Getting visitors to your website can be challenging and expensive, so it is important that your site is optimised to convert as many of them as it can into customers. In this post, we’ll explain what conversions rates are, why they are important and how you can optimise your website to increase your rates and revenue.
Conversion rates explained
Conversion rates are not difficult to understand, but they are a crucial metric that lets you see how well your website is performing. Basically, a conversion rate is the percentage of your visitors who carry out an action that you want them to take. A website could have several conversion rates that it monitors, such as the per cent of visitors who buy products, subscribe to marketing emails, become members and so forth. Finding out what the conversion rate is for each of these actions can help you discover ways to improve them and increase overall sales.
Calculating a conversion rate is fairly straightforward. You simply divide the number of conversions by the total number of website (or web page) visitors and multiply this by 100. So, if 2000 people view your email sign up form and 50 sign up, your conversion rate is
(50 / 2000) x 100 = 2.5%
Ways to improve conversion rates
There are many things that websites do to drive their conversion rates upwards. Here are some of the most used and proven techniques.
A/B split testing
Sometimes, small changes can have a big effect on conversion rates, such as changing the colour of a call to action button, rephrasing a headline or showing a different image. Netflix, for example, has learnt that different movie images appeal to different people, so the images customers see advertising a movie will have been specially chosen to appeal to them.
The common way to test what works well and what doesn’t is to use A/B split testing. This allows two different versions of your web page (A & B) to be served randomly to different users. If one of these has better conversion rates than the other, you can ditch the poorly performing page in favour of the one which performs best. By constantly thinking up new ideas and split testing them, you can always work towards driving the conversion rate higher.
Some split testing tools are more advanced. They can use other data, like browsing histories, and add this to the mix. Like with the Netflix example above, this may tell you that one version of your page performs best with one group of visitors while a different version is better at converting others. This way, you can personalise your content to optimise conversion rates even more.
Remove conversion barriers
If the aim of your website is to fulfil your conversion goals, then you need to remove any distractions or obstacles that delay, prevent or put the visitor off taking the action you want. You can do this by removing any unnecessary content from pages, improving navigation so that finding content is easy, making it clear what your calls to action are and how to take them and streamlining the actions that need to be taken. This latter point is particularly important: if your user has to visit several pages and fill in a lot of information to buy a product, some of them are going to abandon your site in the process. The quicker and easier you make it, the more conversions you will make.
Make use of live chat
The use of live chat has increased dramatically over the last few years and for good reason, it has been shown to have an important effect on improving conversion rates. Its main use is that it enables visitors to ask questions there and then about products and services; helping them find information that’s either not on your site or that they have been unable to find. As this is given to them while they are still visiting your site, they remain potential customers during the conversation and, if happy with the answers and the quality of the chat, are much more likely to make a purchase. The simple fact that visitors use live chat means they are already thinking about purchasing, helping them at this point, before they look for answers on competitor sites, can be very beneficial.
What’s more, by deploying AI chatbots to operate your live chat, you don’t need a human to do the work for you and the facility can remain online 24/7.
Provide social proof
While your content may wax lyrical about your products and services, today’s savvy consumers aren’t going to take what you say at face value. Instead, they’ll want independent proof. This means to convince and convert visitors, you’ll need to provide them with third-party validation in the form of reviews, star-ratings, testimonials and, if applicable, the logos of your major clients.
According to Reevoo, products with more than fifty reviews see an average increase in conversion rates of 4.6% while company reviews can improve sales by 18%.
Conversion rates are a key metric to understand how successful your website is at achieving its goals. By using split testing, removing barriers, deploying live chat and offering social proof, it is possible to make your website more effective at converting visitors into action takers and improving overall sales.
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