on-site communication is of paramount importance.
Obviously, your spelling and grammar needs to be perfect, but you also need to look a bit deeper than that and concentrate on the likes of your tone of voice and your storytelling too. With regards to this, you probably need to develop some sort of content strategy.
A content strategy doesn’t have to be some huge long drawn out PowerPoint presentation or pages and pages of vague drivel. You need to concentrate on your consistency, it should support your goals, clarify your message, be easy to read, and it needs to be useful and valuable for the reader. If you can bring all that together, your on-site content will prosper.
"If you can measure it, you can manage it", so the saying goes, and it's pretty spot on when it comes to digital analytics. Being able to track your website visitors will give you great leverage and great insight to how much attention your website users are paying to particular pages on your site. Finding out information such as: how long a user spends on a certain page, which pages are visited most, how many pages a user visits before leaving, gives you a certain understanding of what needs improving and what's working on your website.
The best (and only, essentially) tool to use for your analytics is Google's free analytic tool. Setting this up is easy, and it can measure thousands of different areas of your statistics of how your users are interacting with your site. When you're setting up your website, or looking to optimise it, installing and monitoring Google Analytics is a must.
Images can be so powerful when you’re trying to sell a product. Depending what sector you’re in; they can provide the stimulus to inspire a conversion, they can guide the user, they can illustrate concepts, they can provide data, they can show validation.
Visual appeal is important to people, and the use of images can improve readability and the general user experience, but they have to be used effectively and with purpose. Using generic stock photos are all too transparent these days as internet users become savvier, so you need to choose your images wisely.
Infographics, charts, photos, maps, mascots, cartoons can all add life to a flailing website, and can provide your potential customers with the impetus to choose your product or service over a competitor’s.
6) Call to Action
Often overlooked, a call to action is something that’s of vital importance to a website. Without a strong call to action cue, the less likely you are of turning those browsers into customers.
Here you need to think about what makes your customers tick. No one knows your business like you, and therefore no one knows your customers like you; so think about what makes them excited and then use appropriate wording and colours to excite potential leads.
A website is so much about psychology and getting into the head of the website browser. To encourage them to trust and spend their hard-earned money with your business you need to make every detail as perfect and as engaging, as absorbing, as inspirational, as possible. You need to captivate their imagination.
Once you perfect that, your conversion rate will sky rocket.
7) Landing Pages
Making sure your landing pages are perfect is a key component in making your website a sucess. Landing pages are designed to be amongst your most hit pages on your site, so from here your navigation needs some work so your user can find where they want to after landing on your page.
You also need to work out what you want to do with each landing page. If you want to complete a conversion or a sale, make it salesy. If you want it to be full of information about a product, provide plenty of images, statistics, and great content. It's quite a simple concept, but you need to think about what kind of landing pages you want before you create your site. These will be massively important when you start your search marketing campaigns.
There are many different fads that come and go when it comes to website navigation, but one overriding message always prevails: keep it simple, keep it easy. Before thinking of your navigation, have a quick think about how you would want to navigate through the website if you were a new visitor. Ask your colleagues, family members, and friends how they would too - the more opinions the better. Then base your navigation around that.
Try to limit the top navigation bar as much as possible. Try to only include the pages you want your customers to hit, the heavily trafficked pages, and your company's about page. Anything else you can save for dropdown menus and other navigation structures.
Make sure your search feature is working effectively with relevant results, make sure your categories are divided clearly, and make sure you're consistent.
88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That's a pretty stark fact, and it shows how much trust the indviduals of the internet have in their fellow users. But also 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. The people of the 21st century want to know what they're buying, and they want be assured that what they're buying is of quality. With so much competition out there in every field, it's important to stand out from the crowd and have loyal customers who love what your business offers.
That's why you need to publish your testimonials on your site to show that you are a trusted brand. This doesn't have to have it's own page, it can be painted across the top of your page, it can be on a sidebar; in truth, it can be absolutely anywhere, but make it prominent, and make sure people see it. People love be the reassured that what they're buying is of excellence. By showing them that people love the product or service, you'll go a good way to making them believe in your business.
10) E-mail Sign Ups
Setting up an email marketing strategy through MailChimp, Get Response, Sparkpost or similar is a good way of taking advantage, and keeping a lock, on the visitors who visit your website. There are currently 5 billion e-mail accounts active on the internet today, which means there's more than one e-mail account for every internet user in the world, and therefore there's a cavern of treasure out there to dip your fingers into.
A few years ago there were genuine fears that e-mail marketing was going to fade and even die, but it's done the exact opposite, and in a digital marketing world that is really saturated, e-mail has come through the bad times pretty much unscathed to find itself going toe to toe with its brothers and sisters.
If you think about it, email is your safe place on the internet. It's your home, it's your private home which isn't accessible or viewable by anyone else, and by using e-mail marketing, you can get into a user's home and wow them while they're feeling comfortable.
By adding an email sign up form to your website, you can develop a qualified database that is interested in your product or services, and take advantage of the huge world that is email marketing.