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How To Increase Website Conversions

Nov 13, 2007
Many Webmasters and e-store owners get so caught up in trying to increase traffic levels that they almost forget to track conversions. However, the number of conversions, and the conversion rate of your site are among the most important figures to monitor. What qualifies as a conversion depends on your site but is essentially a visitor that performs a desired action - whether that's making a purchase, clicking a link, or submitting their information. The conversion rate is the number of visitors that perform this action compared to the total number of visitors.

You should always know your conversion rate, and be looking for possible methods to improve it. If you have the time or resources, track conversions on a daily basis. You can then use these daily figures to create weekly, monthly, and longer term figures. Whenever you make a change to your website, including a change in design or a change in content, track conversions before and after. The following are some key areas of website content that, when optimized, can yield a greater conversion rate.

Easy To Navigate And Easy To Use

All websites should be simple to use. Complex sites immediately put visitors off and an overly complex site will drive them to the Close button. Navigation should be simple, the buying process should be simple, and any body of content should be well structured and neatly laid out. This all helps to ensure that your website is simple to use and doesn't provide visitors with a reason to leave.

The Best Policy - Honesty

Don't lie and don't stretch the truth. Shoppers or visitors will eventually find out and they will be more than a little displeased. Credit card charge backs cost you money so you won't make a profit from fabricating the truth. Being honest also stretches to being open and not hiding the truth. If something is out of stock, don't sell it on the premise that it will be delivered that week. Give an accurate depiction of your shipping costs.

Don't Use 1,000 Words (Or Pictures) When 100 Will Do

Some pages on certain topics require a lot of content. Complex instructions or descriptions can take a number of pictures, possibly even a video tutorial, and some written content. However, the average surfer's attention span varies from three or four seconds to twelve seconds. Wherever a user falls in this range, that doesn't give you long to catch their attention and deliver your message.

USP - Unique Selling Proposition

The Unique Selling Proposition for your website is the thing that sets you apart from your competition. Whether you have free shipping, massive discounts, or impeccable customer service, you need to really push your USP. The Internet offers consumers an easy method to shop around for the best deal so unless you promote your USP, your visitors will be more likely to use another site. Most sites have a USP, but don't promote it.

CTA - Call To Action

The Call To Action is the portion of a web page that is supposed to attract visitors to take the next step. Most pages of a website should have a unique CTA depending on the position within the buying process. For affiliate sites, the CTA may be to click a link and make a purchase rather than a direct step within the purchasing process.

The CTA needs to be powerful and strong without being too pushy. It needs to adequately describe what you want your visitors to do and should be related to the rest of the page content and the demographics of your visitors. The CTA needs to be short, although "Click Here" is a poor example of an effective CTA because it expresses very little reason for your visitors to click the link.

Build Trust

Visitors to your website need to trust you before they will make a purchase or perform any other desired action. The more they trust you, the more likely they will be to answer your CTA. Trust can be built in a number of ways. An open and honest tone will help. Adding contact details, especially a physical address that isn't a P.O Box, and a phone number, ensures that visitors know you have nothing to hide. Adding informative and helpful content, such as buyer's guides or tutorials also helps to build some trust and will certainly help the reputation of your website.

Answering Your CTA

Persuading visitors to answer your CTA (Call To Action) can be difficult. You need to build a relationship of trust, convey an honest and detailed message, and ensure that your site is properly optimized to convert. The conversion rate is sometimes overlooked by Webmasters, because they become too hung up on driving more and more traffic to a website. However, if conversions are low then increasing traffic should be a secondary step.
About the Author
Omaro Ailoch is a senior software engineer, an entrepreneur and the founder of OC IT Services a highly skilled California based web development, design, and search engine optimization firm.
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