Updated: 8 March 2022
In the simplest sense, conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action. If you’ve not got your goals set up to be able to track your conversion this would be the first step.
Depending on the nature of your business and the objectives of your website, what constitutes a conversion can vary hugely, and is not limited to a sale or transaction.
Common examples include a customer who buys a product, a newsletter sign up or an electronic download. Understanding and applying the principles of conversion rate optimisation can have a significant impact on lead generation, sales and revenue, resulting in a more profitable business – and ultimately ensuring that your marketing efforts are worth the investment. At the same time, it is important to take extreme care when making changes, as if these are not tested they may have a negative effect on conversions.
1. Speed up the website to improve user experience
How fast your website loads is one of the most important aspects when it comes to both SEO and conversion rate optimisation. For search engine algorithms such as those used by Google, page load speed is one of the factors that determine your position in search results.
- Choose a suitable hosting package – New website owners often choose the cheapest possible option for hosting. While in the beginning, this is often not a problem, as you start getting more traffic it may well become necessary to upgrade. It is worth investing in a quality hosting company that you can trust to be reliable.
- Minimise image sizes – Images are a key element of your website, but can also have a big impact on your site speed. Files that are larger than required can significantly increase page load times.
- Take care with plugins – Having too many plugins installed means your server has to work harder, which can slow down your site. It can also lead to security vulnerabilities, reduce your site’s stability and cause other technical problems.
You can run a website speed test in a few different places. Google offers a platform to test your mobile speed and Pingdom is more detailed. Both offer actionable tips to improve page load speed.
2. Use testimonials
Even in the modern digital world, the power of word of mouth recommendation should not be overlooked. One of the most effective ways of driving actual conversions using this principle is testimonials.
Research conducted by an American university found that testimonials account for a 380% increase in conversion rate for more expensive products alongside a 190% conversion rate for less expensive products.
Using places to gather reviews like reviews.co.uk or Trust Pilot are great, but also consider video testimonials and customer satisfaction ratings.
You can also use “customer stories” and case studies. These can act as a great back up to your testimonials – and can be very valuable if your marketing is geographically targeted.
3. Keep conversion elements above the fold
The term above the fold dates back to the golden days of broadsheet newspapers, when the daily papers would be displayed folded in half. It was the immediately visible headlines and images on the top half that grabbed the attention of readers and compelled them to buy – essentially, an early form of conversion rate optimisation.
When it comes to websites, the same principle remains true today – the average visitor will make a decision on whether or not they wish to interact with your brand based on what they see in their viewport before the need to scroll. Whilst behaviours have changed over the years, Neilsen, a world leader in user experience research, reports that visitors continue to spend over 50% of their time above the fold.
Chrome has a fantastic plugin to help you see where the fold of any website is.
4. Offer various payment options
Most would agree that it is generally good practice in any business to offer multiple options for making payments. However, when it comes to the digital world where physical cash is not an option, this becomes substantially more important. A YouGov survey conducted in 2017 highlights this, finding that 50% of customers abandoned their cart when their preferred payment method wasn’t available.
Although convenience is a factor, trust plays a far greater role when it comes to payments. YouGov also found that 40% of online customers feel more comfortable purchasing from a retailer with multiple payment methods that allowed them to choose a familiar provider. It has also been found that offering options that do not require direct input of bank account or credit card details are preferable.
5. Use a chat tool
Forrester Research found that “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a web site can offer”. This is echoed in research by the American Marketing Association, which found websites with a live chat facility benefitted from an average conversion rate increase of 20%.
In addition, a chat tool can also allow you to identify and resolve barriers to conversion in real-time – enabling you to monitor and optimise your website on an ongoing basis based on actual customer feedback prior to or at the point of transaction.
Bonus Tip: Ask for feedback
Find out how people use your website, what they like, what they don’t like. By setting up surveys on your website you can uncover important objections from your customers.
If you have worked through this list and need help with your conversions, it’s time to contact the team at Push to talk to conversion rate optimisation team.