I see it all the time: business owners spend thousands of dollars to get people to their website, only to fail to convert them – whether the goal is to get a lead, a sale, or otherwise. Ads that are designed to drive people to your site are an important part of any business’s marketing strategy – but they’re not the only part. Having a flashy marketing mix that drives web users to an outdated, difficult-to-navigate site is like having a plate that’s all sizzle, no steak.
Here are 5 things to consider to help increase your website’s conversion rate.
Help your visitors avoid analysis paralysis by simplifying your website as much as possible. Instead of stuffing links into your navigation bar the way some ladies stuff shoes into a closet (you know who you are), try to make the next step you’d like users to take on your site as simple and straightforward as possible. Less is more.
“The fold” used to refer to the center crease of a newspaper. The most read content in a newspaper is the content that sits on the front page, above that crease – in other words, above the fold.
Guess what? This same principle extends into the online world too. Put your hardest-hitting, benefit-oriented copy right at the top of the front page, where people will see it without having to scroll. Maybe it’s a tagline that explains what you offer, or it might be a call-to-action accompanied by an eye-catching image.
Whatever your message, remember that nothing on your site will be more visible than what you put at the top of your homepage.
Consider this: social posts with images receive over double the number of comments as those without an accompanying image. When you look at it that way, a picture really is worth a thousand words.
We humans are wired to process imagery at a staggering rate, and we tend to gravitate toward imagery more than text. You can put this tendency to work for you by incorporating images strategically throughout your website:
- If you manage a blog, use header images for each post at a minimum.
- Remember what I just said about keeping important stuff “above the fold?” Having a strong image there can really help give your website sticking power with your visitors.
- If you offer products for sale on your website, make sure you incorporate images into the descriptions. I know, it’s obvious. You’d be surprised how often this gets neglected though.
According to data from a study compiled by Google, a 3-second delay in website load times can increase abandon rates by over 100%. Yikes – that’s how impatient we’ve become. That’s reality though, and it means that by taking a few simple actions, you can potentially double your traffic (and therefore your conversions):
- Shrink your images. You don’t need the same resolution on a screen that you would need if you were putting them into print. The lower the resolution of the images on a page, the less time it will take to load, and the fewer people you’ll lose due to our epidemic of impatience.
- Cache your pages. Content management systems like WordPress have plugins that allow you to serve up the newest version of your page to users, rather than forcing it to generate from scratch every time.
- Clean up your coding. If you don’t know how, you can pay someone else – this is just one of many benefits of having your site professionally designed or updated. What a convenient segue into my last point.
In an earlier post, I wrote about the benefits of having your website professionally designed and built. Like inviting an interior designer to revitalize your home, a web professional can help your digital space work for you in the best possible way.
A professional website designer and builder can offer you customized features, a turnkey, seamless site management experience, and long-term time and cost savings, making them well worth the upfront investment.
If your website isn’t converting the way you’d like it to, taking these steps can help you remedy the situation. The important thing is to test out the different steps and measure, measure, measure. Look at your analytics reporting to understand where drop-offs are happening, and test different changes to that page. When you change something, be sure to monitor the impact on your results, then rinse and repeat.
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