For most businesses, the purpose of a website is connecting with potential customers. Building and maintaining a website is an investment. Optimizing for conversions helps businesses maximize the return on their investment.
Before you can start increasing your website’s conversion rate, you need to define what types of conversions your business finds valuable. Many of our clients track phone calls, web form submissions and ecommerce sales generated by their websites. To determine your website’s current conversion rate, divide the number conversions by the number of sessions. You can find this data in Google Analytics.
How Do I Increase Conversion Rate?
Website conversion optimization is not going to happen overnight. It takes planning and testing to design a user flow that encourages people to convert. Follow these three steps to turn your site visitors into conversions and your conversions into loyal clientele.
1. Think Like Your Customers
What is your website visitor’s goal? Whether a user needs your phone number, hours or details about your services, it should be simple for them to meet their goal. You know exactly where to find your contact information on your website, but your potential customers don’t. When we design a website, we make it easy for your potential customers to find what they’re looking for. In a recent redesign for Decks Unlimited, adding a contact form to every page resulted in conversion rates of more than 8%.
You also want to make it as easy as possible for website visitors to use the contact options you offer. Use responsive design so important information is visible on every screen size. Make your phone number clickable on mobile phones. Minimize the amount of information you ask for in contact forms.
When you ask for information about your potential customers, clearly outline what they’ll get in return. This could be an email with an answer to their question, a monthly email newsletter, a confirmation of their order, or another appropriate response. Humanizing this exchange can also increase website conversion rate. Let your new leads or customers know who they will hear from. Include relevant testimonials to reassure your website visitors about their decision to take the next step toward becoming a customer.
2. Build a Strategic User Flow
A clear user flow helps customers reach their end goal, no matter where they entered your website and how they got there. Depending on the size and nature of your site, there may be dozens or even hundreds of ways website visitors navigate your site.
Considering user flow before launching your website is an important part of conversion-centered design. To create a better user flow within your website, map out variations on paper. (We love GlooMaps for this!) A well-planned user flow identifies pages where website visitors might get stuck. Eliminating these dead ends encourages website visitors to say on your site until they convert.
Diving deep into the data your website collects is the best way to determine if your user flow is encouraging conversions. Add Google Analytics to your website to track what methods are working best, set goals and keep track of your conversions. You’ll be able to make changes and improvements over time based on the best resource you have – data!
When Parkway Digital redesigned the Buffalo Museum of Science’s website, one of our biggest tasks was streamlining the site’s huge menu. A simplified structure helped both users and search engines find the most important details. Organic sessions increased by 50% in the year post-launch and bounce rate decreased by almost 20%.
This tactic is also part of website conversion optimization. If users can find what they’re looking for on your website, they’ll also sign up for your newsletter or visit your store.
Conversion Centered Design
Website design is essential when you’re creating a user flow that increases conversion rate. In many cases, a high percentage of conversions will come from a small number of pages on your website. Your home page, product pages and landing pages should encourage visitors to convert using web design best practices:
- Visually-appealing layout,
- Appropriate white space,
- High-quality images,
- Legible headlines and body copy, and
- Standout calls to action.
For many of our clients’ websites, we encourage conversions from every page with a phone number or call to action in the header.
Your website’s purpose is to connect with potential customers. Therefore, it needs to build trust with users, just like you would in person or over the phone. Showcasing your expertise and using social proof are the best ways to show website visitors why they should trust your business and products or services. We use blogging, case studies and testimonials to encourage potential clients to reach out about working with us.
Off-Site User Flow
Your website visitors don’t end up on your website on accident. Most potential customers’ user flow begins on Google, social media, email or another external platform – not on your website. To increase website conversions, you need to think about how people get there in the first place.
Use relevant page titles and meta descriptions so your website captures people’s attention in the search results. Ensure the transition from ad to website is seamless with tailored landing pages.
3. Continue to Optimize
Optimizing your website to increase conversions isn’t a one-and-done situation. To maximize the return on your investment, you should continually monitor your conversion rate and test small changes. We recommend updating these elements one at a time:
- Test different calls to action.
- Update headlines.
- Change what you offer in exchange for contact information.
- Remove navigation options on landing pages.